First game back at the Lane and the anticipation and expectation was there. News of the signing of N’jie (or clint as he prefers) was in the air. The opposition was Stoke and following last weeks opening day narrow defeat we should be able to win this one.
It all started well when we took the lead (and from a corner to boot) when Dier rose to head in. nacer Chadli should have put us ahead but miscontrolled the ball allowing Butland to gather easily but he made amend just before half-time. 2-0 and Comfortable, and perhaps that was part of the problem. Too comfortable and not putting enough effort in?
The second half was on the whole, an unmitigated disaster. A needless penalty conceded by Toby Alderweireld allowed Stoke back into the game followed not long afterwards by an equaliser the midfield did nothing to stop. We seemed to lose our shape and the desire to challenege for the ball when the substitutions of Kane and Mason were forced on us. In the run up to the second goal Eriksen charged at the defender with the ball on the halfway line but stopped about 15 yards away from him. This allowed said defender all the time in the world to pick a pass that led directly to the goal.
We will never know for sure if by closing him right down would have done enough to stop him finding that pass but not challenging made it all too simple. That is simply not acceptable from the player that most papers awarded the highest marks in our team. An marking that I find strange given that Eriksen (in my opinion) simply disappeared from the game.
As for the Penalty, It seemed harsh given that far worse offeces were not punished in the Man United Villa game the night before. But that is no excuse. We simply displayed the deficiencies that are becoming all to familier to followers of Spurs.
We always seem to play well for around 20 minutes and then go to sleep. A lead is sat on too often instead of pressing for the goal to kill the game off and it again became obvious that we lack
a) Attacking options (perhaps Clint will go some way to addressin this but another striker is an urgent priority).
b) we need a leader on the pitch that will get the team to work harder. As much as I admire Hugo I do not believe a keeper can ever be a successful captain on the pitch. We need an man in the middle that will drive the players on and I do not see anyone in the current squad who can fulfil that role)
and c) We are desperately in need of a playmaker who is consistent. None of our current squad qualifies there either.
Hopefully this match will serve as a wake up call but we’ve been here before and nothing much has changed before and I fear nothing much will change this time either. Here’s hoping that I am wrong this time.Not what was requiredWhy not register (It's free) and join in our discussions during the 2016/17 season
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