Crises in North London

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​Yes, it could be worse. We could be them. They are pure crap. We are simply crap with a hint of quality. But, on the other hand, they have an old manager who everyone knows should have left the building years ago. We are supposed to be the ones with everything in front of them. But I suppose when you have Kieran Trippier in the lineup, everything will never be in front of you.

​Let me start at the beginning. The first half was poor. Not catastrophic, just poor. But for Kane’s mangled attempt to shoot directly in front of Heaton, Spurs could not manage a shot on net despite lording the possession. It was a familiar pattern—Davies and Trippier lack the pace to break down the defence on the flanks; the opposition packs the middle and if our attackers—in this case Eriksen and Son were particularly guilty—cannot manage a proper linkup, frustration will ensue. Robbie Brady’s cross turned shot and a couple of Burnley headers from corners were better chances than anything Spurs produced but for the Kane debacle.

​In the second half, our team showed up and Dele’s goal was a deserved and unsurprising result. More vexing was the twenty minutes that followed, where Kane missed a wide open net, was turned away by a Heaton fingertip, Eriksen (from Sissoko) was also just barely denied by the Claret keeper, and then both Dele and Kane shot right at Heaton when two feet to either side produces the clincher. And then in typical Spurs’ fashion from years gone by, we waited around for Burnley to equalise. In the final ten minutes before Wood’s goal Spurs seemed either content or too spent to do anything other than watch Lloris make a goal kick, Burnley recover possession, and then start to defend. And repeat the cycle. And here’s where Pochettino deserves some of the blame. I’m all for continuing to press to score the second goal. To a point. At some stage, when a side realizes that maybe it’s simply not their day for multiple goals, you have to tighten up and deny the opposition. Instead, first Robbie Brady (Lloris with his best save of the day) and then Wood (after lulling Spurs to sleep with at least four (or was it five?) offsides violations in his 25 minutes on the pitch) were left alone in a dangerous position. On the latter (Kyle: “who’s laughing now?”), Kieran Trippier was stuck ten yards up field doing nothing to prevent the one thing he should have prevented—an open attacker down his side of the pitch. At least Walker might have had the energy and pace to recover and perhaps distract Wood enough to give Hugo a chance. Serge Aurier can’t come too soon.

The sad truth about today was not only that Kane missed multiple scoring chances but Moussa Sissoko did more to create opportunities in his twenty minutes than Eriksen or Son did for their entire time on the pitch. Spurs failed to get control of this game; and then they bottled it at the end. Poch will blame his team—as he should—and of course it is not the ground. But he needs to look in the mirror as well—it’s been three plus years for him to instill the proper discipline and effort to shut a game down. Would Mourinho have so blithely allowed an equalizer, particularly after the scare from Brady just five minutes earlier?

​It is not premature to label the first two games after the international break as absolutely crucial for this season. Poch laid down the markers—the only two trophies that matter are the league title and the Champions League. Lose at Goodison and fail to win v Dortmund at Wembley and only a fool would fancy Spurs’ chances to compete on either front beyond November. Both Manchester sides, Chelsea and probably Liverpool are clearly ahead of us now—we don’t have the luxury of waiting a month or two to catch up.

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Paul is a respected U.S. political pollster (Democrat) based in Madison, Wisconsin and Los Angeles. His love for Spurs began when the Premier League games started appearing regularly in the U.S. and an American lover of football had to choose a side. Bale, Rushdie, Adele, Shakespeare, the Spurs faithful, The Lane, etc. were all irresistible attractions and have made Maslin a Spur for life.


  1. Absolute garbage. Too slow get crowdedicated. Lack power imagination and determination. I finally admit after 50 years of passion spurs are no longer a big team and will never win the smallest lousy trophy ever. It is a passing ground for players who will earn stars elsewhere.

    The manager never got off his backside to tell the players off to push for goals. It’s about scoring and not pussy footing

  2. I am sorry to say that Poch made a tactical mistake. It was no use bringing on Sanchez *after* the Burnley goal (92 minutes). He should have come on for the last twenty minutes or so. Fresh legs, fresh face, keen, etc.

  3. Finally some sense! We lacked in every position today it was so clear! We lack pace big time and we lack a plan B.

    We should of held out for a draw against Chelsea and won today.

    Sanchez and Winks should of come on for Son and Trippier and settled for a 1-0

  4. We are not good enough to break teams down and finish them off and i believe we lack creativity up front and lack any real game changer in the side or from the bench and too much is on Kane's shoulders to carry us through, we concede stupid late goals like last week and this week we don't seem to learn from our mistakes, i think we needed to get all our players in before the season started and now it has cost us like previous seasons, for a club of our stature our bench is nowhere near good enough including 2 academy players!!! our squad depth is paper thin, we need a striker, right back, a bit of pace in the side and some more creativity up front as we know teams with just defend against us, not good enough really, im really pissed off.

  5. Perhaps a little OTT in your overall analysis, remember we started pretty slowly last year also but finished with some distinct applomb! That said I get the concern, I've felt it all summer long. Given the position we put ourselves in by finishing runners up, logic dictated that we went out early and strengthen all round with notable experience. This was always going to be a massive year for so many reasons, but thus far I think Levy has fallen dramatically short in this aspect. And whilst others around us have busied themselves strengthening significantly and convincingly, Spurs transfer dealings opposingly to me seem somewhat pallid by comparison. Today's game emphasised further how critically dangerous it is to rely on a limited 1st eleven that leaves us so precariously one dimensional in options and game plans and overall squad depth. It really is that simple, and this failure for me is the continuing reason why we fall short in the trophy department. If ever that old adage about a Leopard not changing its spots is fitting, then it has to applied to the way Dan Levy operates, and if he continues in this very vein then we seem destined to keep falling short.

  6. Finished with aplomb yes we did at WHL. We finished where we did because of our home form! Unbeaten all season our first “home” game this season we conceded to easily

  7. A pathetic performance by management not the team.How on earth that Lewis receives the plaudits is beyond me.Burnley had a second ,alternative striker,we did not and that is why we lost 2 points.Well done Burnley you showed what we lacked,,,,,,,,BALLS

  8. The total incompetence at the end of the game was mind blowing. Poch. is to blame as much as anyone. Trippier clearly doesn't have the intelligence to work it out himself. One nil up with a few minutes ago and your right back is repeatedly stranded up field as your opponent hits long balls forward. Unbelievable!!

  9. 3 games in it could be worse. TTID! Lets get past deadline day, potentially have 3 fresh faces in and then we can judge our progress in the Dortmund game. This season was always going to be hard at wembley lets not kid ourselves it would be difficult for any team.


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