It is safe to say that Tottenham Hotspur haven’t got off to the best of starts. After throwing away a 2 goal lead at Arsenal for a draw, and then somehow losing a 2 goal lead, by 2 – 1 at Leicester – VAR had an influence there (but we won’t go into that). Then you have Southampton, losing at home for the first time in over 10 years to Bournmouth 3 – 1 last weekend. The truth is, both need to win – maybe Tottenham more than Southampton. However, Spurs have the home advantage, with Dele, Harry Kane, Son, Lucas Moura, Lamela, and Eriksen all fit for selection, one would think they should get the win.
L A S T S E A S O N
Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton (5th December 2018) – 3 (Kane, Moura, Son) – 1 (Austin) – Tottenham Win.
Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur – (9th March 2018) – 2 (Valery, Ward-Prowse) – 1 (Kane) – Southampton Win.
C U R R E N T F O R M
Tottenham Hotspur – D L D W L
Southampton – L W D W L
Okay, let’s get real about Tottenham Hotspur’s current form – it’s awful, especially the away form, and if the game was away at Southampton I would predict a loss. Luckily, it’s at home. However, after the embarrassing loss at Colchester in the League Cup on Tuesday, and Southampton winning 4-0 in their victory over south coast rivals Portsmouth, Southampton come into the game on a high. Spurs, well who knows. Confidence is at a low, players don’t look interested, and even with 5, yes FIVE, attacking players on the pitch at one point, they couldn’t score and couldn’t score a penalty. Shout out to Gazzaniga though for *that* penalty save that will unfortunately be forgotten about.
For Spurs, the midweek game against Colchester was embarrassing, but there were a few positives. It was good to see Eric Dier getting a full 90 minutes playing as a centre back, and as captain. Spurs seemed to have a leader on the pitch for once, however, the result was awful. Then you had Oliver Skipp, a real talent who was also one of Tottenham’s best players on the night, and shouldn’t have been subbed off – should have been Wanyama. Parrott and Tanganga has their competitive debuts overshadowed by the result and the lack of wanting to win from the senior players – both played well.
In terms of the negatives. Dele isn’t back to his best, and his confidence in front of goal is low. As for Wanyama, he is gone. Lovely lad, but on the pitch he was probably the worse. Gave away the ball countless times and is lacking the pace and desire of over midfielders – Skipp has it, Wanyama doesn’t. Even bringing on Eriksen and Son, nothing happened and the embarrassment got worse.
Anyway, enough of Tuesdays League Cup defeat, and into Tottenham Hotspur v. Southampton.
K I C K O F F
On paper it is a good line up, with a bench for Spurs including the likes of Dele, Lamela, Lucas, Dier, Davies, and Wanyama (sorry Wanyama, you are a lovely lad but you let down the bench). Spurs needed the win, and with the bench providing creativity (if needed) and defence, it was only going to be 3 points. Then came along Southampton …
24 minutes – A break in the deadlock comes from Ndombele. Spurs needed that as well.
31 minutes – Aurier RED Card – oh dear. From where I was sitting I didn’t exactly saw what happened. All I saw was Harry Kane and Danny Rose speaking to the ref. Before you know it, 31 minutes played and Spurs are down to 10 men after Aurier picks up his second yellow card in 4 minutes.
39 minutes – could it get any worse, yes, yes it can. Hugo has the ball for a goal kick, doesn’t get rid of it, Danny Ignes for Southampton takes advantage of Lloris being a prat. It’s 1-1.
43 minutes – Spurs need to get the goal before the end of the first half. Step forward two world class players. Eriksen providing the assist and Harry Kane with the goal. Spurs lead 2-1
Second Half – Well as a Spurs supporter I think I aged 30 years in 45 minutes. You would be thinking at some points that Spurs were the away team. The first 15/20 minutes of the second half was all Southampton, with one attempt from Kane (he was basically one on one with the goalkeeper, and didn’t score), Spurs couldn’t get out of their half. With Lamela coming on to provide some grit and determination for Son, the game opened up more for Spurs. Dier came on the 78th minute to add to the Spurs defence, especially after the Spurs right back Aurier was sent off. To kill some time at full time, Wanyama came on for Winks. However, Hugo Lloris has a great second half, his saving was world class, especially after saving Ward-Prowse free kick which was going in.
S O M E T H O U G H T S
Well where do I start?
Hugo Lloris – This man makes me age. He has his moments of madness, I.e not being able to get rid of the ball. Then he has an amazing second half.
Harry Kane – world class. Played a lot deeper today at times, even coming into the Spurs half. Clearly there are some tensions with Eriksen.
As for the other Harry, Winksy, what a little player. Clearly loves the club, but also one of Spurs best players in the engine room. However, Winks does tend to pass side to side an awful lot. When looking at the other midfielders, Ndombele had a good first half, minus an errant long ball which wasn’t for Alderweireld, but Alderweireld got on the end of it; quite in the second half before being substituted for Dier. Good to see Eric Dier getting some more minutes, definitely a player that Spurs has missed in the defensive centre midfield role, also a leader on the pitch. Sissoko has a good game as well, having to drop back into a right back position after Aurier got sent off. Wanyama didn’t really make an impact, he only came on for the last couple of minutes though.
As for the Spurs attacking players. Eriksen ran the most and did put a good shift in, but there is something iffy going on. He produced some good corners and some awful corners, but I don’t know anymore with Eriksen. Did however feel for him when he was taking one corner in the second half in regards to Kane, as there is clearly some issue there. Eriksen wasn’t great but he was awful either. I think sometimes Eriksen has far too many expectations put on him. As for Son, he had an alright game but it wasn’t his type of game. It was the right decision to bring him off for Lamela, as Lamela can do things that Son just wouldn’t do. Lamela, again, sometimes worries me, but he was a good impact player and once coming on Spurs saw more of the ball.
Now for Aurier. Aurier is lightweight and I think Spurs supporters have to come round to it. Two yellows in the space of 4 minutes is worrying, especially with a ref who didn’t want to give Spurs anything. Didn’t really see much impact from in the 30 minutes he played either.
Well Spurs came out, and maybe how tough the game was, was exactly what Tottenham needed. They didn’t need an easy 4-nil win, they needed something tough that would not only with group unity but also prove they can get through and fight and not give away a 2 nil lead. It will be interesting to see what will happen against Bayern Munich on Tuesday and how this Tottenham team will perform. The supporters NEED to get behind the lads and cheer them on, it happened against Southampton with a variety of chants echoing from the South Stand.
Overall I’ve aged, and I wanted the second half to be over well before it was.
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2 – SOUTHAMPTON 1