Date: 7th December 2017 at 10:22am
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Three firsts; First goal by Llorente, First Goal for Nkoudou, First CL appearance for Sterling.

I`m grateful to Matic for his summary of the players and the game, I thought it was always going to be very hard to have a really good game and one that made everybody feel it was a fitting end to our group campaign; it wasn`t, and that didn`t surprise me, even if on the way back last night everything felt very flat, if I didn`t know better I would have said we`d lost.

Talking to a bunch of other fans on the train back, I`d say everyone is nervy, confidence is low and our expectations for the January window are more one of trepidation of whether we can hold onto who we`ve got.

I`m actually glad the Champions League is out of the way now so that we can concentrate on getting our form right in the Premier League.
We could now show that we are prepared to fight to the very end for that Top 4 finish., do that and faith and hope could be easily restored.

Anyway, here`s Matic`s view of the game and the players – none of which I could disagree with, hence why I’ve reproduced his thoughts here in full:

It was a really strange game. Our comfort in the game was more to do with APOEL being poor than us playing well. There were passages of play where we did well and a few players had really good games. My thoughts…

Vorm – Nothing to do.

Aurier – Brilliant cross for the goal, had a few brain fart moments where he let his concentration slip but had a decent game in general. He didn’t dive in to challenges like he usually does and even though that yellow card could have been a red, I thought it was unfortunate more than it being a lack of discipline.

Foyth – Had moments where you would have been excused for thinking it was Toby on the pitch but then had moments that were typical of a 19 y/o who hasn’t had much game time or experience at this level.

Sanchez – Worst performance for us yet. He was rash, lacking in discipline and his concentration kept slipping away. Totally different player to the one we’ve seen all season so far. This 3 game suspension might be a good chance for him to train hard and get his composure back.

Rose – Cut a frustrated figure. He’s getting back into the swing of things but not at the level we’re used to.

Winks – A really mature performance from such a young lad. The conductor for the orchestra. You can see he is struggling to get match fit though. He wasn’t his usual self.

Sissoko – He had a few moments where his brain just shut off and he is a serial ball watcher but he worked hard and when he was switched on his passing and movement was very good.

Dele – Sort of drifted through the game. A couple moments of Dele genius and is definitely putting in the work but the only way I can describe him at the moment is that he looks a shell of the player we are used to.

N’Koudou – When that goal went in something appeared to click. He worked hard all game but looked nervous. He scored and his confidence rushed back. This could be the start of him being more involved because it was a decent performance.

Sonny – Class. A level above everybody else.

Llorente – Great goal and great assist. I really don’t understand why we don’t ping more crosses into the box from deeper when he is on the pitch. We don’t really adapt to play to his strengths.

KWP – This boy has something about him. He was bright when he came on, did well getting down the flank and looks like he’s getting stronger too. I’d be nervous if I were Aurier and Trips.

Dembele – I can understand why Poch put him on, because he has not been in good form and Poch will have wanted him to be a part of a win to give him some confidence. He was poor though and also looks like a player struggling for match fitness.

Sterling – Felt really sorry for him stood there for so long. You could feel through the TV that every Spurs fan was willing the ball to go out of play. I got that Poch will have wanted to give Dele more time to get a goal or something to help his confidence but I thought Kaz should have been bought on on around the 70-75 minute mark so he actually had a chance to get some proper minutes under his belt. Instead he got about 3 and only managed one touch.

Poch – Face like thunder all night. Bags under his eyes. The overall performance was enough to win but we were slow and still too sloppy.


9 Replies to “The Three Firsts And Job Done.”

  • thoroughly underwhelming performance…Poch was not a happy bunny and you could see the body language between him and Rose. I cant put my finger on what has happened to us just recently and I don’t think Poch can either. We need a player like Eriksen to click back and that will bring the best out of Dele and get the engine ticking again. Dembo looks shot! Sissoko is between somewhere and no where and when we get to the Man City game we are going to look like a second division club if we continue to play around the ball not with it! Injuries will force Poch to play 4 at the back at the EItihad but if that means Dembo sitting in front of a back four then forget it! The only good thing about last night was the Son and Llorente partnership which Poch should try for Brighton and Stoke and give Harry time to recover for the City game cos he’s carrying a knock. Lets pray for Wanyama to be back for the City game!

  • Poch and Rose actually had a smile and a laugh for eachother at the final whistle… MP also seemed happy enough and pleased with our performance in his post match BT Sport interview…. Last night was never to be about anything other than the one last, relatively easy match to play before entering into the next phase, whilst having the luxury to rest Harry, Hugo and the others.

  • To be fair, it was a competitive training match, and the whole atmosphere at Wembley before, during and after reflected the occassion – I really wouldn’t/Couldn’t read much of anything into it – did we learn anything we didn’t know? Did Poch, did the players, did the fans?

    This was as dead a rubber as a match ever was and it showed. That said, Delli is a major concern for me now, he looks like the confidence is leaving his play at the same rate as he gets minutes on the pitch, which for us is a major problem.

  • Watched the game, so dont really need to read the preview, wasn’t the most entertaining game, Foyth impressed me, more than he did against West Ham. Son was his usually Son, I thought Alli may have shone in this game, but maybe the confidence is a little low, and Nkoudou as much as i want him to success, I cant see him being here this time next year, he still lacking.

  • We get 1.5 million euros for a Champions league group stage win, so result was valuable.
    I thought Foyth had a good game but needs to play to grow. He is sure to make mistakes but just needs supporters backing as he develops. Even Ledley King was a raw youngster prone to mistakes when he first played in the first team. Harry Winks still seems to be troubled by his ankle injury I hope there is no lasting damage. Llorente and Dele always show football intelligence even when not at there best and this is a quality near impossible to teach. orriente

  • I’d like N’koudou,Foyth & Llorente to have more playing time. With some easier fixtures coming up,why not rotate the squad to give these guys a chance to show what they can do.I feel that Kane ,Alli & Eriksen need some rest time to rediscover their form & fitness.

  • Greavesabovall, given our position in the League and set against our seasons aspirations – do we have ANY easy games we can afford to rotate in?

    I’d argue we can’t afford any more slip ups or all hope of a top 4 fnish will go the way of our hopes of competing for the league.

  • If we do not play N’Koudou how will we ever know if he will make the grade, no wonder he had a nervous start, probably thinks that if he is not a world beater then he will be dropped, same problem with all our new players, same happened with Wimmer when Verts came back and Jansen getting two three minutes at the end of the game to become a regular starter in the eyes of Poch.

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