In the wake of embarrassing weekend defeat there was huge talk of a rift at White Hart Lane and suggestions that head coach Andre Villas-Boas had effectively lost the dressing room. Criticism of players and rumours of the sack had driven those claims but Jan Vertonghen is the first to issue a denial.
The usually calm Belgian was himself at fault for Manchester City’s sixth and final goal and he also stated that the players themselves would be having an inquest when they returned to training. As for the manager, Jan insists there is no case to answer.
“If there’s a problem between the players and the manager? Absolutely not,” Vertonghen told the Guardian.
“There are also no troubles between players. This was painful. Also the way we lost. I’ve the feeling I want to play this game again.
The defender also intimated that the performance was very much a ‘one off’.
“We even could have conceded more goals. This is a painful experience, but it’s just a snapshot. Not everything is lost. Not only the defence was to blame, the whole organisation wasn’t there. The manager tries to make the right choices. Sometimes the choices turn out to be good, sometimes not.”
Jan and others feel that it’s a good thing to be playing Manchester United immediately after a result such as this. Can the players improve sufficiently to avoid a similar outcome?