Spurs Sink Without A Trace

A game to illustrate the difference between supporters and players.

Supporters: end of the season but there’s still something to fight for. Europe, well, on balance yeah, a few trips, better than nothing, good to bring players in come summer. Anyway, 6th is better than 7th, isn’t that enough? Pochettino wants to finish above Saints, must mean something. We pay to watch the shirt so you can play for it, bit of pride.

Players: nah.

Yesterday Spurs continued their relentless pursuit of mediocrity in dogged fashion, contriving to produce one of the worst performances of the season. Try as we might, we still can’t fall below 6th place. Simply awful. We bucked up a bit last week against City ( sorry no article last week, I was at the game but work pressures got in the way of writing. Feh!) but folded at the first provocation versus a determined Stoke team, who really do have nothing to play for but you would not have guessed.

Faced with the absence of Rose, not for the first time this season Pochettino not only brought in another player, Chiriches in this case, but shifted the whole defence around. Vertonghen and Fazio are hardly an impenetrable barrier but they are the best centreback pairing we have available. We might even be thinking ahead and giving them more playing time together in preparation for next season (although I think Verts will go if he gets a good offer).

Yet Jan was switched to left-back where he’s not so super and Chiriches came into the centre. Dier is a good prospect but inexperienced and also out of position. We can’t defend anyway and more disruption was meat and drink to Stoke, who gorged themselves until they were full and could eat no more.

Poch says Yedlin isn’t ready for the PL yet. On this showing neither are the rest of them. A poorly cleared cross let Adam in for a header on the quarter and that was pretty much that. The latest in a long line of defensive cock-ups saw Dier and Lloris get in a total mess, leaving an open goal. It’s precisely the sort of error that comes from not playing together as a defensive unit often enough. Hugo pulled out a few decent stops in the second half, in between thinking about his transfer to, well, anywhere where he doesn’t have to see Fazio and Chiriches standing in front of him.

Chiriches made life difficult for everyone by being sent off for two bookable offences, fouls that smacked of the desperation of a player who knows he’s out of his depth. Vlad the Bad sums up the Tottenham transfer policy that has seen a once in a lifetime windfall of the cash for Bale almost completely wasted. When he joined Spurs, you could see why we bought him. A ball-playing centreback with the ability to pinch the ball off an opponent in the box, we could mould this youngish man, already an international, into a very modern mobile defender. As it turned out, he has contributed precisely nothing over two seasons. He’s a mistake waiting to happen who appears bewildered by the pace and physicality of the Premier League. Never has a player more often made me shout, “No!” in that fraction of a second when he’s about to try something nifty on the edge of our box that everyone in the ground knows is doomed to failure.

Kudos to supporters of both sides who gave Jimmy Greaves a rousing get-well-soon round of applause. Jim, all the very best.

That’s it really. No pointers, no judgements, just some finger-pointing at players who could at the very least put more into this game. Like our season, this article ends not with a bang but with a whimper.

You could pass the time with this new football trivis app, written by Justin, a ST holder in the Park Lane. Happy to help a fellow Spur https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/knowfootball/id966503621?ls=1&mt=8

21 thoughts on “Spurs Sink Without A Trace

  1. How can you be so passive!! we were shocking again. We are playing the worst football any Spurs side has played in years.
    the players have no heart, and are so poor.
    Defensively shocking!!!
    make no mistake if we were fighting against relegation we would go down!!. We are that bad!!!

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    • Calm down. “If we were facing relegation we would go down” Are you simple? The reason why we’re not in relegation. Is because we EARNED enough points not to be there. Jesus christ. Do Spurs fans not remember the 90s when we were always in the bottom half? Look at Newcastle, look at Everton, all you guys are being over dramatic.

      It was a bad game, we’ve had some bad games. Some good ones too. We’re 6th place and there are 5 teams in the league with more money than us. It’s not the end of the world
      We’re doing all right. Perspective.

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    • despair rather than anger for me, Stu. I’ve written a lot about the team’s defensive failings, can’t keep saying the same things.

      Never make big judgements about any side on the basis of an end of season game. On the basis on the rest of the season, major surgery required. But we knew that anyway.

      Regards, Alan

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  2. Pooch appologising to the fans regarding how the players played.
    All this is down to him. Trying to play a system without the right personnel , instead of trying to play to the players strengths. pochs tactics are so readable it’s gone beyond a joke .
    I know he will get it right in the end, but he must learn to play a system that the players we have are capable off.

