From this performance, it looks like Pochettino really doesn’t want to be in the Europa League.
Spurs’ form has collapsed in recent weeks. One win in six tells its own story – even that was against Newcastle so it doesn’t really count.
We acquitted ourselves quite well against City last week but apart from that the football has been depressingly poor. After playing more games than any other Premier League side this term, fatigue has set in. As a supporter I’m feeling it too.
This loss to Mark Hughes’ team – a side I’m not particularly fond of for a number of reasons – was a new low point. This was no fluke result. While Spurs took 55% of the possession, Stoke won the shot count 17 to 9.
There were some extenuating circumstances. Injuries to Rose, Davies and Walker have left Pochettino struggling to find fullbacks. Dier was found out here by the lively Arnautovic. Serious thought needs to be given to bringing in more cover at right back in the summer.
Chiriches gave his usual display – part class, part slapstick. This fixture had produced six red cards in the last six meetings. Once the Romanian was on a yellow and looking vulnerable, there was little doubt that that record would be added to.
Even Lloris has looked out of sorts since the horrible injury he sustained after colliding with Kyle Walker against Leicester. He was arguably at fault for two of the Stoke goals.
Pochettino has demonstrated a stubborn streak in his team selections, nowhere more so than in central midfield. A tired looking Bentaleb and Mason have been denied a rest, despite the presence of Stambouli, Paulinho and Dembele waiting in the wings.
The first goal stemmed from a poor header in midfield by Bentaleb. Chiriches let Diouf put in a dangerous cross. Vertonghen missed the chance to clear, leaving Charlie Adam free to head home. As usual Mason was hanging around in the vicinity of Adam without actually tracking him. His inexperience in a defensive midfield role looks more obvious by the week.
The second came from a terrible mix-up between Lloris and Dier, presenting N’Zonzi with a simple chance to score.
Soon after Adam almost added to his tally. Lloris pushed the Stoke midfielder’s effort wide after he had been allowed to run from the halfway line almost unchallenged.
Kane and Eriksen, so often our saviours earlier in the season, were kept very quiet. At 2-0 there was a flash of inspiration as a one-two between the pair almost put Kane in. The move was notable for its rarity in a match where Tottenham were mainly reduced to shooting from distance.
The final goal summed up our problems at the back. Arnautovic easily beat Dier to the byline. His low cross was turned in at the neat post by Diouf, the ball somehow sneaking past Vertonghen and Lloris. It put the seal on a chastening defeat.
Up until now the season has gone fairly well, considering it’s Pochettino’s first. A cup final day out, famous wins against Chelsea and Arsenal, identifying a core of players who can be trusted, the emergence of Harry Kane. Most supporters were realistic enough to realise fourth place was a long-shot. Nevertheless, the end to the season is leaving a sour taste in the mouth.
Roll on the summer.
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What went wrong for Spurs at Stoke? Should Pochettino give some other players a chance? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
It is certainly leaving a sour taste in my mouth after such a humiliating defeat. Most disappointing for all of us, fans.. This is our second defeat against Stoke. It seems we are unable to cope with their style of physical football. We seem to have become poorer as a team as the season progressed. What is wrong? This team needs re-building for the next season.
It feels like we’ve given up mentally for the season. Very disappointing.
Which part yesterday were Stoke physical?
You are doing just what your manager did, underestimate us and believe the stereotype.
Not physical in the old Pulis way but first to the ball and resilient in the image of Hughes. You fully deserved the win.
We really played badly and did not deserve to win. We have been inconsistent all season. The 4-5-1 formation did not seem to work. Perhaps, Pochettino should have tried the 4-4-2 formation. Kane needed a striker to play alongside him, alternating between Soldado and Adebayor. At least, it was worth trying.
We are run by Daniel levy a greedy money grabber. He never leaves enough time to build a team or develop any leaders. That is why we are such a bunch of cowards.
