Will Poch Make It to Christmas? Should He?

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Words fail me. Emotions take over in these situations. To see a supposedly top level side go from a winning position to an ignominious embarrassing defeat in fewer than 10 minutes—a far worse result than what happened against Italian competition last season—and to realise that in all likelihood we are doomed to the Europa League and may have to struggle to do even that much for next season—well, the conclusions aren’t hard to reach.

This is not a good team. Not a tough team. Not a team with character. Not an intelligent team. A better team would either have finished Inter off with a killing second goal or tightened up the defence so much that they couldn’t score. Or even after Icardi’s Wanyama like pile driver would have held on for the draw and know they had gained more than lost.

That isn’t this team. This team flits around for 40 minutes in the first half as if their attacking players had never played together before when the truth is they’ve been teammates for three or four years. This team has a supposedly world class striker who disappears for lengthy periods, then emerges with the ball in perfect position to score and fumbles it beyond the touch line. This team has a holding midfield that can barely hold and can’t advance without (that means you, Eric Dier) threatening to give the ball away. And when it counts—on free kicks—this team cannot defend.


Eriksen made a brilliant play for a somewhat fortunate goal. Lucas pressed hard for the clincher, but one man can’t do it alone. I can’t point to one defender—or Vorm—and blame them for the goals—it was a collective failure by a team that is bereft of confidence. And why should they be confident? they’ve blown games like this before. They are missing their drunkard of a captain—thigh injury or whatever—who took the best moment of glory any of them will ever reach and deposited it amidst his vomit on a London street. They have a stadium fast becoming a laughing stock—can’t wait for those Qarabag fixtures, mate. They have a transfer policy whose virtues were always forced and faults have been laid bare for all to see.

Harry Winks is a nice lad. But with the game level and with the ball in open space approaching Inter’s box he had no more clue about what to do than I would have—and not a lot more ability to make something happen. For forty minutes they pressed us better than we pressed them. For 20 minutes we actually played like the team that got two results against the best team in the world a year ago. But that was a mirage—for this team isn’t that team. With more away fixtures and home games in the next five weeks against Barcelona and Manchester City, it is not hard to imagine a season whit ambition basically shot before Thanksgiving. Can we run with Chelsea or what Mourinho will make of United, let alone Liverpool or City?

Poch said “be brave”. Who has been since? Levy? Lloris? Kane? Poch himself? This team is a shambles. Whether he is fully or partly responsible, Levy will soon do what all bosses do—cut his losses. I’m not sure Pochettino will make it to the new ground, let alone the holidays. It is a sad situation. It won’t get better anytime soon. I fear for the worst.

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  1. Actually Kane had a good game. Held the ball up well. Missed a good chance. All strikers miss good chances. The Icardi goal was a fluke, just like Wanyama’s last season. 9 times out of 10 it goes over the bar. We didn’t defend the 2nd goal well. Shame that Kane went off, because he’s good in defence. Winks & Moura are midgets. Moura played well when he came on, but didn’t cover himself in glory defending that 2nd goal.

  2. The author of this article is basing it on hindsight. Inter were lucky. Spurs were the better team. They lost; just one of those things. It happens in football. Get over it!

  3. It isn’t just about the loss tonight-this goes back much further. It is becoming clearer by the game that this team is in decline while all major rivals have invested in players and are simply improving. There is a lack of confidence which starts at the top with Poch who is becoming less coherent with each presser and seems to be more tetchy too. I think Poch is under pressure which is a shame because Levy will do what he always has done and one of our better managers will go-but maybe later than predicted in this article. Tonight I thought we were the better team but still not good enough to beat a very average Inter Milan side. Poor performances from several players didn’t help-Son, Kane, Dier and Davies. Poch bringing Winks on for Lamella was a bit strange but not as suspect as leaving Tobes and Tripps behind!

  4. Words fail me. Emotions take over. Call yourself a fan? Get a grip. Get behind your team. Get behind your manager. We were unlucky today. Calling for the manager’s head and slagging every player off isn’t going to get us anywhere. If you’re that pessimistic keep it to yourself.

  5. Hopefully worst (vs Liverpool) is over. Much better performance vs one of big Italian team. Still shaky defense and unlucky. Not criticizing Vorm but is he jinxed? Coys

  6. Lazy journalism, preferring the cheap shot to analysis that takes a bit more effort. Spurs were unlucky to lose and yes confidence seems low. Teams do not be one bad overnight, the whole squad looks jaded. The team is very reliant on Kane, for whom I feel sorry. He has not been right since the ankle injury in March. He was allowed back too soon and he was never right for the World Cup. He is now running on empty with his confidence and touch missing. His yard of pace is not there. He needs a long rest, a month or so and Spurs need to trust in Llorente-or what’s the point of having him. We need to play a slightly different way as we have become too predictable. I have sympathy for Poch who knew that he needed a stronger squad and was let down by Levy. Levy gambled with the stadium and lost, showing a worrying lack of leadership and judgement.
    All that said, Poch has to dig deep and get us through this.
    Lloris is down and does not need a good kicking.
    As for us fans, I think expectations need to be scaled down, Poch knows the team needs refreshing and a certain level of overhaul, overwhelmingly what is needed is a real team leader which probably means we have to buy at least one mature experienced player, already proven and with limited sell on value- Ie against Levy’s model but so be it. It also seems clear that the loss of more than one key figure behind the scenes at Tottenham have left them weakened and Poch exposed.

  7. I watched from 12000 miles away the shambles against Liverpool, and with great restraint my TV is still intact but Jim Baglin made pertinent comments along the lines of (I can’t believe that I am watching spurs who last year were inventive, well drilled and a pleasure to watch, and I can’t believe that these are same players).
    Being cynical in my old age and having heard of Mr. Levy not suffering for long, I just wonder if certain European clubs might have had a few words to say, and Poch is trying to get him so riles that “there’s the door) is the next conversation, and hello RM ?
    But I have never heard of a Manager saying in open press about the TEAM that HE is running (we aren’t serious competitors” The Manager of my grandsons under 15s would know that if you want to rev a team, and this one certainly needs something you DON’T tell em that they aren’t good enough


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