Roy Keane has insisted that Tottenham’s struggles over the last few months cannot be put down to Jose Mourinho as the club have had a soft underbelly to them over the last four decades.
Yesterday’s 3-1 loss to Manchester United left Tottenham six points off a top-four spot.
With matches now running out and with the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool, West Ham and Leicester seemingly fighting for two spots, Jose Mourinho’s men now face an uphill battle to achieve Champions League qualification.
Even though Spurs have a Carabao Cup Final to look forward to, finishing outside the top four will be an underachievement, with reports suggesting that Mourinho could lose his job if Tottenham do not claw back the ground they have lost.
Jamie Redknapp and Roy Keane had a heated debate back in February regarding the quality of the Tottenham squad, with Keane insisting that the Spurs squad is ‘average at best’ without Harry Kane and Son Heung-min while Redknapp disagreed.
The pair once again butted heads about the same topic ahead of Spurs’ clash against Manchester United yesterday.
When Redknapp pointed out that Tottenham had reached a Champions League final just two years ago, Keane said: “They were lucky to get to that final. Get to the final – again, it’s like being top of the league in November. They got to the final, but they got beaten in the final.
“If you’re going to get to a final, the whole point of getting to a final is trying to win the bloody thing.
“Spurs before (boss Jose) Mourinho, and when Mourinho leaves, there will still be a softness to this Spurs team. That’s down to the players.”
When Redknapp then asked: “So they’ve been soft for the last, what, however many years?”, the former Manchester United man responded: “Spurs have been soft for the last 40 years.”
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I personally do not subscribe to the idea that a club’s culture can cause them to be ‘soft’ or be ‘bottlers’ for four decades. The reality is that just like all institutions, a football club’s culture is dictated by the people who work there (board, staff, managers, players etc).
While there is no doubt that we did have a soft underbelly in the 90s and early 2000s, we have seen all the personnel change. We now have several players who have won league titles elsewhere and a manager who has had a lot of success in his career.
So while our struggles could well be down to a mental issue, it is not sufficient to just write it off as ‘Spurs have always been bottlers’ like Keane has done here. That is the type of analysis you would expect from a social media troll rather than a football pundit.
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