‘Spursy’: Jamie Carragher rips into Tottenham’s ‘weak’ Carabao Cup final performance

Jamie Carragher ripped into Tottenham’s performance in the Carabao Cup final, accusing the Spurs players of “bottling it”.

Tottenham lost 1-0 to Manchester City in a game Pep Guardiola’s side dominated, eventually finding a breakthrough in the final 10 minutes thanks to an Aymeric Laporte header.

Spurs, under interim manager Ryan Mason following the sacking of Jose Mourinho, failed to make an impression on the game and struggled to muster much attacking threat, particularly in the first half.

Speaking on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football show, Carragher insisted he was a long-time defender of Tottenham against accusations of the ‘Spursy’ tag, used to mock performances which have lacked conviction at decisive moments. But the pundit felt he could not defend their Wembley display.

“This is nothing to do with Ryan Mason, at all,” Carrgher said. “This is a group of players who really lack courage and basically bottled it in the final. Forget losing, I don’t expect them to win against Manchester City, but it’s how they went about it. 

“It’s on the players. A lot of people and other pundits say ‘typical Spurs, Spursy, they’re weak’. And I fight against it because I think it’s lazy punditry, because in the job I’ve been doing I’ve seen some brilliant Spurs teams. They’ve not won the league or the Champions League, but under [manager Mauricio] Pochettino for three or four years it was outstanding, what I saw under Harry Redknapp was outstanding as well. 

“But when Spurs fans get upset, the reason people speak about them in those terms is because of games like this. The last four cup finals, they haven’t scored a goal, and this performance is why they get stuck with this tag, and Spurs fans can’t argue for them on the back of this performance. It is on the players, nothing to do with the manger.”

Carragher went on to describe the performance as “Spursy” and “weak” as he dismantled Tottenham’s tentative build-up play.

Centre-back Eric Dier said he was “deeply” hurt by his side’s defeat as their wait for a trophy went on. Dier has been the mainstay of a Spurs side that have challenged for honours over the last few years but have always fallen at the final hurdle.

Sunday’s loss followed a 2015 League Cup defeat, heartbreak in the 2019 Champions League final and two Premier League challenges that fell away at the crucial moment. This was another chance that passed by and it was one that left Dier close to tears.

“I am not going to lie, this one is very tough because seven years and to not have a trophy it hurts me deeply,” he said. “So, you have to go again. It’s tough.

“Very disappointed. Nothing else really I can say other than that. An opportunity to win a trophy and we have come up short, in the worst possible way with the goal we have conceded. With the way we have managed to get into the game at the start of the second half, built some momentum, survived the beginning of the first half when we knew it was going to be difficult, they are a great team, it’s disappointing.

“People had to deliver in moments, we did that as well, box tackles, interceptions and then we are just missing that little bit at the end when we did get possession. We got into some good positions with the counter attacks. They are a great side but the way we conceded the goal is disappointing.

“I think that is what happens against good sides, they pressure and pressure and pressure you into making mistakes. Sustained pressure does that.”

Additional reporting by PA

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