In the shadows
via Club Metro because I'd be damned if I'm going to write up two post-mortems.
If the Everton game was a revelation and the Chelsea defeat a disappoint then the Palace home draw was...well it was a bit rubbish. I can't think of any redeeming qualities aside from Hugo Lloris and his stop-saving dramatics. Hardly the positives I was looking forward to after last weekends excellent pressing and tempo. I've chosen to ignore the non-event at Stamford Bridge (we never win there) but not sure I can do the same for this 0-0 that could have easily been a loss. They had the better chances. A lack of cutting edge for all involved. The football played was far too open. End to end stuff is exciting for neutrals and the away support. Headache inducing for the rest of us.
What are the expectations currently? A good solid home performance and win has become as rare as rocking horse droppings. Our expectations are to simply see some progress, an evolution of the ideologies Mauricio Pochettino wants to implement. It's starting to look like he'll need to replace most of the players to come anywhere near the cohesiveness and consistency required.
How can we go from the pace and urgency and the excellent passing shapes of the 2-1 Everton win to basically being outplayed by Palace on the counter-attack? Seems we're masters of stagnation. Promise in pockets, players in the back pockets of the opposition. Against Chelsea we endeavoured to play football, be it with soft application. Back at the Lane in a rare 3pm Saturday kick-off we looked disturbingly disjointed. The pressing was messy. There was a distinct lack of midfield muscle.
In the past we've had a combination in the centre that allowed for hassle and go football. We chase the ball, win it back, play it out wide and attack. I'm obviously generalising but the structure was to retain strength and work hard with and without the ball - the basics of how a Pochettino pressing side should be delivering. We've so often failed with this philosophy because the ones assigned with the responsibility aren't capable of bossing it out.
Just when we thought Poch had found the team to retain some balance, we've been underwhelmed again with a standard downbeat stroll.
Harry Kane looked lethargic, heavy with his touch. Tired from carrying his team-mates on his shoulders.
Roberto Soldado continues to get into the right positions and miss golden opportunities to hit the target.
Erik Lamela ghosted around the field. He was more Casper than John White. He remains weak in body and fragile in mind, with his decision making as wild as the bewildered look in his eyes. It's like watching Tinkerbell fight in the UFC.
Our defence was an open house for not so weary travellers. Palace will be eternally frustrated they failed to score.
As for myself and other Spurs fans? This serves as a harsh reminder to curb our enthusiasm after the preview of what might be that we got when we beat Everton. Until we're performing with end product for several games on the bounce, we're in this perpetual flux of form trying to shine a light on an identity that remains in the shadows.