Christian Stellini apologises for the worst 25 minutes I've ever seen.
Christian Stellini apologises for the worst 25 minutes I’ve ever seen.© Images AGN

Christian Stellini could do nothing but watch in shock as his team gave up five goals in the first 25 minutes of the game at Newcastle United.

After a fast start, the home team slowed down, but Tottenham Hotspur’s 6-1 loss will be remembered as a low point in an otherwise bad season for the club. Stellini thought it was one of the worst shows he had ever seen.

“I don’t know how to describe a show like this. “The first 25 minutes were the worst I’ve ever seen,” said the boss in charge at the time.

He was asked if the desperate performance proved that Antonio Conte’s angry press conference after the draw with Southampton was right.

“What I can say today is that we need to apologise to everyone,” he said, unwilling to talk about what his predecessor had said.

Stellini isn’t sure if the back four move was a good idea.

Tottenham went to play foes Newcastle in the Champions League. They knew that a win at St. James’ Park could help them get into the top four. Some people were surprised when Stellini chose a more offensive starting 11 by going with a back four instead of the wing-backs that Conte liked to use.

Stellini’s gamble backfired in the most spectacular way, and after the game he accepted that he was to blame.

He said, “We played with four defenders, and if that was a mistake, it was mine.”

When asked if Sunday’s game showed why his predecessor kept playing with the same back five for so long, Stellini said it is too early to tell.

“We need to figure out what’s going on right now,” he said. “If we try to explain and assess everything too quickly. It’s really early, so we all have to talk about it. Because after a show like this, we need to catch our breath.”

It wasn’t just about formation change.

Even though the change in strategy seemed to throw Spurs off, the size of their early loss suggests that there are other factors at play.

“There are many other problems,” Stellini said next. “Because, I’ll say it again, this season is not normal, and many things could happen. So there’s more than one thing to take care of.”

Tottenham must now get back together and try to get better for the rest of the season, but they have a tough schedule coming up. In the Premier League, they will play Manchester United and Liverpool in the next week.

Then, they play Crystal Palace and Aston Villa, two teams whose managers switched in the middle of the season and came back stronger. Spurs can’t say the same thing.

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