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    • I get the feeling he’s had enough of these players, KK. Going through the motions until he can buy in the summer. Without a strong DM we need two back and the wide forwards don’t defend. Different styles but same outcome defensively. Defenders poor, both first choice fullbacks out…shame season’s ending this way.

      Regards, Alan

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  3. Poch maybe stuck.he showed little jn the way of ingenuity in the season or even adapting.We walked into walls and at the back were as open as the great North in Game of Thrones.and as cold.
    The big question is can he adapt to reality or is he going for this special all healing elixir?
    For me he hasnt adapted well. The inability to break defences before they set (with incessant back and side passing especially by Eriksen) and as good as we think the Bentelebs and Masons are they left us with gaps between them and the back line when possession was ultimately lost.
    We do have a couple of young kids in next year and we need to sell to buy (I think Lloris will be gone to free up cash for buys)
    If I was Joe Lewis I would give them nothing unless they sold and If I was Poch I would put my job on the line to get the players I wanted.
    Somebody has to say Ive had enough of this we MUST make things happen and put it on the line.
    So far they havent

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    • Poor on and off the pitch, this one. Poch seems to be marking time until the summer when he can start again. We have money – or should have. Lowest net spend bar Burnley, DL has to make some available regardless of who we sell. My worry is that we need to buy half a squad – problems in all areas…

      Regards, Alan

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  4. Hahah, the race for 7th and no Europa between us and Southampton (with us both tanking, I bet Saints’ fans are not happy either) may go down to the last game! Wake me when it’s over, okay lads?! 😉

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  5. Apt with the T S Elliot quote, Alan …this is the way the world ends (or Spurs’ world anyway) …not with a bang, but a whimper.
    I don’t even want to think about them (Kane and just a few others apart).
    In a season where we lost the greatest leader (with the possible exception of Blanchflower) that we’ve ever had, in Dave Mackay (this was a man, the noblest Spur of them all) and saw our greatest ever goal scorer (my own ultimate footballing idol) Jimmy Greaves suffer an awful stroke, I can no longer comment repeatedly about our lack of a leader on the park over recent years, which players/positions we need to buy and improve on, who we should sell and who we shouldn’t have sold, which owners or managers/coaches should stay or go and so on. Glory!? Whatever happened to it?
    Have a great summer, Alan, and look forward to rekindling the hope next season.

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    • CB I was 13 when we won the Double. Mackay was my favourite player. Everything then seemed doable. Blanchflower the genius,Mackay the power and winning the Double and then in the off season buying Greaves. Tottenham it seemed could do anything they wanted.

      I look at the situation today at the end of a run of managers and although it hasnt been a disaster.I mean we didnt go down since what 1976,I can say that all our hopes go constantly up with speculation that the good times will be back,lots of commentary but little on the field to prove it all.

      Its sad. Mackay gone. The dream for the future constantly being ripped apart. Of course there is still hope but watching incoherent football for the longest time really doesnt offer too much confidence. What is Poch doing? Does he not understand managing players.he,like AVB seem to manage blueprints and not very good at that.
      Lets hope we get a couple of players who can offer increments even of growth.

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    • I’ll still be here for the final two games, appreciate all your comments this year my friend. I am rather going through the motions on the blog – only so much of the same thing I can say. Big summer – has to buy well.

      Regards, Alan

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  6. Picture the scene in the Stoke boot room this time last week. The manager looks around the room and says, “Lads, it’s Pochettino”. And with that comforting thought, the meeting is over as they prepare for a team that come with the same game plan, largely the same players, and utterly plays into their hands. All Stoke had to do was watch the Man City game because it was all laid out for them. A midfield of Eriksen, Lamela and Chadli that hasn’t got a decent tackle between them and a guarantee that on any given day two of the three will be utter dreck. Against City it was Chadli and Eriksen. Stoke it was Chadli and Lamela. In candour it isn’t a great disaster to lose against City who are a very decent team and man for man probably have better players in eight positions. But games are decided by moments of opportunity and in that first minute when Chadli was clear through with Lamela unmarked in the box, the Phoneytail phluffed his pass to the Fauxhawk. If it was City you just know Milner would have served it to Aguero on a plate. And in the last minute when the whole ground was begging Lamela to just drop his corner onto the penalty spot, he choked and dumped it onto the boot of the first City defender. Moments.
    But we can’t blame the players. Pochettino picks the team and the organizes the tactics (sic). But where is the organization, the movement, the desire to get on the front foot against an average team? Pochettino picks a back line of four central defenders so we should be O.K. to handle crosses, right? But the Prem’s most plodding and ponderous player, Charlie Adam, appears in the box and HEADS the opening goal, fer crissakes. And we have a World Cup full back on the bench begging for game time. Kane is running his cobs off offering himself to any hopeful forward movement. Instead, Dier and Chirches are the surrogate wingers, unsupported by Lamela and Chadli both shuffling inside into the grateful clutches of the Stoke midfield. When this happens throughout 90 minutes it’s not happenstance, it’s the tactic of a manager having lost the plot and running out of credit. Maybe Pochettino is an evil genius with a plan to avoid the Europa league but when you find you have been found out by Mark Hughes, it’s time to look elsewhere. Why not Klopp? Yedlin, Dembele, Stambouli and Townsend all probably agree.

