Tottenham Hotspur: Who Is to Blame?

You know, 90min readers, it's very easy to criticise. Fun, too. After all, Jose Mourinho manages to blame someone else every week despite his obvious failings at Tottenham Hotspur.

And it is in his great honour that we are rebooting our Who Is to Blame? series. Hurrah! We've done ​England​Man Utd​Real Madrid...and ​Man Utd again. Now it's Tottenham's turn.

In a season where it seems no side in Europe is interested in winning football matches, somehow it's Spurs who are the club most in crisis. Yeah, stick that in your trophy cabinet.

They're on course to finish the season with 54 points, their lowest tally since the 2008/09 season - when Juande Ramos picked up two points from eight games and was replaced by Harry Redknapp. Those are the levels of crisis we're talking about here.

It's time for an inquest, the people want answers, the people need answers. And we're here to give them to you.

Buckle up, folks. It's time for Tottenham Hotspur: Who Is to Blame?

20) Erik Lamela

Erik Lamela

Blame Rating: 1/10

​Erik the Argie Scapegoat shot to the top of the charts to become the Christmas number one in 2016, and it's a sentiment that still rings true.

He's Spurs' marmite - always has been, always will be - but we (I, Sean Walsh, the writer) are letting him off lightly because he's ultimately a loveable bastard with the eyes of a shark. Just a bit crap now, innit.

19) Willian


Blame Rating: 1.1/10

But if ​Willian opted to join Tottenham after undergoing a bloody medical at the club back in the summer of 2013, then they probably wouldn't have had the funds to sign ​Lamela later that window. Simples.

18) Jean-Michel Aulas


Blame Rating: 2/10

Lyon's legendary sh*thouse president has already experienced the pain of dealing with Daniel Levy, and yet proceeded to sell him Tanguy Ndombele anyway. Now the poor lad's been blamed for all of Spurs' faults by Mourinho.

When you think about it, that's down to Aulas... kinda.

17) Red Wine

Blame Rating: 2.5/10

"What a debut, delight for the Dutchman! Stevie Wonder, Stevie Bergwijn! 1-0 Tottenham!"

"Oh if it stays like this, he'll be on the red wine tonight!"

He'll be on the red wine tonight.

He'll be on the red wine tonight.

Thanks a lot Jamie Carragher for ruining a) Bergwijn's great goal, one of the highlights of Spurs' terrible season and b) Neil Diamond's classic.

16) Lemons

Blame Rating: 3/10

Mauricio Pochettino used to keep a bowl of lemons in his office at Spurs' training ground.

“They attract the bad energy,” he told ​TalkSPORT in May 2019. “A lot of people come in and out of my office and not all the people have good energy.

“So when people arrive with bad energt, the energy is going to be in the lemon and not in myself. It’s like a sponge, it takes all the negatively.

“You can see it, it’s unbelievable! I change the lemons every ten days but sometimes every three or four days, they become ugly.

“When Daniel Levy is not around my office, they last one month, but when he is coming in and out, they last a week!”

Turns out you needed more lemons, Mauricio. Many many more.

15) Wembley

Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal FC - Premier League

Blame Rating: 4/10

That stadium. That blasted stadium. That blasted stadium with the arch, with the long walk to the London Underground, with the Boxpark and the retail outlet, the Nando's and the Prezzo. 

Daft little ground, silly surroundings, f*ck off.

14) Jeff Bezos & Amazon

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester City - Premier League

Blame Rating: 4.5/10

You got enough content, Jeff Bezos? You got enough footage of Spurs capitulating and imploding, Jeff Bezos? You ready to show to the world what a circus the club has been this season, Jeff Bezos? You got enough money to hand over to Spurs for them to do bugger all with, Jeff Bezos?

13) Paulo Dybala's Image Rights

Paulo Dybala

Blame Rating: 5/10

Rivaldo's letter. Willian's medical. Dybala's image rights.

Tottenham are truly cursed in the transfer market.

An attacking triumvirate of ​Son Heung-min​Harry Kane and Paulo Dybala probably wouldn't be marooned in eighth place in the ​Premier League

12) Lucas Moura

Blame Rating: 5.5/10

Lucas' third goal against Ajax was the single greatest moment of my life.

The problem in the long term is that he sold Spurs fans everywhere a dream that he was a good footballer.

He is not.

Lucas, thanks for the memories, but it's time to go back to the bench.

11) UEFA Europa League


Blame Rating: 6/10

Who remembers the UEFA Cup? Of course you remember the UEFA Cup. It was so wholesome, so beloved, so inoffensive.

The Europa League? The fear of playing in the Europa League? That can do one.

Take a good look, Tottenham. That's where your future lies.

