In an exclusive interview with Football FanCast, Tottenham Hotspur legend Gary Mabbutt has delivered his verdict to Serge Aurier walking straight down the tunnel after being substituted at the weekend.
Spurs were well-beaten by Leicester City in north London, and the Ivorian right-back endured a troublesome afternoon which resulted in him conceding a penalty for the visitors’ opener.
Right on the stroke of half-time, the 27-year-old needlessly shoved Foxes defender Wesley Fofana in the back.
Jamie Vardy converted from the spot before Toby Alderweireld’s own goal just before the hour mark doubled their advantage.
In a desperate attempt to spark a reaction, Spurs boss Jose Mourinho replaced Aurier with Harry Winks less than five minutes later, and the £23m man was seen heading straight down the tunnel in frustration.
Mabbutt believes it was more down to his own struggles rather than his manager’s decision…
He told FFC:
“To be honest, you get used to it. You know, you never want a player to be happy at being substituted, being brought off, you should be frustrated and angry. You’ve earned your place in the team, and now someone else is being brought on because the manager feels it’s not working.
“For me, a player goes off. He’s subbed. He’s not happy, most [players] will not be happy but still sit on the bench, some of them are totally cheesed off for whatever reason.
“Then, Serge, I’m sure was more frustrated with the penalty he gave away and with himself, more than anything else, so no that won’t affect any of the other players.
“It wouldn’t be an issue.”
Aurier has enjoyed a vast transformation under Mourinho this season, so much so that he’s managed to keep £15m summer arrival Matt Doherty at bay in the Premier League.
Indeed, the £120k-per-week Spurs man has started each of their last six outings in the top-flight, whilst he also scored and assisted a goal apiece during their 6-1 drubbing of Manchester United, per Transfermarkt.
If Mabbutt is right, then Aurier’s reaction on Sunday should have no bearing on whether the club should still go ahead with those plans.
AND in other news, £30m Spurs calamity was utterly pathetic in their defeat to Leicester…