Darren Bent says that the shock defeat to Colchester was Victor Wanyama’s “worst nightmare” after returning to the Tottenham starting XI.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Spurs and England striker says that the midfield enforcer came up against a League Two outfit who were able to up their game to a level that the Kenyan was unable to match due to his lack of recent action.
The Lilywhites crashed out of the cup on penalties to Colchester after playing out a 0-0 draw during regular time, Mauricio Pochettino naming a side full of first-team squad players.
Bent says Wanyama, who was benched against Southampton in the Premier League clash on Saturday, was severely lacking in terms of fitness and form and that it came back to haunt him on Tuesday.
Bent told Football Insider: “We’re saying about Wanyama not playing well. I’ve played in these games before, where you’re the overwhelming favourite, but it just doesn’t happen.
“Before you know it, it’s too late. They’ve already got the bit between their teeth, they’re running harder and faster than they probably will all season, they make it so difficult for you.
“For guys like Wanyama, who have not had a lot of game time recently, it can turn into your worst nightmare. You just can’t raise the level of performance to what you usually have, because of that lack of game time, confidence, energy.”
Prior to Saturday’s clash against the Saints, Wanyama had turned out just twice for Pochettino across all competitions this season, coming off the bench in the 2-1 defeat to Leicester City for his first outing of the campaign.
He is closing in on 100 appearances for the Lilywhites, scoring seven goals during his time in north London.