Spurs 1 Besiktas 1 – Some observations

Spurs Besiktas


I was at White Hart Lane for Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Besiktas. It was an enjoyable match to watch in a perverse way. Besiktas were well deserving of their point but the equaliser was still hard to take, having led for so long.

Here are some quick observations:

  • Spurs defence was terrible, one of the worst performances I have seen. Besiktas constantly got behind us and there always seemed to be an unmarked opposition player loitering in the Spurs penalty box. The complete opposite to our resilient display in the north London derby.
  • Vald Chiriches had an awful game. In the second minute he gave the ball away leading to a Besiktas chance and it got worse from there. He was constantly out of position, lost possession in dangerous areas and was run ragged by Demba Ba. The Romanian’s air shot and handball in conceding the last minute penalty was just the icing on the cake.
  • Spurs were out-shot 24 to 9 and had only 47% possession, at home.
  • Lloris was our best player yet again. He saved us on several occasions and was constantly shouting at his defenders, trying to get them to up their game.
  • Harry Kane looked promising and deserved his goal, while Stambouli had a decent game showing some nice skills to get out of tight spots. Dier was one of our main threats going forward, while Townsend was the only attacking player who had a real go at the opposition.
  • Soldado made some nice touches but in 79 minutes didn’t even muster a shot at goal. He can justifiably point to a lack of service but even so, it was an ineffectual  performance.
  • Paulinho’s confidence looks shot. At one point, Pochettino came onto the pitch during a break in play and gave him a boisterous pat on the back. It didn’t work.
  • There were lots of fairly obvious Besiktas fans around where I was sitting in the Spurs end. When the equaliser went in they gave up all pretence and were standing, singing and shouting. I’m not sure how this could have been avoided and there was no trouble but it was a strange experience.

All in all an enjoyable evening despite the result. I don’t think it’s fair to judge Pochettino on games like this. This was essentially a B side and, one or two apart, I can’t see many of these players featuring against Southampton on Sunday.

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6 thoughts on “Spurs 1 Besiktas 1 – Some observations

  1. Gerald

    I am afraid I can’t agree. I was not at the match but watched it all on TV so maybe you saw something I did not?

    I thought that both Kane and Townsend were pathetic. Except for his goal, which I agree was superb, Kane did not/could not string any intelligent play together and is totally unable of any interaction with other forwards, his “touch”, especially his first, is only worthy of the “Championship”, not the Premier League, let alone Europe. Townsend should not be allowed on the pitch, he is more selfish than Sturridge and Welbeck put together, he thinks and says that he can “go around” any and every defender on the pitch yet he did not get past one last night and I don’t think he made one telling pass the whole evening. Everybody is slating Soldado but when you don’t get any service whatsoever you can’t do anything. He is worth 3 Townsends. I would agree however that Chichires was very bad, of that there is no doubt but when a team can not put pressure on their opposition they are bound to “take it” at the other end. As our forwards were/are so predictable and non-effective the opposition were able to release more players to come forward, if we had been more penetrating they would have had to keep them back. As for it being a B side, every single player in the Spurs side that played last night is either a full international of an U-21 international for their country, I hardly think that is a B side. All those knocking Welbeck should be very sorry that he did not join Spurs, we would certainly not have drawn had he been playing. That comes from a person (me) who has been a 100% loyal supporter of Spurs since 1960. We need at least 2 very good dedicated forwards, every other club in the country has them, why not us ????

    1. AnythingButPenalties Post author

      Interesting, you do get a different perspective at the ground. I agree that Townsend is selfish and makes bad decisions but at least it felt like he was trying something.

      As for it being a B side, it doesn’t matter whether they are internationals, it is clearly the second eleven. As soon someone does well in midweek they are moved to the weekend team (see Vertonghen and Mason).

      I agree we could really do with a forward.

  2. Kevin

    The other thing i noticed is that Bentaleb and Stambouli cannot play together because both of them were unsure of their roles going forward.

    Bentaleb keeps on passing to the back when he should be going the other way – let Stambouli do the defending. The rare times Bentaleb ventured forward, one assist for Kane and nice shot from Soldado’s pass. He is super talented and he just needs to trust himself and be more positive – like Ryan Mason :)

  3. peter

    An enjoyable evening???…you are either easily pleased, or don`t watch a lot of football to think that was entertaining!!

    When everyone says Poch plays a “high pressing game” I`m now just beginning to understand what they mean:

    Our players run around like headless chickens for 90 minutes trying to get the ball off the opposition, and when they do they have not got clue what to do with it!

    Anyone need a ticket for Sunday?….am totally fed up watching this dross, and think I will give it a miss for a few games

  4. Rod

    I totally agree with Gerald, apart from the goal Kane’s appreciation of other players was woeful. How many times did he lose the ball. It is true that Chichires was even worse, I don’t I saw him pass to one of our players!! Townsend was, well Townsend, he needs to learn that part of his role is to provide opportunities for others, not shot on site. I almost want AVB to return


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