Tottenham legend Glenn Hoddle has accused Spurs of going ‘backwards’ following their Europa League exit at the hands of Dinamo Zagreb.
Despite holding a 2-0 lead from the first leg of their last 16 tie, Tottenham somehow surrendered their advantage in the Croatian capital.
A hat-trick from Zagreb’s Mislav Orsic inspired the underdogs to a spectacular 3-0 victory as Spurs crashed out 3-2 on aggregate.
The result comes off the back of 2-1 reverse in the north London derby against Arsenal in their last league game, leaving their season in turmoil.
Speaking on BT Sport after the match, former Spurs hero Hoddle criticised the poor attitude of the players in these recent defeats.
“The last two performances, you’ve got to say they have gone backwards, they’re not treading water,” he lamented. “There wasn’t enough heart there, there wasn’t enough real desire.
“When you put yourself under that pressure, then go and perform under that pressure – and they didn’t, they got nervous. They were kicking the ball up in the air, some of the most ridiculous things were happening.
“They lost the plot, but they also lost their heart and desire to do something about it.”
Spurs were among the favourites to win the competition and would have believed they had one foot in the quarter final following Harry Kane’s brace at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the first leg.
However, after Orsic struck twice after half time to take the tie to extra time, the same player completed his hat-trick and condemned Tottenham to a humiliating exit.
“It was a disastrous performance, a disastrous result for the club,” Hoddle added. “I certainly didn’t see it coming, I’ve got to say, but to be fair to Zagreb, they showed more heart and more determination.
“In the end, Orsic’s hat-trick, he showed better skill, better technique and ability. Spurs were diabolical tonight, they really were.”
In the aftermath of the match, manager Jose Mourinho has been criticised for his tactical set-up with Spurs showing little attacking ambition before it was too late.
“I think mentally they got it wrong right through the game,” according to Hoddle. “I said at half-time, if Zagreb score, then I’m expecting a reaction from Tottenham, the game would open up, they’d have a nibble, but I didn’t expect Zagreb to then take control of the game.
“That was Spurs’ opportunity to respond and they went backwards, they went downhill instead of fighting.
“They were just playing at the pace they wanted to play at, they should have upped the gears.”
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Hoddle pointed to one key absentee from Mourinho’s line-up in the form of summer signing Pierre Hojbjerg, who Hoddle believes would have helped bring a level of organisation to the team.
“Hojbjerg not playing tonight just shows us what they do need. He’s had a great season, he was a massive miss because I think the key goal, he would have been in that defensive position.
“He’s the one who actually leads them, he’s the one who’s actually always talking to them and demanding. They missed him big time today, they really did.”