Tony Cascarino has suggested that the performance of youngster Japhet Tanganga was one of Tottenham Hotspur’s few positives following their 1-0 defeat to Liverpool on Saturday evening.
Roberto Firmino’s solitary strike gave the Reds all three points and left Spurs nine points behind fourth-placed Chelsea in the Champions League spots.
Incidentally, the game saw a Premier League debut for 20-year-old Tanganga in defence, with the youngster making a goal-line clearance in the opening minutes of the contest. Speaking on TalkSPORT, Cascarino argued that Tanganga’s display was something that Jose Mourinho’s side could take from the game despite the disappointing result.
He said: “He runs with pace and you can tell that he sees things quickly. He made a couple of last-ditch challenges, he was hungry to get in front of the ball. Yes, it’s his debut and adrenaline takes you a long way, but I thought he was one of the bright lights.”
Cascarino’s praise of Tanganga’s performance appears to agree with the stats, with WhoScored making the defender Spurs’ best performer from Saturday night, thanks to a match rating of 7.38 out of 10.
Tottenham’s backs were against the wall for much of the contest, with just one-third of the possession as their opponents dominated, which is perhaps telling from Tanganga’s eight clearances throughout the match – a tally that only defensive counterpart Toby Alderweireld could better with 10 to his name.
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To come in and produce on that level on his top-flight debut is surely no mean feat and certainly deserving of the praise he received, particularly as it came against the runaway leaders who set a new European record with their 20th win in 21 attempts.
It may not have been difficult for Cascarino to earmark Tanganga as a rare source of optimism as Spurs failed to score and missed a number of gilt-edged chances in doing so on a discouraging evening, though the defender’s maiden display in the Premier League could indeed give Spurs hope of a brighter future.
Spurs fans, should Tanganga start more regularly? Let us know what you think below!
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