Former Tottenham midfielder and current BBC pundit Jermaine Jenas has slated the two Spurs full backs as being weak links which make the squad worse off than it was last year.
The Lilywhites have secured a top four spot for another successive season, and with that qualification for the Champions League, but despite having shown a marked improvement on the European stage, Jenas insists that the squad do not look as strong as it was 12 months ago.
He picked out the loss of Kyle Walker and the lack of playing time for Danny Rose, the pair replaced by Kieran Trippier and Serge Aurier on the right and Ben Davies on the left, as a crucial reasoning behind his verdict, believing the energy brought by the former pair has been lost.
Speaking on BBC Five Live sport’s Friday Football Social (11/05, 19:00), he said: ” I think Spurs this year, are a worse team than they were last year.
“(Where have they weakened?) Both full-back areas for starters. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of Kieran Trippier, I really am, but that dynamic element that Rose and Walker brought to that team created so much space in those central areas.
“You don’t win things just playing well, sometimes it’s going to have to be ugly. For me that’s where I looked at them and went ‘I’m not sure you’re as good as you were last year’.”
'Spurs this year are a worse team than last year'@JJenas8 says the full-backs were the weakest links.
'They need to learn how to win without playing well' pic.twitter.com/zKmTQPkYcn
— BBC 5 Live Sport (@5liveSport) May 12, 2018
Football Insider verdict
There will be few who can argue that losing Kyle Walker was a big blow for Tottenham last summer and while Serge Aurier and Kieran Trippier have tried their best they simply have not lived up to their predecessor. One of the strongest parts of Spurs’ game last season was their attacking down the flanks, using three centre backs and the two wing backs, but due to the personnel at his disposal, Mauricio Pochettino has had to revert to a back four, which has hindered them at times. Whether he will look to go back to using his old system remains to be seen, but with changes expected over the summer transfer window, he might be forced to stick with the style of play in use now. Will any of those coming in be a new full back? Perhaps for the left flank, especially if Rose departs as expected, but Pochettino will likely think his current options are good enough to take on any side they come up against.
In other Tottenham news, the club must blast their rivals aside as they hold talks for a perfect summer signing.