Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino believes his decision to drop Christian Eriksen for the club's 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United had no bearing on the result.
Instead, the Argentine has blamed a lack of quality across the team for Sunday's lacklustre display. He also suggested the attitude of his players was poor as the Magpies stole an unexpected victory thanks to Joelinton's neat first-half finish.
The home loss leaves the north Londoners on four points after three games of the 2019/20 season, whilst their opponents opened their account for the year with the win.
When asked about the impact of Eriksen beginning on the bench, Pochettino stated (as quoted by football.london): "I can only pick 11. I understand the question. If we win 3-0 or 4-0 then these questions aren’t asked.
"We didn’t play well. We’re very disappointed about our performance and the result. We again conceded a cheap goal.
"We needed to be more aggressive with the ball," the 47-year-old explained, indicating that a poor mindset cost them against the Magpies, rather than the absence of their chief playmaker.
"80% possession should have more chances. They were well organised and compact and we didn’t break through.
"We’re very disappointed with the performance and the result, but we cannot justify our performance. We should be playing better. [We need] more desire, more capacity to be aggressive in this type of game."
Tottenham will have a chance to redeem themselves on Sunday as they make the five-mile journey to the Emirates Stadium. Spurs were victorious on their last visit to Arsenal, securing a 2-0 win in the League Cup last December.