'Run around a lot and kick it in the net' - that doesn't seem to work anymore
It's manifested itself once again. The Tottenham disease. Pivotal moment in the season, and there it is, laughing in our face as our season falls apart faster than someone with leprosy. What a shambolic mess of a performance that was. Okay, so that doesn't happen often. We've had a decent season - more than decent in fact. We've played well and looked the part for most of it - however, that doesn't mean we can shrug and ignore the fact that as a team - with functioning parts - we've degraded over the past couple of months. Spark, cohesion lost in the midst of battle. To lose 6 points to Wolves is a statement. One of depression I'm afraid. We've got it wrong again. How did we become so one dimensional? We're not even digging deep and claiming scrappy/lucky points.
This isn't a knee jerk by the way. I've been confident and positive all season. Well for most of it. But games like this can't be marked off as one-offs. If we're going to be toothless we may as well just hope we finish outside of the Europa League qualifying position so that we can give it a right old go at 4th next season. Ah, 'next season'…music to my ears.
So what exactly went wrong?
Team selection for starters. Why chop and change? I understand we have a squad and we should be able to do so and perhaps Harry trusted his players to be professional but considering how we've struggled in recent games to put away chances, I don't think this was the game to shuffle. Palacios, Modric and Corluka all on the bench. Rested for the FA Cup game? Worth it?
Kaboul slotted into right-back. And what we witnessed was perhaps one of the most shocking displays from any Spurs player since, well since the last time Kaboul was here. Allow me to be insightful with some analytical thoughts on his performance.
He was fucking shit.
We've gone from having an abundance of right-backs, to one quality right-back who gets benched for a centre-back who IS NOT A SODDING RIGHT BACK.
And then, there's JJ. Monstrously poor. More lost than Jack Shepherd.
Can we not, for once, play the best team possible and not play players for the sake of it? If this was genuinely the best side Harry could muster up then shame on all the players for having less application than a ZX80. The fact he subbed Jenas in the second half more or less clears that one up. Give it up, he's just not very good so don't start him in the first place. It's detrimental to progression.
Dawson and Bassong struggled a little, no doubt the sight of Kaboul was too much for them to handle.
Niko was disappointing. Almost liked he peaked for 3/4 games and then run out of steam. He seems to lack the composure of earlier games. Okay, so he was dropped - but come on, is it too much to ask to have players who can retain a decent standard of form when involved in squad rotation? Harry needs to earn his wage here and get Niko's head sorted out. Quickly.
Gudjohnsen was okay. Nothing more but then again our forward play was abysmal. When we created chances early on, we failed to build on it in a commanding manner. Again. No bullish determined forcefulness.
Then we Just sort of watched them cross (Kaboul was putting the kettle on at the time) and score and then they proceeded to sit back and defend. Which is nothing to complain about from their perspective. They are Wolves, they're meant to be relegation fodder and might Spurs managed to simply make the art of scoring a goal look impossible. This was proper failing to break out of a paper bag football. If we are head and shoulders better than them quality wise, we didn't show it.
Wolves have managed just 9 goals (10 including last night) all season long at home. We managed 9 for a single dvd. Baby Jesus is weeping.
Second half was so tragic that I turned it off with 20 minutes left and decided that I'd rather be confused and left scratching my head watching Kate run around in two different realities in the third episode of Lost (season 6). Thought the ep was 'filler' IMO. One or two subtle moments and clues but nothing ground-breakingly 'ooh'. Considering it's the final season I hope we don't get more episodes of this ilk. Sawyer crying? I mean seriously, wtf?
So once more, another 'must win game' and we flop spectacularly. It wasn't because the opposition outplayed us or tactically out-smarted us. We choked. Bottled it.
12 games left now. And I'm stripping away any hope of 4th and just hope the team give it 100% from here on in because they owe it to us and themselves to try and claw back some respectability. When we look back on this season - if it turns out the way its looking at the moment - it's not so much one game (this game) that has ended hopes but more a collection of performances, mainly the ones were points were dropped at home and from winning positions away. And the crux has been our inability to kill teams off and more telling, to actually break teams down.
The Wolves game last night was neither of these. It was an old unwanted sickness we thought we'd seen the last of. Just a gutless pathetic 90 minutes. We probably won't play this bad again this season, but the fact we did - at this point in the season - it's just so typical and tbh, tiresome.
I still think were not far off from getting it right. The problem is, the standard will probably improve next season which means even though we might improve - it might not be enough.
What a crap midweek. Harry ballsed it up. Roll on FA Cup weekend.
P.S. I'm still loving Bale and Bentley.