Opinion: Five things we learned from Tottenham’s 1-1 draw with West Ham

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Antonio Conte
(Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Tottenham Hotspur played out a frustrating 1-1 draw away to West Ham in the Premier League last night, with the Lilywhites failing to create much in the second half. 

Let’s take a look at the five things we learned:

Conte’s lack of options… again – Conte clearly felt he had a lack of options to influence things off the bench again last night, as he often did last season. Despite Spurs needing a goal for much of the second half, Richarlison was only introduced with 15 minutes left on the clock and remained Tottenham’s only sub. Bryan Gil and Lucas Moura were both missing from the bench, while the rest of Spurs’ options were made up of defenders and central midfielders.

Sloppy at the back – One thing Tottenham have demonstrated this season, even when they have struggled to create, is dominance and consistency at the back. However, that went out the window last night in the second half. Spurs tried to play out from the back using their three central defenders and wing-backs, but West Ham’s high press forced them into all kinds of mistakes. The Hammers’ goal came from Lloris kicking the ball out of play, while Perisic had his back turned rather than defending the resulting throw-in. Spurs then handed numerous attacking opportunities to their opponents by giving the ball away in their own third. Conte will, most certainly, not like that.

Wing-backs and midfield battle – As I have said numerous times over the past two weeks, Spurs are often set up to lose the midfield battle because they only name two central players. Last night was even worse because the wing-backs failed to offer enough consistent width going forward. Emerson and Perisic should essentially operate as right and left midfielders on the ball, but Spurs struggled to consistently find balls out wide and over the top. It has to be said, Perisic did a lot more than Emerson and looked good with the ball at his feet, but perhaps Sessegnon or Spence should have been introduced to add fresh legs and pace in the final 20 minutes.

Still unbeaten… The only silver lining from the result was that Tottenham remained unbeaten this season in the Premier League, picking up a point from what is usually a tough fixture. However, the Lilywhites lost pace on Arsenal and Man City who both won, and with West Ham’s recent form, it was definitely an opportunity missed.

Transfer window still open – With the window still open and deals still possible, fans will be crying for Spurs to sign another attacker or creative midfielder to solve Tottenham’s issues in games like the one last night. Without Gil and Moura to offer reinforcements, we certainly saw how light Spurs were in the front areas to change games from the bench.

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1 COMMENT

  1. You are right Perisic should have been concentrating, but the goal did not come from this lapse in concentration. Your favourite Hojberg (the man who can do no wrong because he runs about a lot) was too busy chatting to the ref when he should have been tracking the run of Soucek. He literally stood and watched Soucek run past him before any reaction, strangely not mentioned anywhere in your ratings or match review.
    Recently you have suggested that if you don’t appreciate Hojberg then you don’t watch the game closely enough, an incredibly patronising and unfair assessment of peoples opinions. There is a lot to like about his strength, work rate, tenacity and at times his passing. Unfortunately too often we see him more interested in pointing to where he feels everyone should be rather than getting on with the game and this results in sloppy costly mistakes, like last night. For me if he just got on with his own game he would improve massively. The fact that you blindly defend his performances, in a manner that suggests you possess a reading of the game that is on a higher level than everyone else, is insulting and arrogant.
    Perhaps in future it would be wise if you (and Hojberg) watched the game more closely rather than accusing other people of not doing the same.

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