Spurs Go From The Ridiculous To The Even More Ridiculous

First minute, bottom of the table Leicester attack down Spurs’ left. Walker is out-paced but despite the fact that the attacker is offside, launches himself off the ground, man and ball go flying. The only casualty is Hugo Lloris, our best player and mainstay of a shaky defence, who is stretchered off with what looks like a serious leg injury. Probably performing a public service – unchecked Walker would have taken out the entire front row of the Paxton, such was his velocity. From the restart, Spurs give the ball straight to opponents. Cue goalmouth scramble which we eventually clear. This week Eriksen claimed in an interview not to know what ‘Spursy’ meant. You do now, my Danish friend, you do now.

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This bizarre opening set the tone for a match that was genuinely extraordinary, and not in a good way. The sort of match where your full-back putting your keeper in hospital wasn’t the strangest thing that happened. That honour could fall to any one of several players and events, but the most peculiar thing was that we won.

Parts of the match were average Spurs, flashes of brilliance from Eriksen, effort from Rose and a close-range tap-in for Kane, amid the familiar stuttering, lack of fluency and inability to keep possession against teams below us in the league. Parts were jaw-droppingly crass stupidity, levels of mindlessness surpassed only by a steely determination to at all costs throw away a two-goal lead. Twice. Tactics be damned, mistakes I can live with, goodness knows I’m used to that by now. This is about one thing – how can professional footballers possibly be so witless?

On two or three occasions we passed free-kicks in the Leicester half backwards. Seconds later they had the ball and bore down on goal, scoring from one such gifted opportunity. Instead of being two up and coasting, we were straight away under pressure. Walker allowed Vardy inside him repeatedly by getting caught under the ball. Like others, the Foxes targeted our vulnerable right side. I have no idea where Townsend was, which sums up his afternoon in fact.

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I’ve criticised Nacer Chadli since he came to the club. He’s the sort of player I don’t like, hugely talented but not prepared to work for the right to play. When he does put the hard yards in, as against Chelsea, he gets results. Yesterday he had a nightmare worse than the Omen, Exorcist and Chucky rolled into one. He whacked two great chances over the bar, an open goal in the first half after Eriksen’s superb run across the box, quality out of character with the game, ended with his shot hitting the post and rebounding to the Belgian, the other at the far post from Dier’s perfect cross.

In between, his performance was a series of calamities, all of which he brought on himself. The worst? First half, put through, he ended up doing the worst dive since my belly flop from the ten metre board at Crystal Palace in 1981 (I swear it still hurts…). Second half was when I confess I lost it. No danger, until he tried to shepherd a ball out of play that was never going to go out of play unless he kicked it. He didn’t and Leicester nearly scored or had a penalty or nearly had him sent off as he had already been booked. We were winning at the time but our Nacer wasn’t having any of it. Miraculously he stayed on the pitch until the final whistle. He must have some dirt on Pochettino, that can be the only reason.

We won. I have no rational explanation for this. Before kick-off a friend of mine told me she would cut out the swearing as another pal was bringing her young niece. She could not have possibly kept that promise, watching a game like this one.

All over the place and two up after a quarter of an hour. Do you get it now, Christian? Dier improvised a poor low near-post corner with a clever flick. The keeper pushed it obligingly onto Kane’s foot, then for the second Kane’s shot was massively deflected, and in. Some neat football with Eriksen’s clever passing and Kane’s willing running was soon forgotten as we let Leicester back into the game. Time and again we gave the ball away. Rose played well, getting into the box from deep and just before half-time making a goal-saving tackle.

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Rather than signalling a resurgence, the second half became more farcical as time went on. Spurs are not a big side. At set pieces Bentaleb had been marking Morgan, one of the three Easter Island statues Leicester play at centre-half. He surged past the Algerian to thump an equalizer home.

It looked as if we had thrown this one away – no idea how to score. In fact, make that no idea. Then we got lucky, frankly not for the first time this season. Rose went down and the ref gave a dubious penalty. Kane converted confidently, no rebounds this time, for his hat-trick. Sincere congratulations, where would we have been without him this season? And because I care about you, H, some advice. If you know what’s good for you, don’t remember anything apart from the goals in heinous sin of a performance.

When you’re down, you’re down. As if Leicester needed reminding of this, Eriksen’s shot was blocked by the keeper but the rebound hit an onrushing defender who despairingly tried to scoop the ball off the line, and failed.

