Interim Tottenham Hotspur boss Ryan Mason was badly let down by Giovani Lo Celso, and not for the first time this week, as the north Londoners were defeated in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday evening.
Spurs’ 13-year wait for silverware will rumble on for another season after they were played off the park by league leaders Manchester City at Wembley Stadium.
Mason’s side struggled to have much of an impact throughout the 90 minutes, with Pep Guardiola’s rampant City side recording a whopping 62% of the possession, whilst Spurs only managed to have one shot on target all game.
It’s almost as if Jose Mourinho were still in charge as they suffered from a void of creativity and spark in attack, leaving the returning Harry Kane with far too much to do on his own.
Which is why the Argentine playmaker has to be questioned as it was his role in midfield that contributed to their woes significantly.
In the build-up to kick-off, Football FanCast urged Mason to axe the 25-year-old from his starting XI following a disappointing display against Southampton in midweek and he did very little to warrant the 29-year-old’s faith in him here as he dropped another shocker.
As per SofaScore, Lo Celso managed just 27 touches before he was hooked in the 67th minute. By comparison, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris had more of an influence, recording double that number (54), so he was clearly more like a passenger in the heart of the engine room, rather than their talisman.
Think of Christian Eriksen, someone of that ilk was sorely missed.
In terms of creativity and attacking output, the former Real Betis star failed to record a single key pass or a successful cross and it was he who wasted Spurs’ one and only shot on target.
The £36m-rated ace was rather weak and far from his industrious self as he also didn’t manage a tackle, committed three fouls (the most on the pitch) and won just two of six duels (33%), via SofaScore.
Similarly, football.london’s Alasdair Gold described Lo Celso as ‘sloppy’ in his post-match ratings column, whilst the Telegraph were even more scathing, claiming the midfielder was ‘OK, which is pretty much all he has been since arriving from Real Betis two years ago.’
Indeed, the 21-cap international is still yet to set the ground alight in the 18 months he’s been in north London and defeat in the final on Sunday was another reminder that he perhaps does not belong in the starting XI.
He, along with many others, badly let Spurs and Mason down.
AND in other news, Spurs given fresh boost in Julian Nagelsmann pursuit…