Tottenham Hotspur fell to a 1-0 defeat tonight against Royal Antwerp in Belgium after being out defended for 90 minutes.
The home side looked dangerous on the break and took advantage of Spurs defensive errors to see out a historic win for the club.
Let’s take a look at the five things we learned:
For a team full of players looking to make a case for themselves, there was nowhere near as much desire as there should have been on show. Some of the luxury players need to realise that hard work comes before on the ball skill. They should have kept things simple and made sure that their performance was injected with pure effort.
Hooked at half-time –
Carlos Vinicius, Giovani Lo Celso, Steven Bergwijn, and Dele Alli were all hooked at half-time by Jose Mourinho tonight. In my opinion, the first two were more down to fitness and a change of system, as both played well in the opening 45. However, Bergwijn and Dele certainly did themselves no favours in the eyes of the head coach.
Defence and individual errors –
Defence was the problem yet again for Tottenham. Jose Mourinho teams have always been built on a solid defensive base, but Spurs simply do not have that. The players already at the club are consistently making individual errors, game after game. Tonight, Sanchez and Davies put on a horror show from start to finish. The Welshman had his pocket picked for the opening goal and Sanchez seemed incapable of one-on-one defending.
No pushovers –
Hopefully, this game serves as a wake-up call for Spurs that they will not get an easy pass into the knockout rounds in the Europa League. They come up against three teams with belief, desire, and heart, determined to cause upsets all the way. If they aren’t careful, top spot, or even qualification, could pass them by.
Gareth Bale –
Jose Mourinho claimed that Bale was ready to fly today against Antwerp. Unfortunately, we didn’t see anything close to that. The winger still looks to be jogging around at 50% and barely influenced the game in Belgium. We have to hope that his fitness is just a long process and that Bale will be back to competitive condition within the next month or so.
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