Roy Keane and Jamie Redknapp had a fiery pre-match row over the state of Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham squad before their Premier League clash against Burnley. Manchester United legend Keane’s assertion that Jose Mourinho only has an “average” Spurs squad irked Sky Sports colleague Redknapp, who spent three years as a player at the north London club.
Spurs headed into their visit of Burnley to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium sat 10th after rivals Arsenal beat Leicester earlier in the day and having suffered five defeats in their past six top-flight games.
Despite that, Redknapp said: “I don’t think it’s an average team or an average squad. There’s a lot of quality in this team. I don’t think they’re playing to their maximum.
“If you look at that back four, [Eric] Dier plays for England, [Davinson] Sanchez Colombia, [Toby] Alderweireld the No 1 world international team in the world.
“I’m talking about this squad Roy, I think they’ve got better players than you’re giving them credit for.”
But Keane was having none of it, declaring that forwards Harry Kane and Son Heung-min are their only two players of any real quality.
“I think Tottenham have got so many average players. You talk about the pressure Spurs are on to get in the top four and all this carry-on, Kane and Son, take them two out of that team and Spurs are an average Premier League team and I’m being polite,” he declared.
“I think Spurs were better two or three years ago with the [Kieran] Trippiers and the [Christian] Eriksens and when [Dele] Alli had the hunger. This Spurs team, they’re good on their day, like lots of teams.
“Jamie makes the point saying they’ve got international players, if you can trap the ball you can play for your country these days.
“Everybody plays for their country, if you don’t play for your country you’re a bad player. That doesn’t guarantee anything.
“Who out of this Tottenham team would get in the Liverpool team, the Man City team, the Chelsea team? You wouldn’t touch any of them. Son and Kane.
“I’d take them two, outstanding, but the rest of them I wouldn’t touch them.”
Yet Redknapp hit back declaring that Alderweireld would play for Keane’s former club Manchester United over Victor Lindelof or Eric Bailly alongside Harry Maguire.
And Redknapp and Keane got into a heated debate about summer signing Sergio Reguilon signed from Real Madrid, though Keane eventually agreed with his fellow pundit.
He responded: “Alderweireld is a better centre-back… he would get in Man United’s team right now. I think he would.
“The goalkeeper’s not good enough, I’ll agree with you there. I don’t think he does well enough. The two right-backs, I don’t trust [Serge] Aurier and I don’t trust [Matt] Doherty, he hasn’t done well enough but he plays in a back three.
“I think the back four isn’t good enough but I tell you what Reguilon is as good a left-back as there is in the country. I think you’ve got that one wrong. He’s a class player.”
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Keane hit back: “That’s why Real Madrid let him go. Why do you think Real Madrid let him go?”
An irate Redknapp responded: “Does that matter? Oh because Real Madrid let him go it doesn’t make him a good player?”
To which Keane said: “How much did they let him go for? It’s not as if they paid £60million or £70m for him.”
Redknapp maintained his position and argued: “Are you saying Reguilon’s not a good player now Roy? He’s a fantastic left-back.”
And Keane then said: “Doherty’s playing for Wolves, the last year they’ve done well and are expecting to compete, they sell him to Spurs for £15m.
“Does anybody really expect Doherty to make Spurs a top-four team?”
Redknapp however replied: “No I never said that. Yeah I agree with you. What about the left-back then? You’re saying Reguilon’s not a good player?”
But as the debate died down, Keane accepted: “He’s a good player, no he is a good player.”
Spurs led 1-0 against Burnley inside 68 seconds through Gareth Bale before Kane’s 22nd goal of the season made doubled the hosts’ lead after 15 minutes after being supplied by Bale.
Lucas Moura then made it 3-0 to Spurs on the half-hour mark with the home team in scintillating form.
Victory will move Mourinho’s side back above Arsenal and into eighth, six points off fourth-placed West Ham having played one game less.