We won. I’m still not sure how. Two goals to the good again with a few minutes to go is not enough for us. Some sides would close it down but we allow an aimless long-ball to destroy our defence. Vertonghen got under it, round it, over it, everything except defending it. Nugent scored but we managed to play out time, only after another goal-saving last-ditch challenge, this time from Vertonghen.

The flaws of the squad, mental as well as in terms of talent, laid bare. Eriksen and Mason had little impact on the second half. Townsend was hooked again after contributing nothing. I like the fact Pochettino gives players a chance but you wonder why he regularly picks Andros and then substitutes him.

We won, I don’t know how but I’m grateful. This could be the worst I have ever seen Spurs play and win. Certainly the worst where we have scored four goals.

So much wrong with this performance but I’ll end by singling out just one point. The lack of on-field leadership is becoming glaringly obvious. Young players learn resilience over time. They are made of the right stuff – Mason, Kane, Dier and Bentaleb are all fearless and willing to take responsibility. However, they need some guidance and it won’t come from the current squad. After his error, Vertonghen gave that silly half-shrug he does as he chuntered on to the other players. Can’t even shrug properly. He is the experienced player, an international and World Cup player. Older maybe but not wiser. He’s not willing to step up. Worse in my mind than making a defensive error.

50 thoughts on “Spurs Go From The Ridiculous To The Even More Ridiculous

  1. Must be first, Alan, to post here! Great, before all the dark clouds and lamentations come raining down, and we rant and rave and throw dirt on our faces like some modern day “elders of the Daughters of Zion.” I’m laughing already at the self-recriminations. Other, bigger teams play as crappy as we do, and win. Cheatski did today, like Courtois’ generous gift and Ivanovic doing a Walker “statue of liberty” and just standing there, etc. Anyway, I think, after many years of support, it has served me to develop a more phlegmatic reaction to the travails of our Spurs, with a dash of Shakespeare thrown in: “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player/That struts and frets his (90 minutes) upon the stage/And then is heard no more. It is a tale/Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury/Signifying nothing…” Well, just about, eh?! 😉

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    • Tottenham On My Mind is indeed a tale told by an idiot 😉

      I can’t see the resilience that gets other teams through a game like this. However, in the second half of the season the players have been well-motivated and committed. They were on Saturday, it’s just that they did not have the experience to settle down and play through the problems. It will come, I’m sure, but we had some astonishingly bad moments! I suspect the players were pretty shocked at what certain of their team-mates were doing – or not doing.

      Regards, Al

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  2. Not sure what to make of the game yesterday. We were 3-2 up and I knew it wouldn’t be enough. When we got 4 I thought we could do with another one, just to be sure. And this is against a team at the bottom of the table.

    It wasn’t just about our howlers, though more of those later. Leicester played well, I thought. They were no push-overs and they had more than spirit (though they had plenty of that.) If they go down they should be straight back up again if they can keep that team together. Didn’t they put 5 past ManU earlier in the season?

    As for us, our defensive weaknesses might as well have been advertised all along the High Road they were so obvious. Walker is having a ‘mare at the moment. Dier is a prospect learning the game in the Premier League. Who knows what’s going on with JV at the moment. He should be stepping up and showing some leadership. But he has gone missing, though still able to pull a few rabbits out of the hat now and then. There was a breathtakingly good tackle late in the game, though I can’t remember against who. Danny Rose had a pretty good game yesterday.

    Chadli is an archetypal Spurs player – plenty of talent but can go missing and look like he couldn’t care less. If he had put those two sitters away a 6-3 win wouldn’t have led to so much anguish.

    We need another right back to put some pressure on Walker for his place, like Davies has done with Rose. And some serious experience and leadership out there on the pitch. A centre half, a defensive midfielder and a striker to bring the young players on.

    Whatever happened to Fazio and Stambouli? Both run like fridges but they have some presence and a certain grit about them. Give them a run – though there is probably a fear that dropping JV will lead to him going in the summer. Maybe that wouldn’t be as huge a loss as we feared a year or so ago. If he is fit I’d put Lamela in for the rest of the season instead of Townsend. His ability to find the nearest opposition player to run into is infuriating but he at least has a tackle on him.

