Tottenham man in need of serious work after alarming midweek stats, says pundit

Tanguy Ndombele Giovani Lo Celso Bryan Gil Ben Davies Tottenham v Wolves

Tanguy Ndombele has come under fire from a number of pundits this week after his second-half showing for Tottenham against Wolves.

The £55m signing from Lyon in July 2019 has struggled to establish himself at Spurs. None of Mauricio Pochettino, Ryan Mason or Jose Mourinho relied on Ndombele. And Nuno Espirito Santo voiced his concerns about the player in pre-season after leaving him out of the club’s pre-season action.

Ndombele in fact did not appear in any of the squads for their five pre-season games.

Nuno said last month: “Always a reason in all the decisions we make, always a why. We think, we talk and then we decide.

“He didn’t perform in pre-season matches because we can see it’s not the right time for him to be in the group in terms of competition.”

And his efforts at Molineux will have done little to persuade his dissenters that he is the man for Nuno, despite opening the scoring.

The 24-year-old put in an impressive first 45 minutes in the Carabao Cup clash at Wolves. As per WhoScored, Ndombele had 64 touches in the first half – more than any other player – as Spurs went in 2-1 ahead at the break.

But the enigma managed just 23 touches after half-time, he also made 30 fewer passes (42-12), attempted fewer dribbles (5-2) and lost possession five times, as opposed to just twice in the first 45 minutes.

His inferior second-half display has prompted pundit Alex McLeish to criticise the midfielder.


McLeish believes the club’s fitness team need to work on the player and improve his output.

McLeish told Football Insider: “If those are the stats then people will pick the bones out of that and say he needs to be more fit.

“I don’t know the way he works, the kind of level, that’s for the sports science team.

“They have to get him to a level where if he’s going to produce statistics like that in the first half, the manager will be wanting that for the whole game.

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Taarabt comparison

“You can’t say: ‘I’ve got this guy for 45 minutes and then I’m going to take him off because he doesn’t run about in the second half.’

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“That is for the sports science guys to get him to a level of fitness where you’re getting top drawer, 90-minute performances.”

Meanwhile, former Spurs midfielder Jamie O’Hara has also blasted Ndombele, who was recently linked with Manchester United.

“I’m not having him. He’s not for me. If I played in midfield with him, he would drive me mad,” O’Hara told

“He reminds me of a lad called Adel Taarabt who, he came in at Spurs, went to QPR and had a great season, ends up at AC Milan. Unbelievable ability, can do anything with a football where you go ‘wow’ but will cost the team every single week.”

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