Date: 18th December 2017 at 9:18am
Written by:

A family trip kept me out of the loop all weekend, and have to say I am glad that it did.

I warned before the game that we were up against one of, if not the best team I`ve ever seen in the Premier League, their resources are so vast, the depth of the squad so deep, the quality that they have so incredible that they hardly miss a beat when they have three or four of their best players side-lined.

The gap between us is a chasm, both in financial terms and now in points. They have got the league in the bag, it is just a question of whether they go unbeaten and by how many points they win it by.

The frustration for me is that we were entirely predictable in our tactics and frankly, naively Poch appeared to think we could expect to play our game against them, of course we could not and did not.

The game proved beyond a doubt that pace matters, their speed and passing at pace helped take us apart, so the next time you hear anyone argue that pace is irrelevant, just think of this game and how many times it caught us out of position or simply made us look inadequate.

We were lucky, it could easily have been 6, 7 or 8 -1. That was the difference in class between us. You can decide who individually let us down, I cannot see the point as they were better than us abaolutely everywhere, man for man, tactic for tactic.

However, Poch seems to have taken it all in his stride, despite his talk earlier in the season that we should be looking for a Premier League title, this is what he had to say after and played the result down;

‘I think we play 19 teams in the Premier League, no? You see me concerned? Not really, no. It`s about how you finish in the league and position in the table”.

Then in a weird simpleton acceptance he went on to say;

‘Last season, we were above Manchester City in the table. This season, we`re below I don`t want to find an excuse, they won, they were better and they are doing fantastically” .

If you had read my match preview I pointed to what I thought they were capable of – but I hoped that Poch would tactically take a different approach and the fact that he did not and has dismissed this humiliation so easily, and our struggles this season increasingly frustrates me.

Roll on January and opportunity to revamp our squad; but then I can`t see us doing what we need to do anyway, can you?

Maybe now the FA Cup will take on the sort of importance it should, because that is going to be our last best hope for silverware this season.


23 Replies to “Seriously, what did you expect?”

  • Glass half empty then! Yes they were better than us in every respect and yes maybe we do lack some pace. I’m not looking for an excuse but I think you can’t overlook the fact we were missing 2 of our best central defenders. I also wish Foyth would be given a chance in a back 3 when we do have players missing. City are on fire, but I still don’t rate their defence apart from the keeper

  • Yes we looked ponderous at times and we are missing key players at the moment. Allied to that a number of players on the pitch didn’t turn up. We were still in the game until the 70th minute which is better than most that go there. Individual errors cost us and that is just the way it is. Sadly this was an advert for financial doping and as good as City are we all know it’s down to the owner not the coach. The EPL will be a poorer competition for it and if City continue to hoover up the best talent money can buy then I can only see less and less meaningful games and the end of the EPL being the best league in the world sadly. Just goes to show financial fair play is a joke.

  • In MP’s defence, he did use these high press tactics to beat Man City in 3 of our last 4 EPL games prior to this game. He also used the same tactics to beat peps Barca with relegation threatened Espanyol in la Liga. That being said, if you do play that way, you cannot gift goals and the players need to remain composed in high pressure situations. We failed in both areas, A) by gifting Man City an easy 1st goal and B) by then losing composure, to the point where players started misplacing simple passes and both Kane and Dele could and probably should have been sent off. Imo, MP should have spotted this and changed to a more reserved stratergy. After the first 15/20 minutes, we just weren’t in the right frame of mind to play so aggressively and Man City were tearing us apart. We did start the 2nd half a little better, but the players looked unsettled. Maybe thats where we miss a leader on the pitch. Man City are obviously a better squad than us, but not 4-1 better, and that scoreline flattered us.

  • I can almost guarantee a different game with Toby and Wanyama playing. We may still have lost but the margin and the game would have been a lot closer. It ended how I thought and feared it could because with Dier and Jan alone at the back there was no way we were gonna stop them from running rampant. One thing I do agree on is that we need a Mohammed Salah type desperately or a Sane. And for goodness sake why play Trippier against Sane, come on Poch even I knew beforehand that would be a mismatch of the highest proportions.

