Paul Robinson has admitted that he was surprised to see Jose Mourinho hand Japhet Tanganga a start against Manchester City on Saturday but hailed the Spurs academy graduate as a ‘brilliant player’.
Tanganga excelled last season after breaking into the Tottenham team and many would have expected the youngster to kick-on this season.
However, the 21-year-old has found himself on the periphery of the squad while also partly being held back by injury issues.
Mourinho decided to start the youngster at right-back at the Etihad and he coped admirably with the threat of Raheem Sterling down City’s left-side.
Despite Tottenham being on the end of a 3-0 defeat, Mourinho singled out the defender for praise after the match.
Robinson admitted that he expected Matt Doherty to start at the Etihad but suggested that Mourinho has little choice but to rotate his squad due to Tottenham’s busy run of fixtures over recent weeks.
The former England goalkeeper told Football Insider: “I know Aurier was unavailable but I was still surprised to see Tanganga in there, especially when you have Doherty is on the bench.
“Tanganga is a brilliant player though and clearly the manager is a big fan.
“There just seems to be something ever so slightly amiss with Spurs at the moment.
“In Mourinho’s defence, they have had a very busy fixture schedule. They have played every three days in February.
“We can question his team selection but players cannot physically play that many games, it is too much.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Tanganga is a better one vs one defender than Doherty is. Given that we were always going to be under the pump for large parts of the match against City, I was not surprised that Mourinho decided to start Tanganga over the former Wolves man.
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