Tottenham Hotspur head into the final game of the 2020/21 Premier League campaign knowing they must pick up all three points to stand a chance of qualifying for the Europa League.
But it will be no easy task as they face a Leicester City side who also need a victory in their bid to make the Champions League.
Spurs will need to vastly improve from their abysmal result in midweek, where they lost 2-1 to Aston Villa, and that result leaves interim boss Ryan Mason with plenty to ponder ahead of kick-off.
They looked disappointing in front of goal again, with big names like Harry Kane, Heung-min Son and Dele Alli all underperforming.
The link between midfield and attack may have been the root cause as the Lilywhites looked far more lively when Tanguy Ndombele’s presence entered the field of play during the second half.
Mason’s decision to opt for Harry Winks in the engine room in recent outings just hasn’t paid off. He is the man holding Spurs back right now as he offers very little going forward nor much defensively either.
Fans were less than impressed with his performance against Leeds, so perhaps it was surprising to see him come back into the starting XI in midweek after missing the win over Wolves.
As per WhoScored, the 25-year-old midfielder ranks as the worst performer on the season with an average rating of just 6.33. This should come as no surprise, though, as he’s never managed above a diabolical 6.57 average in any of his Premier League campaigns since his debut.
In terms of attacking output, the Englishman manages only 0.3 key passes and 0.1 dribbles per game, via WhoScored, often resorting to a side or backwards pass – something that is just not needed when the team are crying out for someone to drive them forward from the middle.
Against Villa, he once again failed to create a key chance, was dribbled past twice, and made only one of three long balls. proving to be rather wasteful too.
Ndombele, however, tried to move Spurs forward in the mere 16 minutes he was on the pitch – via SofaScore, he made 90% of passes, successfully pulled off 100% of his dribbles, and won all of his ground duels, too.
Winks was poor defensively too. As noted by Chris Coleman during commentary, Eric Dier was seen lambasting his teammate during the game.
“You can see there. Eric Dier is having words with Harry Winks,” he said. “He’s saying that the shield in front of himself and Toby Alderweireld is not good enough. Grealish is getting in the space in front of the centre-backs and you don’t want that to happen. Eric Dier is asking for a bit more protection.”
Given the £75k-per-week star has also been linked with an exit from N17 this summer, it would be wise to brutally axe him from the starting XI at the King Power this evening.
Winks has no right starting in a game of this calibre, especially not over a playmaker like Ndombele. It’s time for Mason to show no mercy over his old teammate in his final game in charge.