  • pratts bottom, in fairness City have returned a profit for the last three financial years, so in that respect they are not ‘financial doping’ – what they have done is spend/invest nearly two billion pounds in transfer fees and wages – and their ‘success’ has driven up media fees and commercial revenues (and area that I suggest looks like some dubious value sponsorship and partnership fees)…but these have been accepted by UEFA, to the point that of the £50 mill fine they once had, £33 million has been repaid as they are now in compliance for three year – so to this extent FFPR are working, the key critical difference is the vast unimaginable amount of capital that their owners have risked to get them into such a dominant position – which in my book, is fair play but something that 99.99% of all clubs will never attempt to match, because they can’t.

  • jvd, why play Trippier at all – he was exactly as I predicted caught out so many times it was embarrasing. Play him against ‘lessor’ sides, but for big games against big teams he invariably gets exposed.

  • I felt sorry for Trippier at times. If it was boxing, the coach would have thrown in the towel such was Sanes dominance.

  • Obviously we could have made more of a game of it if our side was the same as last year.They have gone up to a new level where they can seriously challenge for the Champions league .They should have the Premiership sown up by Easter. With Toby & Wanyama back in the side Alli & Eriksen can play higher up the field & do some real damage to defences.Rose is getting his pace back but the loss of walker on the right side is hurting us big-time against pacey attackers.Poor Trippier was run ragged. Poch should have played Aurier.If Stoke go down next year we should snap up Shakiri.

  • spursex,I agree with your financial assessment of Man City. I’ve argued against Jod for some time that to grow a company [& that’s what football clubs are] you have to speculate to accumulate.
    Investment is crucial for growth & that means borrowing money ,investing it in better players thereby increasing your chances of getting into the Champions League,winning trophies & increasing your profile on the world stage. Citeh have done just that & are reaping the rewards of increased merchandise sales,fan base,sponsership deals.Levy & Jod think like accountants ,balancing the books .Entrepreneurs take calculated risks & expand their businesses.The proof was there to see on Saturday.

  • poch is an idiot, he NEEDS to sort out that moron Deli Alli and as soon as, or get rid of him. If that tackle he made on De Bruyner had been the other way round , instead of just staying calm, saying and doing nothing apart from getting the injury sorted, getting back up and scoring, Ali would have been in D B’s face, demanded that the ref sends him off, lost his head, caused huge amounts of disruption and instead of just keeping his stupidly massive childlike gob shut, he would have gone on and on until he got himself sent off or booked. If just booked he would have acted like the petulant little brat that he is and gone gunning for revenge instead of concentrating on winning the game. He is a sign of what is wrong with us. We have a bunch of ill disciplined kids without a leader out field. Lloris is steadily getting worse and his distribution has always been highly suspect, especially for a ‘keeper who is supposed to be one of the best in the world, allegedly., I still say Butland would be a better option than Lloris. Poch should realise
    Lloris can’t captain Spurs as he has no influence on the game out field and as such needs a good strong willed captain brought in as we don’t have anyone worth his salt to be a true captain. I can’t see why Ali is even in the first team squad, let alone allowed to play.

  • THe other thing is that we are touted as supposedly, the fittest team in the prem, yet we looked all in against city and looked tired against other teams, but this showed us up for what we really are, and
    i have said this too many times, we are nothing but a mediocre 8th to 5th team with limited funding that even with wanyama etc back will get nowhere apart from our usual flash in the pan once in a lifetime smash and grab on something biggish, then nothing again for decades. The only reason we did so well last two seasons especially last season is because the top teams were all in total disaray and we couldn’t even take advantage of that. This season it is back to, normal service has been resumed.

  • Greavesaboveall,
    one of the most frustrating aspects of the Premier league, but also one of it’s key reasons for it being one of sports biggest attractions – is the way income is evenly distributed apart from of course performance payments i.e. where you finish in the league. For those brave enough (or rich enough) to be able to make huge unimaginable gambles of investment such as City have done is probably now only the domain of soverign funds now where the club is effectively owned by an oil rich state.
    But invest they have done, I watched as they did the same in the horse racing World and now survey a sport where I was once an owner and now can hardly try as they taken so much of the ‘hope’ from the sport i.e. a hope that your horse might step up and win something worthwhile – now with all the best bloodlines they won and the way prices of yearlings have surged, its for most indvidual owners a non-starter, so you could argue they’ve changed the ‘sport’ into a closed shop at the top end – which is pretty much what I can see happening here.
    Put it this way, once we all thought Abramovitch would have it all his own way, now without the new stadium they are desperate to build, even he/they may not be able to compete with PSG/Manchester City – united still can at the moment, just, but that too will change over the next few years if the transfer fee projections I have seen become a reality…

