OK so I think it’s time for us Spurs fans to resurface from hibernation and face the music. Sunday was a bad day. Actually, that’s an understatement; it was a disaster. Days of endless mocking from West Ham/A*senal/Chelsea/Every other football fan has been tough, but we will battle through and i’m hoping it was just one of those days and not the Spurs-of-old creeping through after so many years. But was it really just an off day or was it the start of something that could spiral into much worse and how will AVB and the players put things right after the International break?
The first half was pretty open with both sides looking to attack and we dominated possession in the opening half hour in particular, but with no killer instinct. This is where it all went wrong for us in my opinion; there just wasn’t that killer pass and at no point did i feel we would score in this half which is very unlike us, particularly at home. The brave decision to start with Jermain Defoe was justified before kick off in my view but it didn’t look to smart once the final whistle blew. Defoe just couldn’t get going and i’m sadly beginning to feel he might be best utilised as a sub in the league after all. Roberto Soldado will almost certainly be restored to the first team against Aston Villa next time round and rightly so. Defoe failed to take the rare opportunity to impress in the league and he can only blame himself. That maybe slightly harsh on him as every single Spurs player could of done better, but i just wonder how well we would of done had Soldado started ahead of him. Andros Townsend was the only one who came out with any credit in the first half as he looked sharp and more motivated than his team mates and i was impressed once again with his efforts. First half over and it remained goal-less.
After the break we came out the blocks like men possessed only to find the stubborn West Ham defence on form once again. Once we started to press for the opening goal, cracks began to show and you could almost sense that once they mustered a counter attack, they would be the ones to get first blood. And that they did. 66mins, one nil down and obviously stunned. Little that we know a landslide was in full flow and we struggled from then on. West Ham were suddenly all over us and ultimately added their second and third in the space of 13 very painful minutes. Even though Erik Lamela entered the fray with half hour to spare and Soldado/Holtby were also thrown on, nothing could shift the power surge and we were extremely thankful to hear the full time whistle when we did. I think most of us would agree that it’s the worst we have played in many years at home and it was a crushing defeat to say the least.
So what exactly went wrong? Not taking our chances in the first half as I mentioned definitely played its part as i believe we would have won had we scored first but the blame has to lay with the central midfielders in my opinion. The usually dynamic trio of Mousa Dembele, Paulinho and Christian Eriksen were so ineffective it was untrue. No creativity, drive or guile were present from either of them and they let the likes of Diame, Noble and Nolan play them off the park, especially in the second period. I think it’s also time for Erik Lamela to get more starts and i’m disappointed he didn’t get this. Sigurdsson is only a back-up player and i don’t think he is good enough to start regularly for us in the league. We spent an awful amount of money on Lamela and he needs to get some game time in order to adjust to the league. Sigurdsson and not Townsend should be the one to go.
It would also appear that we are missing a bit of bite in the midfield. Sandro and Capoue have the characteristics needed to break up the opposition’s attacks more aggressively than Paulinho/Dembele and this perhaps was something that West Ham exploited during the second half. Ravel Morrison’s mazy run from the half way line (started by surpassing our midfield with ease as we pressed for a goal to get ourselves back in the game) was a good example of this. Sandro likes to sit very deep in front of the back four and i’m sure he would of been in the correct position to track Morrison’s run through the centre but i’m clutching straws. Will AVB address this? probably not.
I could write pages and pages about how poor we were during this game but i will leave it at that. I suppose we don’t do it often any more and we should be confident it was just a minor blip. Perhaps it’s the kick up the a*se that we needed and it will hopefully bring the players back down to earth after our recent run of good form. Complacency can now be erased and we start again. The Villa game can’t come soon enough. Let’s put it right lads, you owe it to the fans. COYS!!
Have something to tell us about this article?