PLAYER RATINGS: Rochdale 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Well done, Rochdale, fully deserved.

They dutifully laid a pitch on which we were supposed to demonstrate our superiority. Unfortunately, they hadn’t read that script and looked for most of the game, the equals of the vaunted Premiership side.

We put out our ‘B’ team and, yet again, it was … simply, a woeful performance. All over the pitch, our players did not look as if they commanded their area of responsibility. The team 63 places below them were hungrier and better.

WARNING: there’s some slagging off here – do not read on if you’re of a nervous disposition.

VORM – 5

Can’t be criticised for either of the goals but teams lead from the back and his persistence with predictable short passes out, pushed them onto us and made us stodgy and slow from the moment of regaining possession.


For a period, I found myself looking to him to provide leadership and control from the back but centre back is a ninety plus minute task and he can also look frail and hesitant. A work in progress … as I’ve always said, I’d like to see a player of his quality make the grade.


Charitable or uncharitable? Charitably, he is on his way back … slowly. Uncharitably, he resorted to getting booked to get himself out of trouble; his uncommitted header laid on their equaliser. He didn’t assert authority. Uncharitably, £150,000 a week? On this showing? Get over yourself!


Really busy defensively and did get up the pitch. One of the few who looked like they could play for the ‘first team’.

ROSE – 6

Rose looked rusty and offered little. Then, in the last twenty minutes (when they tired and there was some class ahead of him), he came to life with a passion. Why are we not seeing enough of that in his handful of recent cameos?


Vulnerable at the back, toothless up front, but we really lost it in midfield. Wanyama epitomised arrogance: it wasn’t going to be necessary for him to break sweat to impose himself on them! And whenhe failed to do so, he resorted to bundling players over. Poor.


Nice run through in the second half that – woo! – included a shot on target. Always looks busy but was unable to assert control from the centre of the park onwards. Not poor but not good enough.

SON – 5

Was involved in some one touch play and broke away to make attempts at times but his shot and final touch wasn’t there when required and looked less and less of a threat as the game went on. Is he a player who has streaks when he’s on fire and periods when he’s just not on ‘Son’g?


Largely irrelevant.


The scorer of our only goal and our only decent effort. He looked a player. He would grace the first team. He was quick, positive, skilful. He was the barometer by which it was possible to measure the inadequacy of just about everyone around him. Oddly, we didn’t try to play through him, even moved him away from where he was having impact – Son was also diminished by that move.


Poor old Llorente – the sort of thing you say about donkeys in ads targeting the elderly and kind-hearted. But, actually, to be fair to him, during the middle part of the game, I thought he was beginning to find his touch as a target man laying the ball off. But, no, in the end, he epitomised ‘blunt’ – we just don’t look like scoring when he’s there.


Well, we were forced to, but we had to bring on some class in the end. And it should have been enough. Why couldn’t we close the game out? Why did they still have more intent than we did? (But I’m going off on one again…)

Lamela immediately looked quicker and more incisive in midfield. I think Dembele is our holding mid and we sacrifice the other bloke for someone more incisive and progressive like Eriksen (creating room for Moura) or Lamela (creating room for, well, Lamela).

Say what you like about Dele, and I know people do, but dangerous situations emerged with his introduction. I know they were tiring but he adds flair and that’s just what those other players lack for all their workmanlike virtues.

Kane produced his Roy of the Rovers conclusion to the story, only to find Rochdale were prepared to defy the script one more time. So, let’s end this miserable account by, once again, commending those Rochdale players – well done!

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  1. It was Sissoko’s through ball to Moura for the first goal. Hardly irrelevant..

    And it was Winks losing possession that directly created the attack for their opener

  2. Totally inept performance yet again. When will MP realise that at this stage of the season, those teams bold enough to play their strongest eleven from the start will succeed. This stupid rotation to include players not up to it, leaves us continually cahsing games. Vorm, indecisive , no leadership. For Christ sake play Gazzaniga if Lloris has to be rested. Alderweireld needs to start performing again before he’s pushed out of the door. Foyth will never make a CB good enough for Spurs in a million years. He has no idea where he is on the pitch let alone the opposition, and gives the impression he thinks he’s better than he actually is. Well , get real. Rochdales CB’s were better than ours today !! Sonny had the touch and movement of a rhino and Sissoko was a long way off being irrelevant when you have Wanyama, Winks and bloody Llorente on the pitch. Not sure what you was watching. Play a first 11 in the replay and its 5-0 . Play the same crap as today and we’re out !!!!!

  3. Get off the fence, Kaybee!! Love the passion. Unafraid of making some big statements … I can’t help agreeing with … though expect we might both (?) have a different view if only the level of performance changed.

    Pleased to hear both you and Paul speaking up for Sissoko – a decent assist, you’re right, Paul. Unfairly perhaps I am beginning to expect players to be at the level of recent Dembele or Eriksen in midfield, this season Vertonghen at the back, and I’m losing patience trying to find reasons to rationise the inclusion of players who’ll never be at that level – though granted the bar is set very high, at about top four / Champions League level.

  4. Completely agree with the Wanyama comments and agree Winks just looks way too basic. I had hoped he was’t going to be another one of our home grown midfielders that seem to be way over hyped and rated way too quickly. Toby looked off the pace. Trippier a 6?? I would have said a 2. Gave up coming back on the first goal. Gave the ball away constantly, made a half effort to block the cross that resulted in the winner. JUST AWFUL after I thought he had returned to some king of form. We need a new right back PERIOD. Anyone who even remotely thought we would not miss Kyle is just well …. thick.

  5. Always enjoy confident views, Andrew. You’re right about Walker. Although he plays fascinatingly differently at City (and not in heroic athlete mode he did whilst at Spurs), he doesn’t look out of place in that stellar line up. I will look harder at Trippier’s performance next time. As with Sissoko, maybe I’m bringing lazy preconceptions to the game and not reporting what we actually see on the day.

  6. Why oh why are people still bluffed by Lamela’s running around? He really is not a lot of use. No end product. Link-up play? Who cares. If he got out of the way it would link quicker. Irritant to the opposition? Come on, I could do that job.


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