Nuno Espirito Santo admitted that the focus of pre-season matches is to get the players in the right physical condition when questioned about Tanguy Ndombele’s absence against Chelsea.
Ndombele had not featured in any of Tottenham’s three pre-season matches before yesterday’s clash and the midfielder was once again absent from the matchday squad at Stamford Bridge.
Nuno decided to start with a central midfield trio of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Oliver Skipp and Dele Alli, with Harry Winks replacing the Dane at the interval.
It was thought that Ndombele’s absence in the friendlies against Leyton Orient and Colchester might have to do with the fact the Frenchman become a father for the first time two weeks ago.
The 24-year-old was involved in the open training session at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium a few days ago, ruling out the possibility of an injury.
However, Nuno refused to reveal any specific details regarding the former Lyon man’s absence against Chelsea, pointing out that he was one of several who did not play.
When asked if Ndombele was being kept out because he was not fit, the Spurs boss told Football.London: “There are a lot of players who are out.
“At this moment of pre-season, it’s all about trying to balance all the players in terms of preparation and fitness.
“We have to manage a lot of aspects. There are a lot of players out.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Nuno obviously does not want to point any fingers at Ndombele by admitting that it is a fitness issue.
However, that is evidently the reason that the 24-year-old is missing, with the Portuguese coach previously admitting his intention to make Tottenham into one of the fittest teams in the league.
The situation regarding Ndombele is rather concerning. From the midfielder’s two years at Spurs so far, there is little evidence that he is driven to prove his fitness to Nuno and establish himself as an integral part of the team.
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