‘The problem was’ – Stellini claims Tottenham’s starting XI was not the issue in FA Cup defeat

Tottenham Hotspur assistant head coach, Cristian Stellini, has argued that the choice of starting XI last night in the FA Cup defeat to Sheffield United was not the issue. 

Spurs kept Harry Kane on the bench and instead started with an attack of Lucas Moura, Heung-min Son, and Richarlison, who lined up in his favoured number nine role.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Unfortunately, the Lilywhites failed to create many chances of note and were uninspiring on the ball throughout, despite coming up against Championship opposition.

It was Sheffield United who opened the scoring with just 15 minutes left on the clock after some woeful defending from the likes of Pedro Porro, Davinson Sanchez, and Eric Dier.

Cristian Stellini believes it was a lack of energy that cost Tottenham on the night, and argued that the strength of the starting XI was good enough to win the game.

He said (Football London): “I think the team we chose to play the game was fine. We used a good team to play this game against this type of opponent. The problem was the energy.

“When the energy is not at the same level as your opponent sometimes you an lose. We had the opportunity to score but we never found the target.

“Every time we shot out of the target. If we want to score we have to find the target. This was the problem for me. The problem was the energy we have to use in this type of game.

“I’m disappointed for that because our players are fitting in well. We used different player but our players have to show on the pitch the reality.

“The reality has to be different if we want to win. We cannot use the same team every game. We need to give responsibility to everyone.

“Today I’m disappointed not for the effort, not for the players we choose but for the energy. We need to stay at the same level to be consistent.”

Spurs Web Opinion:

Stellini is right that the starting XI should have been good enough to win, but it just felt like a key and unique opportunity to maintain some much-needed momentum at this stage of the season by naming a near-unchanged XI. Kane on the bench was a huge mistake.

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