Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Gary Neville rips into two Tottenham players ‘not good enough’ as he warns of ‘huge problem’ that will cost Postecoglou top four

Gary Neville Sky Sports pundit

Gary Neville Sky Sports pundit

Gary Neville believes Ange Postecoglou needs to dive into the transfer market in January to bolster a key area of the side after warning of a huge impending problem facing Tottenham following their 2-0 win at Nottingham Forest on Friday night.

Spurs are back up and running in the Premier League after claiming a second successive win, with goals from Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski enough to secure victory at the City Ground. However, a red card with 20 minutes to go from Yves Bissouma – his second of the season – left Tottenham with a more nervous finish than they might have been expecting.

However, with Guglielmo Vicario putting in another inspired performance to keep the clean sheet, Spurs were able to move back up to fifth in the Premier League and level on points with Manchester City in fourth, who, of course, now have a game in hand.

Nonetheless, the win puts them firmly back in the mix for a top-four finish – and Neville has beamed over their exciting brand of football, which, in his eyes, might be the most attractive in the Premier League.

Hailing Postecoglou’s instant impact, he told Sky Sports: “We see managers sometimes saying they need time to build a style at a football club and time to get their message across to the players, but what he has done, in such a short period of time is quite staggering.

“He’s not only implemented his idea, but he’s put something in place that is breathtaking to watch, but is quite complex from a football point of view. But his players are well drilled and he gets them into positions like clockwork. Sometimes that can take two to three seasons – even Pep Guardiola struggled to get his philosophy across in that first year – and for now, this is brilliant to watch for Spurs.”

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Gary Neville names two Tottenham stars who fall short

Neville continued: “They might not finish in the top four, or they might – there’s probably one place up for grabs this season – but what their fans can do is enjoy one of the the best brands of football I’ve seen in the last 10 years.”

In the meantime, the dismissal of Bissouma – who also saw red in the win at Luton in October – means he will now miss the next four matches, and with the African Cup of Nations on the horizon, he likely won’t be seen in a Spurs shirt now until the end of January.

With Pape Sarr also heading to AFCON, that leaves Postecoglou with a major headache in midfield – and Neville does not think that either stand-in Oliver Skipp or Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg are good enough to fill those positions.

“Huge” Neville replied when asked how big a problem Postecoglou faced in midfield. “I think the way in which Ange Postecoglou asks this team to play, Skipp is a good technical player, Hojberg is physical, but they both lack the other side of the game. Skipp can’t get around the pitch and Hojberg technically isn’t good.

“But this guy (Sarr) alongside Bissouma as well, they are just perfect for the way this team wants to play. They don’t win when he doesn’t play.

“They have the energy and the technical ability with the ball, they connect the back to front, they are brave and I have to say the most important thing for Spurs is that he has got to keep these players fit, but they do lose those two in January – that’s a big problem.”

Spurs return to action on Saturday December 23 when they host improving Everton, while they face a trip to Brighton on Thursday December 28, before closing the festive period with a game against Bournemouth on New Year’s Eve.

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