Another game, more points dropped and another defensive mistake. That’s very much been the tale of Tottenham Hotspur’s tumultuous season.
On Easter Sunday, Jose Mourinho’s side squandered the chance to move back into the Premier League’s top four after Newcastle United fired home a late equaliser at St James’ Park.
This time, as it often has been, it was Davinson Sanchez who made the critical blunder as he clattered into central defensive teammate Joe Rodon, allowing Joe Willock to ghost in unmarked to score just five minutes before full-time.
It’s now time for Mourinho to give him the ‘Eric Dier’ treatment…
On the Chalkboard
Spurs have now lost 15 points from winning positions over the course of the 2020/21 season. Had they seen out those matches, the north Londoners would be sat behind league leaders Man City in second place and four points ahead of Manchester United in third.
The majority of this boils down to errors in the backline and, according to the ever-reliable Alasdair Gold at football.london, Mourinho is after a defensive leader as a top priority in the summer transfer window.
He also claims that ‘there has been a clear lack of cohesion at times in the backline and leadership’ and, despite being the most vocal of all Spurs’ options, Dier has found himself now out of favour.
Indeed, the 27-year-old England international is no longer first choice and has actually been snubbed from the starting XI in their last six league outings. It seems as if the West Ham defeat was the final straw for Mourinho.
However, it’s clear now that Dier was not the problem, or at least isn’t an anomaly.
Against the Magpies, Sanchez was the only player to grade worse than a mediocre 6.5 rating, as per SofaScore figures.
Just last month, ex-Sheffield United midfielder Curtis Woodhouse took to Twitter to launch a scathing attack on the Colombian, claiming that he’s “just not a very good defender” and that he “probably costs you 20 goals a season.”
Similarly, pundit and former Spurs midfielder Jamie O’Hara suggested that Sanchez was part of one of the worst defensive partnerships in the division following their north London derby defeat, soon after slamming him as “disgraceful” and the “worst player” despite scoring in the Everton FA Cup loss.
It’s unfair that Dier continues to be ostracised when these game-altering mistakes keep cropping up from the Colombian. It’s also farcical that Toby Alderweireld has been overlooked despite the uncertainty over both the Englishman and Sanchez.
The £31.5m-rated South American must now get the same treatment as Dier. He has no business starting for the club heading into the summer, especially if Spurs land a new defensive arrival.
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