Is this the end of the beginning for Spurs

Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League - March 31st, 2019

or just the end?

Do you really deserve to win the title if you require Spurs to win the game for you? As a combination of Spurs’ players handed Liverpool three points and the league lead.

This was a stale performance by Spurs, a performance where it showed certain players need either competition or shipping out. A performance where they could quite easily have lost without doing what they did to lose but also could ahve won against a team who were there to be beaten.

A frustrating performance… and why does it always require a formation shift?

Going with the back three worked for the first few minutes as Spurs were on top but as soon as Liverpool got into the game and got the ball it was exposed. Spurs could have been ahead but after some nice build up play, Harry found Lucas free in the box but the Brazilian dithered, had to get the ball on his left and messed up the chance.

Moura hadn’t featured for his country in the break so was obviously seen as fresher than Son, who had travelled and played for Korea. It ended up being Moura’s best outing since the first couple of games of the season, despite this miss.

The Liverpool opener came originally from someone who has no pressure on him. Hugo Lloris. Why do they keep passing the ball back to Hugo for him to kick? He can’t kick a football. A weak clearance, straight to a red shirt and before you know it the ball is out wide off the head of Eriksen on to the host’s left. Trippier doesn’t close down Robertson as he swings in a cracking cross as the central three spread leaving Firmino all alone for an easy header to score.

From there it looked like it was going to end up another embarrassing rout but thankfully all the Liverpool shots didn’t curl enough to go in the far post.

The Spurs formation shifted before the end of the half, Pochettino obviously getting the message down to Jesus on the touchline, as the boss was serving out the second of his two match touchline ban. Things picked up after that. Some chances but no real attempts that had their keeper makings saves.

The only change for the second half was Pochettino’s attire. From the AVB coat to a club jacket. Spurs were better in the half again. Eriksen actually looked bothered at times. He didn’t in the first half and certainly didn’t when he just stood and watched the man he was supposed to be marking run off and collect a short corner.

The Dane looks spent. Gone. Head elsewhere. Though I don’t know where, Barca have filled the spot and Madrid are looking elsewhere. But if they can get £130m for him. Go for it. He’s certainly one that suffers from no squad competition. Who do you pick if you don’t pick Eriksen? Where is the creative midfielder on the bench?

He had a shot blocked, after Kane’s shot was parried into the area and was alive for the equaliser.

Harry Kane must have felt he was playing for England, no one was playing him in and he was having to drift and drop deep to get involved. Seventy minutes in and he was fouled after dropping to the halfway line. Immediately picking himself up, he rolled the ball out and turned and curled it into Trippier on the right wing, Trippier’s first touch was about the best thing he did all afternoon, he found Eriksen who passed it on and Moura knocked it in as Son created space for him.

A nicely worked goal that Harry had to start instead of being on the end of. Son had been introduced just minutes earlier, as Pochettino waited and waited before making the change. The hour had been and gone.

The game hinged on the last five minutes. Spurs could have won it, they ended up losing it.

First up Liverpool were attacking when Sissoko picked up the ball, passed to Rose who played it back but it fell to Harry who turn and immediately played the ball out to Son – much like his turn and pass for the goal – Sissoko had kept on running and Son played it to him first time. Running with the ball at van Dijk the defender dropped to make sure the ball couldn’t be passed cleanly to Son and at that moment everyone knew it was all lost. Sissoko panicked and ballooned his shot. Peak Sissoko. He is fucking hopeless.

There was still a chance but Dele, like everyone who had tried a far post curler in the match couldn’t curl it enough. Minutes later and Spurs went full Sissoko. Harry cleared a corner but it was soon being played back into the box, Salah’s nothing header was there for Lloris to catch but for some reason he just even more weakly palmed it onto Toby for the defender to knock in the winning goal.

What was Lloris doing and why does he seem to do so it much these days? Another player with no pressure on him. No matter how many howlers, expensive howlers in big games such as this his place isn’t in danger. Gazzaniga will be sat on the bench midweek, when it’s screaming out for him to start and for Lloris to fight for his place back.

Feb 10th, nearly two months ago now, they beat Leicester and hit 60 points, were just 5 points off the top, 9 points clear of fourth and 10 clear of sixth. Five games later and they’re on 61 points – one point, five games – 18 points below the top, third on goal difference and only 1 point ahead of sixth, where they could quite easily be after the midweek fixtures.

That brand new stadium is gonna have to do a hell of a lot of inspiring… the title, is it the end of the beginning? Players that have got us this far, seen us into the new stadium, while maintaining that top four place, are they ready to be let go, refreshed with new blood. Yes I’m thinking of Eriksen and Hugo… amongst others.

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