Spurs stunned by Stoke

Image: SpursWeb

Tottenham’s Champions League hopes were extinguished in the most embarrassing fashion as they suffered their heaviest defeat to Stoke in 80 years.

Charlie Adam rammed the abuse he received from the travelling fans right back down their throats with a close range header and Steven Nzonzi made it 2-0 before Vlad Chiriches was sent off for a second yellow card.

And Mame Diouf rounded off the very one-sided 3-0 hammering late on.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino will not be looking forward to watching replays of the three goals his team gave away.

They all came as a result of defensive lapses.

Jan Vertonghen nodded the ball right into Adam’s path for his goal and a mix-up between Hugo Lloris and Eric Dier meant Nzonzi had the easiest of finishes to round off the win, which means Stoke have equalled last year’s total of 50 points with two matches left.

That Stoke are just eight points behind Spurs shows how much the Londoners’ form has tailed off towards the end of a long and tiring season. They were simply dreadful at the Britannia Stadium – they were shaky at the back and lacked invention in attack.

They are now mathematically out of the race for the Champions League and a fifth successive season in the Europa League beckons.

In the warm-up the travelling Spurs fans made Adam aware they had not forgotten that he injured Paulinho and former Spurs winger Gareth Bale on two occasions.

Adam had to get used to the abuse early on as he took three corners in front of the way fans in the opening five minutes.

His third corner was cleared to Marc Muniesa, who fired a volley towards goal but Lloris tipped over.

The away fans then gave their support to their old hero Jimmy Greaves, who is recovering from a severe stroke in hospital.

On the pitch, their current star striker Harry Kane drilled a low shot at Jack Butland.

That was the only early chance of note for the visitors. Stoke dominated the game and looked far more threatening, mainly thanks to the nervous Spurs defence.

Dier and Vertonghen – in at left-back for the injured Danny Rose – looked unsure out wide and Chiriches, making just his eighth league start of the season, entered the book for pulling back Jon Walters as he sped away down the right.

The Romanian made amends by clearing the ball moments later after Lloris had spilled Marko Arnautovic’s long-range shot.

Federico Fazio had to scramble back to deny the winger after giving the ball away in a dangerous position.

Vertonghen then made an error – but this time it proved costly. He accidentally flicked Diouf’s cross into Adam’s path and he nodded in from two yards. The Scot cupped his ear as he ran in front of the Spurs fans to celebrate.

Spurs came close to equalising when Muniesa headed Erik Lamela’s free-kick on to his own bar, but the Londoners were soon 2-0 down after another defensive calamity.

This time Dier wiped out Lloris as he came for Adam’s cross and Nzonzi rolled the ball into the empty net.

Spurs were all over the place at the back. Had Arnautovic and Diouf taken their chances, it could have been worse before half-time.

When Chiriches was dismissed for barging Diouf off the ball after the restart, it was hard to judge whether it was bad news or good for the visitors.

Either the way, the poor Romanian was off and Vertonghen moved to centre-back, with Nabil Bentaleb dropping into left-back.

Stoke sought to press home their numerical advantage and Lloris tipped a curling shot from Adam around the post.

Roberto Soldado and Mousa Dembele came on for Spurs, but they made no impact. Stoke still dominated and they were playing some fantastic free-flowing football.

One such move allowed Ryan Shawcross to square for Walters, but he shot straight at Lloris.

But Diouf had no such trouble, tapping in Arnautovic’s late cross to round off a miserable day for Spurs.

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  1. That was so pathetic it's untrue, we really are showing how poor we really are, defensively it's an embarrassment the only defender I would keep is Jan Vertonghen the rest are absolutely crap. Fazio, Dier, Chiriches, Kaboul, Walker, Davies and Rose aren't good enough for the Premiership. Going forward we have no creativity apart from Eriksen, Lamela, Townsend, Chadli, Stambouli, Paulinho even Bentaleb & Mason have been really poor, as for up front Soldado couldn't hit a donkeys arse with a banjo, Adebayor is only interested in picking up his massive wage, the two of them have to go too in the summer, Harry Kane although having a good season has fallen away lately, it's too much to pin all of our hopes on a 21 year old that has only had one season in the top flight. Levy and MP have their hands full this summer, a massive clear out and Quality players have to be the order, we have to stop buying potential and buy the finished artical.

