Just four months ago, Tottenham were on the verge of playing in the Champions League final and had just finished in the top four of the Premier League to qualify for the competition once again. They appeared on the cusp of something good, but fast forward four months and they are in a bit of a hole.
Spurs have played eight games in all competitions so far, winning just two of them. Their latest defeat came in the EFL Cup, with League Two Colchester beating them on penalties after a 0-0 draw.
Colchester, Olympiakos, Leicester, Arsenal, Newcastle & Manchester City have all prevented Tottenham from claiming victories this season, but why? What is exactly wrong within the club at the moment?
The big reason appears to be down to squad harmony and how happy the players are. Throughout the summer we heard about many Tottenham players who were either wanting to leave them or were up for sale as they were no longer required.
Christian Eriksen is the biggest name, publicly handing in a transfer request as he wanted a new challenge elsewhere. Players such as Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen were rumoured to be leaving the club all summer, while Danny Rose was allegedly told he was no longer required and could leave if a reasonable offer came in.
All of those four players remain at the club despite that, and this is on top of those who are there and unhappy that we don’t know about.
There is no way that a squad can work with everyone pulling in the same direction with players at the club who weren’t expecting to be there. These players have been told they can leave, or told they weren’t good enough but instead of them moving on and out of the door, they are still there and playing a vital role so far this season.
Is There Anything Poch Can Do?
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has a tough job on his hand, there is no doubting that. But what can he actually do? Well, as for now, he has no option but to use the players he has in the squad right now, and try and get them playing together.
There is no doubt that this team is full of quality, and on the whole, this is the same squad that he took to the Champions League final last season, so he knows what they are capable of.
However, this is a different kind of problem he faces, one that requires more than just a little bit of training to get players firing. This is a problem with squad harmony, the willingness of players to play for Tottenham and keeping everyone at the club together, instead of falling out with each other.
While ever this hangs over the club, don’t expect Tottenham to look anywhere near their best, and losing further games is a definite possibility. They are back in action on Saturday and face what has become a must win game against Southampton.