Tottenham put in a truly shocking display against Gent in the Europa League on Thursday night. Pochettino’s men lost the game 1-0 and crucially did not score an away goal. It means Spurs have endured back to back defeats and the club desperately need to turn their fortunes around or they risk another end of season collapse. One midfielder came under immense criticism because of his performance…
Pochettino opted for a very strong team, which included first team star Moussa Dembele. But the Belgian was out of sorts and he seriously struggled to make an impact.
He disappointed fans with a flat performance, Dembele needed to give the midfield more energy but his showing lacked inspiration.
He was neat and tidy in possession but playing in the most advanced central midfield role, he needed to make more of an impact going forward. Most of his passes were sideways or backwards as he struggled to find a route through the Tottenham defence, in the end he was subbed off for a more naturally attacking player, Son.
Here’s how Twitter reacted to Dembele’s performance.
Dembele has a terrible shot, never scores and has no decent touch in recent games – glad a more offensive player is on @RealSonHeungmin
— hugh johnson (@HughNTJohnson) February 16, 2017
Dembele really doesn't offer much going forward no end product what so ever
— Jordan (@Fobbbbbb) February 16, 2017
Moussa Dembélé needs a proper football education. Slows down the play so much with his meandering dribbles. You're a CM, pass the ball ffs.
— RG⁶ (@registability) February 16, 2017
Hugo 7 (Great save)
Winks 7 (MOM)
Kane 7 (Ran socks off)
— Bump (@bump1984) February 16, 2017
Ugggggly performance. Dembele's worst match in a long time but he wasn't close to the worst. Sissoko was 'will he get another chance?' bad.
— Chris Miller (@WindyCOYS) February 16, 2017
Dembele wasn’t the worst player on the pitch today, though. That title certainly goes to Moussa Sissoko. Tottenham’s record signing (embarrassing right?!) was once again poor. I’m still not sure why Pochettino thought he was a good signing, had he only watched the Euros and never seen him at Newcastle? Either way, surely he will be moved on in the summer? If we can get even half of the £30million paid for him then I think it would cement Levy’s status as a genius in selling players.
I think Tottenham still have a good chance of advancing in this competition, but with no away goal and a loss in the first leg, they have it all to do in the home game. The way Tottenham failed to open up Gent tonight will concern Pochettino ahead of the second leg. It was yet another example of where the midfield and attack have lacked quality – and that will be the real worry.
In regards to Dembele, he needs to move back to a deeper role and allow more naturally creative players like Cristian Eriksen and Deli Alli to play in the most advanced roles.