Pitchside Europe

Five Spurs players who didn’t pull their weight under AVB

Monday witnessed the departure of Andre Villas-Boas from Tottenham following the club's 5-0 mauling at the hands of Liverpool.

Despite the influx of players into White Hart Lane this summer, Tottenham have not been blessed with the ability to threaten the Premier League's big boys and currently find themselves in seventh position, with the £105 million spent in the last transfer window not proving successful as yet.

Here are the five players who need to up their game for the new manager - whoever that may be.

Michael Dawson

The 30-year-old, who has four England caps, has made the most defensive errors of Tottenham's outfield players with two this season, one of which led to a goal. Furthermore, Dawson has won only 32% (11/34) of his tackles; for a defender, this is an awful statistic which needs to change soon. His positioning and marking has been poor and the high defensive line which Villas-Boas favoured highlighted Dawson's lack of pace.

Roberto Soldado

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Roberto Soldado has been poor since his move to Spurs, scoring just four goals in 14 league appearances with only one of these goals coming from open play. While he scored a hat-trick in the Europa League against Anzhi last week, it has been five games since he last struck in the Premier League, meaning he has a conversion rate of just 15%.

What's more, the striker has won only 14% of his headers and has an average pass accuracy of just 74%. While it can be argued he has been starved of service and that the striker works hard, Soldado has done little with the chances he has been provided with: the simple fact is that the Spaniard has had more shots off target than he has on target.

The large transfer fee which Tottenham paid for the ex-Valencia hitman in the summer is yet to be justified and he must up his game if he hopes to avoid being shipped out of White Hart Lane with little to show for his efforts.

Kyle Naughton

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In the recent game against Liverpool, one player was truly awful. Kyle Naughton endured a horrendous afternoon as he was used as a makeshift left-back, attaining a Performance Score of -22 and getting subbed at half-time after he was caught out of position time and time again and consistently gave the ball away.

Indeed, this season he was won only 44% of his tackles and has an overall Performance Score of -15; Naughton must improve if he has any desire to remain a Tottenham player.

Aaron Lennon

Aaron Lennon has also failed to meet expectations this season and has, at times, looked uninterested on the pitch. This was evident in the loss against Liverpool last weekend and his paltry Performance Score of just 83 in nine appearances underlines his poor season so far. Given the abundance of pace which Lennon's boots contain, he should be one of the leading dribblers in the Premier League – however, the Englishman has completed only 11 take-ons and has failed to look like a consistent threat throughout 2013-14.


Paulinho's passing

Paulinho has been superb against the teams in the lower echelons of the Premier League but he has struggled against the bigger names in the division. Against Liverpool, Manchester United, Everton, Manchester City and Chelsea, the Brazilian's pass completion rate did not exceed 80% and, against United and Everton, he was only successful with 72% of his passes.

His highest Performance Score against the aforementioned teams was a meagre 18, and it dropped as low as -31 against David Moyes' team and -27 against Liverpool on Sunday, a game in which he was sent off. Paulinho is undoubtedly talented, but this means nothing if he does not show up for the big games which could shape Spurs' season.