An exciting game where we were too wasteful and they were too clinical devolved into utter shame and humiliation. Our defending has been a shell of two or three seasons ago for months now, and nowhere was that more apparent than tonight. But the absolute surrender—to use Steve Bruce’s term—in the final quarter hour speaks volumes about where this particular group of players stand—and their manager’s ability to affect them.
That was a disgrace, and given that all the key players—Aldeweireld, Vertonghen, Eriksen, Aurier and Rose—were on the pitch at the bitter end—I would be surprised to see any of them in a Spurs shirt beyond January, and certainly not after this season.
Poch is an honorable man. And given that, I expect him to submit his resignation either tonight or tomorrow morning. Daniel Levy is a pragmatic man. Which means I expect him to accept said resignation, because what choice does he have? If he sticks with the manager—he is saying it is the players’ fault. And he can do nothing to ease the situation for another three months. By then, it is likely that Spurs will be bounced from Group Stage—and might not even make it to Europa. By then, after several more away losses in the League, Top Four status will be a pipe dream. Get Allegri in here now—and tell him to bench Vertonghen and Eriksen until they each can look someone in the eye and say the problem is over.
As for this game—before the white flag, obviously we didn’t seize the opportunities in the first half hour. Son had three excellent chances—and only made good on one—Ndombele had a great chance, and shot directly at Neuer. All the flow and great passing produced all of one goal, whereas Kimmich and Lewandowski were brutally clinical in the chances we gave them. And lets face it—our defence is in name only. They threatened our slower backs over the top from the get-go. The goals all run together—Aurier lost his man and Alderweireld gave him entirely too much space on one. Aurier and Ndombele failed to clear properly on Leandowski’s goal. Winks—who had a mare of a time in the second half—coughed up the ball for what seemed like the fourth or fifth time.. And after that it was simply “how do you do—please score on us—we don’t care anymore”. To be brutally honest our penalty might not have been given and Danny’s foul given to them at the other end, and then the final might have been 8-1.
This is not a team anymore—in any sense of the word. The spirit they showed after Aurier’s madness and Hugo’s howler was a mirage—just like the edifice on the High Road that may start to showcase increasing numbers of empty seats. They don’t have the pace or the mentality to defend. Two of their former stars are shadows—Dele perhaps permanently, Eriksen until he finds a new home. Surely Kane doesn’t want to stay for Europa League games and battles for 5th or 6th place if we’re lucky. Surely the two Belgians have lost their ability to influence a game. Sissoko and Lamela are about the only contants any more—Son was great in some ways but wasteful. I think Kane’s best days are behind him. Ndembele might be the bright light of the future, but as of now he can’t play a full 90 minutes, and even when he was out there, after several moments of brilliance and effort, he too lagged behind a step or two and allowed Bayern to dictate the game.
It was a damn good run. But it’s done. We can only hope that the replacement manager—and the new players that must start to populate the dressing room—in January and beyond—can make the revival happen—at all, not just in the next couple of years. Nothing is guaranteed in life. This particular story might not have a happy ending. It’s Tottenham, lads.
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