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Friday, 24 February 2017

Comes to the crunch and we blow it again


Taking Gent lightly in the first leg put Tottenham out of Europe and exposed the mental flaws still prevalent within the squad.

Down to 10 men Tottenham ran the show, so why didn't they run the show with 11 men in the first leg? The timid do not lose approach, that didn't work, cost us dear. When losing the first leg we have been eliminated 7 out of the last 8 times in Europe. That statistic alone shows our mentality to these games is wrong.

I wrote before the second leg of our weakness at corners and sure enough Eric Dier backtracking couldn't get off the floor giving their unmarked played a header back across into the danger zone for Harry Kane to keep up an unwanted record. He has now scored an own goal in each of the last 4 seasons. It was Dier who got easily turned on the half-way line leaving Alderweireld to make a brilliant tackle that the referee wrongly gave a corner for, from which they scored.

The second when we were chasing the game saw Eric Dier step up to play offside and let gent through. Vertonghen had to come across and when the ball was played back across the area, Dier chested it down and then deflected the shot past Lloris. Far too many times in big games he makes costly mistakes as a centre-back. One has to make mistakes to improve and presumably Pochettino is using this season as a learning curve for him.

A record of 5 defeats in our last 6 appearances at Wembley is a far cry from the days when we were unbeaten there. A 2-2 draw doesn't really improve it much.

The main attacking outlet for Spurs was Kyle Walker, he was putting in cross after cross after cross as well as getting in a few shots of his own. None however, resulted in a goal. A defender was always getting there ahead of Kane who missed 4 crosses by feet.

Our shooting was poor, far too many time we simply blasted over the bar, even from inside the penalty box, Vertonghen didn't get a shot near goal, Eriksen was shooting over from outside the area and Walker was off target too.

Under pressure your default setting must be to be clinical, ours isn't. It is to panic and blast. While we tried hard with 10 men the bottom line is we didn't succeed.

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  1. That's because we have a great starting 11 but not much more, the team know who's going to play before Pochettino does. We need more QUALITY players to put pressure on the team selection.

    1. Exactly...but I guess the new stadium precludes us from splashing the cash.
      Still, more work can be done with the current lot.
      HK is far from the finished article...anticipation & acceleration could be better and for god's sake Kane stop falling over.
      Eriksen seems to confuse shooting with dead-ball situations...
      if only he could lift the ball from the corner flag with just some of the elevation that he puts into his shooting!
      More work needed on the training ground methinks.

  2. I believe we did plenty enough across the two games to win by a country mile. The difference on both occasions was the ref and his team.

    I agree with some of the points: We could have put more pressure on when we had ten men on the pitch; We could have kept better discipline in spite of so many atrocious decisions. Ultimately though, when you're brought down in the box and hacked across the park with impunity it's always going to be an uphill struggle.

    With half-way decent officials we'd have won both games at a canter. Strangely, the ref at home was much much worse than the one at Ghent - and that one was enough to give them a goal and stoip us scoring.



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