Opinion: Echoes of Glory

Nuno Espirito Santo
Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

The great Bill Nicholson once famously said “even failure will have in it echoes of glory.”

Yesterday this couldn’t have been any further from the truth. If there were any echoes they were so faint that were drowned out by the boos reverberating around the ground.

Rather than being captivated by the football on offer, fans were instead looking at their watch to work out an acceptable time to leave the ground and start their journey home. Such was the apathy I suspect there were more people out than in come the final whistle.

I understand the need for a rebuild but at the moment it feels like a demolition is needed rather than a redecorate. For a team that reached the Champions League final the rebuild should have managed gradually – it wasn’t – the blame for this must rest with the Levy and the Board.

Spurs have been beaten 3-0 at home by a team humiliated by Liverpool the week before. Sadly this shows how far we have fallen. A few years ago we were shoulder to shoulder with Liverpool, arguably ahead of them……..

To compound the misery London rivals Arsenal and West Ham are fast becoming everything that Spurs were and aspire to be again.  This will only heap pressure on the board and the manager to turn things around quickly.

In Arsenal’s case, they are now 2 months unbeaten having kept faith with a Manager they actually wanted and backed a set of young and hungry young players to come good.  This shows that Football changes very quickly and Arsenal fans were in despair as recently as the start of the season following the Brentford defeat.

With this in mind maybe its not quite time to hit the panic button yet, but levy’s hand must be hovering over it.

The difference between Nuno and Arteta is that I’m not sure Spurs really wanted Nuno as a first choice and appeared to be way down the list of candidates.  This is never good for any relationship and when the chips are down will always be exaggerated.

As I have covered before, my view is that Nuno’s backroom staff seem short in terms of number and experience. It looks a lonely place for the Portuguese coach both figuratively and literally at the moment.

I like to try to be balanced when covering matches but yesterday was turgid viewing.

The players seemed to start the game with more intensity than in recent weeks and arguably it may have been different if Romero’s goal hadn’t been disallowed for offside during the first half. However once Manchester United scored it didn’t feel like Spurs would ever get back in the game such is their lack of creativity these days.

Unless the plan is to have as few shots as possible, frankly there doesn’t seem to be a plan. Even the ability to spring forward on the counter (one bright spot from the Mourinho era) doesn’t seem to be there.

There were some strange decisions by Nuno yesterday which didn’t help the fans’ mood. The selection of Davies and Lo Celso over Regulion and Ndombele may have been explainable. Davies is viewed as more defensive than Reguilon and can sit deep alongside the centre-backs while Lo Celso is pulling up trees for Argentina.

But sadly Davies gave Ronaldo way too much space to volley in the first goal and Lo Celso continues to look like the puzzle no Spurs manager can solve.

The substitution of Lucas Moura (presuming no injury) was baffling and 60-odd thousand Spurs fans wasted no time in voicing their opinion. The Brazilian has been our only genuine threat over the last few weeks and always seems to be playing for the shirt.

I know that players always become better players when not playing or leave, but boy do we miss Lamela’s combative nature. Time will tell if this transfer deal was well structured….

This brings us to Harry Kane. I will be honest and say I am running out of excuses for him now.  The whole summer saga has clearly destabilised the whole squad and is clearly taking its toll on Harry himself.  It appears there is now an instruction not to play too deep.  Without this in his game, he looks horribly isolated.

One incident yesterday appeared to sum up Kane’s contribution for me. Royal played a cross into the near post and rather than attack the ball Kane was loitering at the far post and the ball dropped into no man’s land.

A spell on the bench with Son at centre-forward (as was the case for the start of the season) may help the team and player.

Ronaldo and Cavani were world-class yesterday.  If you asked me which forward line was carrying a combined age of 70 I wouldn’t have picked Manchester United pair…..

The great Keith Burkinshaw once famously said “there used to be a football club over there” and while Tottenham Hotspur the ‘brand’ is flying the football side is plummeting and needs to improve quickly.

As is football we have two games this week to right the wrongs.  Fingers crossed that we see some ‘dare’ and some ‘do’. COYS

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