    Hopefully Hugo and Eriksen will stay. There is a good team in there – and we are certainly scoring goals. We just need to learn keep the back door closed. And see out games comfortably.

    As for the moaners begrudging Kane his hat-trick, I bet Soldado would be glad of a tap-in, a deflection and a penalty. Any striker would. It’s ridiculous to have a go at him for that. Kane is a real find that few of us saw coming. The Prem’s highest goalscorer and he has only been in the team since November. Let’s just enjoy it.

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    • Overall, well said, Russell, I was expecting a whole lot of moans by everyone. Cheatski’s D gifted Hull two goals today. Madrid’s D did a Spurs at a set piece, allowing an opposition player to head unimpeded. All teams do it, even the one’s at the top of their leagues. Apparently, MoPo did a Sherwood (albeit a water bottle toss not a gilet) when they scored their third. For a tough WC defender as he was, it must be galling for him but it’s not just the D, I think it starts up front when the flank players (Townsend and Chadli) don’t track back, leaving the FBs (who might also go for the occasional walkabout) exposed, the CMs try to go over to cover the space, leaving the CBs also exposed. And so it goes. But we do have the youngest squad to play in Premiership history, another year with MoPo and hopefully some support by Mr. Levy, and some excellent due diligence by Mitchell looking for bargain buys (someone was doing their work to find various guys like Bony, Cisse, Schneiderlin, Cabaye at good prices) — and we’ll have hungry young (some talented) players who are willing to run their socks off for the team. One additional thing, we sure know how to serve up the drama! For the neutral, 7 goals, what a game! COYS!

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    • I like the points about Fazio and specially Stanbouli. He is one that is hard working, tough and would work really well against the lesser teams like Leicester.

      Every year I say we will only need 2-3 players but by the look of it I would only keep 3-4 plays. I never learn.

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    • Was anyone really begrudging Harry his hat-trick?! Not a classic but thank goodness for his goals.

      I read the game and situation pretty much the same. I will be consistent in saying I like the way Pochettino gives certain players a run of several games. I would do that now for Fazio – we must have seen something in him to buy him, strength and leadership for a start, so give him another go.

      Walker I like although others don’t, even though I’m fully aware of his positional short-comings. I just don’t understand why he’s not accepting coaching – the coaches must have worked on that but lately he’s as bad in that respect as when he first came to us.

      Cheers, Al

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  3. Clear as from day, one we need a leader and a captain,preferably in midfield and also someone to help Kane up front, but how anyone cannot get consistent a tune out of Dembele is beyond comprehension?
    Also perhaps getting that little winger Everton have right now wouldn’t be so bad, given Townsend’s recent performances?

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    • Agree. Wouldn’t have got rid of Lennon.

      The youngsters have been great – true. We need more players in the summer – also true. The two sit together. Unlike a lot of the debate the two are not polar opposites, simply an accurate diagnosis of where Spurs are. I have been unstinting in my praise of the young players but it is wrong and indeed unfair to expect them to bear the burden of mounting a challenge for honours this season or next. Hope Levy realises that. On past form, I’m not holding my breath but I’m always optimistic…

      Regards, Al

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  4. Another accurate assessment Alan. We have now let in more goals this season than all but four teams in the PL and three of those are in the relegation zone. Yet our full backs have both been picked for England (along with Townsend, bafflingly). Walker is witless sometimes but up to now we could always rely on his pace but even that now seems to have gone. We are no closer to being CL contenders now that we were three or four years ago, quite frankly.

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    • Thanks. I hadn’t looked at the stats but can believe it.

      Walker is still quick – unusual to see someone as fast as Vardy. What gets me about him is the lack of response over several years to the coaches, who must have been working on his positioning….haven’t they?

      And without banging my own trumpet, or something like that, I’ve identified the problem of the lack of cover on both wings, our right especially, since early in the season. Poch should have done something about it by now.

      No progress because of all the managerial changes – but I’ve banged on about that enough this season so won’t go there again.

