Christian Eriksen insists uncertainty surrounding his and some of his Tottenham team-mates’ future is not the cause of their horrible start to the season.
Spurs have won just three of their 11 games so far in this campaign, losing to League Two Colchester in the Carabao Cup, thumped 7-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League and going down 3-0 at Brighton on Saturday.
Boss Mauricio Pochettino, who is finding himself under pressure just four months after leading the club to the Champions League final, has said that it will take time for Spurs to be united after several of his players had “different agendas”.
Eriksen was one of those as he was expected to leave Spurs this summer, having said that he was looking for a new challenge, but has now entered the final year of his contract after the big move to Europe he was hoping for never materialised.
Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld are also out of contract in the summer, Danny Rose almost joined Watford and Serge Aurier and Victor Wanyama were nearly sold.
Yet all six players remain part of the group, but Eriksen, who is not interested in signing a new deal at Spurs, says that is not an issue.
“It doesn’t matter at all. Everyone is professional and in all clubs there is talk of players going away,” he told Danish news outlet Ekstra Bladet while on international duty.
“That side of the matter has no bearing on how we have performed so far this season.
“If I, as a football player, took all the rumours to me, I would float on a cloud. But I know that it can’t all be true.
“It does not affect me what is written.”
Despite that insistence, Eriksen has been a shadow of the player that has seen him linked with the likes of Real Madrid, Juventus and Paris St Germain and has found himself in and out of Pochettino’s team.
He does accept, however, that he is having his toughest time since joining the club in 2013.
“It’s definitely my hardest time right now at Tottenham,” he said.
“The first year when I came was probably a bit up and down, but since Pochettino came in 2014 it has been a success story.
“Expectations for us are at a completely different level now. We have to win every time and it’s the same feeling we have as players as well.
“We as players must try to keep all the negative things completely out.
“But the reason for our results is actually hard to answer. We can’t close the matches, even though we are ahead. But we have also been unlucky.”
Provided by Press Association Sport
Eight rounds of matches of the 2019/20 Premier League season have been completed heading into this international break.
Here, the PA news agency looks at some of the winners and losers of the campaign so far.
After finishing as runners-up behind Manchester City in May despite losing just one league game all season, Jurgen Klopp’s Reds are yet to drop a point this term and currently sit eight points clear at the top. While they have taken their run of top-flight wins, stretching back to March, to 17 games, their cause has been boosted by second-placed City suffering shock losses to Norwich and Wolves. There remains, of course, plenty of football to get through yet as Liverpool look to finally get their hands on the Premier League trophy, but they could hardly have wished for a better start to their title bid.
There was disappointment for Rodgers on Saturday as his return to his old club Liverpool saw his Leicester side beaten 2-1, but overall it has been a very positive opening to 2019-20 for the Northern Irishman and his team. Rodgers oversaw an eye-catching revival in the Foxes’ form last season following his appointment as their boss in February, and – after a summer in which they lost the services of Harry Maguire with the England defender’s move to Manchester United – the impressive work has continued. Ninth at the end of last term, Leicester have been spoken about as possible top-six finishers this time around and presently lie fourth with 14 points.
Having spent time on loan at Bristol City, Swansea and Aston Villa over the past three seasons, Abraham has been handed a chance to shine for Chelsea in 2019-20 and has certainly made a mark so far. The 22-year-old forward leads the Premier League scoring charts, alongside City’s Sergio Aguero, after netting eight goals and his form has been rewarded with a recall to the senior England squad, which he was last a part of in 2017. Abraham and fellow Chelsea academy graduates Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori – also called up by Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate – have all been key men for Frank Lampard’s fifth-placed Blues, who were unable to sign players over the summer due to a transfer embargo.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
There was a pretty stark contrast last season between Manchester United’s results when Solskjaer was caretaker manager – 10 wins in 13 league games – and after his appointment as permanent boss in March – two in eight – and the struggle has continued this term. Things began well with a 4-0 thrashing of Chelsea, but there has been only one further league victory since and three defeats. United, on nine points, have made their worst start to a league campaign in 30 years and with his side 12th in the table following Sunday’s 1-0 loss at Newcastle, just two points above the relegation zone, the pressure on the Norwegian looks to be mounting.
Everton boss Silva is another manager under considerable scrutiny after his side’s losing streak in the league extended to a fourth match with Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Burnley – the Toffees’ worst run in the division since 2014-15. Rather than looking like contenders for a place in the top six, the club are now in 18th spot and boos could be heard from the visiting fans at Turf Moor at the weekend as Silva walked off after the final whistle.
The first managerial change in the league since the start of the season happened at Watford, who sacked Javi Gracia in September after losing three and drawing the other one of their opening four matches and brought back old boss Quique Sanchez Flores. A subsequent 2-2 draw with Arsenal was followed by a humiliating 8-0 reverse at Manchester City and a 2-0 defeat at Wolves, before Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Sheffield United. Bottom of the table, four points adrift of safety, the Hornets are hoping Sanchez Flores can add to the commendable work he did in his first stint charge in 2015-16, when they finished 13th.
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Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said Tottenham Hotspur’s Mauricio Pochettino has “done very well”, but is now stuck having to “show you can give people more”.
Pochettino led Tottenham to last season’s UEFA Champions League final, but they have struggled this campaign.
Tottenham recently lost to fourth tier Colchester United in the English League Cup, suffered a 7-2 humiliation at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League and were beaten 3-0 by Brighton in the English Premier League.
Wenger, speaking two days after the Bayern defeat, said Pochettino has started to become a victim of his own success – just as when the Frenchman was expected to build on a Premier League top four finish during the final years of his Arsenal tenure.
Wenger also feels Tottenham and Christian Eriksen, whose contract next year, do not share the “same chemistry” anymore.
Watch Wenger share his thoughts in the video above.