Jose Mourinho was left fuming after his Tottenham Hotspur side embarrassingly crashed out of the Europa League on Thursday night.
The Portuguese boss launched a scathing attack on his players in his post-game interview, claiming that Dinamo Zagreb beat them “on attitude”. which suggests he was far from pleased with their performance – perhaps they were a little too complacent sitting on a two-goal advantage.
Similarly, club captain Hugo Lloris also scolded the team after the match as he told BT Sport:
“The team at the moment just reflects what’s going on in the club. We have lack of basics, lack of fundamentals. All the performance is just in relation to that.”
That is rather damning. It would hint that the same players who were letting Mauricio Pochettino down are doing the same again. After all, the starting XI has never been drastically overhauled since the Argentine’s sacking in November 2019.
In fact, none of Mourinho’s signings started the encounter, nor did the likes of Gareth Bale, Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso, so the above sentiments are certainly aimed at Spurs’ longer-serving players.
None more so than Ben Davies, who dropped an absolutely shocking display at left-back. It’s really no surprise that Mourinho signed Sergio Regiulon the second he became available because the Welshman continues to prove that he’s not up to scratch.
Indeed, the £18m-rated defender was Spurs’ worst rated player by SofaScore. Make no bones about it, the north Londoners were abysmal right across the pitch, so to rank as the worst of the lot speaks volumes.
Davies was one of the more wasteful players on the night, losing possession a whopping 22 times – only Davinson Sanchez lost the ball more (23) and he played the 30 minutes of extra time, whereas the left-back was hooked at the end of the 90 minutes.
This meant that, every four minutes he was on the pitch, Davies handed possession back to Zagreb. Having also managed a fifth-high 84 touches, just over one in three touches resulted in giving away control.
That would have undoubtedly allowed the Croatian champions to get a hold on the game – particularly in the second half, where they recorded 56% possession – by comparison, in the return fixture, Spurs utterly dominated with a whopping 63% of possession.
Given Mourinho’s comments over the attitude of his players, this will surely have him absolutely seething with Davies in particular.
To make matters worse, the 27-year-old was dribbled past twice, committed one foul and only won three of his ten duels, via SofaScore. This merely emphasises how much Davies struggled to combat the opposition, who respectfully, shouldn’t be on the same level as a team like Spurs.
The former Swansea ace also put in a pathetic attacking performance, failing to find any Spurs player with three crossing attempts. In extra time alone, his replacement Reguilon managed two successful crosses and even had one successful dribble.
A lot of players will have angered Mourinho on the night, as evident by his scathing remarks, but you’d imagine Davies – who earns a reported £65,000 per week in north London – will be atop his list after that shocking show.