After a strong opening two months or so, Tottenham’s form has started to nosedive.
Despite laying down an early marker as potential Premier League title challengers, Mauricio Pochettino’s side have now won just once in their last ten matches in all competitions, crashing out of the Champions League in that time.
Spurs suffered their first league defeat of the season on Saturday as Chelsea came from 1-0 down to defeat them at Stamford Bridge, in a performance that showcased both the best and worst of the team this season.
A big factor in Tottenham’s struggles this season is that (Victor Wanyama aside) their summer signings have not panned out as hoped – Georges-Kévin Nkoudou and Vincent Janssen came on as substitutes on Saturday to little effect, while £30m acquisition Moussa Sissoko wasn’t even in the 18-man squad.
The French international has been poor since signing from Newcastle in a deadline-day transfer, with his sporadic appearances regularly panned, and Pochettino has told Sissoko that he has slipped back in the pecking order regardless of his sizeable transfer fee.
“Football is not about money. It is about you being better, and that you show on the training ground that you are better than another team-mate and that you deserve to be involved or not.
“In my opinion, I need to take the decisions and I believe that the players that started in the game and the players on the bench deserved to be involved in the game. There’s nothing else to find [read into] in it.
“It’s not frustrating for me. It’s about football. We can see in football different things that happen. You sign a player and then you expect something, and you don’t find what you expected.
“If another deserved to be involved, like maybe Josh Onomah or maybe Janssen. Why, because we pay money, do they deserve to play?
“Of course (he needs to learn). He needs to work hard and to show in future that he deserves to be on the team.”
Quotes via the Mirror
Tottenham have slipped back in the race for the title. Saturday’s result sees them rooted firmly to fifth place, seven points behind Chelsea and daylight forming between themselves and Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City above.