Clinical treatment: lacking the trait of a true 'top club'

Discussion in 'Featured' started by Josh Bolton, March 8, 2018.

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  1. Josh Bolton

    Josh Bolton Active Member Blogger

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    There’s no shame in losing to Juventus. The Champion’s League finalists two out of three years; a side who have won their domestic league for six seasons in succession — a side currently unbeaten in 21 games (the longest run in Europe’s top five leagues, no less). They’ve only conceded four goals in that period, three being registered by ourselves. They’re no mugs, Juventus. So why does this defeat rankle?

    Is it because of the inevitable backlash from rival fans that Spurs are the “perpetual bottlers”, or perhaps that the trophy wait lumbers on? No, it goes beyond that. The biggest penitence is that the Old Lady were there for the taking.

    The Italian giant was like a veteran, champion boxer on the ropes, ducking and weaving our punches. We were winning on points, landing small jabs here and there but nothing significant. Then, as the bout approached its final stages, the European heavyweight lands two plum on our chin. We’re out for the count; the bell rings. Glory for The Black and Whites, anguish for The Lilywhites. Did experience tell, or did it come to down to chances not taken?

    Last night’s loss will be dissected in numerous fashion. That Juventus were more experienced, streetwise even. That defensive errors cost us again: Dier failing to track Higuain in the box, or Davies playing Dybala onside. Many will herald it as an Allegri masterclass, that Pochettino was taken to scuola by his counterpart. But that would be a simple misdiagnosis: it’s the final third where the illness lies.



    Over the two legs we had 35 shots on goal (12 on target) and averaged 60 per cent possession, yet it’s the Italians who advance. It’s the perfect example that “dominance” in a football match counts for nothing if you don’t have anything to show for it — and I’m talking goals.

    We were perhaps the better side over 180 minutes, but four Juve goals in 10 minutes has us rueing another European exit at Wembley for the second year running. You could call it “Spursy” (a term I despise) but it’s nothing of the sort. It’s one of the oldest clichés in football: if you don’t take your chances, you will be punished, even more so if facing one of the prize breeds in world football.

    Giorgio Chiellini ruffled a few cockerel feathers in his post-match interview last night, but he encapsulated it perfectly: “Tottenham have always created many chances to score — but they miss always something at the end.” And what we’re missing is the clinical edge that champions have.

    The difference between good teams and great teams is that great teams turn dominance into goals; and goals into wins. The reason why many-a-pundit wax lyrical over Man City and Liverpool is because their attractive style has substance, they win by four or five, even six. They put teams to the sword at the first opportunity.

    It’s an observation as sharp as Occam’s razor, but goals don’t just win games — they kill the opposition’s morale. A side could have less than 30 per cent possession, not record a single shot on target, and their keeper peppered to the point of exhaustion. But if the scoreline remains 0-1 with minutes to go, they’ll still have belief they can get something out of the game. And isn’t it Pochettino who always says “football is all about belief”?

    Take the north London derby for example. A 5-0 scoreline in our favour wouldn’t have told the true story. Yet we missed chance after chance, effort after effort, allowing Arsenal to grow in confidence: they knew they were still alive, barely breathing, but still alive. Fortunately for us Lacazette squandered a chance at the death that Sandra Redknapp would have buried. Last night, Higuain and Dybala made no such mistake.

    Yes, we’re a young side. Yes, we’re still learning. But the same questions will continue to pursue Pochettino and Spurs if the ending remains the same. The game is about glory, after all, and we really are in touching distance of it. Now all is left is for us to finish the job.
     
    Last edited: March 8, 2018
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  3. Simon New Member

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    Spurs are making good progress in Europe when last season is compared to this. Let's hope yesterday's bitter lesson against Juventus is learned and that Spurs get even further next season. However, first things first, Spurs have to qualify for next season's Champions League. One of Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea will miss out. Let's hope it's not Spurs.
     
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  4. AAT Guest

    A very good article outlining the main issues with Tottenham. The team seems to be continuously a "work-in-progress" with the current philosophy and team management strategy. Young players irrespective to how good they are, will always be prone to mistakes until they become more mature and more experience. Sadly whey they do that in the case of Tottenham, they are sold. Until Tottenham changes its philosophy and strategy and starts combining experience with youth they will always be the "almost" team. The case of Toby Alderweireld highlights this very well. Here you have one of the best central defenders around but well underpaid in comparison to his peers elsewhere. Like Kyle Walker, this summer he will be probably be sold off to acquire another promising youngster which will do very well until he becomes very experience and seeks salary parity with others in which case he will be sold. Winning teams always have a balance between youth and experience. Last night's opposition is the classic case. Unless you have a good balance of youth and trusted experience, you may dominate games but never win much. Sadly this is the trajectory on which Tottenham is now moving. Pochettino has also shown last night that like his players, he is tactically naive when it comes to the management of big games. He should have changed the game plan in the 2nd half. He was playing against one of the best and most experienced teams in the competition and yet Tottenham continue with the same game plan and speed. Inevitably the mistakes came and conceded two goals. You just cannot play the same way against Juventus as you play against Crystal Palace (no disrespect to the Palace) for two halfs . This is an issue that seems to be coming back in all the very important games. I would expect the team will again have lots of chances and possession in the forthcoming games against Chelsea and Manchester City but will not win those games.
     
