Tottenham’s title tilt has once again lost balance after events last weekend. Mauricio Pochettino’s men had the perfect opportunity to thrust themselves into serious contention, only it was one that they refused to take up.
A 2-1 defeat to Burnley at Turf Moor now means that the focus for Tottenham is to make sure that they finish in the top four come the end of the season, an objective that is also desired by their next league opponents.
It is Chelsea who lay on the welcoming party on Wednesday night and perhaps they’ll need a win even more after their Wembley disappointment in the Carabao Cup Final, one that saw them edged out by Manchester City by virtue of a penalty shootout win.
However, it is not necessarily the defeat that was the overriding story to come out of Wembley last weekend. That’s because manager Maurizio Sarri and goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga were embroiled in an almost farcical row.
With the former Athletic Bilbao player going down with cramp twice in quick succession, Sarri felt it was the opportune moment to then bring on shootout specialist Willy Caballero instead – especially after he played such a huge role in Manchester City winning the 2016 edition of the competition.
However, Kepa then waved away the substitution, much to the obvious chagrin of the Chelsea manager and it now asks huge questions as to who is actually running matters in West London, is this a case of player power going too far?
Not only that, but it also makes you wonder if Sarri’s position at the club is one that has become untenable. Will the former Napoli manager be a dead man walking, he certainly will be if Tottenham manage to come away with all three points on Wednesday night.