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Glenn Hoddle slams ‘diabolical’ Spurs and identifies ‘leader’ they missed

Hoddle was critical of his former side (Picture: CC via Getty Images)

Glenn Hoddle blasted Tottenham Hotspur’s ‘diabolical’ performance in their Europa League exit to an ‘average’ Dinamo Zagreb side and said they missed Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

The former Spurs and Chelsea winger was desperately unimpressed with Jose Mourinho’s side, who tossed away a 2-0 first-leg lead in a disastrous night in Croatia.

A Mislav Orsic hat-trick – the third goal of which came in extra time – dumped Spurs out of Europe and Hoddle took aim at Spurs’s mentality.

He told BT Sport: ‘To be fair to Zagreb, they showed more heart and determination. In the end, with Orsic’s hat-trick they showed better skills, technique and ability.

‘They deserved the win. But Spurs were diabolical tonight, they really were.

‘I think mentally they’ve got it wrong right through the game. I said at half-time if Zagreb score then I’m expecting a reaction from Tottenham, the game would open up and they’d have a nibble.

Jose Mourinho, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur looks dejected following defeat in the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Dinamo Zagreb and Tottenham Hotspur at Stadion Maksimir on March 18, 2021 in Zagreb, Croatia. Sporting stadiums around Europe remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors.

Mourinho’s side were dumped out (Picture: Getty)

‘I didn’t expect Zagreb to actually take control of the game. That was Spurs’s opportunity to respond, to make that response as a team, individually. They went backwards, went downhill instead of fighting.

‘They were just playing at the pace they wanted to play. They should have upped the gears, there was not enough ability in the team or anyone on the night to say I’m going to take responsibility and change this game for us.

Everyone was looking at each other. That can happen and when it happens, it’s a disaster for a team.’

Hoddle felt one player was a particular miss: the suspeded Hojbjerg.

‘You need leadership,’ added Hoddle. ‘Hojbjerg not playing tonight shows you what they do need. He’s had a great season. Suspended. Massive miss.

‘I think the key goal he’d have been in there in a defensive position. He’s the one who actually leads them.

‘He’s always talking to players and demanding. They missed him big time today.’

Pierre-Emile Højbjerg of Tottenham Hotspur during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 First Leg match between Tottenham Hotspur and Dinamo Zagreb at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on March 11, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors.

Was Hojbjerg a big miss? (Picture: Getty Images)

Fellow former Spurs star Peter Crouch was frustrated by the performance and questioned where this side is going this season under Mourinho.

‘In the first leg it could have been three or four, more comfortable,’ said Crouch. ‘We always knew this game would be slightly different but you felt like it was coming.

‘Right from the kick-off there was no impetus, they weren’t quick in their passing, weren’t dynamic in their closing down and Zagreb just grew into the game but Tottenham allowed that.

‘They haven’t turned up in two games now. You talk about seeing a reaction when you go a goal down but we saw players hiding. Simple passes not being made, no creativity.

‘The keeper made some good saves but Zagreb were the better side and deserved to go through. You wonder where their season is going now.’

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