Textbook Tottenham trip up again
Spurs 0 Wolverhampton 1
“Ridiculous that there's butterflies and nervous twitches in amongst the Spurs faithful, but such is the way of supporting this club. Nothing can ever be taken for granted”
– Spooky, Spurs v Wolves match preview
Bloody hell. It's almost like I scripted the result with my match preview of the game. Word for word what I asked from the players, to avoid, they appear to have embraced and allow themselves to fall victim to yet another 'OMG' home defeat.
Here's me, pre-match, concerned about which Spurs we'd witness against Wolves. The one that took Wigan apart or the one that failed to up the tempo an extra notch and were wasteful in front of goal, losing to Stoke? I had forgotten about that other one. The distant cousin that always turns up uninvited, spoiling the occasion. I'm talking about the one that plays football like they've forgotten how to play football. Casual, sloppy, lazy. No change of gear, no initial urgency - until it's too late in the day. Just going through the motions, full of sort-of-half-chance opportunities with plenty of over-hit passing.
Nothing overly exciting. Little faith.
And the perfect fit for an away side, regardless of their quality. Its comfortable playing against this Spurs because there not asking enough questions to keep you occupied. Get a goal, and the likelihood is that you'll see out the game, always capable of countering and scoring a second and never that worried that Spurs will perhaps find a way through.
It's like a eunuch in a harem. No chance of any sustained penetration. No moneyshot.
It’s the common blip, the advert of inconsistency we all know too well. The irritation that ground-hogs its way through our lives season upon season. When we expect Spurs to win, expect the result to go the other way. One down after three minutes and that voice in your heard is laughing uncontrollably.
2nd half saw both Moddle and Crouch on. But neither could muster up a killer ball or lay off.
If our lacklustre performance wasn't bad enough, the second ominous ingredient, is that of urgency that arrives in the guise of panic. It's a variety tinged with over-eagerness that builds up with each passing minute. Players lacking the composure and decisiveness for the break-through.
We dominated the second period, but that cloud that darkened our day (Stoke at home) was brooding over N17 again, ready to pour down further misery.
This is a collective problem. Not any given individuals fault. When presented with what looks like an equaliser, its fluffed. It's surreal at times, almost like nobody wants to take responsibility.
Lennon, escapes his marker and runs into the penalty area, squaring it, but no clear shot is taken. The half is littered with these types of examples. Possession is evident. But it's untidy in the final third, even if it looks dangerous (for Wolves) as they defend, nobody in Lilywhite puts foot on ball and attempts to play or hit it with intent and confidence.
This is the perfect illustration of how not having a commanding leader on the pitch is detrimental because we seem to suffer easily if things don't appear to be going our way. It's going to happen this sort of thing. Any club can go 1-0 down at home to a lower placed side that are expected to be beaten. But usually, the home side turns it around. However, there appears to be no in-betweeners for Spurs.
We either win and win comfortably, or we stutter and lose by a goal having dominated the vast majority of the game. Left scratching our heads. Another passage of play saw Corluka cross in for Kranjcar, this is it, no its not. Wasted.
Gio, with a rare appearance replaced the Croat and you just knew things were now beyond desperate. But still, anything crossed in was scruffy rather than clean-cut.
All Wolves had to do today was score. Just the one chance. Which they did, nice and early. Nice and simple. Then sit back and watch us limply attempt to equalise. One of those days? Yes, one of those reoccurring days that is becoming a major bugbear. Do we switch off? Is it a belief issue? Soft back bone? We know we are better than this, yet we are still capable of disappointing afternoons.
Did I mention lack of leadership?
Absolutely waste of a Premier league game (from our point of view). The frustration made worse because you go away thinking, we didn't play badly, right? Right?
It's a poor performance simply because we failed to do the simple things. Failed to grab the game, slow it down and then build it back up again - to our requirements and tempo. Regardless, well done to Wolves. They completed a rather simple act of getting the ball across the goal line. Something we made look like mission impossible.
I don’t know why I'm even surprised at the loss. This was textbook. What’s worrying is that we've now outplayed our last three opponents and failed to win in any of the games.
We are owed a complete performance against City. That will make or break Christmas.
Good to see Luka back. The one bright spot in an otherwise gloomy weekend. Hopefully it doesn’t take him too long get back to 100%. Hearing that BAE had an altercation with a fan that involved hands round neck. I've not dared venture into the message boards this evening or yet to have read any official match reports. I'll leave that until later, when I'm less delicate.
Talking of delicate, a final word for our mentally weak troopers. We don’t appear to have the desire to be top 4. This week at least. I'm sure it will change again next week. And that's the conundrum Harry has to resolve quickly. Cancel out these anomalies before they became our signature. No more yo-yo'ing.
In some ways, it wasn’t so much Wolves beating us, rather Spurs beating Spurs. You know exactly what I’m referring to here. We are doing this to ourselves far too much. In 2006 we’d lose 1-0 leads in the dying seconds of games that cost us at the death. This time round we appear to go from goal scoring pimps to impotent apologists from one game to the next.
The art of scoring and not scoring goals by Tottenham Hotspur. Guaranteed to give you a headache.