      Cheers, Al

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  5. Hello Alan
    I’m still fidgeting with embarassment at the three points gained yesterday and struggle to find positives regarding the overall team performance.
    The defenders flap at the slightest provocation, the midfield looks spent, the manager looks on seemingly bewildered as to how experienced players such as Vertongen can be so crassly careless. (I’d love to see him and Walker on the weakest link, Anne Robinson would have a field day)
    Lloris will now surely leave, a near death experience at the hands of your own right back is enough to push anyone over the edge. Still, we have got Vorm, or was it Bobby Mimms? Buggered if I can tell the difference.
    The season’s end can’t come soon enough for this side, only then will we see if Poch gets the backing that is so sorely needed.
    Previous experience of our beloved chairman tells me to expect nothing but the sale of our best player (s), and I’m not talking about Walker and Chadli.

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    • I agree, sadly. One or two bad performances, fine, can deal with that, but despite the success of our young players, we need reinforcements everywhere. Fazio needs a run to see if he can reproduce the form that led us to buy him. Eriksen and Lloris will go in the summer and to be honest, why would they stay?

      Regards,

      Alan

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  6. Everything I want to say, you’ve said it Alan.

    Came away from the game numb with confusion. Why. When Poch sits each player down and goes through with them their right and wrongs by showing them DVDS of how they played. Townsend and Chadli were our weakest link as they gave encouragement for their wingers to overlap us and put pressure on our defence.

    Man of the match for me was Rose yesterday. He would of made Arther Rowe very proud as the founder of the overlap push and run football. Well done Rose, one who has excelled under Poch

    Keep up the good work Alan

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    • Thanks as always, much appreciated. It was just rank, wasn’t it? beyond analysis. Round me people were either infuriated (me) or laughing.

      COYS Alan

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  7. It’s Spurs, what more can you say. Just when you start feeling proud of the way we played against Chelsea and Arsenal along come a ManU team that makes us look third rate after making most of their prior opponents look like world beaters and relegation favourites who played us off the park while losing to us in dubious circumstances.

    Despite this I have faith that under Poch’s guidance we will improve and be tougher to beat or at least stop trying to beat ourselves. Ask me for a logical explanation for my optimism and I’ll probably defer. There’s really no supporting logic that stands the test of time. I just really like the guy and how he carries himself and believe he will make the necessary improvements either by promoting youth or through some wise acquisitions. These must surely include some real quality defenders (at least 2) a classy midfielder in the Moutinho or Pjanic mould and someone up front like Benteke who could play with or instead of Kane plus at least one wide attacker who can also score (Mirallas or Berahino spring to mind here but maybe Pritchard who I’ve never seen will be ready).

    The big questions that remain, however, are will Poch get the backing and how in heaven’s name will he be able to ship out the deadwood if Levy continues to ask for unreasonable amounts of money for those who need to be moved on such as Paulhino, Capoue, Kaboul, Soldado and crew.

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    • Thanks for dropping in, and – yes! Agree both with your comments about what we need and your scepticism as to whether Levy understands it.

      Poch is a good coach but not so far a great one. He’s brought on many players and weeded out the deadwood and without alternatives it’s hard to see what else he can do in the short-term. Agree with Pete’s comment that surely there is still something someone can do with Dembele’s talent. I do think he has been slow to react to the tactical problems during play over the last few games.

      Regards, Alan

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      • It appears strange to me to say the least, that a club such as ours who’s competing with the richest clubs in the world and holding their own, continue with the berating of a chairman who has nothing but THFC at his heart. Surely some of the credit of our youth policy coming to fruition must go down to DL? After all wasn’t he who invested wisely in creating a State of the Art training facility at an enormous cost for this very reason? Wasn’t he who has continually invested in players whilst still forging ahead with a new stadium despite several attempts by outside sources to scupper the project?
        Perhaps I’ve not got the ‘popular’ view that many appear to have about him, but I know a good man and a damned brilliant chairman when I see, probably because we’ve had so many bad ones in the past?

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  8. “I’m surprised this team [Leicester] is bottom of the league.” – A Wenger.
    Leicester are a good attacking team with tall and fast players please don’t judge them by their position on the table. Their defensive lapses seem to let them down.
    My view of the game:
    Spurs defence was contantly caught out of position – Hugo does a lot of traffic directing at the back which would have been missed
    JV needs a break – He looked lethargic as did Spurs DMs while Chadli hasn’t been the same since his father passed away. Townsend isn’t helping Walker.
    MP has to make a few tough decisions for the next game but a win is a win and, as I’ve said, Leicester are a better team than their bottom of the table rank suggests.

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    • Leicester are indeed a decent team in many respects – they should have beaten us easily on Boxing Day. In many games they have been slow to turn defence into attack, most definitely not a problem on Saturday, which shows Pearson saw right through our problems.

      I really don’t like to have a go at our players but this blog was a form of therapy. Big problems with Chadli’s effort and application since he came to us. He certainly looked even more out of sorts on Saturday, I’m sure bereavement has had an adverse effect.

      I’d go back to Fazio and Verts for a while, no disrespect to Dier who is made of the right stuff.

      Regards, Alan

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  9. I say forget this season, let Poch sign the players he needs or better still bring more youngsters through in the Summer, re-group for next year…..fortunately I do see more positives than the writer of the article but hey ho, everyone is entitled to an opinion.

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    • Mark, I am a reasonably positive person, which is reflected in the blog over the last 5 or 6 years. But I’m also a realist and it’s not taking anything away from our achievements this season to point out the flaws.

      And Saturday was dire!

      Best, Alan

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  10. sell ethine capoue plus 28 million for lyon and ask them to give Alexandere lacazette. sell soldado to inter Milan for 15millon. sell Adeabyor for 20million or 25million to west ham in the summer. sell Townsend to Southampton for 10millon and ask them to give. Morgan Schneiderlin for 25million or 30million. sell chiriches to Southampton for 8million and ask them to give out of form jay rodriguez for 15millon., sell paulinho to psv for 15millon and ask them to give Memphis depay for his price of 20million., sell lamela to juventus for 20 million. and hijack their target Simone Zaza for his prices to get funds sell fazio for 5million, sell dembele for 25million to any team, buy Kevin Wimmer for 5million, buy toby aldewierd for 7million. and make the team formation like this

    forward — harry kane, Alexandere lacazette, Simone Zaza, jay rodriguez

    midfielders — chadli, Eriksen, Memphis depay, Schneiderlin,mason, bentaleb, Pritchard,

    defenders — Wimmer, walker, vertonghen, yedlin, Eric dier, rose, davies,

    gk — lloris and peter cech

    sell vorm for 6 million. and buy peter cech for 7million.

    super team for champions League.

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    • Adebayor for 20m – good luck with that!

      Problem is, I have loved, I mean loved, Spurs all my life, but why would any of the players you mention come to us? A club not in the CL and maybe not in Europe at all that does not pay the highest wages? Need to look elsewhere – Mitchell and Baldini are the key men this summer.

      Regards, Alan

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    • The exact words everyone around me was saying on Saturday…;)

      “Good game for the neutral” time to trot that one out.

      Except we’re not…

      Cheers, Alan

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  11. Kane really is our new Bale,he is also our new Ginola,Klinsmann and Lineker.
    I was brought up on a Tottenham machine that had all the parts working together but over the years occasionally we come up with a special player and that with a couple of supporting cast members is the show,offer some great entertainment but its all too easily forgotten as the plot absolutely stinks.
    We see players running around with little or no purpose that seem to be out of sync with whats really going on. I think about the CB’s.I mean do we really need two when we leave gaps between the two of them? Two wing backs that go foraging up but sometimes cant make it back. I mean imagine it.is it their fault.They are watching the play and if we actually held possession they would know where to run but we lose posession so much that they are running back and fourth trying to catch up.
    Can we just go back to some normalcy in defence where the defenders primarily defend and the attackers primarily attack and the midfielders cover the back four or bring to ball up and feed the attackers. is this so profound?
    We now have to dump all the players and find new players and see if they can fit in to this blueprint?
    I like Poch.He seems a nice bloke and I thought there was some evolving going on but has there?
    Eriksen played better in this match. I watched Modric in the RM game and thought really they have a similar way with the ball.Maybe Eriksen needs better players.The difference is Modric controls a midfield and Eriksen doesnt so much but it was a sensational go at goal by Eriksen. I really wish he would make more things happen though.We are not Real Madrid and he seems sontent to throw the ball about but we dont seem to get anywhere sometimes.Kane makes things happen.He just does.
    Its like he is a horse and he is beating everyone else by a whole by about 5 furlongs.
    It comes back to one man.Poch.
    Im still on board but without real growth how can we ever reach the target?

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    • Growth this summer has to come from outside – new blood. The young men have done us proud, I just hope Levy does not think Poch can manage on existing resources. Mitchell the scout/development officer/whatever is key.

