It would be easy for me to sit here and write a thousand word article about how we’re in a crisis, just a couple of days after being battered by Manchester City 4-1 on Saturday night in the Premier League, but if you’re on Twitter, Facebook or any other social media platform, you’ve seen it all been said already over the weekend by various different “fans” and you’ve probably received a pasting this week at work from your colleagues.
So, I’ll keep it short and sweet and give my opinion in as few words as possible.
We faced a team who will probably go down as one of the best club sides in the history of football, let alone ever seen in England. The fact they’ve won 17 out of their 18 Premier League games, winning 16 of them on the bounce, scoring 56 goals in the process, is a clear indication of what we should’ve expected on Saturday night.
However, to put in a performance that we did, taking in to consideration teams like Southampton have given them a real scare in the past few weeks, is not good enough. Kane had some decent chances, with a first half effort going painfully close and a second half attempt bringing the best out of City keeper Ederson, but apart from those chances and Eriksen’s late consolation when we were already 4-0 down, we were nowhere near good enough.
The midfield 2 of Winks and Dembele were embarrassingly overrun, with the sensational De Bruyne running the show for City. Moussa Dembele is a player who, over the years at Spurs, has endeared himself to the fans and consistently put in performances which rank him amongst the best in his position in the Premier League. However, it is clear to several people now that he’s on the decline now. With ongoing injury concerns and his inability to play two full games in a week, questions now need to be asked as to whether the Belgian can be trusted in the games against sides who are around us in the table. Wanyama is a huge miss in the middle of that midfield and I get that options are limited, hence the reason why Poch keeps turning to Dembele, but it may well be time to dip into the transfer market and strengthen that central midfield up.
Dele’s form for, let’s be honest, the entirety of this season so far has been below par and his performance against City was bordering on the ridiculous. Looking disinterested at times and playing with an aggressiveness which was far more noticeable than what he usually plays with, he was extremely lucky not to be sent off for a tackle on de Bruyne which could easily have broken the Belgians leg. Talk of a new agent and rumours of discontent in his personal life clearly seem to be affecting him at the moment.
For all of the good work that we have seen in the last couple of years at the club, the inability to put together some sort of decent form away from home against the other top teams is very noticeable and is arguably the biggest obstacle we need to overcome to win the trophies this group deserve. In the last 6 weeks, we have seen Poch and the team put in sub-par performances against Arsenal, Manchester United and now Manchester City all away from home, seeing us face a huge challenge to get into the Champions League slots for next season in what will be the first campaign in our new home. To win things, you must beat the big sides and we’re not doing that. The League cup final and FA Cup Semi-final defeats against Chelsea also prove that – it’s a lesson which we’re being taught time and time again recently and we can only hope that Mauricio and his staff are learning from it.
Tottenham’s next game is away to Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday 23rd December, 5:30pm kick off.
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