Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho refused to single Dele Alli out for criticism after the defeat against Royal Antwerp – but gave a clear indication there might be no way back for him.
Alli, frozen out by Mourinho this season, was handed just his third start of the season.
But his miserable spell continued with another poor performance as Spurs slumped to a surprise Europa League loss.
Mourinho was asked about Alli at his post-match press conference.
“I don’t want to analyse individuals. I don’t like to do that,” Mourinho said. “We have a big squad with lots of good players.”
But the manager added: “It’s my responsibility to give them opportunities to play and catch the chance with both hands and be in condition to ask for more. And tonight my future choices are going to be very easy.”
Meanwhile, Glenn Hoddle believes Alli squandered a great chance to impress.
Spurs legend Hoddle also suggested Alli did nothing to help his chances of winning back a regular place.
“I think this was his opportunity,” Hoddle said on BT Sport.
“Jose would have put him in there tonight thinking ‘OK, hit me right between the eyes, have a great game and score a goal maybe’.
“It just didn’t happen for him. At the moment, in his all-round game, he’s giving the ball away too many times.
“Sloppy play like that is not going to get him back in the team.”
Mourinho made a host of changes, resting the likes of Harry Kane, but the decision backfired.
Hoddle said: “He took a bit of a risk. I’ve got to say Spurs were poor on the night. He would have expected more from his team even though he’s made them changes.
“On the night Antwerp were the better team. They worked harder and it was really impressive how quick they pressed. They created the better chances as well.”