      Need some oil for that machine…

      COYS Alan

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  12. Quite clear that they have never really found another KING. Which is obviously such a hard task, they tried with Dawson, who had more passion than anybody, and shipped him out (should of shipped Kaboul out). Daws would of happily have been the bit part player, and still given his all for the club. When Lloris went off the field in the first couple of minutes, our leader left the field with him, that is where Vert should step up and take that responsibility, but sadly he isn’t up for it. Think this summer could see a lot of the ‘foreign talent’ leave, and be replaced by some more of our youngsters, with a couple of experienced captains in there.

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  13. Watching that game against Leicester it was once again evident that we lack leaders and real fighters in our side,particularly with Prem.experience.Assuming we couldn’t get any players from the top 5 clubs,I will list those that are playing currently and would be buyable and also significantly improve our squad:Williams,Fernandez,Shelvey,Kouhate,Song,Pieters,Shawcross,N’Zonzi,Dann,Bolasi,Jedinak,S.Taylor,Janmaat,,Sissoko,Cisse,Fonte,Alderweireld,Rodriguez,,Jagielka,McCarthy,Lescott,Berahino,Elmohamedy,Vlaar,
    Okore,Clark,Delphi,Cattermole,Trippier,Shackell,Ings,Onuoha,Barton,Austin and Mahrez.
    Of course people won’t agree and some of those players they will hate,but it doesn’t alter the fact that these sort of players would bring experience and steel to our side.I would also suggest Lucas(Liv.) and Garay(Zenit).
    I look forward to comments and alternate suggestions.

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    • Interesting. Shawcross one to think about. Ings I rate, so do others and he’s likely to go to somewhere else. This is a realistic list for the most part but we have to remember that those Saints players for example may stay where they are because they think they have a better chance of success. A sobering thought….

      Regards, Alan

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  14. The Foxes discovered that the cockerels have turned into chickens….and feasted on our boneless, skinless, chckens at that.
    I don’t think there is any point in blaming the players. The fault lays squarely at the door of the manager, who picks the team and tactics. For the third match in a row, with this line-up, we get a midfield that is so detached from the defence that the opposition overloads onto Bentaleb and Mason who are promptly swamped and performing triage from the start. And the defence, with minimal cover, is going through its own crisis. Can anyone explain the alarming dip in form of Kyle Walker in the past couple of seasons? He used to be a dependable full back who earned his international call-up. But now he’s so poor at defending that his latest call-up feels like a bad joke played on him by Hodgson. Surely it’s time to let Yedlin into the picture? You’d never know that he had an excellent World Cup. Yet again Chadli played badly and Townsend stumbled around, only for Poch to recognize it’s not working and replace the mix. Last week Dembele was thrown on to stop the blood letting at Old Trafford. This week Paulinho showed what a proper midfielder can bring to the mix. It’s not the players. It’s the manager, who can’t see the obvious. He has the players, but won’t use Dembele, Stambouli, Fazio, when the evidence demands solidity. Finally, has anyone else noticed that Bentaleb has adopted a habit of playing one touch reverse passes without checking what’s happening around him? He got caught out last week with his poor pass that let Rooney in for his goal. This week he tried it three times and each time put his teammates under needless pressure in dangerous areas. More care, Bents!

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    • That point re nab is right, mentioned it in the blog and each time he looked frustrated that nothing else was on.

      I think Pochettino has been slow to make changes in each of the last 3 matches. I like the way he gives players a run in the side – Townsend and Chadli have had enough time. Surely Poch can do something with Dembele? Some of the players were bang awful on Saturday.

      Regards, Alan

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  15. We could do a lot worse than try and prise Esteban Cambiasso away from Leicester this summer. He could be the perfect link. Not every game, maybe, but just enough to help bring this team on.

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    • Cambiasso is actually quite a smart pick and just the man for the job, as you say. I’d take Vardy, too, who showed the pace and smarts that might fit well into the bigger picture. Looking towards next season we can add Dele Alli and Yedlin into the mix. Carrol hopefully returns on loan from Swansea. Then there’s this Wimmer guy supposedly joining us. The common denominator, again, is youth. So there’s an even greater need for an exerienced older head to guide the young guns. If three or four purchases are being moved out in the summer that would generate a bumper transfer fund for a decent punt at Schneiderlin who would meet our needs in many ways.

