Tottenham supporters have been drowning their sorrows in recent times after seeing their side suffer defeat in the North London derby on Sunday.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men went into their clash with bitter rivals Arsenal off the back of victories over Chelsea and Inter Milan in the previous seven days, and thus full of confidence ahead of their trip across the capital to face Unai Emery’s Gunners. And at 2-1 up, things looked good for Spurs, only for their North London rivals to hit back admirably in securing a 4-2 win on Sunday, thus condemning Pochettino’s side to a fourth Premier League loss of the campaign.
Thus, there have been many disappointed Spurs supporters up and down the country in recent times, with defender Juan Foyth one man who has received much criticism for his display on Sunday, not least his error in the build-up to the third Arsenal goal.
And while the young centre back certainly didn’t have his best game on Sunday, there is only one man to blame for Tottenham’s defeat at the Emirates Stadium, namely manager Pochettino.
Ultimately, there were plenty of eyebrows raised when the teamsheets were announced on Sunday afternoon, as although Jan Vertonghen was indeed selected to start at centre back, despite only returning from injury against Inter in midweek, it came at the expense of compatriot Toby Alderweireld.
The 29-year-old had started each of Spurs’ previous 12 Premier League matches to underline his importance to Pochettino, at the same time highlighting just how vital a centre back he is given he helped keep things together in the absence of both Vertonghen and indeed Davinson Sanchez.
Yet Pochettino opted against selecting him for the North London derby, much to the surprise of many, and it’s a decision which backfired greatly as Foyth struggled for much of the afternoon, culminating in an error which led to Alexandre Lacazette netting Arsenal’s crucial third.
And while Foyth himself will surely be disappointed with his own display, one has to wonder why Pochettino, who after the match admitted that he needs to manage his squad during December, hence the decision to leave Alderweireld out, went for him over the 29-year-old.
Add in that Vertonghen wasn’t exactly at his best, which isn’t a complete surprise given he only returned from a lengthy spell out with injury against Inter Milan in midweek, and Pochettino’s decision to not play the club’s best centre back is looking more and more baffling as time goes by.
Ultimately, the Argentine hasn’t got a great deal wrong during his time in North London, but there is little doubting that his poor selection in the centre of defence played a vital part in his side’s demise on Sunday – Foyth did indeed struggle and played a role in Arsenal’s third goal, but Pochettino is the man to blame for Tottenham’s defeat at the Emirates Stadium.
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