  2. I blame the manager keep playing boring chadli bringing on saldado did he touch the ball last week he brought on adebyeou saldado the manager don't know what his doing he has had awhole season to sort something out but he still don't have a clue we had a slight chance of getting into the champions league today but I don't think he even knew he's. another avb clueless

  3. MP has had pretty much a full season with this group of players, the squad was seen as one of the best in the premier league 2 years ago, and we have added MP's players Stambouli,Davies,Fazio,Vorm,Yedlin. Why do we not see the 'philosophy' that we keep hearing about, unless it!s the head chicken philisophy!. How do you move Lennon out on loan and keep the hapless Townsend, even more hapless(bambi legs) Lamela and the ultra ordinary Chadli, is beyond the realms of common sense. Then there's the midfield 2, is the manager the only person on God's earth who can't see that Mason and Benteleb simple do not have any impact, Mason has moved to throwing himself into stupid tackle after stupid tackle, then gives the ball away more than any other centre midfielder in the premier league. All, the buck stops with the manager, irrespective of results, we simple do not look like team in anyway shape or form…. God knows where we go from here, I'm truly bored of this season.

  4. Shambles at the moment beleive it will take at least three season to change this around. Massive money spent on ordinary players not gd enough. Poch is starting to worry me slightly made a few purchases that have been poor or hr dosent trust…… example Stambouli!!!!

  5. Poor, poor, poor.
    In the old days a manager could move on ten players during the summer, now it seems impossible. We're stuck with many of these for next season. And MP apparently said he wants to keep Soldado.

  6. Not sure we were stunned. Its simple, if one team wants to win and the other team don’t care, don’t try and put zero effort in, then only one team will prevail.

    The effort these wasters have put in in the last month is embarrassing. They are a disgrace. I wonder how different the results would be if players were only paid on a win only basis. Money is the only motivation, nothing else.

    Where is the sense of pride, where is the fight and desire. I would rather see the kids play, at least it’s an opportunity to showcase what they can do.

    What’s the point of playing or having in the squad Fazio, Chriches, Paulinho, Adebayor, stambouli. They are rubbish.

    Bentaleb and Mason have run out of steam and if we are being honest, if they are the fulcrum in the middle next season then we will struggle.

    Rose/Walker aren’t good enough

    Soldado will score goals in Spain but is doomed to fail at the Lane

    Townsend/Chadli/Lamela all not good enough.

    Dembele should be a good player but has never fulfilled his potential. Could be a top player if he wants it.

    Verts should be a top class centre half but only plays when he wants and spends the rest of the time sulking

    My concern is the way this season has just died. is that due to the lack of desire from the players, players that either dont want to be at Spurs or just don’t buy into the manager.

    The Manager obviously needs time, clearly needs to get rid of a lot of players and bring in the players that he wants.

    If the Club do that in the summer, then the fault of a wasted season will lay solely on the managers shoulders. This year he has a bye.

  7. I agree with all of you. I can't believe how poorly this team is playing at this point of the season. There's absolutely no offensive creativity. Everything comes off predictable little flicks. No one goes for goal and when they do they can't hit the damn thing (last week's hilarious point-blank header miss by Dier just the latest example). Bentaleb's first instinct is always backwards–no concept of offense. The defense is indeed laughable. How Chirches is even in a Spurs jersey is shocking. He is quite literally one of the worst soccer players I have ever seen and is a guaranteed liability every time he touches the pitch.
    You're all spot on about MP's clueless team selection. This season can't end soon enough.
    Levy must go. We need new leadership. And I laugh when everyone complains about Europa League. Hell, that's the best we can hope for and we should be thankful if we can achieve it. What a cop out it is to complain they have to play too many games. You're professional soccer players. That's all you do. Shut up and play the game.


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