in a whimper.
Still no Spurs manager has won his first three games in the top flight, after Jose Mourinho’s third league game in charge ended in defeat at his previous club, Manchester United.
Jose’s first three games in charge hadn’t been perfect, far from it really, but the team had shown more signs in life over the fixtures than they had previously, resulting in three victories. His fourth game saw those in lilywhite reverting to the insipid displays we saw in the dog days of Pochettino’s reign.
It was an inept display, bar one magic moment, from kick-off until the final whistle.
All telegraphed by Jose’s starting XI. A midfield that looked bereft on paper was missing for 90 plus minutes. Winks and Sissoko. Sissoko and Winks. It can’t be anyone’s idea of the ideal midfield, surely. Hell, even the “he’s one of our own” mob couldn’t talk up Winks performance.
Spurs started slowly again, as they had in all Jose’s games so far, and found themselves behind after just 6 minutes. Sanchez back-heeling the ball into Rashford for him to have a shot just in from the corner of the box. Winks doing that appearing to do something without actually bothering to do something attempt of a block and Gazzaniga is badly beaten at his near post.
One of the standard omniclusterfuckshambles of a goal Spurs have conceded of late.
This didn’t give Spurs the kick up the arse required. The return of the Winks/Sissoko midfield was not the only thing I’d hoped we’d seen the back of. From the first goal-kick, the centre-backs split and the keeper played the ball sideways inside the box. No… no… no… fuck off with this shit.
Why? Why has this returned? It wasn’t a one off and just handed ManU the front foot, which they were on all night, as Spurs disappeared, especially in the middle of the park, the home side didn’t need to be good and fort all the talk of this being their best game of the season so far they pretty much were a one and half man team. McTominay and man-of-the-match Rashford.
Even with that, Gazzaniga was the Spurs player in the action the most.
Winks tried his best to get sent off with a stupid challenge on James, that saw Mourinho take the brunt. Unfortunately the injury he picked up later on in the game didn’t seem too bad.
It was just all United as Spurs couldn’t string one pass together and there was nothing to link the back four – Sanchez seem to have more of the ball than the rest – and those up front. Son and Kane were passengers. It needed that first half Jose hook, Winks and Sissoko gone. But none came. Jose as passive as his players.
That one moment came just before the break. A true bit of class. Vertonghen put over a cross from the left – he was left-back again, don’t know if it really works, he’s got the ability with the ball, just hasn’t got the speed to overlap, there was numerous times where it was crying out for that and to chase speedy wingers – the ball was headed up in the middle of the 6 yard area, falling down Aurier looked like he was gonna score another screamer as he got it perfectly on the volley, from a tight angle, De Gea saved it and it was up in the air again. Dele held off his defender and as the ball came down perfectly controlled it over his head back to goal before despatching it past De Gea.
We’ve got our Dele back. This was Dele again back to the Dele we know and love. A goal that was up there alongside his cracker against Palace nearly 3 years ago.
Bizarrely the XI that started the game, started the second half. And got straight back into their omniclusterfuckshambles from the first minute.
Rashford running at Aurier – with a nutmeg – and then Sissoko, into the area and Sissko takes him down. Penalty. Even with his shaky penalty record of late, the wait for VAR and everything you just felt he wasn’t going to miss this one. And he didn’t.
The second half was much the same dire stuff that had gone before. Any break by Spurs usually ended up in Aurier putting a cross far too near De Gea. Eriksen coming on for Moura just after the hour felt like a Poch sub. Would the Dane turn up for his audition?
Winks finally went after that injury for Ndombele who injected some forward movement in things, while holding onto the ball. Lo Celso’s late introduction, 85th minute for Sissoko, was another Poch style sub.
The whole game, from Spurs point of view, was a very Poch like performance and I mean the bad Poch performance. It was just like so many games in 2019. Everything became frantic, long balls were just a waste, giving the ball away. All just disjointed.
Hopefully Jose will see the error of his ways and we won’t see Winks start again, while an actual defensive midfielder and either Ndombele or Lo Celso start. They both have the passing vision, scoring ability and, in the Argentinian, tackling that Winks lacks.
After the game Mourinho said he hasn’t had real time to prepare them on the training pitch, playing games so close together, well that isn’t gonna change much with the festive fixture list.
I’m just so happy I didn’t have to pay to watch it on Amazon… didn’t have any of the blips others have complained about. No buffering and bad pictures – not too bothered about the delay to be honest, streaming is never going to be as instant as actual telly.