Tottenham’s EFL Cup defeat to Liverpool may have been predictable, but that won’t console the fringe players in north London, whose already limited opportunities for pitch time have just been extinguished.
Mauricio Pochettino has never been one for too many changes to his team at White Hart Lane, but seemed happy to rotate whenever the League Cup rolled around.
For the many players in the Argentine’s squad that aren’t able to crack the regular 15 he uses in the Premier League, the 2-1 loss to the Reds signals a lengthy period in the shadows.
Centre-half pairing Kevin Wimmer and Cameron Carter-Vickers look worst affected, with neither able to break the duopoly built by Belgians Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld in the Premier League.
Indeed the only minutes Wimmer and Carter-Vickers have played this season have been in the EFL Cup and although they are the only two in Spurs’ squad in that particular boat, there are plenty of other teammates certain to be banished to U23 football.
Midfielders Tom Carroll, Harry Winks and Josh Onomah can combine their zero starts and five substitutes’ league appearances to make a total of 14 minutes of action. However, all three started both of the Lilywhites’ League Cup assignments.
At least the trio have some top-flight pitch-time to speak of. Right-back Kieran Trippier has none so far, but can use the two starts he has made in the Champions League to console himself.
Vincent Janssen has experienced just three league games from the beginning thus far, with a further six appearances arriving off the bench.
However, the only goals on his north London CV have come from the penalty spot in the EFL Cup and with that competition now out of the picture, the Dutchman will have a tough time finding his rhythm once Harry Kane returns to the fold.
The FA Cup enters the fray for Spurs in January’s third-round, but until then expect to see the usual suspects decorating their teamsheets both domestically and in Europe.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing