Date: 27th November 2017 at 10:21am
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Whoops Apocalypse!

As I was away for the weekend and only got back last Sunday night, I have only seen brief Match of the Day highlights, which means my post match debrief is limited.

But reading the match threads, it`s pretty clear that those of a negative bent have almost relished the event to metaphorically say “I told you so!”

Apparently, Poch is a pretender, Wembley is wank and Tottenham are Tottering. Of course, the more negative amongst us will agree with every word of that, the happy clappers will see it as a minor bump and the realists will use their commonsense and knowledge of the game in terms of set-up and tactics to consider what went wrong – the margins between a good win and disappointing draw are fine; I don`t recall seeing Sanchez being brushed off the ball and get his timing so wrong that allowed Rondon to mishit the ball and trickle the ball into the net.

If you`ve been watching us since Sanchez came in, you would have put your mortgage on him seeing Rondon off or marshalling out.

I`d lay money on the video rooms being like sweat boxes today as the analysts review the key moments of the game.

What is clear is that as manager after manager has and still do claim (including Poch now) juggling the Champions league and the Premier League isn`t as simple as we think, looking at the clubs that are in it, apart from the club who have the advantage of being owned by a Sovereign Wealth fund, all are finding it trickier than it really should be. Once again we learn that the Premier League has the capacity to hurt and surprise, the differences between everyone else and the Top 6 is not nearly as wide as it is in Europe, and it demands a price and takes a toll.

In my preview, I`d presciently said this:

” The bad news is that teams that lose their managers always have this uncanny knack of trying to prove that it wasn`t their fault the manager was sacked and often un-expectantly play above their recent form, managing to confound all the pundits and critics. It wouldn`t shock me to see them do just that; leave their recent form behind and look to their past record to inspire them for this one. West Brom`s record against us is pretty decent and the new man will no doubt remind them of that before they cross the line. I expect that their realistic ambition for this game will be a draw?.”

It seems my deeply held fear has come true, even though I let my positivity get the better of me predicting that an early goal would still let us tonk them 4-0.

The result prompts a deeper look and a piece of introspection into our approach: On the matchday preview thread, 10Hoddle pointedly asked the key questions prior to the game:

“Well, WBA have two wins to their name this season and this could very well be their 3rd.
No, but really, I have little faith in how Poch mentally prepares out team for big games and against teams that are having a bad trot. Lesser teams have a habit of breaking their drought against us over the last 4 years or so.
Should be clinical 3-0 win with 65% possession.

Question is….which Spurs will turn up?…. “

Well it seems the leggy, knackered and less than impressive Tottenham did, so how now to answer 10Hoddle who asked the difficult questions; perhaps now we need to find the answers?

I think we`re suffering from four key missing ingredients now, and have been for a while; Wanyama was absolutely outstanding for us last season and he`s being badly missed. If anyone ever wondered how we`ll deal with losing Toby in the summer, I think that too is now pretty clear. Add to that missing Roses pace and tenacity down the wing and you have a less than complete Tottenham. The biggest weakness of all for me is losing Walker, he was outstanding for us in the last 2 and a half seasons, he`d eliminated errors from his game and his pace terrified defenders. Aurier clearly isn`t yet got anywhere near that level, even if I do believe that the indications are his lack of pre-season conditioning and his bulk carrying are being addressed.

Trippier is bang average, good in a back four, impossibly exposed as a wing back; he couldn`t go run past a lamp post on a good day. Those that still think that Trippier and Davies can work as wingbacks in our system of play must now wake up and smell the coffee – and that includes Poch. When both play our ‘wing` play is limited and lacking genuine threat and pace, Trippier in particular almost stops our attacks stone dead which is why he does the old David Bentley trick of hitting long balls from deep, as an opposition, once you suss that out, eliminating him as a threat is relatively simple.

We`re built on a high tempo, high pushing pressuring line, /pressing possession game, where according to the Tottenham supporting intelligentsia, pace doesn`t matter. The threat of pace is over-rated, work-rate is king.

If anyone, including Poch still believes that, then they are deluding themselves, pace gets past defenders and gets behind them, pace scares defenders and forces them to play differently, it means defenders give a healthy distance away, which in turn allows your more creative players to stand off, not be pressed by two or three players and gives them ability to make passing movement swifter and with greater movement. Both Trippier and to a lessor extent Davies, negate that and allows defences to just sit back, crowd the area and choke the life out of our game. Because of it, we get reduced to shots from the edge of the area or headers in crowded positions where both require a large slice of luck to hit home.

I dread to think what our wingback play will look like when we lose Rose as well. Personally, I`d drop Trippier for Kyle Walker Peters as the alternative to Aurier faster than you can say “Spursey”.