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  5. Big fran Guest

    Brilliant article sums my feelings up exactly. Being better over two games isn't good enough .You have to find a way to win or get a result. I remember us dominant v United in league Cup final should have had a pen etc etc etc but we lost. We dominated Chelsea at the start of season but lost pushing on for a winner leaving gaps at the back. It happened last night and all too often. We lack and Poch lacks the necessary game management needed in certain phases of games ... Not saying we won't get there maybe we can probably we can't. Who knows.
    It should have been shored up at half time and certainly at one each.
     
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  6. Bazza47

    Bazza47 Well-Known Member

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    Hi AAT - did you mean Danny Rose - we've already sold Kyle Walker...
     
  7. Felon82 Well-Known Member Blogger

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    If these lessons aren't learnt and learnt quickly though only the delusional can believe our best players will hang around.

    The 'Spursy' term and 'bottlers' comes from being just that.

    There's no taking away from Juventus being a good side but on the balance of play we were by no means out of our depth or dwarfed in class/quality, what we lacked is a Winners Grit/Mind set/Determination and Leadership.

    What are we going to do to put this right?

    Because year after year it's much of the same, looks promising but we're always lacking in someway and there's always next year and the year after that .....
     
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  8. Bazza47

    Bazza47 Well-Known Member

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    What do they do from here Felon. Tomorrow they sit down, watch the game back, review the weaknesses, discuss, develop solutions, implement. That's the easy stuff.

    The more difficult stuff.

    (1) Changing our basic business model - balanced books, controlled wages, living within our means. Not likely to change, in truth. We don't have a Sheik here or an Oligarch there. We've done pretty well despite that. Not sure I'll see that, not in my lifetime Felon.

    (2) Getting Poch to recognise when to act and change things up. For me it was a crime to leave Lucas on the bench. Learn Poch. There's a chance here and soon I hope.

    We're all numbed by it, but we didn't convert our chances, as Josh said. Fine margins for sure.
     
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  9. Bazza47

    Bazza47 Well-Known Member

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    I think the other thing I'd do is have minutes 60 to 67 playing on a loop in the training ground restaurant and the Wembley changing rooms, and for Sanchez and Trippier and others directly involved to explain to their peers, and the fans even, what exactly they were going to do to make sure it never happens again.....prove that you have the strength to learn from your mistakes....

    .....and Poch, get a little soap box and hold an open debate on "why the f'ing L are we not still in the CL.....he will doubtless get some responses. .....
     
    Last edited: March 8, 2018
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  10. Spurporter

    Spurporter Active Member

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    Juventus advanced by pure luck, I do not buy that Euro Powerhouse thing. Old overpaid players that were due for spanking... They aren't Hadersfield Town obviously, but THFC are not Lazio either.
    Poch had to change the team after first period. We did not need to score more. Lamela, who is defensively better should have replaced Son. Wanyama should have gone in for Dier (player directly responsible for the loss). Dembele should have been replaced with Sissoco. So we would have had 4-1-4-1 formation we played against Real in Madrid.
    Poch could have done it later, but not by much. He either has fallen asleep behind the wheel or was simply due to learn a new thing or two.
    We were the better side. We had to get fresh legs and let Juve to do the running, passing, trying.
    I know what being Spursy mean, believe me. We weren't that. What causes the most pain is that we looked (not at the pitch, but in papers) exactly like budget club we are.
    We could nave fallen to Munich or Barcelona in the next round, but we did deserve to advance. COYS!!!
     
    Last edited: March 9, 2018
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  11. burnt Active Member

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    We all have our own ideas or opinions of what went wrong , for some we didn't score enough , for others we weren't good enough at the back and for others we were outdone tactically .. They all have merit in fairness , the combination of being a wee bit off all round resulted in us loosing the tie in the end .. For me our defence was our biggest problem over both legs ... We dominated the game for large periods but the quality of the chances we gave up on top of the penalty causing mistakes were criminal ... We're not a L.pool or a Man City who score their way out of trouble , we're ( in theory ) more of a well balanced outfit who defend every bit as good as we attack but overall we made way too many big errors at the back over both legs to expect to be winning contests like this .. We are not as good at the back as we were for reasons that have been well documented by now .. Unfortunately we didn't get enough from the top end of the pitch or from the sideline to counteract our deficiencies in the back third this time ... The margins are tiny at this level , we did so much right over all I wouldn't be too hard on any of the individuals , a few probably aren't up to this level , others just a little inexperienced , it all told in the end unfortunately ... Still plenty to play for this season so they have to get over this quickly .. Someone's going to drop points again this weekend , we have to take advantage ... C.O.Y.S ....
     
