EPL

Lloris puts spate of Spurs errors down to role in France's World Cup run

By Sports Desk January 20, 2023

Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has blamed a lack of "mental freshness" for his recent costly errors, which he puts down to France's run to the World Cup final.

Lloris played in six of France's seven matches in Qatar, including a full part in their 3-3 final draw against Argentina after extra time that ended in a 4-2 defeat on penalties.

The 36-year-old, who has since called time on his international career, returned to club action with Spurs on January 1 and has made a spate of errors in his four games since.

He was beaten too easily by Riyad Mahrez in Spurs' 4-2 collapse at Manchester City on Thursday, having also been at fault for goals against Aston Villa and Arsenal.

Indeed, his four errors leading to goals – as defined by Opta – are more than those of any other goalkeeper across Europe's top five leagues in all competitions this season.

On the back of a tough month for club and country, Lloris accepts the criticism he is facing.

"I can't complain. You're a professional and you just follow a rhythm," he told the Evening Standard. 

"When you're involved with the national team and you go until the last day of the World Cup, you come back and miss mental freshness. But you need to get back on track.

"When you look at the Arsenal goal, I can be in a good position, but the deflection hit the ball on my chest and with the spin it goes over [the line]. 

"It's something that even if I wanted to do on purpose, I can't. Even on Thursday, when you look at the third [City] goal, a deflection makes the ball go over my knee."

After conceding four second-half goals against City, Tottenham have now conceded 31 goals after 20 Premier League games – their highest tally since the 2007-08 season (36).

Spurs have lost three of their past four league games ahead of Monday's visit to Fulham and are five points off the top four, having played a game more than the sides above them.

Despite crumbling against City, though, Lloris insists his side do not collectively have a mentality issue.

"When you look at the guys working every day, we can't blame anyone," he said. "We have probably lacked consistency in our performances. 

"I believe we struggle a bit to play 90 to 95 minutes at our best, things we were able to do last season, especially in the last two to three months.

"But the most important period is ahead of us: February, March, April and May is where you play for everything, and it’s important going forward to get our level back."

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