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    • Hmmm, had not thought of that one. Certainly character has to be a big part of any judgement about signing a player in the summer. That’s the next part of the culture we have to change.

      Regards, Alan

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  16. Lovely review of the match – ‘Easter Island statues’ a superb description of the Leicester centre halves! As usual though, amid the hilarity at the Spursiness, I think there’s a lot of overreaction here. There were some awful moments from KW and NC on the day, but both actually did some really good things too (Walker’s excellent run and assist for our second goal, from Townsend’s cute pass too – has everyone forgotten? and old Chadders made two or three superb passes in the game in between missing two sitters and giving away ridiculous and stupid fouls in dangerous areas). What actually cost us in the game was missing two sitters and the collision with Loris. Those three errors turned it into the drama it should never have been. But, yes, there are two teams on the pitch and Leicester attacked us well.

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    • Thanks. You’re right of course, there were a few nuggets from Saturday’s serial offenders. I said at the time amid my exasperation that Chadli’s pass to set Kane up for a far-post chance was an example of what he can do if he puts his mind to it.

      We were dire for extended periods though, clueless.

      Look forward to the next game already!

      COYS Alan

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  17. Alan,
    Your frustration which you have so expertly keep under wraps , definitely poking through this week , and with good cause. Chadli has been poor since the death of his father, certainly this is understandable, but lapses of concentration are too common right now. Walker is killing us, I do not understand how we keep giving the opposition free reign on our right, the gap between Walker and Dier is too wide and teams will continue to exploit it. Poch was a defender was he not, we need to tightened it up , big time, I do not ever see the experienced Vertonghen getting Dier and the fullbacks in position. This is the lack of leadership so many have mentioned. The one positive I keep coming back to is the fact that we are winning these games, even if playing poorly, bottom half teams etc. this has not always been the case. While we are not a great team, maybe not even good at times , to wins these games is a positive feature.
    Thanks for your thoughts as usual
    Ed

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    • Appreciate that and yes, frustration boiled over in the second half. Could not believe what I was seeing. Not a scooby some of them.

      But long-term underlying issues too, some of them good of course but I’ve been on about the lack of cover from our wide men all season.

      Regards, Alan

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  18. It was a remarkably bizarre game, one i never felt we were ever in control of at any point, even at 2-0. I completely agree about us lacking an on-field leader, we do need someone vocal with experience that can settle down and guide our younger players through games like this.

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  19. I wrote this on another blog. I write often about Eriksen.. I compared him with Modric and their roles and qualities and I came up with this..

    ‘I have wrestled with the situation with Eriksen.
    I dont think he is so different from Modric in some ways.
    Modric with RM plays a deeper role,more of a 6 its true and I think Eriksen is a better shooter/scorer than Modric but they both do one thing and that is move the ball about (mostly as soon as they get it)
    Modric is a little more physical than Eriksen (not much more) but as he plays the 6 role,the play is all in front of him so while he too sends a lot of passes sideways he often sends them forward.The players he plays with are generally much more talented and creative so he really has just to get the ball to any one of three or four players who can create or do the whole thing themselves. He also does enough defensively otherwise he wouldnt be in the 6 for RM.
    Both Modric and Eriksen have a high pass rate. They both dont lose possession when they have it.Eriksen is still young and doesnt have the weight to shield himself from physical players but generally gets the ball off quickly.
    Eriksen scores well and also keeps the possession rate high but what he doesnt do as much of and he is more in the 10 is get enough assists. This is the one point that I question.Maybe it will come but he doesnt create anough chances and if he doesnt who is going to.Its certainly not coming from the wingers,Benteleb …maybe Mosaon the odd time.Eriksen is in the perfect position to turn and make a play forward.
    It maybe his age or stature or even Poch telling him to do something other than that.
    Modric has more experienced,he is deeper (6) and he can spread the ball to many players.
    I harp on this point but I think if tht can be adjusted,then we would not have the GD deficit we have against the other teams.
    There is no true and tried route to goal for us except well it bounces there and it bounces there and we hope to God eventually Kane will get it’

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    • Just a note about the Denmark USA game last night.It looks like Eriksen was quier most of the game but sent an absolutely sensational ball over to Bendtner to score his 3rd. Eriksen was within his own half and the ball must have gone 40 or more yards perfectly.

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