The pressure is mounting on Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho if emerging reports are to be believed, and now his side must battle their way past a potential banana skin in the form of West Bromwich Albion.
Spurs have lost their last three consecutive league outings and now welcome the Baggies to north London, a side that seems destined for relegation as they sit some 11 points from safety with the worst defensive record in the division.
And with that in mind, Mourinho ought to tinker his gameplan to capitalise in the attack, even in the absence of Harry Kane…
One name who should be facing the chop this afternoon is Steven Bergwijn, who is enduring a tough run in front of goal this season.
Indeed, the 23-year-old winger is yet to score in any competition this campaign despite making 23 appearances for a total of 1,450 minutes, via Transfermarkt.
Football FanCast have previously outlined what the Dutchman, who is valued at £25.2m, brings to Mourinho’s side besides goal contributions. It’s a whole lot of defensive work rate, but the need for that has beyond passed now.
Bergwijn hasn’t scored in the Premier League since marking the top-flight’s return to action post-lockdown with a goal in a 1-1 draw with Manchester United in June 2020.
Even with Mourinho dubbing him “incredible” after their win over arch-rivals Arsenal, he didn’t score or assist on the day. Whilst Ben Davies has named him among the players he hates to train against. He told football.london:
“Another one I don’t really like facing in training. I remember on his first day he came in and looked a top player. From the moment he came in he brought real energy and fitted straight into the team.”
With Kane out, Spurs have only found the net once, and that was only through a rare scorcher from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. Their last three outings have seen xG returns of 0.10 (Liverpool), 0.37 (Brighton) and 0.57 (Chelsea), totalling 1.04 as per Understat.
The Dane’s attempt came against the Reds so that only tells you how lucky it was.
With Kane in the side, in their three previous outings before the run of three without a win, Spurs surpassed that xG total in every match alone, so evidently, there needs to be a spark in attack from somewhere.
Especially against a side that has leaked a whopping 52 goals this term, 16 more than any other Premier League side.
Given that Bergwijn has started five of their last six matches in the top-flight, the only absence being through injury, it would be ruthless to see him dropped, but ultimately, these are decisions Mourinho now needs to make.
Both Gareth Bale and Lucas Moura are waiting in the wings, probably eager for an opportunity as neither has started above four games this top-flight campaign.
The £75k-per-week ace must be dropped today.