Match ratings Southampton (A) 09/03/19

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Lloris - 6. Not much hard work to do apart from pick the ball out of his net a few times, but handled what came to him capably.

KWP - 5. Some smart play going forward and also some very naive play as well, especially in the 2nd half. Can see why Tripps/Aurier keep him out the team on this performance
Sanchez - 4. I still have faith in him but he is going through a very naive spell at the moment. Needs to learn when to sit deep and press forward. I think he'll come good though.
Vertonghen - 7. Mr. Dependable. None of it his fault.
Rose - 5. Frustrating because he was so poor for their second goal, but actually offered quite a lot of invention in the first half.

Dier - 5. Fine in 1st half but gave the ball away a lot in the second. Poor in possession.
Sissoko - 6. Tried hard and did OK for the most part. Stupidly, involved in a needless confrontation near the end.
Eriksen - 6. One moment of real quality with the free kick and some neat passing but very much off it in the last 45 mins, like most of our team.
Alli - 6.5. Actually thought he looked sharp, worked hard both offensively and defensively. Faded a lot in the second half - in his case understandable as he is lacking fitness.

Lucas - 4.5. Very bright to start with and gradually wilted. Offered nothing after about 25 mins.
Kane - 5.5. Took his goal well but should have had a hat-trick, really.

Son - 4.5 Offered nothing after coming on.

Davies/Llorente. Too late to comment, really. Pointless subs.

First 45 pretty good and should have scored more. Second half hopeless. Not sure what Poch said at half time!

Some poor individual performances recently, but the big problem is the reshuffling of the team - formations and back line especially.
 
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Lloris - 5
KWP - 3. terrible and very very error prone, needs a loan
Sanchez - 2. One of his worst games and Redmond dribbled past him about 10 times that I can remember and just general uncertainty whenever he was close to the ball
Vertonghen - 6. OK I guess.
Rose - 3. Terrible. At fault for the goal and just played like a spastic today.

Dier - 5. OK game but just not good enough at dictating play or controlling the tempo when playing against any kind of pressure tbh.
Sissoko - 4. Should have been sent off, gotta control himself.
Eriksen - 4. Very poor just like most games recently.

Lucas - 6. Caused them a lot of problems in the first half at least.
Dele - 6. OK since it's his first game back and assisted the goal nicely but didn't do much later on.
Kane - 4. Missed a ton of chances tbh. Should have rested him properly before bringing him back prematurely from injury. Just hope his ankle isn't going to be permanently fucked due to it.

Poch - 1. His ingame management is getting worse by the game, even though each loss I think to myself "It can't get any worse, can it?"

Need a serious IMMEDIATE reaction in our next game or we'll be 6th come May.
 

Totti

Chess extraordinaire
Second half was as bad as our first half was good.

I don't think Lloris could do anything for the goals.

Defensively a shambles. So hopefully people will stop blaming Winks as a reason as to why we are overrun and easily bypassed because we had Eric Dier in there and he was as average as he's been all season. Slow in possession, can't control a game, doesn't like receiving the ball under pressure, a few seconds behind play. Eriksen had a good first half but faded second half, much like the rest of the team.

Lucas, just like most of them, had a good first half. Caused all sorts of problems but then reverted to norm in the second half. Glad Kane could get another goal, but it's another league game with him that we fail to win since his return, all a bit strange.

Ultimately, Southampton made changes at half time and we couldn't handle it. Sound familiar? (Woolwich away). We stubbornly stuck with our approach and tried to weather a Southampton storm that we probably thought would last the opening 10 or 15 minutes of the second half before we regained control. Didn't happen.

No idea why we're resting Aurier and Alderweireld when we don't have a game for 3 weeks. We've looked a shambles defensively EVERY single time Alderweireld has been missing this season and today was no different. I love Vertonghen but he isn't that calming presence or that sort of centre back that makes everyone around him better like Toby is or King was for example, even he had a poor game today.

3 weeks until our next game and considering Chelsea have 2 games in hand and we play last during Gameweek 31, we could quite easily be in 6th place before the game at Anfield finally kicks off. Fucking imagine that!?
 
