Trying to wrap my head around the 90mins of football I just watched, the only thing that comes to mind are synonyms for sadness. In other words, the Tottenham we all know and love is back!
Here are some of my favorites:
What Went Wrong?
Dier got injured early. Japh got too aggressive. Ben Davies forgot what sport he was playing. Jon Moss had a bad day at the office. International fixtures ruled out Sanchez, Son, Stevie B, Romero, & Lo Celso. That being said, none of the above are what currently cause these deep feelings of cheerlessness and despair deep within my soul.
What Hurts the Most?
Reactions of Nuno Holy Spirit: While we managed to eke out a victory in our first 3 matches of the season, it was plain to see that one of our biggest issues was a lack of creativity in the midfield. Looking at the starting 11 and realizing that Nuno’s reaction to this was to add Winks in the mix to start alongside PEH and Skippy made my brain hurt. I’ve played 12 yr olds in FIFA that had more tactical awareness than to think something like that would work. After 10mins in it was painfully obvious to everyone the system wasn’t going to work, yet there was no reaction from the manager. We all thought that Nuno would surely make some adjustments at half, but to our dismay, the “plan” continued and the inevitable result occurred. I would have rather seen an out-of-shape Ndombele just walking around the pitch, than the combination of Winks, Skippy, and PEH in the engine room again. I truly don’t understand the stubbornness of Nuno not to make an early substitution and while I am still fully behind the man, his lack of tactical flexibility was very concerning.
Lucas cares. Japh cares too much. The rest of the squad looked more toothless than a senior retirement community. Harry Kane’s mannerisms looked like he was playing a testimonial match for a teammate he never really fancied. Sure, there was a complete lack of service and connection through the midfield, but Kane of old would be screaming at players, being Lloris’ bannerman on the pitch. But today there was none of that, and he truly looked like he didn’t care, which really hurt me deep inside. Our reliable Danish Viking who also serves as a motivator on the pitch also seemed to give zero fucks. With a performance as abysmal as that, I expect to see players fighting, screaming at each other, trying to motivate one another, and the lack of this is what disappointed me the most.
I’m absolutely okay with this sort of wake-up call early in the season. Deep down we all knew it was coming eventually and in the first 3 matches, we got a bit lucky. I don’t think we take too much away from this other than an expectation that Nuno needs to learn from his mistakes and motivate the players. From injuries to red cards to international breaks we had a lot going against us on this one, but we must evolve. Let’s not be the goons from Highbury and start calling for players to be cut and the manager to be sacked after 4 matches. Let’s take comfort in the misery we know Tottenham can bring us and bath in this nostalgic feeling we all know so well. We can only go up from here (hopefully).
Up the Spurs.