Disgraceful defending and the Europa League beckons

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

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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  1. It’s very easy to blame a young man like walker Peters however there were and have been a lot of more experienced players hiding of late. Like you said eriksen the great dane my Yorkshire terrier puts up a better fight, he hides in far too many games then pops up with a couple of good games and goals. In a way he is a bit like defoe who used to score for three or four games then nothing for another four. Then we have Dier well his name says a lot about how he plays. Terrible player who offers nothing. Rose when he was not falling over he is long past being an embarrassment to the club and football. Kane does not miss either. He is on a drive not to help us win anything but to score more goals. He is becoming Ronaldo all about him and not the team. He needs to learn to pass the bloody ball. As for the coach well he looks like he has no ideas but plenty of excuses. Tired, not mature enough, not focused. Maybe he needs to step up and take the blame a bit as it’s him and his team who teach these guys.

  2. Bad defending has cost us points especially at set pieces. However there is a second and very disturbing factor..lack of common or footballing sense. Rose, Aurier and Sanchez seem to have no sense of footballing nouse and lack any kind of common sense. Roses`s dummy in his own box..dummy doing a dummy. Sanchez challenge which lead to the Arsenal goal..and well Aurier just generally wandering around. You couple this will Eric, lets see how soon i can get booked, Lamella and well there you have the points draining away. Bit tough on Walker Peters he`s young and earning and would expect a game against S`ton would be ideal for him to learn. First half we looked back to our best, flowing attacking football. Second half after the Harry miss it all went pear shaped. Rose gave them a goal and we then panicked.

  3. Agreed that in the emotional aftermath I was too harsh on KWP. Now what, Poch? He blasted his side afterwards– and now they go to Barcelona to rediscover themselves? Final two months will be interesting– I hope my pessimism is misguided.

  4. Agreed there have been some disgraceful performances of late. No excuses for letting the game get away at Southampton. Harry and others failing to find the net with chance after chance. No real pressure when it was needed. Erickson has been missing for the last half a dozen games. Obviously
    Dreaming of a new career in Spain with. Bumper pay packets. Cannot blame kids like KWP, he is still
    learning. Porch is faced with having to put kids into games they barely belong in. Son, Lamela, Rose,
    Dire all way off the boil. Reason is – too many games and barely any rest time for our depleted forces. Blame lies clearly at the feet of Levy who chose a massively expensive building project over
    Strengthening the team. No reserves of talent capable of playing at a sufficiently high level and the result is the mess we find ourselves in. We are not Man City with a limitless supply of cash to buy top rated talent season after season. We chose to increase our real estate holdings over the team that provides the customers the entertainment. As some of us expected we are now reaping the rewards. The team should have been hugely upgraded before embarking on a mega real estate project.


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