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  12. bruski

    bruski Active Member

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    Nice one Josh. Keep writing.
     
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  13. Jam Guest

    I hate to say it.. but that result was indeed Spursy.. and that's what makes it so utterly disappointing. We snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

    We are of course so much better these days than in the past.. but until we win something against the odds that term will persist for nights like Wednesday.

    I don't think it was an Allegri masterclass.. his team took something of a battering. But the truth is he made changes in the second half that clearly turned the momentum.. and Pochettino did nothing.. despite it being obvious that the team was suddenly floundering. Seven minutes and two goals later we were cooked.. and still 5 or more minutes passed before a substitution was finally made.

    Unfortunately it is what it is.
     
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  14. Nomadico Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you about Toby being undrpaid and so is Rose and a bunch of other's but if we let Toby blackmail the club with demands from50,000 to 150,00 per week then the flood gates will open!!!!plus Walker and Rose asked to leave,Poch has a lot to learn and most of the team, let us not forget it was the player's that let us down with stupid mistakes on the pitch not Poch
     
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  15. Bazza47

    Bazza47 Well-Known Member

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    Sad but true Spurporter, Sad but true. Hurts more today than it did on Wednesday.....defo....
     
  16. Remy Uwilin

    Remy Uwilin Active Member

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    There are many sides to this, not only do we have a young team we have a young manager whose still also developing and learning along with his players. Making these types of mistakes, whether it be tactics, formations, in game management...is something that will happen and as he always says; have to learn from. Looking back on our performance in CL last season; we undoubtedly made major improvements and progress. It's disappointing the fashion in which we lost to Juventus, having dominated both legs of the competition.

    We have a good team and we need to start winning trophies, not only to alleviate the pressure of our players and manager but to also build that sense of belief in order to win bigger trophies and most importantly keep the nucleus of our team together. This takes me to my main point, this loss we've just experienced should be a lesson we use now in order to attack the FA Cup and win it; without taking any teams/opponents for granted. There are only small margins the farther you get within a competition.

    Lastly, I don't agree on blaming any individual players...Allegri's changes left our defensive line exposed, they needed a lot of cover and got nothing from our midfield and wingers. In order to win trophies we'll need to be resilient, be able to settle in and be disciplined enough not to concede goals in critical moments of the game: especially when we have a lead.
     
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  17. Felon82 Well-Known Member Blogger

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    Indeed Remy, it was a collective shambles for both the goals.
    They would do well to start with 'Marking' followed by 'Talking' ......
     
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  18. johnnyhrvat Guest

    I agree and it annoys me when I read the press saying things like 'Juve were streetwise'. They rode their luck which does not come down to skill, but purely to LUCK.
    Would they have still been a tactically astute side if the same game had been played and we had been 4-0 up at half time (which easily could have been the case)? Did they plan to have fortune on their side when, after taking the lead, we still came close on a number of occasions to equalising? Did Juve set out to only be the better team for about 15 minutes of the two games? Did Juve plan on the referee being reluctant to issuing second yellow cards? - shortly before the equaliser it looked as if Juve would finish with eight players on the pitch.
    It's all over and done with, it still hurts, but let's get on and take second/third spot and win the cup.
     
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  19. Felon82 Well-Known Member Blogger

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    In fairness over both legs both teams rode their luck , the key factor is/was who does what's necessary to get the result over both legs.
    Juve were staring at going out with the clock against them, yet they galvanised made changes got what they needed and then defended it while we stood dumb struck.
    When it was then our turn we continued like we were oblivious to the whole scenario.
    That is the Street wise Vs the Naive.
     
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  20. Nomadico Well-Known Member

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    I have just watched the highlights and I agree with you Felon we were very naive,this is when we need a leader on the pitch,I never understand why we have given the arm band to Hugo, to lead a team you have to be among them pushing them, talking to them, you can not do that from the goal line.I'm not sure who can replace him may be Kane??we are still waiting to see a full game for our new winger Lucas, may be together with Son who at the moment is on fire, could be good for us but, if Son drops off as he has in the past then Lucas has to be ready to step in..COYS.
     
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  21. Big fran Guest

    In response to the comments from you all I've read above...

    Re:Luck over the two legs we had more fortune given the missed pen and a stone wall pen.

    Re:Leadership we do lack leaders and lloris should not be the captain but how much leadership did Kane show. I thought second half he went missing. Granted he cannot be expected to pull us out the **** every week but big players ie Ronaldo Messi etc come to the fore in big games so that's the benchmark if he wants to be in same bracket.

    Re: Tactics and changes. Pochetino has been found wanting here. Dier his favourite was clearly struggling with injury yet remained on for the majority of the game. Pochetino didn't react to juve changes quick enough and should probably have changed things before they scored either way. As unpopular as they maybe lamela and Sissoko do protect their full backs better than what either Son alli or eriksen would or could.
     
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