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    • A disaster made more tolerable by your eloquence, David. I was going to say the same thing about being outsmarted tactically by Stoke but then I just could not be bothered to go over it again. I’m glad you did. Poch waiting for his own team, then he might buck up. He has not managed to organise this lot all season.

      Regards, Alan

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  7. I know that we have literally nothing to play for , and it certainly shows, but Poch has not shown anything as well in the past month. This weekend’s back four choice, already an area of ultimate concern this year, was befuddling to say the least. What spur’s fan did not shake his or her head when that team sheet came out, I can’t even say it was an experiment, since there is no way Vlad the Impaler will be back. Listen I am from the states and am not sold on Yedlin, but maybe he makes more sense than Vlad, hard to imagine anyone worse , than the human red card. I watched a 9 man Lazio team , outplay our defense by a 1000 percent, Basta who is 30+ was miles better than any of our right back choices, Walker included. I do not understand what happens back there, no central organization, Verts should be that guy, but something about him makes me think he is gone mentally and perhaps ultimately physically, is it his personality or lack of convict to our shirt?
    The midfield was weak again, and this isn’t the Pulis bully Stoke team, still we were out manned and out worked.
    Lamela was working his socks off again, while his efforts are not always well directed he tries, I believe he would make a servicable number 10, his one touch short passing is so much more effective than taking defenders on the wing one on one. I would move him inside and slot Eriksen to the left wing, so many people have called for Eriksen centrally , I don’t see, he is too fragle and manned off the ball too easily.
    Bentaleb needs to move forward, and play a more attacking midfield, unfortunately we do not have the defensive destroyer to allow this.
    One thing I have noticed is just how good Harry Kane is without the ball , and as a passer, with vision for the through ball and switching play. He sees the pitch well and would thrive with a competent second striker, he is an exciting player on so many levels, lets hope we don’t grind it out of him or frustrate him to the point where he jumps ship soon rather than later.
    eds

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    • Interesting to hear your views about Yedlin, thank you. He’s very popular here, Spurs fans want to see him after he caught the eye during the WC.

      Mason and Bentaleb have done us proud but as you say cannot mask the lack of a proper DM – or two. Kane has if anything gone up in my estimation since his magic period ended – works hard, running, movement.

      We have major rebuilding work to do in the summer.

      COYS Alan

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  8. Kane is being badly let down by some others at the moment. His runs, hold up and link play and nose for a chance are still looking good, but he is so often cut adrift from the others and has to almost set himself up all the time against 2-3 defenders.

    I hope they rouse themselves for the last two as Saturday reflected badly on Poch and a good few of them.

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    • Kane even more of a marvel lately, playing well in a poor side, determined to keep his head up. At least a decent home game to finish with….

      Cheers, Alan

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      • Alan,
        I agree wholehearted about Harry, even in our current downswing , he has maintained his form, he has shown his incredible hard work, and wonderful link up play, with a vision both for goal and a killer pass. He has honestly made more cutting, decisive or even scoop passes into the box than any of our so called creative midfielders.

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  9. I missed the City game entirely. Normally I’ll go but I’ve neglected my friends enough for Spurs over the years and I thought ‘sod it’. Most of them aren’t bothered. Why should I be? I feel slightly less guilty having read this. I wish I hadn’t bothered to watch this either.
    It’s such a far cry from mid season. I know we need to put some players in the shop window but it’s really looking like Poundland. Chiriches isn’t the worst player I’ve seen at Spurs but as a defender he has a lot of competition for that spot. I think the summer is going to be critical. For Levy to sell anyone, we’ll need to get at least half price on the tat we bought with the Bale money (to avoid taking a real hit on the books) and I think that’s going to be difficult.

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