A TOTAL DISGRACE THIS CLUB HAS NOT IMPROVED SINCE TIM SHERWOOD WAS SACKED WE HAVE NOT CHANGED ONE BIT, WHAT IS THERE THAT MP CAN`SEE DIER JOKE , CHRICHES A DOUBLE JOKE , VERTONGHEN A JOKE , LAMELA A JOKE , CHALDI A JOKE , MASON A JOKE , BENTALEB DOUBLE JOKE , ERIKSEN A JOKE , PAULHINO A DOUBLE JOKE , SOLDADO A TRIPLE JOKE , ADEBYOR THE WORST BUY EVER A FOUR TIMER JOKE , FAZIO A DOUBLE JOKE , INFACT LLORIS I WOULD ADVISE TO MOVE ON FOR THE SAKE OF YOUR CAREER THE ONLY TRUE TRIER IN THE SQUAD , LEVEY WELD THE STICK AND SELL AT LEAST 10/12 AVERAGE 1ST DIVISION PLAYERS , THERE ARE PLAYERS IN THIS SQUAD COME OUT AND MAKE ASTOUNDING STATEMENTS EVERY TIME THEY ARE BEATEN AND SAY SPURS WILL BOUNCE BACK SPURS WERE IN BAD FORM , SPURS ARE VERY TIRED , THE CHANGE THAT MP HAS BROUGHT WILL TAKE A WHILE TO COME TO TERMS WITH , NO CHANGE WE ARE TERRIABLE HOW THE HELL DID WE BE CHELSEA AND THEN GO ROTTEN , THE MANAGER NEVER DROPS A PLAYER WHEN HE PLAYS CRAP AND WILL NEVER PLAY GOOD EVER BECAUSE THEY ARE AVERAGE 1ST DIVISION QUALITY ONLY DISGUSTED ! DON`T DESRERVE A WAGE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I agree. Many are ‘jokes’, real under achievers.. Yet, we spent so much money on them..I often wonder why we had to sack Sherwood who was doing fairly well and he is doing well at Villa. He deserved another season at least…
did not watch the game in full but it seems that Poch was again ‘found out’ from a tactical perspective, which is a becoming quite an alarming sign.
It is weird and ironic how suddenly right back has become such a problematic position. At the start of the season, we had Walker, Naughton, Fredericks & Dier (heck even Kaboul could play there) and eventually Yedlin. Yet now, we are running out of options.
You didn’t miss much, it wasn’t good.
If Yedlin will gets some good coaching over the summer maybe he could be an option next season.
My biggest concern is Pochettino’s stubbornness in selection and inflexibility in formation. We don’t even have the resources to play the style he wants us to play so why is he so insistent on sticking square pegs in round holes instead of just using a square peg friendly system. I for one would love to see a 532 (Dier Fazio JV at CB, Rose & Walker WB, Bentaleb Stambouli Eriksen in CM, Kane Soldado CF).
We have played well at times this year and yes we made it to the Carling Cup Final but I have lost count of the number of insipid, limp, never-got-out-of-second-gear displays… meanwhile I can only count the electrifying, entertaining performances on one hand.
Any good manager has a plan B for when things are going wrong, and it is well known that if something isn’t working, you need to change something about it, yet we see the same front 6 week in week out.
I am starting to have serious doubts about Pochettino, I’m afraid to say. If we didn’t have a large squad champing at the bit to get a game I would understand playing the same knackered bunch every time, but to consistently pick a failing team week after week is the hallmark of a madman.
I agree about a plan B. I would like to see a 4-3-3 for more defensive cover, maybe with Stambouli.
As far as Pochettino goes, it’s not been great recently but I’m clinging to the few good performances; and they were very good. With some personnel changes and a summer of coaching we’ll see.
We must bring new blood into the team for a better performance next season. I would prefer to see the buying of good players with Premier League experience preferably..
The Stambouli case is quite interesting. Reports have stated that Poch does not trust him for his lack of pace and timing. It’s a bit harsh but going back to some of his performances, i can see why – with the penalty conceded against crystal palace as prime example. That being said, compared to Dembele and Mason especially, Stambouli never had more chances to prove doubters wrong.
As for Poch, i think he deserves one more season and i am very happy that Levy came out to support him fully. Sure, some of the results have been bad but on the grand scheme of things, Poch has achieved a lot mainly ‘improving’ players, something that other managers have not been able to do as well when you think of it (please note that the list is completely subjective):
Redknapp: Modric, Lennon, Adebayor, Livermore? Carroll?
AVB: Bale, Vert?
Sherwood: Adebayor, Bentaleb
Poch: Rose, Mason, Kane, Ericksen, Bentaleb, Chadli
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