Beating Dortmund in the last 16 of the Europa League would have sent a statement, not turning up and getting roundly thrashed in the first leg also sent one.
Hopefully it does send the statement of an end of season spiral to disappointment.
They have to not only beat Villa at the weekend but in reality have to hand out their own thrashing to a team that’ll more than likely be playing lower division football next year.
It’s not the team that Pochettino put out, it’s not losing to Dortmund, it’s the manner in which they did. The Germans are a “top, top” side, quality players, especially in attack, especially when they’re on it and they were in this game. They were allowed to be.
So there’s all the talk about Pochettino’s team selection and how he sacrificed this game for the league. In the space of just over a week they’ve put in their two worst performances of the season. You could say this wasn’t the worst, scoreline yes but performance wise well West Ham was worse as Dortmund are somewhat better than that lot. Now that West Ham game had more first teamers.
Yes the middle of Mason and Carroll wasn’t up to snuff. Said before Carroll has looked OK when coming on for a cameo while the team is winning but when he starts he disappears. Yes the stats went round of his high passing percentage in the first half but what did he actually do with those passes. Nobody remembers. Mason was even more anonymous, he really does need a quality player next to him. It could have been worse, the hindrance that is Bentaleb stayed on the bench.
What didn’t help either was the front line. A fluid bunch of Chadli, Eriksen and Son. And when something is crap you don’t want it to be fluid. Now they ain’t exactly the kids of the team, yes Eriksen is young but he’s been around a bit. None of them could keep hold of the ball, Chadli and Eriksen the worst. Stupid flicks and tricks that just gave up possession. Now I’m a fan of the Dane but for a player of his quality and class sometimes his passing is beyond awful.
While putting up Carroll’s stats no one mentioned that up until late in the first half Eriksen’s was at less than 50% success. So each pass he tried wasn’t even a 50/50 ball. That is poor.
I’m excluding Onomah from this a bit. He is a kid. While the experienced ones around him are failing in their duty it shouldn’t be on his shoulders alone to lead the attack. After Eriksen’s early shot straight at the ‘keeper the best chance for Spurs was Onomah running the channels on passes from Trippier. But after the few times it was tried it wasn’t seen again. The amount of times he stood there looking bewildered at the rubbish that was going on around him.
People of course went into their full moan mode about the fullbacks. Somehow they think Walker and Rose would have made a difference. Apparently the fullbacks were too narrow. Er, did they watch the game at the weekend. How far inside was Rose for both of the goals conceded? How far is he always inside? Though I’m pretty sure he would have out-jumped Aubameyang to prevent the opener. Yeah, right.
The Dortmund goals were class, they were given the time and space to be class, while hurrying and harrying Spurs in the way the visitors like to do, while being better than anything they’ve met in the Premier League all season. A starting XI full of your first choicers would probably have struggled here.
Dortmund could put out a first choice XI, well as close as they could get with injuries etc, as like Spurs they’re second in the league but they have a 16 point gap over third placed Hertha, with little real chance of making up the five points they lie adrift of Munich for the title. While Spurs ahvea good chance to get the five points on Leicester but are only 3 points ahead of third and only 6th off fifth.
Son could have had a penalty when it as still 1-0 – Spurs very lucky to go in at the break just one down – it looked a dead on foul but those officials behind the goal are even worse than the linos. Onomah was close to winning another one later on, well when I say close it wasn’t in the penalty area and the dimwit ref didn’t even figure it to be a foul. That, with that early Eriksen chance, was your lot going forward basically.
I didn’t get Lamela not starting, six goals in the competition so far, is he going to start at the weekend? And I didn’t get bringing Kane on for 15 minutes. The only real positives that could be taken from the game are that none of Kane, Mousa, Toby and Hugo left injured.
But to fully justify what happened they have to get back on winning ways, three games without a victory now, because when you flop out of one competition like this it can start a downward spiral of losing and hell if you don’t beat Villa you don’t deserve to win anything…