If Pochettino is angry at a Spurs victory

Watford 2-1 Tottenham hotspur - Premier League - September 1st, 2018

this should have him apoplectic with rage.

After Spurs first loss of the season, against Watford, it looks like the players didn’t take heed to the manager’s dislike of their performance in the previous victory.

Mauricio Pochettion has changed a number of things around at Spurs, losing for the first time in the Premier League to Watford isn’t one of the better things.

The manager was right in his criticism of the Man United victory, the thing is Spurs followed that up by doing their best man united impersonation here. They completely dominated the first half without looking like scoring then were bullied out of it in the second. One team scored all three goals as well.

It was sloppy, just like the first half of the United game the only difference being Spurs were sloppy with the ball, rather than sloppy giving it away. A sloppiness born of complacency. We’ve beaten United we’re too good for this lot… “lads, it’s Watford”.

You can have all the ball but what is the point if their keeper has nothing to do?

A trademark Toby long ball onto Dele’s head but he could only loop it over the bar. The fullbacks didn’t get forward as much in the previous game, Poch switched to the wing-back, three at the back system, which allowed Trippier and Davies to get up the pitch, which they did but it didn’t lead to much. Trippier pretty much got the right side role through games against Watford but he didn’t produce the quality here. On the other side Davies was a lot worse. Maybe he didn’t need that week off.

But all the Spurs player were just off it, possibly with the exception of Moura, who did his usual chasing down and running at defenders, it just didn’t result in much.

So far this season when it hasn’t been working Poch has done something and it turned things around. Personnel, formation, something was needed. Nothing came at the break but when a little under ten minutes had gone and the first goal went in then you figured he’d given them the half time bollicking required.

It was a goal fitting for the game. A scrappy piece of pinball wizardry. Long ball from Toby, headed out, played by Eriksen to Dele, his lofted ball into the box for the on running Dane was headed wide by a defender while the keeper was flapping. From there Moura’s cross was chested in by Watford’s Doucoure.

All that did though was spur Watford on. With a bench containing two holding players, the now fit Wanyama and the dropped Dier, it was crying out for one of them to come on as Watford starting battling, bullying, kicking and scrapping.

With the lack of fight, some people started appreciating Dier a little more after this game. Yes I like Dembele in the side but I’ve never seen him as the holding player. The quarterback, yes, the nose tackle, no. Poch obviously thought the three centre-back could do the job but they needed a presence in the midfield. Someone to stop the attacks before they got to the defence. Though as their goals came from set pieces, a player who didn’t give away fouls in good areas.

They were all over Spurs, first to every ball, not giving anyone in white time to play the ball, so when they scored the equaliser from a free kick, while Vorm stood on watching, it came as no surprise. But Troy Deeney is no Roy of the Rovers who the commentators would have you believe – did Roy Race ever do bird for assault? – and my weren’t they happy at Watford scoring, it picked them up from the doldrums of Spurs going ahead.

The defending at this free-kick generally amounted to little more than watching the ball go into the net. What followed was seven minutes of more last ditch, blind panic, defending until they were put out of their misery. Whereas Spurs ten corners had produced somewhere between diddly and squat, Watford got one goal from three. A melee of running around in the area and doing nothing. All just a bit weak.

Poch took all the plaudits for changing things when they weren’t working in those first three games of the season. He has to take some blame for doing nothing here while it was screaming out for a change. He didn’t have much on the bench in an attacking sense but that wasn’t what was required. Llorente for Toby with less than 10 minutes to go was a panic sub, the other two were just throwaway changes.

One final cross, from Trippier, that led to a weak header from Kane going over the bar summed up the day… and also made you think…

Poch was angry post match and so he should be, looking in the mirror as well. I know with no new signings and the World Cup and now some injuries, you’d think the squad is thin but does all the chopping and changing, players and formation, so early in the season work? Play our game not change to others.

Need to go on one of those unbeaten runs that has followed bad losses previously.

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