Things were decidedly less tense at Tottenham Hotspur after six Premier League wins in 7 took the Lilywhites into the Champions League spots, but a defeat and a draw have once again raised questions about the team.
At least for Alan Hutton. Those dropped points, a 1-0 loss to Brighton and a 0-0 draw with Brentford, leave Tottenham outside the top four with a two point gap to cross town rivals Arsenal. To top it off, manager Antonio Conte has been linked with a move away this summer, with Paris Saint-Germain reportedly in the frame for the Italian.
Speaking to Football Insider, Hutton placed the blame for those five dropped points squarely at the feet of Conte, saying that teams have worked them out.
“If you look at the stats, no shots on target in the last two. That is incredible for a team like Tottenham with the firepower that they have. [The opposition] understand that if they can shut down those spaces down to [Harry] Kane and [Heung Ming] Son, they become ineffective.”
As pointed out in the article, Kane was the outfield player with the least amount of touches against Brentford (36). There’s also little doubt that Kane and Son have been dragging Tottenham forward throughout the season, but equally shutting out the two best attackers from any team will probably cause them problems.
Even so, Hutton is of the opinion that the use of them could be improved.
“They need another plan of action if they can’t go through them. I think, at this moment in time, it’s Harry Kane dropping deep. Give him the ball, he turns and makes things happen. Stop that, you stop Tottenham. Teams are finding that out. To change that, you need to change the type of player or style of football that you play.”