Of course none of that lets off how our playing through the middle with our creative players has become muddled, confusing the enemy with rapid movement and passing is now beginning to look like a slow-motion car crash; you can see it happening, but appear powerless to correct it.

Poch has to rethink his tactics in the light of our injuries and then limitations of our second string ‘wing-backs`, he could start with play one, not both. Davies has done well whilst Rose has been having mental moments and recovering from injury. Davies isn`t Rose and never will be.

Let`s be sensible; we`ve done well up until now, but in post Champions league games or after international breaks we`ve looked leggy and bereft of the energy levels our style of play demands; I hope as we make our transfer plans concrete in the Jan window and prepare for Toby and Roses departure in the summer, (and I am 100% certain they have both been tapped up) we consider that, and make the adjustments that are looking absolutely necessary, because if we don`t, it will be Europa again next season and a ‘as you were` like for like swap with our North London rivals.

Unless of course, you know better and think I`ve got this all wrong?


43 Replies to “Whoops Apocalypse!”

  • Pace is over rated IF you have the guile and/or technical ability to beat a man with skill. Eriksen isn’t fast but he can get past one or 2 men easily. The problem with players like Trippier is that they have neither. A cracking cross, but if he can never get in a position to deliver it, it’s a wasted attribute.

  • Pace is never overated, it terrifies defenders, which is one of the reasons why Walker is winning MOM awards and being celebrated and idolised the way he is at ManC….

  • This is nothing new. Two seasons ago we had a real problem breaking down teams that came to defend. Last season we seemed to get better but now we have regressed. We can talk about team selections all we like but the simple truth is we ought to be able to beat a team like West Brom with half our first eleven missing, we simply have no idea how to deal with these sides. Think Burnley, think of the struggle to beat Palace 1-0, West Brom is just the latest and probably not the last. Yet we can thump Real Madrid. If a team comes to take us on we have no problem, if they come to defend we do. Poch needs to sort it out.

  • Wembley and our poor transfer business this summer is the main problem to me this season. I definitely agree more pace and skill in needed in this team, we know we needed more options.

  • Pace is vital in the modern Premiership.With so many teams adapting the pack the defence & hit Spurs on the break tactic we are suffering big-time. The most free scoring teams in the division are Citeh,Chelsea & Liverpool.Why? it’s simple -fast ,skillful forwards,who can break quickly & slice through defences .Spurs build up against deep defences is ponderous & goes through the middle where all the defenders are.As pointed out by Spursex ,without Rose & Walker we haven’t the pace to get behind a packed defence & we don’t have players with the pace,quick feet & skill of Hazard,Salah,Mane,Sane,Sterling,Jesus etc to pull central defenders apart & slip in to goalscoring positions. Frankly our forward line is not good enough or direct enough to open up a tight defence.Our recruiting policy is flawed when you look at our options up front. I’m fed up saying this every week & I’m sure you are fed up hearing it. Our best bet is the Champions League because they haven’t sussed us out yet!

  • CE can’t beat anyone, he relies on space being made for him, mane, salah and sane beat players with speed and skill, spurs best player at beating players is son because he has speed and skill.

  • Agree with Spurex 100%. MP falling out with walker had nothing to do with football any fool can see Walker is in a different class to Tripier. When Mp played Tripier ahead of Walker in Semi final vs chavs i knew MP was a bad manager who would cut off his nose to spite his face. I hope MP can changes his mentality as it is holding back Spurs in terms of winning trophies.

  • Pace is absolutely important – look at Saleh and Mane at Liverpool. Unfortunately, if Eriksen is off his game we have neither pace or guile. We are missing Rose and Walker so much. Davies and Trippier are decent but they only seem to look good against teams that open the game up against us. The games against Burnley, Swansea, Bournemouth, Palace and West Brom have all formed a similar pattern and games against this type of opposition will continue to do so unless we find a way to overcome them. four goals in five games against them, eleven goals in four home games against Dortmund, Madrid, Chelsea and Liverpool. The problem is clear. Over to you Poch.
    Another thing, we must absolutely not sell Rose to Man U. A club at the level we are now at should not sell to a rival. Rose is on a long contract – we simply tell him that if he insists on leaving it will be to a club abroad but not to a top six rival. We have already made that mistake once with Walker.

  • Levy said we wouldn’t sell our best players this season .What a joke that is,he should be wearing a red nose.

