Coming on the back of a Carabao Cup exit at the hands of League Two’s Colchester United and last week’s humiliating 7-2 defeat at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions’ League, Saturday’s 3-0 drubbing in the Premier League at Brighton & Hove Albion only added to Tottenham Hotspur’s woes as they went into the international break.
The footy stats speak for themselves. Tottenham FC have lost 17 matches in 2019, 12 of which have been in the Premier League. The defeat at the Amex Stadium made it 13 losses in their last 29 games and they haven’t won on the road in the Premier League since 20th January. Their Premier League betting odds for a Top-4 finish are now 7/5 (2.40) with a few online bookmakers.
The fact is that, after four consecutive top-four finishes and an appearance in the Champions League final, and despite some football tipsters’ predictions suggesting another good season, Tottenham look to have stalled.
Pochettino To Leave?
Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino looks very unsettled and is now just 5/1 (6.00) in the ‘Next Manager To Leave’ betting odds which could be a good EPL bet as things stand.
There have been question marks over Pochettino’s formations and tactics over recent months, but the fundamental issue appears to be one whereby the current squad has reached the end of its natural cycle and is in need of a major overhaul.
There were some long-awaited additions over the summer, but injuries to new recruits Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon haven’t helped with their integration into Pochettino’s squad.
Image Credit – Víctor Gutiérrez Navarro from VALENCIA [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]
A move for Argentinian striker Paulo Dybala from Juventus came unstuck due to issues over his image rights, while Sporting midfielder Bruno Fernandes agreed terms with the north London club and was set to sign until the latest football news came through that the seemingly inevitable departure of Christian Eriksen wouldn’t be happening after all.
Removal of Dead Wood
Eriksen’s situation highlights the need to offload a number of players who seemingly don’t want to be at the club or are out of contract at the season’s end. The run to the Champions League final last season papered over the fact that the squad was already starting to look stale after several years with minimal changes in personnel.
In addition to the Dane, Serge Aurier, Danny Rose and Victor Wanyama were all expected to leave over the summer, while long-serving defenders Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen are both, like Eriksen, now in the final year of their contracts.
The high-tempo pressing game that Pochettino favours clearly isn’t conducive with the apparent lack of motivation in some players who would rather be elsewhere.
Time To Rebuild the Squad
Tottenham’s cause hasn’t been helped by the ongoing loss of form from key players such as Dele Alli and Eric Dier, while the dislocated elbow captain Hugo Lloris suffered at Brighton only adds to their problems.
The biggest concern of all is the future of Pochettino himself, with persistent rumours linking him with a move to Real Madrid or Manchester United. There has been talk of the Argentinian’s job being under threat, but he has enough credit in the bank with Daniel Levy to make that outcome unlikely.
Tottenham are now at a crossroads. Having invested £1.2 billion on the stadium complex and a further £30 million training ground, it’s imperative that the next couple of transfer windows are used to ensure that Pochettino has the players at his disposal to warrant that expenditure if Tottenham are to go to the next level.