Tottenham Hotspur left-back Danny Rose has admitted that he found it hard to figure out an exact reason for Spurs’ decline after last season’s UEFA Champions League final defeat to Liverpool.

After pulling off one of the most dramatic European comebacks of all time against Ajax at the semi-final stage, Spurs faced Liverpool in an all-English final in Madrid, only to be beaten 2-0 thanks to goals from Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi.

Despite being beaten in the final, it was an achievement in itself for Spurs to have reached the final of the competition for the very first time, fuelling the fans with optimism and belief ahead of this current season.

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But Spurs, who progressed to the fifth-round of the FA Cup with a 3-2 win against Southampton on Wednesday night at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, started this season in disappointing fashion, resulting in former manager Mauricio Pochettino getting the sack in mid-November, with the club languishing in 14th place in the Premier League table.

How Spurs had gone from being Champions League finalists to mid-table sitters in the Premier League was just remarkable.

And defender Rose, who joined Newcastle United on loan last month, has been offering his perspective on how Spurs’ drop in form all came about.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live’s The Friday Football Social show, Rose said: “I wish I could tell you about one certain thing that happened. But you know, obviously, we got to the Champions League final, prepared for three weeks for the final and we gave away a penalty inside the first minute, so that was difficult.

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“Obviously we lost, went away after that game and came back for pre-season and the lads were fine. I think the gaffer [Pochettino] was still upset about that defeat.

“I honestly don’t know what changed for us to have the form that we did do. I think it was just one of them things where we struggled to match the heights that we achieved last season and we were still getting to grips with that.”



Former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino.

After such a sluggish start to the campaign, questions were asked whether Spurs’ achievement of reaching the Champions League final had resulted in Pochettino and his players taking their foot of the pedal, with the view that things would be easy in the Premier League after such promising performances in Europe.

Asked if Pochettino had taken that approach at the start of this term, Rose added: “I understand what you mean but I would never have questioned his discipline or desire. He was always the same around the training ground and the training pitch.

“But you could sense that he was still a bit disappointed by that he hadn’t created history for the football club. But I know him personally and away from football, and to this day, I would say he is still probably hurt about us not winning the final.”

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