Some were happy that Spurs held Besiktas to a draw in the second Europa League group game, while others watched another poor performance with Hugo Lloris again saving a huge embarrassment.
It was another lacklustre, rather shabby performance from Spurs as yet again Pochettino makes mass changes and yet again the 10 outfield players looked like a group who just met in the tunnel before kick-off.
As Spurs treated the ball with the same contempt they currently treat leads in games.
I’ve read/heard Besiktas talked up but they weren’t that brilliant, nor even that good, they didn’t have to be because they were gifted possession with little or no effort exerted, straight from the off. And that was the pattern for the game as straight from kick-off the ball was cheaply lost, moments later Chirches played a howler -not his last of the night – handed over the ball and gifted Sahan a clear chance on goal.
Luckily he missed which also set a pattern for the night, chances gifted by Spurs spurned by Besiktas and when they weren’t Lloris was there to save the day. He’s racking up the world class saves Hugo, ready for that move to a team where he doesn’t have to.
Fazio was heading things clear but Vlad was having a bit of a nightmare, again not his first of the season, and Ben Davies wasn’t exactly putting himself forward for a starting XI place in the league.
Going forward there was little or nothing, that’s when they didn’t just hand over the ball. Again Pochettino hamstrung the side with the inclusion of Bentaleb in the middle. Again what does he do? While Paulinho out wide was a real head scratcher.
Of course with nobody providing anything forward Soldado received nothing but took all the blame for that.
Apparently he’s a £26m flop who does nothing. Well, he cost half of that and journos who don’t know that are quite frankly lucky to be employed. He does stuff it’s just when he makes the runs and Bentaleb passes it back or Townsend blasts over the bar it goes unnoticed.
Ah but they want him running around like a blue arsed fly. Yet when he does that what happens? Well he chases down and harries defenders gets the ball, looks up and there’s no one in the box – he probably is the best crosser they’ve got and would kill to get on the type of ball into the box he can play himself. Either that or he goes wide and with the ball has three defenders around him, with absolutely no white shirt helping him at all. And it’s all his fault when it doesn’t come off.
Oh, oh Harry Kane made his goal. Yes he did and he took it very well, but he wasn’t playing the lead striker role now was he so could come deeper, when Soldado does that as said above there’s nobody in front of him taking defenders away from him and giving him space. He dropped deep once in the second half and ran a distance but he shouldn’t have to drop into his own half to touch the ball.
In the second half things slightly looked up when Dembele was introduced, but Pochettino buggered it all with his substitutions. Bentaleb should have come off for the Belgian not Stambouli, then not long after he withdrew Soldado for Adebayor and it killed any momentum stone dead. People complaining Soldado can’t hold the ball up yet love Adebayor and his second touch being a lunging tackle, do my head in.
In the end the equaliser was coming the only thing in doubt was if a Besiktas winner would follow it.
No doubt that Demba Ba would score it and no doubt that it would be from some Spurs howler and so it was. Step forward Vlad Chiriches. Step forward, miss the ball and then handle it to give away a penalty. All very Spurs.
I don’t care what you think of Besiktas’ qualities or if this was a Spurs’ second XI, it was lucky that they couldn’t finish and Hugo is outstanding – if they could and he wasn’t would you be so upbeat? – it was a pretty woeful display as was the weekend’s league outing no matter how people try and talk it up and it’s the latest in a increasingly long line. Pochettino really needs to sort it out, especially with his old side coming up next – have they missed a beat since losing all their players and manager? – start with picking your best XI and stick with them, get a team together. And tat means binning the likes of Bentaleb and Adebayor.
*That’s of course assuming they actually get better.