There were rumours doing the rounds before Tottenham’s trip to Villa Park yesterday that Jose Mourinho was going to make a statement with the starting line up and the squad.
Mourinho did just that as Carlos Vinicius, Joe Rodon, Japhet Tanganga and Giovani Lo Celso were all included in the starting line up while the likes of Harry Winks, Toby Alderweireld, Matt Doherty and Serge Aurier did not even make the bench.
The changes certainly had the desired effect as Spurs put in a spirited and hard-fought display to come away with a 2-0 win.
It was announced that the exclusion of Alderweireld and Aurier were both down to ‘illness’, suggesting that they were not dropped from the squad.
However, Alasdair Gold has now confirmed that, despite not being deemed fit enough to travel to Villa Park yesterday, both Alderweireld and Aurier are expected to head out on international duty with Belgium and Ivory Coast respectively.
Although both Toby Alderweireld and Serge Aurier miss out through illness today, I understand both are still expected to head off on international duty, which of course rules out what some might expect when they hear the word 'illness' in today's world.
— Alasdair Gold (@AlasdairGold) March 21, 2021
Spurs Web Opinion
I do not think the club were bluffing when they say the pair missed out through illness, particularly given that Alderweireld did not feature in the embarrassing display on Thursday.
However, it is a pretty ominous sign for Winks and Doherty to be missing out on the squad, particularly after Hugo Lloris questioned the commitment of some players on Thursday.
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