Tottenham sunk to a 1-0 defeat at Norwich, with many fans believing it is time midfielder Nabil Bentaleb had a rest.
Tottenham suffered a loss to Norwich which could be critical to their Champions League ambitions, their second 1-0 defeat in a couple of days.
Left on the bench was Christian Eriksen for the second game in a row, although this time head coach Tim Sherwood did not call on him to try and rescue the game.
Instead making his ninth consecutive start in midfield for Tottenham in all competitions was midfielder Nabil Bentaleb, a favourite of Sherwood's and a player he knows well from the under-21s.
Coming into the side, the talented 19-year-old was a breath of fresh air, but there is a growing concern that his influence is beginning to wane, illustrated no more so than in the defeat to Norwich.
This is in comparison to the win at Swansea five games ago in which he won five tackles.
Bentaleb completed just two passes in the opposition's final third, the lowest amount of any league game he has started for Spurs.
|Player||Match||Matchday||Touches||Successful Final Third Passes||Mins|
|Nabil Bentaleb||Norwich vs Spurs||27||69||2||90|
|Nabil Bentaleb||Spurs vs Everton||25||48||3||90|
|Nabil Bentaleb||Swansea vs Spurs||22||74||5||90|
|Nabil Bentaleb||Spurs vs Man City||23||63||10||90|
|Nabil Bentaleb||Newcastle vs Spurs||26||67||15||90|
|Nabil Bentaleb||Hull vs Spurs||24||82||15||90|
|Nabil Bentaleb||Spurs vs Crystal Palace||21||120||29||90|
After playing 90 minutes in Ukraine in midweek it's a fair comment whether the teenager should have been rested, and certainly whether he is owed one in the club's upcoming fixtures.
With an exciting player like Eriksen sitting on the bench, Bentaleb needs to be having a stormer week-in and week-out to justify his place in the side.
The topic of his place in the team was understandably a hot topic on Twitter following the game. Here is a selection of the comments:
Too much too soon for Bentaleb. Needs to benched for a few weeks. #THFC— Dan Couchman (@Dan_Couchman) February 23, 2014
Bentaleb over Eriksen... We lose at Norwich.. Big up Tim Sherwood and his blind faith in youth! #THFC— Rick Flair (@StuartB_S) February 23, 2014
That was a dire performance from Spurs, no chance of top four. Woeful management today, Bentaleb offered nothing, awful subs #thfc— Football Henry (@RealFootyFans17) February 23, 2014
#THFC Personally, I don't fully agree with those criticising Bentaleb. He is talented for a 19 year old, and will improve with experience— Samir Negandhi (@KingSamir94) February 23, 2014
Tim's obsession with Bentaleb will end up costing him his job. He's clearly trying to prove a point - and failing. #COYS— Søren Valentin (@SoerenValentin) February 23, 2014
Truly, truly awful. Pathetic. Sherwood has to take sole responsibility for that. Team selection, substitutions. Bentaleb, why? #COYS— Terry Deller (@terrydeller) February 23, 2014
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