  • There is no shame in losing to Man.c, this is the first time MP has lost to city so the law of averages were not in Spurs favor. I used to give MP the benefit of the doubt in his team selections, however, 3 and half years in and he is still hit and miss. Spurs made bad decisions in the summer Dier and trippier should have been sold replaced by sanchez and aurier, walker should have been forced to stay. The players have given MP 4 seasons and if some of them are no longer responding to his instructions then they will have to be replaced. MP is a “stars align coach” if they align he could win something but with Pep, Conte, Mourinho and Wenger about i wouldn’t put my house on it.

  • The main reason we were badly humiliated has not very much to do with money but everything to do with how the manager organised his team and the way in which he has talked about the need to play at a high tempo all season without ever achieving it. I watched Juventus play yesterday and their tempo and movement made City look like pensioners. At one point during the commentary on our game, Dire was doing his usual standing still with the ball and Hoddle commented that noone on our team was making any movement at all. You could see the same thing at throw ins. Yes we were caught out by pace and driving runs in the main because our MF did not exist. There were vast open spaces into which DeBryne and others could run directly at our back 2 shich should have been 4 but he FBs were either too high or leaving oceans of space for heir wide players, notably Sane. Yes Trippier was skinned a few times but do you honestly think Walker would have done any better given the complete lack of support from the non existent MF. Some of us have said for months now that we need to play at a higher tempo but nothing has changed and that can only be due to Poch. if nothing changes then apart from missing out on a Top 4 place, the Juve game could be the final nail in Poch’s coffin.

  • Yes i do think walker would have done better. How many times did spurs skin Walker zero. The spurs right hand side where Dier and trippier played was unable to deal with city pace. Wake up and smell the coffee.

  • Firstly I totally with Greavesaboveall in his 11.06 post, absolutely spot on and exactly mirroring my opinion. To answer to the title of the thread, I expected a likely defeat to a team on fire, but I expected us to make it harder for them by intelligent team selection, and tactics designed to “park the bus”, ruin the game, and attempt to avoid losing rather than to ” take them on”, we are far from good enough to do that. The result of our approach was an embarrassing 4-1 defeat, an humiliation.

  • Palmover, with the team that Poch put out we had noone that could skin a banana so obviously Walker wasn’t. The comparison is irrelevant. Walker contributed little to the game anyway, although he did give a good road-runner impression in the second half, sprinting almost the entire length of the pitch not to receive the ball. Sane one on one rips most players which is why other managers do not give him the space to run at their defences if they can by using a MF to support the defender.

  • We have zero pace and zero high tempo, in fact we are back to being a boring AVB lets pass around team. City are everything that we should be, fast, penetrating and dynamic.

  • Stop being a hater, Walker is nailed on to be in the Epl team of the year two years running with two different teams. Pep use’s Walker as a defender and doesn’t require him to provide the speed and width, and i have to say the way Pep use’s him is much better than MP whose physical demands on fb is so much they have to be rotated every game.

  • Spursex – I don’t think City are in a class of their own, investment-wise, at least not right now. Chelsea and Man U have easily matched City’s spending in the last years. If anything, the reason City are doing so well this year is them buying into Guardiola’s philosophy. I can’t say that there is necessarily more talent in City’s squad than in Chelsea’s, for example, or that Chelsea don’t have the means to assemble a squad just as good. Certainly at the moment (ie this season), money is not what explains City’s dominance. I take your point for years to come, maybe 5 years from now, if FFP doesn’t get stricter – something which is bound to happen, specifically to stop football “becoming a closed shop at the top end”. That’s what has ruined Formula 1 and they’re doing all they can to come back from that. I’m sure people at UEFA/FIFA are aware of that and working hard to avoid that. In the meantime, City, Man U and Chelsea are probably clear of the pack because of money, but City is in a class of its own because they’ve got a world class manager who is getting the best out of talented players that fit the way he wants to play. Regardless of money, when you look at our Llorente purchase, for example, we can’t even buy players who fit our system.

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