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.
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