In Focus – Tottenham’s Champions League date keeps them in third gear against West Ham

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Tottenham Hotspur lost their first game in the new stadium today, against none other than arch-rivals West Ham. Before this point, Spurs had won four out of four, scoring eight, and conceding zero.

However, from minute one against the Hammers, it became clear that Tottenham were not going to accelerate out of third gear.

It seemed as if the game plan was the win the game at a canter, without expending energy or risking injury, or not win the game at all.

Unfortunately for Spurs, the latter rang true, as the West Ham side proved to be far more up for the game than the Tottenham XI.

Spurs can hardly complain, as the effort simply wasn’t there from the boys. You can understand why they would be reluctant to burn themselves out or pick up a knock ahead of Tottenham’s biggest game in recent history.

With Ajax in the Champions League semi final on Tuesday, it begs the question why Pochettino didn’t just field a team of subs and youngsters who would have at the very least been willing to run their socks off, fight, and prove a point.

A wasted chance to lock up the top four race this season, piling on more pressure for the away match to Bournemouth and the home game against Everton.

Spurs are still in pole position to qualify for the Champions League spots next season, but they are making the job far harder for themselves.

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