Ex-Tottenham Hotspur winger Chris Waddle reckons his former club have not had a “good pairing” in central defence since Ledley King retired, and questioned the transfer activity of Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino on Friday, arguing he did not improve the squad at White Hart Lane and didn’t sign a central defender to improve on their “costing” defence, according to Waddle.
Of the six players Pochettino signed heading into the 2014/15 campaign after arriving at the London club himself from Southampton, only Eric Dier has started.
Tottenham currently have the equal second-best defence in the English Premier League after they conceded seven goals in as many games, but Waddle declared they have not looked strong in the centre of their back four since former captain King retired at the end of the 2011/12 season.
“I don’t think they’ve had a good pairing at centre-half since Ledley King played,” Waddle told the Evening Standard.
“Every game I watch Tottenham play, [Hugo] Lloris seems to be called into action every two or three minutes, so there’s got to be a problem if you’re goalkeeper makes too many saves.”
Waddle believes Spurs’ defence is holding them back with Pochettino’s men currently sitting sixth in the league table ahead of Saturday’s clash with reigning league champions Manchester City.
“If they can sort out the back two there is no reason they can’t challenge [for the top four],” he said.
Pochettino brought in full-back Ben Davies, goalkeeper Michel Vorm, Dier, who has been played predominantly in right-back, full-back DeAndre Yedlin, who has been loaned back to American Major League Soccer outfit Seattle Sounders, centre-back Federico Fazio and midfielder Benjamin Stambouli.
The four defenders have played an average of 19 minutes per game in the Premier League, with Dier featuring in 515 of the total of 533.
“I think he’s [Pochettino] got a lot of players very similar to what was already there, there are a lot of players who can play the same role,” Waddle said.