MONACO 2 SPURS 1We saw it last season against Borussia Dortmund and we have seen it again this season in the UEFA Champions League, the tournament is a step up from the Premier League and we weren't good enough to handle it.
As part of a building process, this season's UEFA Champions League has given us a marker. It has served to show we have improved, but we are not finished, the process is still underway and that the squad needs some quality added, like Spanish international Isco from Real Madrid we have been pursuing.
The trouble is, having been knocked out of the Champions League last night that our stock may still not be high enough for some players. We have to seek out the quality who want to make a difference, the quality who want to take us to the next level, the quality who are motivated by a challenge.
We have a squad full of potential, nothing wrong with that, except the experienced players have to be the consistent performers and apart from the exceptions like Hugo Lloris, Jan Vertonghen and Kyle Walker, they aren't.
Christian Eriksen has only had a couple of good games after he signed his contract and I reported then that the club felt he wouldn't still be here in a years time. His performances this season have served to show that that wouldn't be a disaster, he has a whole chunk of the game missing. He stays behind the ball too much and doesn't make enough runs ahead of it, thus doesn't affect the game in the final third as he should.
Moussa Sissoko doesn't aeem to have the technical ability to play one touch football and doesn't seem to be able to make up his mind what to do. Our game is based on football intelligence. Each player has to be constantly thinking about positioning to receive the ball and anticipate where there is a gap a ball could be played into if he makes a run. Each player has to know the other players game.
Last night that understanding wasn't there. They simply rampaged down our right-hand side all night and Trippier was helpless to do anything about it. Where Danny Rose has improved immeasurably as a full-back, Kieran Trippier has stood still, which in footballing terms is the equivalent of going backwards. Unfortunately, as I have said before, if one or two don't perform their role properly the whole system falls to pieces and we saw that against Monaco.
If anyone knows why Tom Carroll is in the squad perhaps they could tell me because I have no idea. The next two windows must see us target quality players to bring the potential out in the others. We don't need a complete overhaul, just some additions, we still have to give youth its chance and develop players like Harry Winks, Harry Kane or Danny Rose.
Mauricio Pochettino made it clear before that perhaps some of his players were playing to determine whether they would remain at the club, a few are failing their auditions.