Former Leeds United full-back Danny Mills has claimed that two of Tottenham Hotspur’s most established players have been struggling with form.
Jose Mourinho decided to bench both Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld for Sunday’s 3-2 defeat at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday.
The decision not to start either Belgian appeared to backfire with Mourinho’s central defensive trio of Davinson Sanchez, Eric Dier and Japhet Tanganga all having an afternoon to forget against Wolves who leapfrogged the North Londoners in the table.
Alderweireld had been an almost constant fixture in Mourinho’s starting eleven while Vertonghen has failed to hold down a regular first team place since the Portuguese took over from Mauricio Pochettino at the end of November.
Mills has suggested that Mourinho may have decided to have saved the pair for tomorrow night’s FA Cup fifth round tie against Norwich City yet still highlighted that both players are struggling to hit the levels expected of them.
He told Football Insider: “He may be saving them for Norwich and he is well within his rights to do that.
“Vertonghen’s performances this season have not been brilliant. In their last FA Cup game against Southampton, he was not particularly good and he got dragged off in that game.
“Alderweireld has not been up to his expected standards so maybe he is mixing it up, giving them a rest.
“They are both getting on and maybe he is thinking there still should be enough to get through the Wolves game. They got beat but if they go on and win the FA Cup…”
There isn’t a defender in our ranks who hasn’t been at their best consistently all season. Vertonghen has arguably experienced the most difficult season of his professional career while Alderweireld has been caught out of position on more than one occasion.
Both players are now on the wrong side of 30 with their best years behind them.
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