Harry Winks, the Europa Conference League and the sadness to see the players visibly fade – the Athletic

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Listening to Harry Winks speak so openly about his struggles and those of Tottenham Hotspur following their horrific 1-0 loss to Vitesse Arnhem, the overwhelming emotion he aroused was sadness.

Wink, speaking animatedly and eloquently, clearly had a lot to get out of his chest last night. We sometimes think the players are the last people to feel the disappointment of a team’s defeats, but how could the past two years have been anything but extremely difficult for Winks?

He went from England regular and Champions League final holder, playing under the guidance of an up-front manager who noted him well, to that. Fight for what is effectively Spurs’ B team and get dominated in the new third tier club competition in Europe.

No wonder he looked so upset after the game as he honestly answered questions from the gathered media about where it all went wrong.

“No. No, I can’t,” Winks said when asked to try to explain the decline. He used the word “difficult” 10 times in a press conference that lasted less. Two of them were linked with new head coach Nuno Espirito Santo, leaving the 11 players who started against Newcastle United on Sunday at home for this trip to the Netherlands, leading to allegations of a two-tier Spurs team.

“It’s tough, yeah,” he said. “We’re supposed to be a team. It’s supposed to be a competition.


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