Tottenham Hotspur’s defeat to Liverpool in the Premier League on Thursday has further repercussions than just dropped points. Injuries and players storming out of the Stadium has added to a feeling that all may not be well at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Issues Mounting After Tottenham Hotspur’s Defeat to Liverpool
Serge Aurier ‘Storms Out’
According to reports in The Athletic, Tottenham full-back, Serge Aurier stormed out of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after being substituted at half time in the defeat to Liverpool. Jose Mourinho was said to be ‘furious’ at how easily Liverpool got in behind for their opener and Aurier was the fall guy as he was taken off at the break. Aurier and the manager reportedly exchanged words in a heated row and Aurier drove home.
Whilst Aurier was certainly at fault for the goal, it seemed harsh to single him out considering the contribution or lack thereof from Eric Dier. The fallout seemed to affect Spurs as they conceded immediately after the break and looked naive defensively with individual errors again costing the home side points.
Mourinho did stop short of naming individuals after the game but he was clearly angered by his defensive players in particular;
Blaming individuals is one thing but when players start leaving the ground and you look at Mourinho’s history with Danny Rose, for example, there is an argument that the Portuguese manager might be alienating some of his playing staff. Whilst it is too early to suggest he is losing the dressing room, there are signs that not all is happy at Spurs.
Mourinho’s Defensive Selections Raise Questions
Mourinho builds his team from the back and has been working on that with Spurs but the errors being made at the back are in danger of derailing a season that has seen them top the table before slipping out of the top four.
Aurier has been error-prone and Matt Doherty, who was bought from Wolverhampton Wanderers has struggled to produce the sort of form that attracted Mourinho to him in the first place. The signing of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg from Southampton has been a shrewd move from Mourinho but part of that deal included young right-back Kyle Walker-Peters heading the other way.
Walker-Peters has been impressing at the Saints and it raises questions as to why a promising young academy player was allowed to leave at all.
The injury to another academy player, Japhet Tanganga have been unfortunate but the omission of Toby Alderweireld in a number of games is odd, to say the least. The Belgian, arguably Spurs’ best defender has only made 11 out of 19 appearances in the Premier League this season. Often omitted in favour of Davinson Sanchez, Alderweireld sitting on the bench makes little sense and Mourinho appears to be singling out players he is looking to move on. At what cost to Spurs though is a question that is fast needing to be answered.
Harry Kane Injury
Harry Kane injured both ankles in the defeat to Liverpool but the full extent of the injury is not yet known other than Mourinho suggesting that it is not good news when Kane admits he cannot play on.
Ankle injuries are becoming a real concern for the Spurs and England striker after he missed games in 2016/17, 2017/18 and 16 games last season. Judging by those recent injuries it is likely that he will miss at least a few games so what does Mourinho do and to whom will he turn?
The Europa League and FA Cup have been where Vinicius has had his game time so far in his Spurs career- scoring three in each competition yet in the Premier League has only had 25 minutes on the pitch.
To bring in a striker and not play him raises more questions about Mourinho and just how he will go about compensating for the probable absence of Kane. When Kane went off against Liverpool, rather than bringing on Vinicius to provide some strength and height up front, Mourinho opted to bring on Erik Lamela and push Son Heung-min forward as the main striker. It simply did not work. Son looked lost and rarely looked like getting on the scoresheet. It seems that Vinicius is not going to be the answer that Mourinho uses to answer the question.
Gareth Bale’s Time to Shine?
The return of Gareth Bale to Tottenham Hotspur was an exciting moment for fans but to date, it has been a somewhat disappointing with the Welshman far from hitting the ground running, but now might be the time for him to shine once more following Tottenham Hotspur’s defeat to Liverpool.
Bale has been hit by illness and injury since rejoining the club where he made his name and has consequently only started one Premier League game this season. When asked by Sky Sports News if the injury to Kane would be the chance for Bale to step up, Mourinho responded: “Yes, I hope so. He didn’t play much [against Liverpool], but played 90 minutes in the cup and that, for him, is a big impact so it’s impossible to be fresh to play a lot.”
No Crisis at Spurs Just Yet but Pressure is Mounting
Whilst Tottenham Hotspur’s defeat to Liverpool has raised more questions about Mourinho and his Spurs team, it is not yet a crisis at the North London club but the pressure is mounting as they slip back out of the top four once more. Players storming out, senior squad players being dropped and individual errors costing points are all starting to take the shine off what started as a promising season.
The fallout from the defeat to Liverpool is already biting hard. How Tottenham and Mourinho respond from herein will define the remainder of this season and if the right answers are not found, a crisis may just be lurking around the corner.
Embed from Getty Images