Former Liverpool star Dietmar Hamann has suggested that Tottenham will suffer a ‘nosedive’ in the absence of Harry Kane, whilst also criticised treatment of Marcelo Bielsa amid the ongoing ‘spygate’ row.
Tottenham’s push for an unlikely place in the Premier League title race took a huge blow when star man Kane was recently ruled out until March, with Spurs left desperately short of attacking options in his absence.
Son Heung-min is also now away on international duty, and Hamann told RacingPost.com: “I can see them nosediving. Everything about the way Tottenham play is based around supplying Harry Kane and 33-year-old Fernando Llorente is a poor alternative.
“A man who has scored at least 21 goals in each of the last four seasons is pretty much impossible to replace. Given the quality of the clubs at the top of the Premier League it won’t take too many poor results for a team to backpedal and that has to be the fear for Spurs.”
Despite the loss of leading scorer Kane, Hamann backed Spurs as favourites to secure their place in the Carabao Cup final by completing their semi-final victory over Chelsea next week.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side currently lead the Blues 1-0 on aggregate after the first leg at Wembley.
Hamann said ahead of the second meeting at Stamford Bridge: “They have lost Harry Kane [Tottenham] but they already have the advantage in this tie and they know how to defend and a one-goal edge in a two-legged semi-final is massive.
“Chelsea don’t have the firepower this season to really batter sides and Tottenham’s away record is impressive – no side have won more top-flight away matches than they have this term.”
Before that huge semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea face Arsenal in a heavyweight Premier League clash at the Emirates on Saturday.
Ahead of the encounter, Hamann said of the Gunners: “Arsenal are blowing so hot and cold, it’s as though nothing has changed at the club despite their change of manager. Unai Emery’s side are conceding far too many goals and we know that Chelsea are well organised defensively.
“Maurizio Sarri’s men have let in just one goal from open play in their last five matches and I fancy they will be too strong for the brittle Gunners.”
Hamann also had his say on one of the most controversial stories doing the rounds in English football of late. Marcelo Bielsa’s ‘spygate’ incident ahead of Leeds United’s recent Championship clash with Derby County has dominated a number of headlines recently.
The former midfielder said of Bielsa’s situation: “The whole thing’s ludicrous and Frank Lampard – who I have the utmost respect for – has lost the plot with his condemnation of Leeds.
“I remember when [Werder] Bremen flew a drone over a Hoffenheim training session. At Melwood, when I was with Liverpool, there used to be any number of kids standing on bins behind a wall watching us train.
“How precious do football clubs think they are? Let’s get some perspective, please.”