“I don’t feel comfortable speaking about that,” said Spurs boss Jose Mourinho after his side crashed out of the FA Cup on Wednesday evening.
You could be forgiven for thinking that was about the absence of Gareth Bale on the night or perhaps why Harry Kane didn’t start such a crucial encounter, but it was rather about his side’s calamitous defending in which they conceded five goals to Everton.
That, ultimately, was their downfall.
And there was nobody worse than veteran centre-back Toby Alderweireld, given the fact that his partner Davinson Sanchez, who is usually a liability, found himself on the scoresheet twice.
As pointed out by the Evening Standard’s Dan Kilpatrick, the 31-year-old Belgian international ‘did very little to suggest he is the answer to Spurs’ problems at the back’.
No other player received worse than Alderweireld’s 4/10 rating and that very much echoed the sentiments from a statistical standpoint as SofaScore graded his display a 6.1, second-worst only to Hugo Lloris between the sticks.
Considering the £85k-per-week star is one of the more vastly experienced members of Mourinho’s squad, he should not be getting caught out once or twice, let alone three times – and as such, he badly let his boss down.
Alderweireld was left for dead for Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s opener, was nutmegged by Richarlison for their second and was caught napping late on for a third mistake.
Indeed, the Belgian was among the game’s most influential players in terms of regular ball possession as he notched 90 touches, which was only bettered by three other Spurs players, as per SofaScore.
Up against Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, he won just three of eight duels (37.5%) – the worst and lowest of any visiting defender, so clearly, he was the biggest liability across the backline.
Plenty of supporters took to Twitter to dish out flak to Harry Winks in a perplexing attack, considering he did not come on until the original 90 were up – for example, one fan asked the club to get rid as he’s a “Championship player” while another begged them to recall Oliver Skipp to play over him.
But as mentioned, he barely had any influence on the game whereas Alderweireld was a disaster throughout the entire 120 minutes and as such, blame must be pointed his way.
And just like Kilpatrick said, the £18m-rated colossus did very little to show why he should be starting and with league leaders Manchester City on the horizon, it would be a surprise to see him involved after that disasterclass.
Alderweireld badly let Mourinho and Spurs down as they exited the FA Cup in the fifth round.