When Tottenham were beaten 1-0 by Bournemouth on Saturday, it looked like Mauricio Pochettino’s men had put themselves in a very difficult spot in the race for a finish in the top four of the Premier League.
However, to people’s surprise, Manchester United and Arsenal were both held to draws by Huddersfield and Brighton respectively on Sunday, which meant that Tottenham all but sealed a top four finish along with Chelsea, whose win over Watford saw them climb to third.
Chelsea legend Pat Nevin admitted to being shocked that the Blues were able to qualify for the Champions League with a game to spare.
In a column for Chelsea’s official website, he wrote, “I will admit to still being slightly in a state of shock that we have qualified for the Champions League with a game to spare.
“I am sure I am not the only one who spotted Arsenal going 1-0 up against Brighton on Sunday and immediately lost interest thinking that is was a ‘done deal’.”
The former Chelsea winger was also heavily critical of Tottenham’s performance against the Cherries and said that he was quite surprised by how sluggish the Lilywhites looked given that there was Champions League qualification at stake.
The 55-year-old further put the poor run of form Pochettino’s men are going through, down to their lack of squad depth.
He added, “Before the game, I noted that they had won only three in their last 10 league games, but it was more than that, they lacked a team spark in that first half.
“With Champions League football for next season in the balance I was amazed at how sluggish they looked in that first 45.
“With a little further consideration, it became apparent that just too many of their players were running on empty.
“They have a limited squad in terms of depth, their Champions League run has stressed them too far and in the season after a World Cup, it was all just too much to overcome.
“They didn’t manage to or weren’t able to, rotate their squad enough, especially the most vital players. That’s why they have only picked up 10 points from the last 33.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Nevin’s assessment of Tottenham’s performance against Bournemouth is rather harsh as Tottenham played some decent football in the first half but just failed to take their chances.
Even after both Son Heung-Min and Juan Foyth got their marching orders either side of half time, Pochettino’s men still put in a valiantly display to hold on till the end, only to be outdone by a late corner.
We at Spurs Web don’t think there was anything wrong with Spurs’ effort or application on Saturday. They were just unlucky to be on the receiving end of two harsh red cards.
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