Peter Crouch feels that attacker Lucas Moura was Tottenham’s only “shining light” from Saturday’s Premier League defeat to Crystal Palace.
Spurs had enjoyed a strong start to the season under Nuno Espirito Santo. After three wins from three, they were the only team in the top flight still with a 100 per cent record. What’s more, they sat top of the table heading back from the international break. However, their defeat at Selhurst Park has offered them a reality check.
Palace were well deserving of their first win of the season. Following Japhet Tanganga’s red card for Tottenham, Wilfried Zaha made it 1-0 with a penalty.
Then, debutant summer signing Odsonne Edouard made it 3-0 with a brace in the final 10 minutes of the game.
Spurs were missing a host of players. Son Heung-min has a calf injury, while Cristian Romero, Giovani Lo Celso and Davinson Sanchez are in Croatia training and quarantining.
Eric Dier therefore started in defence but he had to come off. Still, Crouch feels Tottenham can have few excuses, labelling their performance “very disappointing”.
Speaking to BT Sport, he added: “They’re huge problems without a doubt, but they’ve still got to do better than they did. I didn’t think there was any urgency, they were passive in defending.
“After the first half an hour, it was all Palace from then on. I just felt in midfield there was a lack of creativity, there was a lack of urgency. I think Lucas Moura was the one shining light. It also shows how much they miss Son.
“Lucas Moura wants it to feet, but when Son stretches the play, [Harry] Kane can get on the ball, Moura can get on the ball. It just makes it totally different for Tottenham.”
Nuno did not make any changes through his own choice. Following Joe Rodon’s replacement of Dier, Ben Davies replaced Harry Winks after Tanganga’s red card.
However, Rio Ferdinand would have liked to have seen Tanguy Ndombele.
The midfielder asked to leave this summer, but did not get his wish and he has not played a minute this season. However, Nuno has confirmed that he is reintegrating the Frenchman back into his team.
Ferdinand asks Ndombele, Tottenham questions
“You look on the bench and you see Ndombele. There’s been moments in the past two seasons where you’re sitting there going, ‘Wow, what a talent’. But he’s never been able to put it together under various managers now,” Ferdinand said.
“You ask, ‘What is the problem here?’, because they were crying out for creativity from central areas. He’s someone who’s got that in his locker, but for some reason we’re not seeing him out on the pitch.
“Spurs, today, they looked very pedestrian I thought, other than Moura.
“Disappointing and they’ve got to really look at themselves now.”
Tottenham return to action next Thursday when facing Rennes in the first game of their Europa Conference League group stage campaign. Reports have claimed that Ndombele could make his first outing of the season.