Date: 7th May 2018 at 8:00pm
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Writing in an article on Friday, I wrote about how West Brom would set up against us, and to be honest, they did exactly what I expected. They showed very little ambition despite needing a win and used their set-piece threat to secure the three points.

The fact that they didn’t do anything surprising makes it all the more frustrating. Mauricio Pochettino knew what he was coming up against, and still, the players failed to perform on the day. We had our chances but if we had played anywhere near our usual levels, it would have been a comfortable victory.

The change to three at the back wasn’t the right choice in my opinion. That system works best against 4-3-3 in general, as you match up centre-halves against the opponents forward line, whilst also keeping a threat up top. Against 4-4-2, many of the benefits are negated.

Especially a team like the Baggies who rely on their wingers for creativity, they are not too concerned by being outnumbered in the middle of the park, especially as they lined up deep with two banks of four in order to restrict space for Dele, Lamela and Eriksen in front of their backline.

When you play a team with a low block, you need players who can beat players one-on-one, and break the line. It would have been an ideal opportunity for Lucas to come in, while Son could have also used his pace to better effect.

As it is, we’re making qualification for the Champions League a lot harder than it should be, and with Chelsea’s win against Liverpool, it puts pressure on the team to perform in the final two games against Newcastle and Leicester.

Things are still in our own hands, but I do have concerns about the matches ahead. Neither the Magpies nor the Foxes will play expansively and allow us to exploit them in behind. Like West Brom,  you can expect a deep-lying defence from Rafa Benitez, while Claude Puel’s side will look to play on the counter.

Neither side has anything to play for, and Leicester look to be in disarray so I would be surprised if we didn’t take the full six points. However, I thought there would be an easy three points at the Hawthorns as well so we shall see.


75 Replies to “Poch Shakes Things Up For Tottenham But Not In The Right Way”

  • Fair points made in the article… At wembley the pitch is bigger so we have more room to deal with 442 or bus parking teams. Lucas needs to start, sonny in the middle, Ali Christian AMF… Victor and Dier / Dembele then back 4 Sanchez / toby /Davies Trippier / Aurier..Lloris. With Harry on the bench. This should be an attacking side, move the ball faster and accurately. I have allowed for various changes if Jan & Moussa injury absent.

  • Yes we should have been better and we should have won, which sounds all too familiar around this time of the season against West Brom, they’re starting to become a bit of a bogey-team for us. As you suggest with both remaining games at Wembley against opposition with nothing to play for, I can only see 6 points and a third place finish on the horizon

  • Very solid points it i a proven fact that the offence flows with pace a fluency when sonny is apart of it he is our second leading score plays with both feet and a very good passer of the ball why he cannot have a permanent roll especially over a Lamella who is one dimensional and a turn over in crucial times waiting to happen is a mystery

  • They need to drop Kane, he is not firing and is hampering the team. I am sick of POCH, who I rate highly having favourites who are undroppable. Poch, recently has stagnated, I like him but I dont think he has what it takes to take us to the next level. four years and no trophies, I honestly feel we are going to mess up and finish fifth thanks to Poch, Lamela, Wanyama were awful at the weekend Kane was awful .. Poch is at fault for playing them. Poch needs to make sure the team get CL or leave and let a manager come in who can take us up to the next level . It seems Poch has hit a glass ceiling

  • Staring with Kane, he was clearly brought back too soon after injury and we are paying for that. England might too. For the rest, its less about tactics, more about attitude. What maybe we don’t have is a leader on the pitch who will drive the others on when they aren’t performing, a Roy Keane type of player.

  • Time for Poch and the team to turn up and compete in these last 2 games for the 4 points we need to clinch CL football next year. Having blown our opportunity against WBA we must now extract our collective digits out from up our arses and try to play and look like a top 4 club. Show some class, quality, determination, and ambition. This will be an acid test for both, failure must be off the agenda.

  • For whatever reason, Kane always takes time to find form after time off the pitch, which is probably why he struggles in August, after the summer break.

