After being comfortable with a 2-0 lead at half-time, Spurs allowed West Ham back in the tie, and in 15 crazy minutes during the second half, West Ham scored 3 goals!
I won’t re-hash all the details of the goals, but instead, I would like to say what I saw as the main contribution to the huge turnaround in this match.
Despite Spurs being 2-0, and West Ham giving them acres of space, whilst they never really threaten our goal, Spurs were content to just slowly amble about, playing predictable passes, instead of upping the tempo, and killing-off the tie in the first half, in a word ‘complacency’ set in.
Unfortunately without either of their natural captains on the field, of Hugo Lloris or Harry Kane, there was no one there to keep the discipline and at least give them a shake, as the game started to rapidly slip away from them.
The players I was most disappointed in were, Fernando Llorente, who apart from his nice flick-on which led to the first Spurs goal, was so off the pace, he couldn’t find any space, was constantly marked, and more often than not misread passes coming his way. The worst example was a great cross from the left from Moussa Sissoko, it was whipped in between the West Ham keeper & their last defender, but Lorente didn’t position himself well, & didn’t make any attempt to reach the ball. He doesn’t even look fit to me!
Danny Rose, of course, was back after a long absence due to injury, but most of his passes were poor, as was the majority of his game.
It was, of course, a team made up of several players not use to playing together, which was plain to see with West Ham’s first goal, and the young Juan Foyth, kept their forwards onside, when he didn’t move up with the rest of the Spurs back – line.
To lose as they did is a disappointment of course, but it will at least bring the players back down to earth, and teach them not to get complacent, to go for three or four goals, before they ‘take their foot off the pedal’. For some of the players who don’ t always feature regularly, but who played tonight, it will show them they are not good enough yet, despite what they may have thought about deserving to be in the first team. This applies to some fans, who often write in suggesting Pochettino should play this guy or that, for him it was a real headache of a game, with team selection, before the next two massive games ahead.
He tried to mix the regular first-team players, with ‘New-bloods’, not wanting to overexert regular team members in this kind of game. It almost paid off, but hey, there are much more important games and trophies for THIS current Spurs side, to go for this season, and we’ll need as many of the squad to be rested and injury free, so being in one less competition is not bad, just the way in which we were knocked out of it was a huge disappointment.
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