Tottenham players ‘lack courage’ and ‘bottled’ Carabao Cup Final, says Jamie Carragher

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George Flood
·2-min read
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 (Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)
(Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)

Jamie Carragher has accused Tottenham’s players of “lacking courage” and “bottling” the Carabao Cup Final against Manchester City.

Spurs arrived at Wembley on Sunday afternoon with the chance to end a turbulent week that included the sacking of manager Jose Mourinho and all the ugly fallout from the European Super League fiasco on a high with a first major trophy win since 2008.

However, Tottenham - with Mourinho’s interim successor Ryan Mason at the helm in only his second game in senior management - flattered to deceive with a disappointing display, particularly before the interval, as Aymeric Laporte’s header eight minutes from time sealed a deserved fourth successive League Cup triumph for Pep Guardiola’s City.

And Carragher pulled no punches in his dissection of the lacklustre performance on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football programme.

“This has nothing to do with Ryan Mason, at all,” he said.

“This is a group of players who really lack courage and basically bottled it in the final really. Forget losing, you don’t expect them to win really against Manchester City, but it’s how they went about it.”

Carragher went on to describe the recurring “weak” and “Spursy” narrative that is ofted trotted out after such underwhelming performances as “lazy punditry” that he typically rallies against, but added: “The reason people speak about them in those terms is because of games like this.

“The last four cup finals, they haven’t scored a goal. This performance is why they get stuck with this tag and I can’t argue for them, and Spurs fans can’t argue for them on the back of this performance.

“And it is on the players, nothing to do with the manager.”

Carragher went on to analyse Tottenham’s shortcomings at Wembley, reserving particular criticism for full-backs Sergio Reguilon and Serge Aurier.

Tottenham gave a disappointing performance against Manchester City at WembleyTottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images
Tottenham gave a disappointing performance against Manchester City at WembleyTottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

“That first-half performance, I’ve never felt a team were so lucky in my life to get in at 0-0 at half-time. So forget Ryan Mason, there was a plan there to play from the back, mix it up,” he said.

“There was a plan in terms of stopping City when they had the ball, not letting them go through the centre.

“But in terms of going long and not having any courage...”

Carragher then pulled up a statistic that showed Tottenham’s percentage of long passes during Sunday’s final was at 17.7 per cent - a figure that is only slightly below the season averages for the likes of Premier League strugglers Newcastle, West Brom and Burnley.

“They play like one of the teams that are fighting relegation,” he added. “That’s what should embarrass them.”

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