Ashley Cole claimed that Tottenham are ‘not at the level’ of Arsenal after their defeat to Chelsea in the EFL Cup, as he told Sky Sports Football (05/01/22 at 10:15 pm).
The former left-back was referencing how far behind Tottenham are to the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City, as he dropped Arsenal’s name into the equation also.
Whilst Antonio Conte remains unbeaten in the Premier League ever since taking charge of Spurs, it was a night to forget on his return to Stamford Bridge yesterday.
More than likely, Spurs are heading for a semi-final exit after a 2-0 defeat in the first leg of their League Cup showdown, which also saw Japhet Tanganga and Ben Davies combine to score a comical own goal.
Not only was the result damaging for the north London club, but the performance was well below average, as Spurs failed to have a shot at goal in the first half.
Former England international Cole issued a brutal assessment of Spurs and how he’s unsure if Conte can do the business at the club, like he did at Chelsea and Inter Milan, previously.
“Individually, I think they are behind Chelsea,” said Cole. “Conte wants and hopes for patience and time.
“If Tottenham fans and Tottenham as a club want to see the best Antonio Conte, then you have to give him a chance. We have seen it at Inter and Chelsea, whether he could do it at Tottenham, I don’t know.
“The level, I feel, is not at the level of Chelsea. Let alone Liverpool, Manchester City or Arsenal. Not there yet.”
It’s London clashes galore for Spurs this month because they have the north London derby around the corner, as well as two more meetings with Chelsea, including a Premier League game.
Spurs are unbeaten under Conte in the league, but they face a fight to finish in those Champions League places, with Arsenal leading the charge.
Mikel Arteta’s side won the bragging rights earlier on in the season, but that’s when a certain Nuno Espirito Santo was in charge.
However, things can still go very wrong for Conte’s men this month because if their abject run of defeats against London teams continues this month, then they will be out of the EFL Cup picture and possibly the race to finish in the top four.