Tottenham Hotspur simply don’t have the depth they need.
This was laid bare on Wednesday, as a team filled with contract rebels and backup stars fell woefully short of the standard set by a strong Bayern Munich team in Bavaria.
Now, of course, it must be said that the senior side actually lost 7-2 to Bayern in north London in a game that must go down as one of the most embarrassing in the club’s recent history.
But in midweek, Bayern didn’t even need to leave second gear.
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Jose Mourinho had said he would rotate beforehand and he left star striker Harry Kane at home, instead choosing to play Lucas Moura up front, with Christian Eriksen in the No.10 role, Giovani Lo Celso on the right of the attacking trio and Kyle Walker-Peters and Juan Foyth in defence.
It went okay for a bit. Bayern took the lead through Kingsley Coman but Ryan Sessegnon, making his first start, equalised with a crisp volley. Then Thomas Muller scored on the stroke of half-time, Philippe Coutinho added a third and it was game over.
Mourinho turned to his bench and on came Oliver Skipp and Son Heung-Min. The latter had a golden chance late on as he was sent through one-on-one with Manuel Neuer but he fluffed his lines. The other change saw Victor Wanyama replace the execrable Eric Dier.
This is not a squad with a strong bench. Mourinho had to turn to a usual first-team starter in Son, a teenager in Skipp and a player whose knees may genuinely be ruined – he has missed 47 games through injury – in Wanyama.
The other options on the bench were three players usually found in the U23s – Brandon Austin, Japhet Tanganga and Troy Parrott – and Davinson Sanchez.
There are players out injured, the likes of Erik Lamela, Harry Winks and Tanguy Ndombele but only the latter two would really improve the XI. Hugo Lloris is likely to be reinstalled as No.1 when he returns but it remains to be seen whether Ben Davies will get back into the team.
And that’s a problem. Most supporters, be they Spurs fans or not, could name an ideal XI for the club and get within one or two. Perhaps you’d quibble over whether Dele Alli or Eriksen would play in the No.10 role.
But, other than that, the strength in depth simply isn’t there; Mourinho just doesn’t have deep reserves to call upon.
It is an issue that needs addressing, particularly if Spurs are to fight on three fronts, in the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Champions League in 2020.
Right now, they don’t appear to have the equipment for the task.
Meanwhile, one Spurs player was particularly terrible against Bayern.