We can beat Dortmund, but surely not Burnley and Southampton. I guess the players started thinking about that holiday in Catalonia a little early, for that was simply put one of the worst halves of football in this or any era. Simply disgraceful. Disheartening. Unprofessional. I simply run out of words. From the opening whistle of the second half it was clear that the Saints had a purpose and equally clear that Spurs did not. Sure Kane had one good chance and Dele tried a couple of times to get him through, and Lucas ran around as he usually does to little effect, but we were toothless. The real question was whether a defense without Alderweireld and with an untested Walker-Peters would be able to hold the lead.
The answer was as emphatic as the FA’s decision to ban Pochettino from the touchline for two games. Kyle Walker-Peters was an embarrassment, probably proving he has no future with this club, beaten time and time again, most vividly on the set-up to the first goal. Then he could easily have been sent off for the foul that preceded Walker-Prowse’s free kick winner (as could Sissoko later, but at least the Frenchman was standing up to Redmond’s antics) but no matter—the game was lost. Davinson Sanchez had a horrific half as well, a passenger on the cross that found Valery for the easy strike, as was Rose as well. It was as if they had fallen asleep in front of Lloris for some bizarre reason. And on those mistakes a season changed and perhaps a coaching era came crumbling down, with perhaps the only salvation now a long-shot bid to win in Europe.
It will be three weeks before we see these players again—at least in Spurs shirts. I would think there will be some serious examination of just what they are in the meantime, for it will be a game at Anfield that will serve as their return, with the distinct possibility of having already fallen out of the Top Four by then. But to be fair, given how Manchester United are playing, and Arsenal’s easy run of fixtures after their game v the Red Devils tomorrow, I can’t see this Spurs side recovering in time to secure a Top Four placement that appeared nearly a guarantee just two weeks ago.
For most of the second half, it appeared that Southampton’s attackers were constantly in space while ours were hemmed in as they had been for much of the previous league games, stuck in 1 v 3 situations with little notion of what to do next. Christian Eriksen is simply a shadow of his former self—I would welcome his exit except I am now beginning to wonder just how high the price tag will be. Lucas offered pace but little else. Dele was rusty in his return though he at least had some imagination of how to proceed. Dier played—and did what else now? Son was as weak when he came on late as he had been the three previous games. Sissoko per usual seemed the only player on the pitch fighting for the ball and trying to secure possession.
Why no Aurier ? Was he injured? Surely Kyle Walker-Peters has played his last game for Tottenham. He almost cost his team advancement in the Group Stage because of a horrible mistake. Yesterday, he may have cost it a return to that competition. Now I guess we find out just how good a coach Mauricio Pochettino is—this team is in deep trouble.
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