Tottenham Hotspur return to Premier League action tonight as they look to bounce back from last weekend’s disappointing defeat against Manchester United.
Jose Mourinho’s side make the trip to Everton knowing that a defeat could see them leapfrogged in the table, and that would all but end their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.
Spurs, once again, were victims of their own downfall, with defensive mistakes continuing a worrying trend in north London. They have now dropped 18 points from winning positions – had they held onto all ot them, they’d now be sitting in second place behind Manchester City.
And after a surprise recall to the side last time out, it’s time for Mourinho to axe Serge Aurier from the starting XI once again because he instantly proved that he doesn’t warrant a spot from the off.
Japhet Tanganga excelled against Aston Villa before the international break, keeping a clean sheet after the club had endured a tough week in losing to both Arsenal and then Zagreb in the Europa League.
The 21-year-old gem wasn’t at fault for either of Newcastle’s two strikes up at St James’ Park either, so his absence last Sunday was a little perplexing.
It then became even more baffling as the game went on, as Aurier was a total calamity against the threats of Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Edinson Cavani.
Speaking on Sky Sports throughout their Super Sunday coverage, Roy Keane didn’t hold back in his verdict of the Ivorian right-back, he said (via Football Daily):
“He’s got a rick in him. He has caused loads of problems. I have described him as a bit of a car crash. Nice powerful boy, [he] keeps going forward but defensively, I think he doesn’t smell danger or see the danger. And that’s been a huge problem for Spurs, the right-back position.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time that Aurier’s performances have been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.
In the past, he has been dubbed a “liability” by former Spurs striker Darren Bent and even Mourinho himself admitted that he was scared of his defending (in more colourful terms) during Amazon’s ‘All or Nothing’ docuseries last year.
The Toffees have a very lethal frontline, namely Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who has bagged 19 goals this campaign, which has put him firmly as England’s second choice behind Kane going into this summer’s European Championship.
On Aurier’s side is likely to be Richarlison, who has long been a nuisance. He’s been fouled 2.4 times per 90 minutes in the league this season. Given Spurs’ £18m-rated defender commits 1.4 fouls per 90, it could be a recipe for disaster.
Not to mention the prospects of also facing Lucas Digne and James Rodriguez, too.
If Mourinho starts Aurier against Everton tonight, then Carlo Ancelotti could well target his side as a weakness and as a result, the former PSG star could well get absolutely terrorised.