The Assist

Chris Waddle: Changes are needed at Spurs for them to challenge again

Premier League opinions from the former Tottenham star

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho speaks to his players at Sheffield United
Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho speaks to his players at Sheffield UnitedCredit: Michael Regan

If you are a top football team the worst thing you can do is stand still.

It doesn't matter how much success you have over a short period, freshening things up is essential and their inability to do that goes a long way towards explaining why Tottenham are unlikely to be playing in the Champions League next season.

There's been no freshening-up at Spurs and the issues they had at the end of last season still need sorting out despite replacing Mauricio Pochettino with Jose Mourinho.

They need a new right-back, they need to sort the centre of defence out and they need a second striker to support Harry Kane.

So let's look at those in turn.

Something has to be done at right-back because Serge Aurier is just not the answer.

Ok, he offers a good attacking outlet down the right but a defender needs to defend and any time I see him I just think a calamitous mistake is never far away.

Good players are great decision-makers and his choices are sometimes terrible. You just know a handball or a free kick given away in a dangerous area is just around the corner.

I saw the West Ham match the other day and the misplaced passes were terrible at times. Mourinho needs someone who is going to be more consistent, in the way that Ben Davies is on the other side of the pitch.

Then there is the centre-back issue. Jan Vertonghen looks as if he has gone on too long and the situation with Toby Alderweireld is very puzzling.

There was all the fuss about whether he would sign a new contract or not and then, when he does put pen to paper, he isn't playing. Maybe Mourinho thinks Eric Dier might be the answer - he was just as guilty with the poor passing against West Ham as Aurier - but it is an area where Spurs are going to have to invest.

The biggest issue though is up front and I think Mourinho has two options. He either puts faith in Troy Parrott and gives him an opportunity or he looks to bring in a player with more experience who will know he is not going to play every week.

Parrott is out after having his appendix removed but there could still be a role for him to play.

A hungry youngster would be perfect because Spurs are not going to be able to attract a 23-year-old who wants to be playing in the first team every week.

Kane came through the system and seeing Parrott do the same would be ideal.

The alternative is someone like they had when Fernando Llorente was at the club. There must be a host of strikers who are coming towards the end of their careers who would love one more big move.

One or the other has got to happen.

It has been an unsettled year but I get the feeling Kane may give it another season at Tottenham and then take a long look at his options.

It's a big year now the Euros have been rearranged and it could take 12 months for everything to settle down and for clubs to have a good look at their finances. The stupid money is just not going to be about.

So Harry could bide his time but he will want to see things improve in the meantime, and then where will Spurs be? They will be back to being a club who might finish fourth or might finish seventh and will be seen as one that sells its best players.

Mourinho tends to stick around for three seasons and move on, but I don't know what better offer he is going to get than the job he has now.

Bosses like Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola are the ones everyone loves now with their attractive pressing style of football. Mourinho has a great CV but he's just not the main man anymore.

So that's all the more reason to start looking forward to next season and making sure he gets things right.

Captains should not be a great concern

Jordan Henderson has had a great season as Liverpool skipper but that shouldn't mean he should be England captain.

That's no reflection on him, it just doesn't matter who has got the armband when it comes to the national team.

I think about all the players I featured with when I played for England when most of the time we were captained by Bryan Robson.

People like John Barnes, Gary Lineker, Terry Butcher and Mark Wright were all great talkers and all interacted with each other.

It may be seen as something great to be wearing the armband but representing your country is where the pride comes in .

Henderson has had a great season and he has really improved since he has been let off the leash at Anfield, but you have to consider that when Gareth Southgate took over as England manager, Jordan wasn't a regular.

When it came to selecting his captain, I think Gareth thought about who would be an automatic choice to play if he was fit and there is no doubt that one player was Harry Kane. I'm convinced that's why the Spurs striker got the job.

Henderson was not a guaranteed starter and it is great that he has emerged as such. He can be a great influence on the pitch and that's more important than who tosses the coin.

Young stars need to play

Jude Bellingham is the latest young player to be linked with a move abroad and I would urge him to take it - if it means he is going to play first-team football.

Other players such as Jadon Sancho have done well in Germany and it is a good league but there is no point a young player going anywhere if they are just going to sit on the bench.

And then same applies to Sancho if he is going to head in the opposite direction. I like him and think he is a good player, but I don't think Jadon is worth the sort of ridiculous money he is being touted for.

You have to be remembered as being a footballer, not just a substitute.

I was 29 when I made the move to Marseille and going abroad to play is a difficult thing. But if I had got to the first Christmas and I was a substitute all the time then I would have asked to go home.

I played non-league football and all sorts because I wanted to play. I would have hated the tag of being someone who was just happy to pick up the money.

So my advice to them would be make sure you are remembered for being a footballer and think about moves that will enable you to play. Don't just take the cash.

Big Andy Carroll deserves his new deal

I'm glad to see Andy Carroll get the chance to extend his contract at Newcastle.

Steve Bruce is doing a fine job at St James' Park and that's because he has recognised his team's limitations. He has them trying to defend solidly and then hit teams on the counter attack and it has been working well.

It is a shame that means Carroll doesn't really have the support he needs. They desperately need to have a supporting striker but it doesn't allow for that.

He gave Manchester City's Aymeric Laporte a difficult evening in the FA Cup last week and we all know his qualities.

But it's a deal that suits everyone. Carroll loves Newcastle, while his wages are dependent on how much he plays.

And I have every confidence he can still be a big asset.

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Published on 2 July 2020Last updated 10:23, 3 July 2020