Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has this afternoon openly spoken out over members of his squad being ‘unsettled’, on the back of their shock defeat at the hands of Newcastle United yesterday.
Spurs 0-1 Newcastle
The capital giants welcomed Steve Bruce’s men to north London 24 hours ago, hoping to carry on their solid start to the campaign.
Spurs followed an opening day victory over Aston Villa with a hard-fought 2-2 draw at Manchester City, courtesy of smash-and-grab goals from Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura.
Newcastle, on the other hand, had endured a nightmare first two weeks to the season, having fallen to respective defeats at the hands of Arsenal and Norwich.
As such, Tottenham understandably headed into proceedings as clear favourites to bag all 3 points.
When all was said and done, however, the visitors sprung a shock on their heavily-favoured opponents.
A solitary first-half strike from Joelinton eventually proved the difference between the sides, as Newcastle picked up a morale-boosting victory.
79.8% – Tottenham had 79.8% possession in their 0-1 defeat to Newcastle; the second-highest figure for a losing side in the Premier League since 2003-04, behind only Liverpool’s 80.4% against Burnley in August 2016. Nullified. pic.twitter.com/sCoR81zPy3
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 25, 2019
‘An unsettled group’
While Spurs’ defeat was obviously hugely-disappointing in and of itself, what was even more worrying was the nature of their performance.
The north Londoners toiled throughout proceedings, looking completely bereft of ideas in the attacking third, resulting in just a pair of shots on target over the course of the 90 minutes.
Christian Eriksen’s introduction just past the hour-mark did add some much-needed guile to Tottenham’s midfield ranks, but, in the end, it proved too little, too late.
Danish international Eriksen has of course been hotly-tipped for a Spurs exit this summer, the most-likely explanation for his having been benched for two of the club’s first three outings of the campaign.
And, when questioned on his side’s surprise loss yesterday evening earlier today, Mauricio Pochettino hinted that the uncertainty surrounding the future of Eriksen, and others, is having a negative impact on his side’s performances:
‘I cannot find excuses because the transfer window is open. It doesn’t justify that performance today or the result. But we have an unsettled group for different reasons and different personal circumstances.’
“We have an unsettled group for different reasons and different personal circumstances.” 👀
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 26, 2019