  • MP needs to get over himself ,he’s starting believe the hype .Yes, we beat Real,but they left huge spaces at the back.MP now thinks he’s god’s gift. Make up with Rose,don’t sell Toby & sign some quick ,skillful forwards or you will find out where pride gets you! I’m saying this because I care about the man & I’m worried for him. Fans are notoriously fickle ,they love you one minute then kick you the next.Remember Ranieri.Where is he now!

  • Leicester sold their midfield maestro-Kante & that cost Ranieri his job.Learn from the mistakes of others MP.

  • Once again we show our inexperience, lack of guile and naivete in front of goal. How many more times do we have to watch the painful procedure of us pathetically attempting to unlock a packed and well organised defence.

    funny how teams around us can score seemingly at will against the lower teams most games, but we struggle to score even once, even then you don’t see the players really celebrate because they are all too relieved that we scored rather than ecstatic, that also shows what a poor mindset our players have. We find it easy to play R M and Dortmund because they play open expansive football, leaving space that we can exploit, no spaces to exploit in a packed defence which renders us toothless. We just don’t learn, we STILL can’t score from corners, do we actually practice them yet? Because it sure looks like we still don’t, and if we do, why haven’t we improved on them since the days of AVB? We still have so much to improve on and learn, players manager, his team and of course Levy as he hasn’t had this sort of potential on his hands before and he will have to learn how to deal at a higher level if the progression goes as it should. It will be a longer haul than most seem to anticipate and there will be massive blunders and failures as well as massive highs. But we just have to stick with it, man and grumble as and when, but on match day please start to give more support. Most of the time it’s the opposition support that is loudest. mI live too far to be able to go, but when
    i was able to. in the 70s, the support was immense, even the season we went down there was more vocal support. Come on, this is WEMBLEY FFS.
    if you can’t give throat for your team at the spiritual home of British football maybe you should question why you are there in the first place,

  • chrishove, I’ve missed very few games at Wembley ever since it was built; it is in my view one of the very worst stadiums in the world in terms of encouraging or creating sound – so much so that in recent years England intriduced the monotonous ohompa pa band and even the back seat noise slappers – it’s a useless stadium, made worse for by the seat distribution of our ‘core’ / most vocal support from WHL, seriously whilst you can accuse the Spurs fans from not being vocal enough at times, even when they are the acoustics at Wembley are so poor you can hardly recognise what you hear on the TV sounds to what goes on in the stadium. The place should be condemned.

  • Pace up front had little to do with our defeat. There was no space to run into, our loss of a goal was the main issue. Man Utd and Arsenal both fluked I-0 nil wins. Walker now plays for a team full of super stars so his game just appears better now. But what about a small group of people at Wembley who booed at half time, this is the greatest handicap Spurs have – an entitlement to a win culture. Liverpool or Man Utd supporters would not behave like this. as Garry Neville or Jamie Carragher would confirm and go mental if it happened in similar circumstance at their home games. At worst the atmosphere would go quite. Still our moaners take to the media with their expert hind site summary (only) after every defeat. If anything persuades Pochettino to move on it will be the negative winchers Spurs are saddled with.

  • Gary Neville would go mental have you seen him?? Dont think anyone would worry about Gary Neville getting angry, even if we drew against West Brom

  • Would someone please explain how pace is going to open up a packed defence where they are massed in their third of the field and there is no space to run into ? Essentially pace is a counter attacking weapon, it works if the other side attack first.

  • camper. Walker plays for a super coach and a back four featuring Stones, Otemendi and Delph. Pep gets two games a week out of Walker and walker is the best defender they have i wouldn’t swap spurs back four with cities, Kompany is coming back but is injury prone. MP has to make some adjustments to his approach as he is not getting the same number of games from his full backs as other teams. Walker did mention that Mp does a lot of volume work (physical training) whereas city do more ball work (technical training). MP has had the opportunity to make spurs more attacking but has chosen to stick to his philosophy even though it has delivered no trophies to date. Ultimately whether he likes it or not MP like all top mangers will be judged on his trophy wins.

  • Camper, it?s not hindsight. Most of us complainers predicted the performance before it happened, based upon previous games against similar opposition. If Poch cannot sort it out, and he shows no signs of being able to do so, then he may indeed have to move on. He can afford to feel comfortable with his ?project? but our best players cannot. They want tangible rewards for their efforts and results like those against WBA and others will indicate that they will not achieve them with us.

  • Jod is absolutely right, if teams try to beat us we are fine, but if teams are disciplined and get into their two banks of 4 and defend properly we struggle. We lack the pace, the guile, and the penetration to break them down or get in behind.. Having said that we had a total of 24 shots and only scored 1goal, why? We need some quality injection in January or in May, if we wish to be truly competitive, we have now slipped to 5th into the dreaded Europa League territory.

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