Hugo Lloris has said Tottenham’s shock Europa League exit after a 3-0 defeat at Dinamo Zagreb was a “disgrace” and reflected deeper issues at the club.
Spurs were favourites to reach the quarter-finals after securing a 2-0 lead from the first leg but Zagreb stormed back with a sensational hat-trick from Mislav Orsic to claim a 3-2 aggregate victory.
“I think we are all more than disappointed, it is just a disgrace,” Tottenham’s captain told BT Sport. “I just hope everyone in the changing room feels responsible for this situation because it is a disgrace … The taste of the defeat is more than painful and we are all responsible for that.”
José Mourinho accused his players of lacking professionalism and Lloris echoed the manager’s comments.
“The way we play is just not enough,” the goalkeeper said. “One thing is to come in front of the camera and say, ‘I’m ambitious’. The other thing is to show every day in training sessions and to show every time on the pitch.
“You cannot let it down if you play or you don’t play. To behave as a team is the most difficult thing in football. Whatever the decision of the manager, you have to follow the way of the team. If you follow the team only when you are in the starting XI it causes big problems for the team because you pay.
“You are going to pay in your season and today I think is a consequence of that. We had a great moment in the past because we could trust the togetherness that was in the team. Today, I’m not sure about that.”
Tottenham were also heavily criticised for a poor performance in Sunday’s derby at Arsenal and Lloris was scathing of the team when asked which of those defeats had been worse.
“It’s just the accumulation,” he said. “We are a club full of ambition but I think the team at the moment is just a reflection of what is going on at the club.
“We have a lack of basics and lack of fundamentals. All our performances are in relation to that. I think mentally we should be stronger and more competitive. Today I didn’t feel that on the field unfortunately.
“When you are not ready at this level, you pay straight away. It doesn’t matter who the opponent is. There is quality everywhere in Europe and if you don’t respect the opponent it is punishing and that is what happened. I think the full credit belongs to the opponent because they played the game but full of belief. But the blame is on us – all the team, all the club, we are guilty.”
Lloris said the team had not followed Mourinho’s gameplan. “The message from the manager was clear: it was to attack the game, to score one goal as soon as we can to make the game easier. But the opposite happened.”
He later added: “What is more painful is the feeling that we came here without the desire to kill the game. When you are a competitor you cannot behave in that way.”
Expanding on his sense that Tottenham lack togetherness Lloris said: “We all belong to the team. Football is not about individual players. It is not because there are two, three or four players who are going to step up. That is not enough. We need more than that. That is something we must understand.
“On the bench there is an influence to have, to push the others. In training sessions the same. Everyone has to be ready to push and make sure he is ready to help the team when the moment comes.
“It is not only to stay on the side and complain, because in the end what we have to respect is the badge. This is the most important thing.”