  • One thing that everybody seems to be missing is that we aren’t the only team finishing poorly. Liverpool are now one point ahead of us with only one game to play while Spurs and Chelsea have two. They are in at least as much danger as we are. Not a problem if they beat Madrid but if they don’t …

  • Who genuinely in our price range can be a leader on the pitch … Poch, needs the higher level player. selling these players Vorm Wage 22k Value 0 , Sissoko W 95k V 20m Llorente W75k V8m, Lamela W70k V25m, Onomah w20k V6m, N’Koudo W20k V5, Janssen W25k V10m. total wage 327k pw annually 17m value of the 7 players 74m (sure Levy would get more). that alone with the budget players would assist we woudnt need to replace Vorm, promote Gazza, and get a young HG player in at 3.

  • Poch backed or sacked – there’s actually a more fundamental question, does the kind of leader we are talking about exist in the modern game at all ?

  • …And Son seems to struggle to keep his form, even after showing some great form for a while.

    When Harry is not sharp and off form himself, he can sometimes be a hindrance to those around him when being the main focus of our attacks. But, I would still play him in the next couple of matches. But if it isn’t working out for him, I’d like to see Poch take him off and, sooner than later.

    Its kind of easy (with hindsight) to just blame MP’s formation/tactics for the WBA result but when Spurs have had almost 74% of possession, created a lot of chances and had no less than 18 shots on goal, (with Harry and Eriksen taking on 5 each of them but both of them with only 1 each on target), surely the players have to take on most of the responsibility for their lack of firepower in their finishing; Along with other obvious shortfalls in our attacking play.

  • Being a ‘leader’ on the pitch has nothing to do with price-range. Surely you either have it or you don’t.

    I agree with jod’s suggestion that perhaps there are not that many old school type leaders around these days, anyway.

  • Liverpool are actually in a more precarious PL position than Spurs. And if they were not to get 3 points in their final match v Brighton and drop out of the top 4, then even more pressure is heaped up on them to beat Real in the CL final. They have shown to be under pressure recently in the PL and even in reaching the final, having been 5-0 up and yet just scraping through, 7-6.

    We’ll just have to hope that Spurs can dictate their own PL fate, starting with a win tomorrow.

  • As jod said …. Pool and Chelsea are arguably under more pressure than us for the final games of the season given that they are both behind us on points (if we win our game in hand on Pool), and both have had at least as many poor results as Spurs. Anything can happen but, with two home games, we should be favourite to finish third. I think!

  • The ‘leader’ issue is a difficult one. There is no dedicated ‘leader’ position on the pitch. You can’t simply buy a leader. You have to bring in the players who will perform in a required way within the team …. and hope that one of them has leadership qualities. The ‘leader’ needn’t be the Captain, but it probably works better if he is. It probably also works better if he’s a midfielder. I’m obviously generalising. Our main problem at the moment is that none of our players are vocal enough to assume the role.

  • Geofspurs – Not sure its just about being vocal. Real leaders have an aura about them that you can’t fake by just talking a lot. Of course I’m also a bit wary of the “leads by example” argument. Leadership is something you know when you see. I’m not really seeing it in our current squad.

  • I agree Jod, the days of Keane, Viera, in our case mabbutt, perryman of yesteryear.. under Poch we have lost the softer belly, but it seems the team always falter and the buck needs to lie with him … he needs to rally the troops and he need them firing, butnehen he plays out of form or injured players like Kane … (I don’t care for England) … then we will never learn… it has been tough this season. Wembley, then back to the new WHL, I assume might be the same again all best it the players will remember driving the same route to Tottenham the seats will be blue etc so will feel more of a home imo … but we can’t stay at this level .. earlier I gave a guestimate of figures to get rid of not needed fringe players to accomodate 1 or 2 quality signings we need.

  • As a leader on the pitch, I suggest Dier… He has that bit of grit, and can be verbal as well, as some of his bookings and media comments in the past have shown. So being captain will bring his confidence on and he could well be our Roy Keane type player.

  • In the past, most good leaders had an element of aggression in their attitude; Mackay being a prime example. These days, if the aggression is not well controlled, they’d be sent off on a regular basis due to rule changes.

    I agree with bds … Dier does have the potential.

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