There was plenty of context attached to Tottenham’s pivotal clash with Chelsea and the manner of the heavy 4-0 defeat irked Spurs boss Tim Sherwood.
A win was vital for the north London side in order to continue their pursuit of a return to the Champions League, something which is now a 6/1-chance following the loss.
Sherwood’s post-match comments, in which he criticised his players for not showing enough character, were the hallmarks of a manager left frustrated by what he perceives to be a lack of backbone in the Lilywhite squad.
So rumours that the White Hart Lane club are eyeing up a move for Manchester City’s James Milner couldn’t have been better timed.
With a contract that has just a year left to run, Milner is yet to enter into negotiations over an extension, prompting Tottenham to creep closer to hatching a deal.
Having made just seven league starts for City, a competition they are 9/5 to win, Milner is clearly not valued as highly by Manuel Pellegrini as predecessor Roberto Mancini, who used the former Aston Villa midfielder 19 times from the start last term.
A player of tremendous heart, tenacity and rarely quoted skill, Milner could be the perfect solution to Sherwood’s now-public problem.
The 28-year-old was instrumental in Man City’s Champions League group stage win over Bayern Munich earlier in the season and is often used by Roy Hodgson in big England games because of his work ethic.
Able to play in central midfield and out wide, the former Leeds youth’s versatility is yet another selling point for a Spurs club clearly on the lookout for some battlers.
Although a lack of playing time doesn’t look to have harmed Milner’s chances of going to the World Cup – Ladbrokes price him up at 2/5 to go – a promise of regular game time could persuade the midfielder to switch to London even if Spurs’ Champions League bid fails.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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