Tottenham Hotspur fell to a 5-3 defeat in a penalty shoot-out against Fulham this evening after the sides could not be separated in 90 minutes of Carabao Cup football.
Let’s take a look at five things we learned from the match:
Tottenham are out –
If there is one thing Tottenham are good at, it’s bringing you crashing back down to Earth just as you’re starting to enjoy yourself. A new manager, a team flying on the pitch, and no European football. A couple of cup runs was surely on the cards, right? Wrong. Spurs are knocked out of the Carabao Cup in the second round by Fulham.
That Ange starting XI –
For the first time since arriving, Ange Postecoglou will face some criticism this evening. After implying he was going to take the cups seriously, he made nine changes from his in-form Premier League side, including a number of players being heavily linked with exits starting against Fulham. No Maddison, Bissouma, Son, Kulusevski, Romero, Udogie, or Sarr. It seemed far from surprising that the same old rotation problems came up once more.
Penalty takers –
Not that we want to revisit that shootout, but we can at least take a look at who might be Tottenham’s new penalty-taker in the Premier League. Son has a rather poor record from the spot and was lucky to see his creep in. Kulusevski and Maddison looked pretty confident from the spot. Davinson Sanchez, well the less said about that the better. I would be putting Madders or Deki on the spot-kicks full-time.
Richarlison off the mark –
Richarlison is off the mark for the season with a well-taken header, although he failed to play the full 90 minutes again, perhaps due to an ankle knock this time. He was a frustrating figure to watch once again this evening though. It feels as though he wants to make something big happen every time he touches the ball, and you can’t play like that as a lone number nine. Think of all the times Harry Kane won cheap fouls, brought others into play, and popped off one/two touch passes to retain possession. Richarlison has the talent to do that, he just needs to switch mindsets completely.
The silver lining –
We always try to look for some kind of silver lining, but it’s tough tonight. With no European football, Spurs fans were dying to compete for silverware and lift something for the first time in years. Falling at the first hurdle is a real balloon burster which hopefully won’t impact Premier League momentum. The one thing you can say is that Spurs can now 100% concentrate on the league until 2024, but does that really mean anything unless you’re trying to win the entire thing? I think some Tottenham fans would perhaps even swap a top-four finish for a cup this season, so tonight hurts.
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