3 weeks until our next game and considering Chelsea have 2 games in hand and we play last during Gameweek 31, we could quite easily be in 6th place before the game at Anfield finally kicks off. Fucking imagine that!?
Being honest, when we were third it was a bit of a false position, really. Our performances weren't matching our league position. Plenty of ugly wins.
 
I am going to base these ratings mostly on the second half performances because I thought nearly every player was pretty much excellent in the first half.

Lloris - 5. Really didn’t have much to do, that free kick was unstoppable to be fair and the other goal was down to our terrible defending, other than that I can’t remmber him making a save and if he did it wasn’t anything special.

KWP - 4 Looked ok at times, pretty decent going forward but like our other FB options lacks end product.

Defensively he might as well have not even been on the pitch, really just subpar and Poch shouldn’t be playing him until he is ready or has a run of games under his belt in cup competitions for us next season, or better yet, he should go out in loan to another PL club next season.

Sanchez - 3. Underwhelming borderline inept performance, didnt know when to press and when to retreat, lacked defensive discipline, just poor.

Vertonghen - 6. Better than most on the pitch but even he was guilty of lacklustre defending today.

Rose - 3 Poor going forward, utterly shocking defending for their goal allowing the ball to roll through his legs, piss poor and abject, nowhere near his best.

Dier - 5 Doesn’t look match fit which is understandable, has made us look more solid in midfield but looked like the game was passing him by in the second half, personally I think he makes a better CB than CDM.

Sissoko - 4 Only player in the second half that I really saw busting a gut to get around the pitch, still below par however and looked tired towards the end, knocked off a few points because of his fucking stupid headbutt and I am sick of seeing that bollocks in football, should have seen red for it imo.

Eriksen - 3 Game Of two halves, first half looked like he was almost back to Eriksen of old, second half he looked like he was completely disinterested, I think he is as good as gone from this club, heads not in it and neither is his heart anymore imo, he looks like he is trying to avoid injury.

Alli - 8 Our best player today, didn’t shy away, was putting in tackles, lovely assist for the goal, worked his arse off and looked every bit as world class as he is, shouldn’t have stayed on as long as he did though, he looked knackered second half and went missing understandably.

Lucas - 6 Started lively, pressing them all over, making runs and taking on his man, looked a real threat.

Then he just became anonymous and that right there is the issue with him, I think what you see is what you get, there is no improving him.

Kane - 7 Wasn’t impressed with him today, nowhere near his clinical best and spurned numerous chances to put us out of sight, even his goal looked like he took one too many touches, thankfully he is the best striker in the world so you know that once he fully clicks into gear again he will be rampant, sadly today wasn’t that day.

Got a 7 because he did bag us our only goal, otherwise he would have had a 6.

Son - 3 Forgot he even came on, I love Sonny, my favourite player next to Sir Harry but I don’t know what has happened to him since Kane has been back, I feel like Son thrives when he feels important and maybe that’s the problem, when Kane is back he feels less important and his overall game is affected because of it, hard to tell but his production definitely goes up when Kane is out of the team.

Davies/Llorente - NIL, didn’t offer anything or make any impact whatsoever, not really even enough time for them to do so.

Poch - 4 Great tactics in the first half, tactically poor second half after Southampton made changes, didn’t know how to react and then made some bad substitutions on top of that.

Apparently can’t motivate the players either, which I know is mainly the players fault but still, he is the manager, that’s his job.

Also, should have played our best 11 rather than resting players, especially when we have a 3 week gap until our next game.
 
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I am going to base these ratings mostly on the second half performances because I thought nearly every player was pretty much excellent in the first half.

Lloris - 5. Really didn’t have much to do, that free kick was unstoppable to be fair and the other goal was down to our terrible defending, other than that I can’t remmber him making a save and if he did it wasn’t anything special.

KWP - 4 Looked ok at times, pretty decent going forward but like our other FB options lacks end product.

Defensively he might as well have not even been on the pitch, really just subpar and Poch shouldn’t be playing him until he is ready or has a run of games under his belt in cup competitions for us next season, or better yet, he should go out in loan to another PL club next season.

Sanchez - 3. Underwhelming borderline inept performance, didnt know when to press and when to retreat, lacked defensive discipline, just poor.

Vertonghen - 6. Better than most on the pitch but even he was guilty of lacklustre defending today.

Rose - 3 Poor going forward, utterly shocking defending for their goal allowing the ball to roll through his legs, piss poor and abject, nowhere near his best.

