Has the Spurs of old returned? The Spurs which has to be 4 goals ahead to satisfy the fans that they won’t lose. The leaky Spurs, unable to defend in the dying minutes of a match. A lacklustre Spurs for that is what they were against what should have been easy opposition. Yet, despite all the other teams stuttering, it is always Spurs who take the hard route. Eric Dier gave Spurs the lead after a convincing first half display from the hosts but it was the super subs of Mitrovic and Perez that got the last gasp goals, seeing Newcastle move ahead of champions Chelsea in the league table.
Unable to finish off opponents
Tottenham continue to be unable to put games to bed. In several games this season, Spurs have taken the lead but failed to gain such an advantage that they often concede and end up with a single point. Games against Arsenal, Leicester, Stoke and West Brom should have all been won in the first half but Spurs, being Spurs, only get the one goal and when the equaliser comes, Spurs, inevitably crumble – Spurs will never be able to rid themselves of the description of being ‘Spursy’. The Lilywhites dominated for all the first half and, if it wasn’t for Rob Elliot, should have been heading in at half time 4-0 up. Danny Rose also had an opportunity to double Spurs’ advantage. A one goal advantage is never enough if you are Tottenham, maybe Chelsea or Arsenal, but not Tottenham.
Harry Kane was not fed the ball in the box all game and only managed one shot on target, from range. This highlights the defensive set-up that McClaren deployed intentionally to halt Kane in his tracks. Kane has been lacking goals recently having failed to score in his past 3 games. Is another drought coming or will he return with a bang against Pochettino’s old Southampton?
Faith in Youth
Pochettino once again emphasised the faith he places in his younger players with Tom Carroll starting his first Premier League game for Spurs against Newcastle. Spurs started 6 English players (Rose, Walker, Dier, Carroll, Alli, Kane) compared to Newcastle’s 2 (Elliot, Colback). Onomah was again on the bench for Spurs.
Alarm bells will not be ringing in Pochettino’s camp as such for he saw his team dominate possession, being full of energy and having plenty of chances. The team now just needs to work on maintaining the energy levels right through the second half. At Monaco in midweek, the French team gained control of the game in a 20 minute period of the second half which saw them score a goal which could have sparked an inspired comeback. Again, at White Hart Lane today, Spurs lost their energy in the second half and conceded two with not long left. The team created several opportunities which, if Elliot wasn’t on top form, could have finished as goals. But for Pochettino, a loss will feel like 3 points dropped, as did the draw against West Brom last week, but it will only give them more desire to go and get the win at Southampton next weekend.Embed from Getty Images