PLAYER RATINGS: Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Newcastle United

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Harry Kane

This is a night for marking achievement, for celebration, for good news. So, let’s do it. We’ve made top four and can grace the new stadium with European Champions League football next season. It’s in our hands to make third and finish above Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool.

Boy, would we have taken that at the beginning of the season – truly punching above our weight in terms of return on investment. Everyone associated with the club deserves plaudits for their work over the season, over the marathon that is the Premiership.

And yet, and yet, I was bored rigid watching that first half. OK, I’m not expecting City where they play for minutes at a time with the slow strangulation of control then flip through the gears and in seconds open up defences, blinking in disbelief. We’ve only sporadically mastered the art of changing momentum though we do have one or two players capable of it.

No, it was turgid. The limit of every player’s imagination was, having footled about a bit, to offer an increasingly predictable pass to Trippier who didn’t do much with it anyway.

They were supposed to die trying to gain fourth – it was too late for that; they were already playing like zombies. Newcastle were the only team that looked like scoring. It was so depressing.

Second half, a goal and an improvement in the display but not enough to dispel the malaise that’s settled on the team, not enough to fill one with confidence for next season. There’s work to be done over the summer.

How miserable of this correspondent. I wouldn’t rather be in the shoes of a Chelsea supporter tonight, let alone an Arsenal or even a Liverpool fan. It’s one of those seasons the United supporters should feel sheepishly guilty about, even if they don’t. So, how dare I complain – party pooper!

Lloris – 7

Man of the match for a couple of proper saves first half to keep us in it. Diving, Peter ‘the Cat’ Bonnetti style. Looked good in the boulangerie window (confirming his place in the French side for the WC).

Trippier – 5

Has become the ‘go to’ man in this Spurs side. An overly heavy burden for him to bear.

Davies – 5

Works hard, offers little.

Sanchez – 7

Best defender tonight. Still left for dead by their sub running at him with pace.

Vertonghen – 6

Did OK.

Sissoko – 4

Does anyone else play that game? Which Wizard of Oz character would Sissoko be and what should he look for from the wizard? Some people want to offer him two feet on the ends of the right legs and some a brain. For me, he’s the cowardly lion, and what he lacks is a heart. He always opts for the safe pass and lacks the courage to take the game by the scruff of the neck. Better opening and conclusion to the game though – also probably conscious of his biennial appearance on the world stage.

Wanyama – 5

Played OK but, without Dembele in his pomp, our central midfield has just not been progressive enough – and a tiny handful of career goals / assists puts question marks against him too.

Son – 6

Now, he has heart and courage, never stops running, offering himself, taking risks for the big reward. However, things didn’t really work out for him tonight.

Eriksen – 6

Looked the best player on the ball. Had a great early free kick tipped away. Allowed himself to become marginalised though.

Dele – 4

Nothing worked. Nothing came off. Looked much better posing on the Boohoo posters on the Underground on the way to the match.

Kane – 5

OK, took his goal really well. He scored. That was the difference. We got Champions’ League as a result. But we all know something’s wrong. He looks slower, laboured, ordinary. Did he demand to be back too soon? Ah, well, England’s problem in the immediate future.

Subs

No Moura. To be honest, I don’t know why all the fuss about wingers. We’re always looking for one every window. We buy a hatful. Never play them. The assumption is always they’re no bloody good. Who knows? They never play. What’s the point?

Lamela does come on. I like a couple of his tricks and he laid on an intelligent chance for Rose which was scorned. He also committed, yet again, an ugly, ugly foul.

The crowd did their best all night but most especially when Alderweireld came on.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Pretty well agree with everything you say apart from the pessimism for next season. There is no doubt that for whatever reason (carrying injuries etc.,) our recent performances have been far lower than the standard that has been set this season. That said, I don’t think you can over state the effect that the pressure of having to win these high stakes games can affect anybody, and remember this is still a relatively young squad. I’m sure with that pressure removed we will see a much improved display on Sunday, and with a couple of additions I’m positive about next season (I would like us to keep Toby and Danny but think it’s unlikely.)

  2. It’s a fair summary. We would have accepted 3rd or 4th at the beginning of the season. Let’s look forward with confidence.

  3. If all our players are holding back for the WC then non of them should go tor that inept performance.Your ratings for all players should be at least 2-3 down on ratings. Vertonghen loss possesion ans gave the ball away(did ok??) Trippier cant be defending when hes bombing like an headless chicken down the wing(overburden poor thing??).DavIes was painting his nails all night and smoking a fag running to the bog.Sanchez is our no paced right back/center half passback .Sissoko where do I start.Has he got hot coals in his boots as he nervously tiptoes around the feild. Dont pass it to me cos Ill only go and and pass it back,yes backward.He made one or two passes forward to the opposition.Does he play in reverse all game??Wanyama has learned a lot from Sissoko on how to prance around and not finding a whit shirt with a pass Son,Dele and Kane shuffled around aimlessly loosing the ball or giving it away.Do they practice ball control on the multi million pound training ground ??Its no working,To his credit Eriksen did at least to try to move the ball forward but he had to come deeper and deeper and by then he was too far away to make any impact.At least he seemed the only one who was trying to make something happen.
    Overall Spurs made hard work of it ,no self confidence,slow in approach,no zip in movement in play,static players out for a evening stroll,like they were playing aTestimonial/pracice match on Hackney Marshes .
    They wernt dying for the shirt.they were dying to get off the pitch and down the Pub.Total loss cause for every player and as for the Boss saying afterwards that he was proud of his players (what after that performance??)lets hope he can give each player a good kick up the arse for the final match against Leicester

    • After reading your post Colin it makes me wonder who Spurs were playing last night! To have been so all round dreadful, as you say, must mean we were playing a team of old age pensioners playing “walking football”! ROFLMAO. Actually they were playing another Premiership side with a first class manager.
      Concerning Trippier “bombing” down the wing, presumably that’s what he’s told to do by the manager.

      I think you are correct in stating that many of the Spurs players are worried about missing the WC through injury, BUT I think the main cause for yesterday’s poor performance was PRESSURE! These players would lose an awful lot of money if they could not secure a top 4 place for CL next season. Spurs have a big bonus system and a top 4 place would make up a sizeable chunk of that bonus and hence their earnings. Fear of failure was the reason for yesterday’s abject performance. Fear and pressure of failure was also the reason for Chelsea’s poor performance against Huddersfield.

    • well said colin vick Poch has some very strange team selections of late why leave Toby and Rose on the bench so long if they are going at least play them while we have them i think they are still on the payroll only a fool cuts his nose off to spoil his face

  4. Yes you are correct. A dismal performance being very lucky to win. The Muppets may play their blind 11 on Sunday and win convincingly.

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