Out-fought, out-thought, outplayed … again

Post 75

Spurs 1 Man City 3

The last PL match Spurs lost was away at The Etihad in December.

We were “out-thought, out-fought and outplayed” that day (Post 51) and I wrote that Guardiola has raised the bar.

Yes, he has. But this time I want to call a spade a spade.

I love our manager. And our captain.

But today Pochettino got it wrong and Lloris is going through a bad patch. There were other poor performers but I’m blaming those two because I admire them so much.

I’ll deal with Lloris first. He’s been average since the New Year and poor in several games since. He was unconvincing against Juventus, let in a poor goal against Chelsea, nearly threw the result away against Stoke. His performances are affecting our defence as a whole.

Which brings me onto Poch. His determination is a strength. His stubbornness a weakness. But ostracising Toby, and perhaps even Rose, is not clever. He did the same with Walker last season. And I get why. But there comes a point at which players – and fans – stop admiring cussedness and start seeing pig-headedness instead.

But his bigger mistake is trying to take on Pep at his own game. There’s a way to beat Man City. Solidity and pace. Liverpool have shown how it’s done. Three times. Man United were lucky but they did something similar last weekend. Hold firm and let City try and be too clever.

The line-up Spurs should have played is 4-3-3, with Wanyama protecting the back-4, Dier (or Dembele) alongside Eriksen in midfield, with just Dele, Kane and Son up top.

We should have played a deep line and let City come onto us, much as we did at home to Dortmund, waiting to transition quickly and use Son’s pace and Harry’s ability to hold the ball up. Then Moura and Lamela could have been used off the bench as required.

Instead, we allowed Kompany and Laporte an armchair ride, and Walker and Delph to get forward, creating lethal space in the middle for Silva and De Bruyne. Frankly, if Sterling had taken his chances and Sane been on his game, it could have been 5 or 6 – again.

Pochettino apparently had Guardiola’s number in Spain, when they were at Espanol and Barcelona. Well this season, Pep has Poch’s number. And it’s 6.

Six points.

Incredibly we had 48% possession (didn’t seem like it). We had 8 shots (to 17) and 3 on target (to 6) and Harry Kane barely touched the ball.

Sadly, there’s nothing more to be said. Other than … again …

COYS. Get well soon.

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