It was bound to happen, of course. We haven’t played well this season except in occasional bursts and have been fortunate to remain unbeaten and garnered so many points. That unbeaten pressure is now decidedly off.
It’s a convenient myth perpetuated mainly by teams playing poorly that teams playing poorly and winning is the mark of a good team. Nobody ever won anything except a few football matches by playing poorly over time.
Good players consistently playing well, however, you define it, under a competent manager is the way to go for continuing success at every and any level. Spurs are assembling the right elements but are not the finished coherent article.
We’ve certainly got some good players and a world class inspirational manager whose obstinacy and inflexibility are his Achilles heel. He pleaded for reinforcements in pursuit of trophies but he doesn’t use them effectively
Nor does he adapt his approach to games to suit the particular circumstances confronting him (known in the trade as ‘Horses for Courses’.) For Antonio one size fits all. His use of substitutes, or misuse, is a clear indicator.
His persistence with Son who is clearly out of form when Kulusevski is available is another. Emerson is much improved but is a very uneven player and seemed to loe his way before the end but Matt Doherty couldn’t buy a game at the moment
Romero is not back to his best after injury and Sanchez might have given him another break before Leicester. And so it goes on. The opportunity to re-group offered by the postponement of the City game and to continue our unbeaten run was not seized.
Ironically it was a brilliant save by Hugo Lloris on 90 minutes which seemed to have preserved our hopes of a point to keep us level with Sporting Clube de Portugal at the head of our group in the group phase of the Champions League.
This led to the corner, which in the past has been our own Achilles Heel from which Paulinho, himself a late substitute, scored. ‘Salt in wounds time was the second by another late substitute, Gomes.
As Oscar Wilde nearly said ”to concede one goal in added time may be regarded as misfortune. To concede two looks like carelessness” Judicious back-up, Skippy for example, might have helped us avoid this late disaster in Lisbon.
There’s a lesson in squad handling in there somewhere Mr. Conte. An even game was enlivened by a not unexpected star performance by the ex-Spurs Marcus Edwards who should have scored earlier after beating most of the Spurs defence at least twice.
Acknowledged as the brightest homegrown prospect in years his temperament couldn’t quite adapt to the Spurs regime at the Academy and then under Mauicio Pochettino.
Both teams had chances in a moderately entertaining game but the bulk of ours fell to Emerson whose finishing requires attention. Richarlison again stood out and scored but was correctly judged offside
So back to the Premier League on Saturday evening at home to Leicester City before yet another break until the NLD and the third game in the CL. against Eintracht Frankfurt.
I not expecting much to change just yet but live in hope and we know what that does.