Former Tottenham defender Graham Roberts joined talkSPORT 2 to highlight a number of problems Spurs are currently facing – and he even suggested moving back to Wembley to solve the issue of their new stadium!
The two-time FA Cup winner spoke to Sportsday the morning after Spurs were thrashed 7-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League to react to an embarrassing evening for his former club.
Serge Gnabry, the forward who used to play for Arsenal, scored FOUR of Bayern’s seven goals, with the German champions netting five times after the break in a stunning second-half blitz.
The result leaves Spurs with just one point from their opening two Champions League matches, and it continues the north Londoners’ poor run of form that also saw them knocked out the Carabao Cup by Colchester United last week.
Even more worrying is that Gnabry’s four-goal haul means he became, in just 90 minutes, the second leading scorer at Tottenham’s new stadium.
Heung-min Son has taken six months to score five times at the ground, with Harry Kane matching Gnabry’s total of four goals since Spurs moved to the stunning arena in April.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side remain shaky at their new ground, and Roberts even suggested a return to Wembley would be a good remedy for the Lilywhites’ recent woes.
“You say Brighton [Tottenham’s next fixture] is an important game, but I think every game is important,” said Roberts.
“Maybe we should go back to Wembley or get the old stadium back because we were unbeatable there!
“I think this stadium is hard for us at the moment. I think the support is brilliant, but we’ve not got used to the new stadium and maybe that is a part.
“But every game at the moment is vital for the players, the management and the club.”
The stadium is not the only issue Spurs are facing at the moment, however, with Roberts critical of the club’s summer transfer business.
“I think maybe he [Pochettino] didn’t get the players he wanted in the summer,” the former defender continued, “and the ones that did come in, two of them are injured, one’s gone back on loan to Leeds – which I don’t understand – and the other is in the team.
“We all knew last season that Kieran Trippier had a bad year, but the season before he was brilliant.
“Last season he didn’t do very well and the club decided to sell him in the summer. But when you sell somebody you have to replace them, and we haven’t replaced him.
“So we have a problem at right-back at the moment.
“I think maybe they though [Juan] Foyth was going to come through, and Kyle Walker-Peters was going to come in, but it is a hard ask. In the team we’ve got and the way we play, it is very tough for those youngsters to come in and play that position.
“You’re not playing in a Mickey Mouse league… you’re playing in the Premier League.”
Tottenham 2-7 Bayern Munich fall-out
Roberts was also asked about Christian Eriksen, who has not performed this season after admitting during the summer that he wants to leave Spurs.
The Denmark midfielder becomes a free agent at the end of the season when his contract expires, and Roberts says Eriksen should be sold as soon as possible or dropped from the first-team until he’s left north London.
He continued: “If you’ve got players in your club that don’t want to play for the club and said they want to leave – they’ve got to go.
“The badge on the shirt is bigger than any name on the back of it.
“You cannot have players in your football club saying they want to get out and go and play for somebody else, because it’s just not a good feeling in the club then.
“Poch is doing the best he can at the moment because there has got to be unrest in the football club at the moment.
“When I played, if I went and told the manager I wanted to leave I would have been sold two days later!
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“Christian Eriksen, if he had signed a contract [with Spurs], he would have played last night. For me he shouldn’t be on the bench – he shouldn’t be anywhere near the first-team.
“Because he wants to leave and has come out and said he wants to leave.
“Then go. If you think it’s better somewhere else, go.”
Eriksen is not alone in nearing the end of his Tottenham contract, however, and Roberts bemoaned the situation at Spurs which allowed numerous key players to be near free agency.
“If he wants to play football and get back to where he was, he has to sign a new contract and put all that to one side and get back to being the top player he was. Because in the last six months he has not been that player.
“He has had one or two good games but then been off again,” Roberts continued on Eriksen. “I’ve never seen a player of his ability give the ball away so much in the last three or four months, and that can’t happen to a top quality player.
“It should never have got into this situation; you cannot let players run their contracts down.
“It should have been sorted out two years ago, but I do understand because of the money situation, and that is where we are at the moment.
“It’s not just him, I think there are other players in the team as well; Toby [Alderweireld]… I’ve loved him and Jan [Vertonghen] ever since he’s been in the team, but they’ve let their contracts run down and just want to walk away.”
Asked who is responsible for the current contract situation, Roberts replied: “It’s the chairman… it’s got to be the chairman. The chairman does all the deals.
“But I suppose with the new stadium last year and with a lot on their minds, maybe they forgot about it.
“But at the end of it, we’ve lost one game, 7-2 at home. Yes, it is destroying, but I’m sure our manager will pick it up. What he has got to do now is pick one team and stick with it, and pick players he thinks are going to be at the club moving forward.”