Tottenham Hotspur boss Antonio Conte will be looking to see a reaction from his squad following his damning remarks in midweek.
The Italian suggested that the north London outfit had a decision to make on his future after their 1-0 loss at struggling Burnley meant they had suffered four defeats in their last five outings.
“The performance can be good and the commitment was good but we lost. For me the situation is unacceptable. To lose four of five [games] for Tottenham has to be a disaster.
“I came in to try to improve the situation. Maybe in this moment, I am not so good to improve the situation. I am too honest to close my eyes and continue in this way.
“For sure we are to speak and have a conversation with the club to try and find the best solution to help the team not have this type of situation,” he said to reporters (via the BBC).
Spurs now face another under-pressure manager in Marcelo Bielsa, who witnessed his side thumped 6-0 by Liverpool, one of many thrashings by one of the Premier League’s top dogs in recent months.
A top-four finish is still within the Lilywhites’ grasp by results like Wednesday night and against Wolves and Southampton will need to be quickly eradicated.
There won’t be a better time to kickstart a run of form than against a team looking as hopeless as Leeds in both defence and attack.
It leaves the 52-year-old head coach with important decisions to make over team selection because as he says, whilst the fight and desire was there at Turf Moor, the quality just wasn’t.
They didn’t do enough to create clear-cut chances for Harry Kane and one issue could be out wide, where Conte’s wing-backs play a crucial role.
Ryan Sessegnon is potentially one player facing the axe, he just doesn’t offer the same threat as first-choice Sergio Reguilon, who made the bench in midweek after his recovery from the virus.
Conte waxed lyrical about the young 21-year-old as he started his third successive game.
“Sess in my vision has all the possibility to become an important player,” he said to reporters (via football london). “First of all he is young and has in front of him a lot of years. He is strong physically and fast, has a good engine, a resilience.
“He has good quality. Sometimes I think he feels a bit of pressure. But with me he played important games, against Liverpool, against Chelsea, against City. It means I trust him.”
He may well trust him but he struggled to have much of an impact against a Burnley side who had won only two games all season prior to Wednesday.
The England U21 international was hooked after 79 minutes having delivered only one accurate cross from five attempts (25%), on top of providing just the one key pass, whilst he also committed two fouls, via SofaScore.
Reguilon, on the other hand, is a huge creative influence, having managed the third-most assists (three), also averaging 1.2 key passes per game – far exceeding Sessegnon’s average of 0.3 chances created per game, via WhoScored.
The former Fulham dynamo may be earmarked for a big future under Conte, if he sticks around, of course. But for the time being, he just isn’t good enough to start week-in, week-out.
Once dubbed a “big talent” by former Cottagers teammate Stefan Johansen, the £13.5m-rated wing-back still has a long way to go before he’s close to being in the frame as a regular starter in the Premier League.
As such, Conte must be ruthless and axe him this afternoon now that his Spanish counterpart is back in the squad.
AND in other news, Spurs handed promising Oliver Skipp update ahead of trip to Leeds…