Before the Champions League final, it was taken for granted that Lucas Moura would start (after his performance against Ajax). On the morning of the final (in my opinion) the players were taken aback to find that Kane would be starting (previously he had been out because of injury) and that Moura would be on the bench. This confusion/ promise and change of heart likely rattled the players. But the rot was setting in further back than even that. Unrest in the dressing and confusion with Pochettino’s tactics didn’t help either.
In the summer Pochettino came out with weird statements (such as; he is no longer the manager, but a coach (The Sun), and then this season, rumours bust-ups, players turning up in a particular manner and fisty-cuffs (The Sun). Splits in the camp, and overtraining that is not going down well. On top of all that, players wanting to leave, injuries and no extra new blood. All this has damped spirits and heads dropping like flies.
We have just won three of our past 12 Premier League games (W3, D4, L5), keeping only one clean sheet. We’ve also conceded in the opening 10 minutes of consecutive Premier League games for the first time since November 2014, when we did so against Stoke City and Hull City.
We made seven changes to the starting XI of our match against Watford – the most between two Premier League games in a season in Premier League history.
Our under fire manager made seven changes from the 3-0 defeat by Brighton before the international break, but his substitutions during the game effectively reversed three of them.
Son came on at half-time as we abandoned a wing-back formation and he was our star man. He almost levelled four minutes after coming on, as he ran onto Alli’s pass before blasting a shot off the crossbar. It looked as if Watford keeper Foster got a touch, although the referee awarded a throw-in to the Hornets.
We were regularly opened up at the back and only managed two shots on target, both from Alli – who was making his first Premier League start of the season, following injury.
After our terrible Saturday game, we now host Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday before visiting unbeaten leaders Liverpool in the Premier League next Sunday. I can’t see any prospects of improvement here. The talk amongst the fans, in the papers and closer to home, is about Pochettino giving way to Jose Mourinho. And as every game passes that speculation gets stronger (talkSPORT).
If we don’t get something out of the next three games, then I can see the players and fans sinking into depression, where it would be harder to pull out from. And once the supporters start showing their anger, then things could spiral down to a point of no return.
The bigger question is; what will the Tottenham board do about it? Sit, wait and hope or start thinking about the compensation they will have to pay out for sacking Pochettino?
Pochettino’s tactics – changing the team – is showing that he is panicking. The players look confused and fed up. In the summer, quite a few players went to see him and asked to leave. On top of all that, players refusing to sign new contracts, thinking of glories away from Tottenham. It won’t be long before Kane’s mind starts turning.
Jose Mourinho is free, can we do any worse? Or do we just sit out the storm, hoping that sunnier days are ahead (in winter!). Then there is Christmas, and Santa always brings a sack full of goodies… or maybe just the sack!
I overhead one Tottenham supporter say “death is much quicker, and then the mind is blank after that. Probably a far better place to be than being a supporter of Spurs”. Not my thoughts, as I’ve seen some abysmal crap in my time, but we always come out of that tunnel, eventually! In the case of 1977, that tunnel led to the Second Division, back up to a few baron years of the First Division, followed by our capture of two Argentinians (no, not the Falkland War, that came later) and eventually trophies.
Are things any different to those days? Yes, we have the state of the art stadium, but we do need a state of the art team to go with it. At the moment just the stadium sits alone, and we don’t want that stadium turning into a beautiful abandoned hollow shell. Where people just admire the bones of what could have been.
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