I vowed I wouldn’t interfere quite as often in your lives as I am just a friend with privileges on here these days. But with yesterday’s performance and result, I feel obliged to attempt to offer you some words of comfort in your despair.
When 3 of the top six dropped points it was a day to step up, make a statement, declare our intentions, and signal our presence with a win. But last week it was 3 points forward and this week it was 3 steps back.
‘Twas ever thus with Spurs: win the game against the Champions and lose against a team in the bottom half of the table, just the 15 points behind us. I hesitate to use the word ‘Spursy’ but if the cap fits.
An apathetic performance from front to back, only Betancur showed up and he’s now out for the rest of the season, With his departure, I think we can say farewell to trophy hopes and almost certainly top four. So many of the remaining players are not good enough, not in the mood, or without the quality they once had.
Now Stellini is banging the ‘mentality’ drum. A convenient catch-all but one which omits excuses all the other possible reasons. Tactics, formation, quality, fitting square pegs in round holes.
Son went on several runs and lost the ball every time; Harry having broken Jimmy Greaves’ record had a day off, perhaps dreaming of pastures new; Perisic is not the player he once was and Kulusevski had it earlier in the season but has mislaid it lately after injury.
I’m not sure how many of the goals Lloris would have saved, certainly not the first, a bullet from Mendy to claim only his second career goal; the last was 7 years ago. It could have been worse. Our first from Betancur was fortunate and only narrowly survived a VAR check for offside.
Harvey Barnes had one chalked off in very similar circumstances though he made up for it later for their 4th. We were lethargic uninspiring and uninspired. A pathetic performance, not to say apathetic.
The announcement of the back line and keeper were enough to cause enthusiasm amongst any visiting creatives with Lloris and Romero missing. Tanganga, Dier and Davies offered little against the threat of Maddison and Barnes.
Remind me again why we didn’t buy them both when they were affordable? Tielemanns too when he was hot? Their keeper Danny Ward was supposed to be vulnerable but we hardly put this analysis to the test with just the 4 shots on target the whole game.
Once again Skipp didn’t get a look in despite Betancur’s injury. Our designated future captain seems to be at best 4th. choice. Substitutions were again made too late to affect the result. 3-1 down from half-time both Richarlison and Danjuma could have been on much earlier.
Conte’s usual cross your fingers and hope approach was doomed to fail. I am finding it difficult to find those promised words of comfort to salve your wounds. The Champions League on Tuesday gives us at least a change of scenery and of course, you never know.
New man Pedro Porro was thrown in at what should have been the shallow end against a faltering Leicester but a rude awakening awaited. Welcome to England, the Premier League and Tottenham Hotspur. Reguilon could be on his way back from Atleti and hopefully, we haven’t made the same mistake twice.
Antonio resting in the bosom of his family for the week and currently minus a gall bladder might be having second thoughts about England in general and Spurs in particular. He has his share of the blame, but I for one wouldn’t be surprised if he departed.
With the Manchester’s both winning we now realistically have only Newcastle in our sights but we still have to look over our shoulder at Brighton, Fulham and Brentford. There are lots of games left of course, but after a few more like that we could be struggling in mid-table.
There’s plenty to share the blame, from Uncle Joe to the fickle fans and all stations in between. Injuries and loss of form have taken their toll but as the Tories like to say, ‘ we didn’t fix the roof when the sun was shining’. A ruthless cull and an ambitious rebuild are necessary.
So there you have it, yet another worst game in living memory to add to your collection. I’m sure you all have your favourites.