10) Carabao Cup

Aston Villa v Manchester City - Carabao Cup Final

Blame Rating: 6.1/10

Speaking of competitions that strike fear into the hearts of teams for all of the wrong reasons, you can do one as well, Carabao Cup.

'Ooh, Spurs have been great but they didn't win a Carabao Cup!' - that's it, that's the culture your trophy has created.

9) Chirpy

Tottenham Hotspur v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League

Blame Rating: 6.5/10

Look at him. Look at his face. Look at his smarmy little face. 

Don't you just want to punch it?

8) Jose Mourinho


Blame Rating: 7/10

Yeah, bet you were expecting him to be higher in this list, eh?

The only reason Slipknot voyeur Jose Mourinho isn't is because he's just not that good a coach anymore, so you can't really expect him to be the man to lead Spurs out of this mess.

Congratulations Jose, you got what you wanted - alleviation from more of the blame.

7) Raul Sanllehi

Blame Rating: 7.1/10

However, if ​Arsenal Head of Football and Frank Reynolds tribute act Raul Sanllehi made their move for Mourinho before Spurs did, then they might have instead tried a bit harder in their recruitment process for a new manager.

Instead, both north London sides are wallowing in mid-table. A good job all-round.

6) Chick-King

Blame Rating: 7.5/10

You have absolutely no idea how disrespectful the Chicken Connoisseur was when he gave Chick-King an average review on the video that sent him viral.

It's a staple-hold of Tottenham High Road, the best of the best, creme de la creme, the bee's knees and all that lark.

The unfortunate thing is that the chicken is so good that it makes punters think it's worthwhile to go and watch the football club next door. Got some bad news for you, lads...

5) Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Tottenham Hotspur v Sheffield United - Premier League

Blame Rating 7.6/10

Your stupid novelty beer cups, your stupid single-tier stand, your stupid bars, your stupid food, your stupid season tickets, your stupid big screens, your stupid NFL pitch, your stupid name...

You did this...

4) Cows

Blame Rating: 8/10

Cows produce milk, which humans then can turn into cheese, which is delicious, which led to someone somewhere at Tottenham Hotspur Football Club thinking that a room at the new stadium should be filled with cheese, which led to widespread ridicule of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, which led to them scrapping plans for a room filled with cheese, which led to even more ridicule of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.

Bloody cows.

And how could we forget ​Pochettino's ​insane analogy ahead of their ​Champions League tie with Inter in 2018?

"It is like a cow that, every day in 10 years, sees the train cross in front at the same time," he said.

"If you ask the cow, 'what time is the train going to come', it is not going to know the right answer.

"In football, it is the same. Experience, yes, but hunger, motivation, circumstance, everything is so important."

Bloody cows. Mooing d*cks.

3) Daniel Levy

Daniel Levy

Blame Rating: 8.1/10

Until 2019, Levy was the single most divisive figure in Spurs' history, but thankfully 2020 has cleared all that up - no one is thinking highly of him anymore.

Whether fans back Mourinho or don't think he's the right fit, ​the responsibility ultimately falls to Levy for not hiring a coach suitable to Spurs' environment and for being the one to control that environment.

2) Lord Sugar

Tottenham Hotspur's former chairman Alan

Blame Rating: 9/10

You think you can get away scot-free, Lord Sugar? Did you think we were going to let you off the hook for appointing Christian Gross and George Graham? For trying to be Spurs' version of Piers Morgan? For the 'Carlos Kickaballs' remarks? For overseeing probably the single worst period in the history of the club?

The 1990s were (apparently) hell for Tottenham fans, and that largely boiled down to Sugar, who created the conditions for Levy to become the man to save the club from disaster.

1) Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino

Blame Rating: 9.5/10

But ultimately this boils down to one man.

Tottenham have tried to act like a club bigger than they are for decades - they've always been one of England's more decorated, but haven't been in the upper echelons of Europe.

Under Pochettino, Spurs were able to masquerade as one of the very best - the new training ground, the new stadium, the title challenges, the Champions League final.

His start to the 2019/20 season was enough to get him sacked, and if he were still in charge then questions would be asked every week about his future - but the club wouldn't be considered in a crisis.

Pochettino raised Spurs' expectations to a point where they thought they could act like a ​Real Madrid, a ​Barcelona, a ​Manchester United, the sense of entitlement shining through. They have since come crashing back to Earth and have continued to plummet to the core.

And so it is his fault that ​Tottenham are in this mess - if the club never reached the heights way beyond their means, then the comedown wouldn't have hit them as hard.

Case closed.

For more from ​Sean Walsh, or to discuss who deserves more blame for the Tottenham Hotspur mess, find him on T​witter!

Source : 90min