Abject Failure

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

A few short weeks ago when we lost 4-0 to Chelski, Tim Sherwood all too publicly criticised his players for showing a lack of character. I, on the other hand, chose to defend them.

On that occasion we went down to ten men – to a penalty and red card decision later overruled by the FA – and two nil down to the then Premier League leaders and favourites. We held out with players like Vertonghen, Sandro and Walker being forced to play, on Sherwood´s instructions, in unaccustomed positions but we conceded two very late unfortunate goals.

I thought we did reasonably well, under the circumstances.

Today we lost to the new Premier League leaders by that same margin but the manner of that defeat leads me to wonder what Sherwood would have said in private – it cannot have been pretty. What he thought from his position high in the stands where he could not influence matters on the pitch is anyone´s guess.

Today we were pathetic, apathetic and showed a total lack of control, of the ball as well as of composure.

We have seen numerous poor results this season, quite a few poor performances (even if we won) but today has quite simply got to be the worst. Not just of this season but of any season I can remember.

The only crumb of comfort is that we only conceded four goals, we were so bad it could and should have been far more. Liverpool were so much better than us in every department that they really should have scored 6, 7 or even more.

When Liverpool beat us at the Lane in December, they simply tore us apart. All their goals came from fantastic attacking play, but today it was so different.

Individual errors have cost us dearly far too frequently this season and today was no different.

Eriksen cannot defend – we all know that – so why does Sherwood insist on playing him wide left where he has responsibility for assisting the full back. Yet again he was caught napping as Johnson came on the overlap, outmuscled him and with Vertonghen missing the opportunity to clear, Kaboul could only prod the ball into the net and the match was not even two minutes old.

Within seconds of coming on to replace Vertonghen – who looked seriously disinterested from the start – Dawson played a poor ball down the line to Naughton who, again outmuscled, could only steer the ball forward where it was cleared by the Liverpool defence. Instead of hoofing the ball forward and out of danger Dawson chose, without looking, to play it infield where Kaboul miscontrolled and allowed Suarez – Suarez of all people – the chance to run at goal and we all know what that normally means.

That we were not punished more heavily as we allowed Liverpool time and space is the only positive to come from this appalling display.

We have now conceded 44 goals this season, that is more than teams such as West Ham, Hull and even Crystal Palace, but of those 20 have come in just four games, the four games home and away against Citeh and Liverpool.

Add the 4 goals at Chelski means 24 from 5 or put another way we have conceded just 20 goals from the other 27 games – including home and away to Le Arse and Manure.

It is our abject failure to compete against the very best teams in the League that have lead us to the position we now find ourselves in – sixth – and with very little hope of ending any higher even though we only have teams way below us to play against.

It is abject failure at every level. No-one can be excused. And by that I mean from Levy, Baldini and Sherwood downwards.

But my thoughts on that will have to wait for another day.

Have something to tell us about this article?


  1. A few seasons ago you'd have been jumping up and down with pleasure with sixth place,lets have some sanity,its only your expectaions that havnt been met.Yes we are playing badly,but there are 14 other teams out there that would be more than happy with it.If you've got to moan let it be constuctive instead of invective the whole time.You could always support Fulham,you'd really have something to moan about.COYS

    • Hardly our expectations is it ? Levy has shouted from the roof tops that only 4th is good enough so what do you expect us all to think ? nah shut up Daniel, we all want a top 10 finish to be honest as it is better than under Christian Gross.

    • Let's have some sanity??? Good call, lets start with on the pitch!

      Can't you see how thing have gone terribly wrong this season, don't be fooled by our position. Many of those wins could have gone the other way quite easily, believe me. Did you not see the body language of the players before they walked out and how it remained once the whistle blew?

      These are very worrying times and it's about time all concerned stopped dismissing it as a mere bad patch or a blip, or a slump and looked at the problem seriously.

  2. Sums it up perfectly – I have supported Spurs for over 50 years, but yesterdays performance s one of the worst that I have seen.
    Wrong selection from a Manager that doesn't know what he is doing – total lack of commitment from many of the players!!.

    I was lucky enough to see the 1961 team – Billy Nicholson must be turning in his grave to see the current shower.

    This lot are a disgrace – but I believe that the fault lies with ENIC and Levy – sold Bale and then allowed the Comedy King – Baldini to waste the money – where is he now !!! – Is he really still on our books and why are we still paying him !!!.

    Levy must go, along with Baldini, Sherwood and the rest of the gutless crew.

    We once had a Club that I was SOooooooo Proud of – I want it back !!!!!

  3. I remember people saying AVB had to go because the defeats to City and Liverpool were 'embarrassing'. Not such a smart move after all was it?

  4. I agree, the line-up was bad against Liverpool. Sherwood is to be blamed for this. I also blame the players for their apathy unlike Liverpool who were highly motivated and determined. Perhaps, we have a glimmer of hope now for a fourth or fifth position if only we can win all our remaining six matches. Herein lies the challenge…

  5. We've tried changing the manager – it didn't work.
    We've tried changing the players – it didn't work.
    Let's try changing the chairman – it might just work.

    • "IF" we have to go to those lengths I'd go one step further and change the owners.

      Another chairman would be faced with the same problems that Levy faces, how to get a club that is NOT bankrolled by billionaires where money is no obstacle, competing consistently with clubs that ARE bankrolled by billionaires where money is no obstacle.

      • we do have a Billionaire in charge and to be honest his net spend is 700k a season, so if we are talking honesty we may as well have Noel Edmonds in charge, he probably has a bit more cash at his disposal.

  6. Tim sherwood is just too inexperienced to be manager. So so stubborn. Insists on playing erikson in wrong position, insists on playing lennon, chadli, bentaleb and naughton. Can’t blame lev y or enic. They spent just as much as chelsea/man city and more than man u, arsenal and liverpool. Manager had a large pool but he’s so stubborn.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.