But if Pochettino does that

Manchester United 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League - October 28th, 2017

we have to question him.

Spurs went all out to prove they’re not a one man team against Man Utd and in the process proved they’re pretty damn reliant on that one man but Pochettino didn’t help matter with his team selection.

After a couple of games where Pochettino’s starting XI brought puzzlement, followed by a quick about face by those of us who questioned him, I said we shouldn’t but after losing to Man Utd with a starting lineup that didn’t make sense, it’s another quick turn.

If you go out and actually get a replacement for the one man in your team, pay a reasonable amount of money for the player, considering his age, why would you not play him when the times comes and you’re missing that certain somebody?

I don’t quite get Poch’s thinking here. Along with not starting Llorente he also shoved Dele back into the number 10 spot after a few games have shown him to be better a bit deeper. It was a side that just looked wrong from the start and played that way for much of the game, certainly lacking a focal point.

Along with Llorente missing Sanchez was absent from the starting lineup, which dropped Dier into the back three, packing the midfield with players not fighters. Yeah I figure Poch figured Moaning Mourinho would go all bus parking so there wouldn’t be much guile to stop but there just seemed a lack of balance.

That balance isn’t helped when you factor in the nearly ever present Sissoko. It’s gone from, well not sublime, to the ridiculous. From hardly ever featuring to being there all the time. Being there when , just being there, god helps us, what has happened Poch? What are you playing at? Is it putting him in the shop window for January? Or is it the belief that more games will improve him?

It’s not gonna happen Poch. From those inept runs in recent games where he’s ended up in good positions and buggered it up to just simply receiving the ball under no pressure and it bouncing around his knees, he’s hopeless. One commentator was decrying Dier for not playing Sissoko in after a run into the Man U box. Well there’s a reason he didn’t. Forget it Eric, it’s Sissoko. The only thing worse than Sissoko’s 35 yard effort was his shot from 18 yards. Embarrassing doesn’t quite cut it.

So this disjointed effort was settled after the team with a back five and two holding midfielders, going route one launching the ball from the keeper for the big lumper – who added to his reputation as a flat track bully that disappears in the big games – to nod on and Martial to poke home. Jose can shush his own supporters all he wants, moan about how bad things are for him but in the end this was pure Tony Pulis.

Dier had been excellent all game right up until this one moment.

I had deliberately not tweeted my delight at Rashford going off, just so Martial wouldn’t do something like this. The young England player was by far their best player – some were picking Ashley Young and if he was that just shows the low bar at United these days. Some were happy with Young giving some lip to Dele, well Young hasn’t won the league, he was just there when others did, take him out of that team and no difference. The only surprise being it was Valencia that went for a dive in the area and not Young.

Rashford was their only real creative outlet. Spurs creative outlet though created very little really. There was the gorgeous chip from Eriksen for the onrushing Dele, but he scuffed his chance. Game decider. The rest was basically playing it to me, to you in front of the home defence, never really getting behind them or making de Gea do anything.

Son ran about until he eventually went off but there was just no cohesion between him and those behind him. In a front two with another striker it could have been different because this United were there for the taking really. I mean Huddersfield didn’t need Harry Kane to beat ’em.

And that’s the real disappointment, dropping three points behind an average team. It puts them on the same number of points after 10 games as last season, two places better off – 3rd over 5th – while being five points further behind the league leaders. Though by this time last season City’s flying start had been halted.

I said after the league cup exit wins in the next two were required to forget that result, well it’s all or nowt now. Don’t beat Madrid and it’s one win in five games, lose and it’s three on the trot. Will Harry be back, can they survive without him?

But come on Poch, stop making it easy to question…

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