Tottenham left it to the second-half of the game again today but came unstuck in their lunchtime Premier League clash against Burnley – a game that had been labelled a must-win by manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Despite the return of Harry Kane, sooner than expected, Spurs couldn’t find the breakthrough in the first-half in a game of very few chances.
And it was Burnley who scored first in the second-half with Kane finding an equaliser with around 20 minutes left. Tottenham might have been the favourites to win from this point but Ashley Barnes hadn’t read the script and popped up with a late goal from close range to sink Tottenham’s title hopes.
Kane put in a good shift although he’s obviously lacking match fitness, but Jamie Redknapp noticed a problem at the other end of the pitch for Tottenham in youngster Juan Foyth.
Talking on the Sky Sports live coverage of the game (Sky Sports Main Event, Sat, 12.30pm) Redknapp said, “Aurier pushes on because he’s a wing-back and he’s entitled to but Foyth is just too slow on the ball, not reacting, and when you’re playing a side like Burnley who don’t give you a second’s peace you’ve got to be quicker on the ball.
“That’s been a problem for them [Tottenham]. He’s a talented player but at times he has problems defensively when he’s almost trying to play too much.”
Foyth was taken off after 75 minutes of the game, with the score at 1-1.
Foyth has been introduced to the Premier League slowly by Mauricio Pochettino after a big-money move raised eyebrows. He cost almost £12million from Estudiantes when he was just 19 and didn’t make his bow in the league until November last year. He had a tough league debut when he gave away two penalties in the 3-2 win over Wolves and this marked his seventh Premier League appearance. He’s obviously a talent and will be a huge player in the future, but he’s still got weaknesses in his game that he needs to iron out. And we’re not entirely convinced that he wouldn’t be better in midfield. That’s not where Pochettino has bought him for though and if he can simplify things and stop chances, he could be a rock for Tottenham for years to come. Redknapp was right about Foyth today though and Pochettino will need to address his speed on the ball – the Premier League isn’t a forgiving place and Tottenham are (or perhaps were) playing for high stakes at the moment.