Tottenham making same European mistakes as Man Utd, says Neville

The former England international admitted that Spurs’ struggles remind him of the young Red Devils side that needed time to find their feet in Europe under Sir Alex Ferguson.


Phil Neville believes Tottenham are making “naive decisions” in the Champions League and compared their struggles to those endured by Manchester United upon breaking into Europe’s top competition.

The Red Devils won the Champions League on two occasions under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson, but waited six years after winning the Premier League for the first time before they finally tasted continental glory in 1999.

A young Tottenham side, meanwhile, crashed out of the Champions League on Tuesday with a 2-1 defeat away at Monaco and Neville sees them now treading the same path.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men have toiled throughout their European adventure, suffering defeats to Bayer Leverkusen and Monaco at Wembley and picking up their only victory away to CSKA Moscow.

“What I’ve seen from the whole of the Tottenham team is that they’ve made naive decisions in the Champions League,” Neville told the BBC. “That’s what you do [as a young team] in Europe.

“When we broke into the Manchester United team and played in Europe it took us two or three seasons to stop making mistakes. You stop making mistakes because you get punished.

“We got punished severely in the first few seasons. This Tottenham team is being punished.

“Positions you take in the Premier League don’t get punished. Here, they do.”

Tottenham have collected just four points from their five Group E contests this season and have now lost three times, but remain unbeaten in the Premier League.

Spurs face CSKA Moscow at home to finish the group stage and need only to avoid defeat on December 7 to qualify for the knockout round of the Europa League.



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