After the initial frustration dies down, How do you analyse a performance like that. Insipid, lazy, tired, uninspired, laboured….. we could have a further plethora of words but it wouldn’t really make a difference.
It all had the makings of a cracker, West Brom needing a win to have a brief stay of execution from relegation and Spurs needing a win to firm up their grip on the Top four and even had an outside chance of chasing down Manchester United for 2nd. But a cracker it certainly was not.
We had near 75% possession which included 18 shots (5 on target) and 9 corners but nothing to show for it. It was all just so,as they say, “Spursy”
So what is going on? We had the euphoria around the wonderful win at Stamford Bridge and since then it’s just all gone a bit flat. The buck cant just stop with the players however, Mauricio Pochettino and his coaches have to shoulder some of the responsibility.
For reasons only known to them he removed an attacking player for a central defender. Yes Alderweireld was one of our better players today but we had consistently been playing a 4-2-3-1 formation however Pochettino decided to go with three at the back and it essentially failed. Danny Rose and Kieran Trippier were pinned back so often it left us playing five at the back. Eriksen was dropping deep to try and get the ball which in turn left Harry Kane very isolated. It was so frustrating.
It was as clear as the day is long that West Brom would dig deep and sit back. So why on earth did we decide to have one less attacker, it made no sense. With all due respect to the Baggies we should have the ability to beat them. I understand they are fighting for their lives but that team we sent out should beat them all day long.
This is by no means an anti Pochettino article, but just as with his players he cannot be immune to criticism. I don’t for a minute think he’s done a bad job and isn’t the right man for iyvbut he’s at a point now for me where he has to react better to situations, where just competing isn’t good enough. It’s admirable to stick to your guns, but only if it’s working.
It’s obvious Toby Alderweireld is on his way, yes he’s a quality defender but for the good of squad harmony It makes very little sense to have a player who isn’t committed in the squad, however good he is.Perhaps against say City or United but not West Brom.Changing your formation to suit a players inclusion is foolhardy.
We have one of the strongest squads we’ve had for a very long time. The frustrating thing is we know their capability. You don’t beat Real Madrid, Dortmund, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and draw 2-2 at Juventus without ability, so why is it we drop points so meekly against a side nailed on for relegation.
Thankfully a Top 4 place is still in our own hands and you’d hope we will have too much for Newcastle and Leicester but Summer 2018 is shaping up to be one of the most important ones under Pochettino’s tenure and he and Daniel Levy have to get it right.
Alderweireld is on his way, Rose may follow him and its looks as if Mousa Dembele’s days are numbered too. That is three key players heading for the exit door. Three that won’t be easily replaced but they will have to be with experienced players otherwise we’ll just be playing catch up again!!
Fans will point to the fact that we’ve “played away from home” all season but we have a hugely talented and experienced squad who have made Wembley their home but a squad that has dropped stupid points it shouldn’t have. We have to stop making excuses. We are a good side, the ability is there but it is up to the manager to get the very best out of his squad.
Next season will be Pochettino’s fifth in charge at Spurs, he’s got to decide if he wants to be a winner or a nearly man, winning separates the good with the very best. People will put him up with Bill Nicholson and Keith Burkinshaw however that for me is wrong, unfair on Bill Nic and General Burkinshaw who possess trophies on their CV’s, Pochettino has enjoyed a comfortable ride, but with a new stadium a new era at Hotspur Way, he has to step up. No one remembers the nearly men, let’s hope Pochettino won’t be one.
Have something to tell us about this article?