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Jamie Carragher was quick to dismiss Cristian Stellini’s management credentials after Tottenham were thrashed by Newcastle United in a significant blow to their hopes of achieving Champions League qualification for next season on Sunday afternoon. The north Londoners were bullied by their Tyneside opponents for the duration of the match, with Newcastle racing into a five-goal lead inside the opening half-hour at St James’ Park.
The result saw Newcastle move into the driving seat in the race to finish in the Premier League’s top four at the end of the campaign, while Tottenham now find themselves six points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester United with just six games left to play. Carragher wasted no time in pointing the finger at Stellini after the full-time whistle on Twitter, with the Italian coach having struggled to impress since replacing Antonio Conte on an interim basis last month.
“Newcastle are brilliant, they have been all season,” wrote Carragher. “Tottenham are a disgrace! How have they gone to a back four for the first time this season, with [Pedro] Porro a full back that can’t defend and [Ivan] Perisic who is a winger? Get a proper manager in right now, not Conte’s mate.”
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is expected to appoint a new permanent boss when the season draws to a close, although he could seemingly benefit from bringing his search forward by a few weeks if Stellini fails to turn the tide over the coming matches. It will be crucial for Spurs to start winning again in order to stand any chance of climbing back into the Premier League’s top four, with their defeat at the hands of Newcastle almost certain to have knocked their confidence ahead of the last few games of the domestic season.
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A downbeat Stellini insisted in his post-match press conference that he was simply left stunned by how poorly Tottenham played against the Magpies on Sunday afternoon, telling reporters: “This is strange because we have to analyse this season is very tough for everyone but we have to find the energy, with all the possibilities we have.
“We don’t have a lot of time to do this. We have to be responsible, everyone. We have to take a breath tonight and tomorrow we have to start. I was surprised. The other problems are many problems. Because I repeat, this season is not a normal season and maybe many things happen.
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“And so there is not only one thing to care [of], if you want to analyse all the season, to arrive here in a match like this, that you have to play an important match, to reach your target that is top four, and you start like this? Is a surprise for everyone. I hope that the system was the problem.
“Today, what I can say, is we have to apologise to everyone, and I hope that today is my responsibility because changing system was my decision. Like I said, I hope it was this that was the problem.”
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