Peter Crouch reveals worrying ‘captain’ detail he noticed in Spurs defeat

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
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Peter Crouch has accused Tottenham Hotspur of lacking leaders in the side as the senior players failed to calm Japhet Tanganga down after his altercation with Wilfried Zaha.

The optimism surrounding Tottenham after their bright start to the season was completely extinguished by the poor display that Nuno Espirito Santo’s men produced against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The Lilywhites fell to a damaging 3-0 defeat after Tanganga received his marching orders following a few minutes of madness.

The 22-year-old was first involved in an altercation with Zaha, for which both players were booked.

Just minutes later, the young defender decided to slide in to win the ball from Jordan Ayew near the halfway line and caught the Palace forward, leaving Jon Moss with little choice but to send him off.

That meant that Spurs had to play the final half an hour of the game with a centre-back pairing of Joe Rodon and Ben Davies, with Davinson Sanchez and Cristian Romero not available for the game and Eric Dier going off injured in the first half.

Crouch believes that one of the senior Spurs stars should have had a conversation with Tanganga following his incident with Zaha to calm the defender down.

The former Tottenham striker wrote in his column for The Daily Mail: “Tanganga got carried away with the situation. The atmosphere inside Selhurst Park was up, the blood was pumping.

“Tanganga was riled after the first one, when Wilfried Zaha pushed the ball past him and they squared up. That was a bad one, a definite yellow.

“The crowd were on him from that moment. He then gave the ball away, Zaha said something to him and they shook hands.

“I was working for BT Sport, sitting with Rio, and we noticed that nobody in a Tottenham shirt was telling him to calm down and take a breath.

“Where were the leaders when Spurs needed them? Is that different if the captain plays outfield?

“Soon after, the ball runs away from Tanganga and — I’ve done this so many times when you are angry with your own bad touch — you lunge in. Off. Spurs lose the game 3-0.”

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In fairness to Tanganga, this incident was an anomaly rather than a regular occurrence as he seems to be a level-headed person. In fact, it was evident that he pulled out of his challenge on Ayew at the last moment after realising that he made a mistake by sliding in.

However, by that point, it was already too late and Moss was always going to bring out the second yellow card, particularly given the reaction at Selhurst Park. Crouch is right in saying that the likes of Lloris, Kane or Hojbjerg should have had a word with the defender to calm him down.

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