After tasting his first Premier League defeat as a manager against Leeds United on Saturday afternoon, Tottenham caretaker boss Ryan Mason will no doubt be searching for answers over the course of the week, writes the FFC.
The Lilywhites looked second best all afternoon, mustering just three shots on target in the entire 90 minutes and eventually falling to a timid 3-1 defeat at Elland Road.
While Spurs’ star-studded attack failed to light up a wet and windy Yorkshire afternoon, it was Giovani Lo Celso’s performance in the middle of the park which surely raised the most eyebrows.
The Argentina international has become a regular starter in the opening weeks of Mason’s tenure as interim boss and was once again deployed in a much deeper role against Leeds.
However, the midfielder failed to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and was too often guilty of either misplacing easy passes or just running into a cul-de-sac – one particular moment in the second half saw him simply run the ball out of play while trying to dribble along the touchline.
As per Sofascore, he completed just one of his four attempted dribbles on the day, the worst of any Spurs player, managed no shots on goal and provided just one accurate cross. That sloppiness in possession was reflected by the fact he lost the ball on 19 separate occasions, the joint-most of any player in a Spurs shirt, while a measly 76% passing accuracy rate also told a story of his wastefulness.
In his post-match player ratings for The Independent, Andrew Gamble gave Lo Celso a five, saying: “Completely anonymous as he was dominated by Klich.”
The Spurs Web‘s verdict on the Argentine was even more scathing, giving him a three with this assessment: “Lo Celso didn’t do enough to win the midfield battle off the ball today. Also misplaced so many key passes that could have led to goals.”
With just one goal and one assist in 17 Premier League games all season, Lo Celso has been rather poor in recent months, and it’s surely on Mason now to make a ruthless early call and drop him from the starting line-up.
With a talent like Tanguy Ndombele waiting in the wings, Spurs could give the Frenchman the chance to impress his new boss by taking Lo Celso out of the firing line.