This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Patrice Evra believes Tottenham have encountered a mental obstacle and suggested change could be needed to re-energise the team.
The former France international admitted that he has been impressed with Mauricio Pochettino’s side over the last few years, but believes they have fallen short of becoming a top team due to a lack of winning edge.
As a result, he thinks Spurs will continue to fall short of being a title-winning side unless there are changes made, pointing to a lack of additions in playing personnel as something that will hold them back.
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Speaking on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, as reported by HITC, he said: “They have reached their limits. I always think of Tottenham as an exciting team to watch, but not as a winner.
“Every year people think Tottenham get the chance to win the title. I don’t think they have the players to win the title – they went to the final of the Champions League, they must be really disappointed not to win it and mentally you get affected by that.
“Pochettino is a great manager, but sometimes you need a big change or some extra quality players, and maybe Pochettino asked that and he didn’t get them. They have to rebuild the team. It’s been six years that they have been playing together. The problem is when it’s a long period that you have been playing together, and you don’t win something, mentally it’s really difficult to recover after that.”
As a result, it is clear that Evra feels there are several problems contributing to Spurs’ current predicament, and therefore Pochettino faces a big task to get things back on track, with some factors out of his control – like transfer dealings.
The fact there is discontent amongst the squad, with players such as Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld unsure of their futures with contracts expiring in the summer, indicates there is a truth in what Evra is talking about.
Spurs have failed to recover from the disappointment of the Champions League final, that is evidenced in their results, so Pochettino should consider a change in strategy by offering more opportunities to fringe players like Juan Foyth.
Young players who are eager to impress should serve the team more than players who are half-hearted, even if they lack quality by comparison, and until that happens Tottenham could continue to struggle.
Fans will likely be concerned that Evra’s opinion that a change is need could be shared by Daniel Levy, but there are signs that the Argentine could get things back on track, with Dele Alli showing what he has to offer in a fine display against Watford.
If Pochettino can get the best out of his players once again it should put to bed any doubts that pundits such as Evra raise, and the club should move in the right direction once more.