Dier - 5 Doesn’t look match fit which is understandable, has made us look more solid in midfield but looked like the game was passing him by in the second half, personally I think he makes a better CB than CDM.

Sissoko - 4 Only player in the second half that I really saw busting a gut to get around the pitch, still below par however and looked tired towards the end, knocked off a few points because of his fucking stupid headbutt and I am sick of seeing that bollocks in football, should have seen red for it imo.

Eriksen - 3 Game Of two halves, first half looked like he was almost back to Eriksen of old, second half he looked like he was completely disinterested, I think he is as good as gone from this club, heads not in it and neither is his heart anymore imo, he looks like he is trying to avoid injury.

Alli - 8 Our best player today, didn’t shy away, was putting in tackles, lovely assist for the goal, worked his arse off and looked every bit as world class as he is, shouldn’t have stayed on as long as he did though, he looked knackered second half and went missing understandably.

Lucas - 6 Started lively, pressing them all over, making runs and taking on his man, looked a real threat.

Then he just became anonymous and that right there is the issue with him, I think what you see is what you get, there is no improving him.

Kane - 7 Wasn’t impressed with him today, nowhere near his clinical best and spurned numerous chances to put us out of sight, even his goal looked like he took one too many touches, thankfully he is the best striker in the world so you know that once he fully clicks into gear again he will be rampant, sadly today wasn’t that day.

Got a 7 because he did bag us our only goal, otherwise he would have had a 6.

Son - 3 Forgot he even came on, I love Sonny, my favourite player next to Sir Harry but I don’t know what has happened to him since Kane has been back, I feel like Son thrives when he feels important and maybe that’s the problem, when Kane is back he feels less important and his overall game is affected because of it, hard to tell but his production definitely goes up when Kane is out of the team.

Davies/Llorente - NIL, didn’t offer anything or make any impact whatsoever, not really even enough time for them to do so.

Poch - 4 Great tactics in the first half, tactically poor second half after Southampton made changes, didn’t know how to react and then made some bad substitutions on top of that.

Apparently can’t motivate the players either, which I know is mainly the players fault but still, he is the manager, that’s his job.

Also, should have played our best 11 rather than resting players, especially when we have a 3 week gap until our next game.
Totally agree with the last point. We just won at Dortmund with a totally committed performance and Poch makes 5 changes, only 1 of which was enforced. Aurier and Toby not even on the bench. Why ??
 
Lloris - 5 - Had nothing to do
KWP - 4 - Should have been sent off
Sanchez - 4 - Struggling to do the basics
Vertonghen - 4 - The opposite of the game against Dortmund
Rose - 2 - Brainless
Dier - 5 - His return gave us a much better structure in the first half, faded in the second
Sissoko - 4 - knackered but will never be technically good enough to replace Dembele
Eriksen - 5 - is being asked to do too much but put a chance on a plate for Kane
Alli - 7 - the only player who gave everything and took the game seriously
Lucas - 5 - looked fresh but spent most of the game running into traffic
Kane - 5 - awful finishing kept Southampton in the game, should have scored at least 3 goals

Subs
Son - 4 - no impact
Llorente - 4 - no impact
Davies - 4 - no impact
 

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Kane 4 - No real teamwork with Lucas, extremely poor finish by his standard, I saw at least 4 goal opportunities
Lloris 5.5 - Can’t blame the man for our poor defense
Sanchez 4 - Nothing good to say about him. Drastically dropping his performance as he gets tired in most games
Vertonghen 5.5 - wasn’t impressed at all but he was one of our better man in the back
Rose 3 - Time and time again, he doesn’t deserve to start not to mention the worst vision and decision making I’ve ever seen in football
KWP 3.5 - Rare for him to start but he scuffed his chance pretty good
Dier 5.5 - no major plays but no major mistakes leading them to goals either
Sissoko 5 - highly overrated in my opinion, he does shine occasionally but that’s not good enough for me
Eriksen 6 - compared to how he was against Burnley/Chelsea, he was a different man today but we have no sub option for him
Alli 7.5 - Literally the only player visible today trying to make plays
Lucas 4 - disappeared completely later in the game. Seems to be a bit greedy on the ball like Kane. We sure don’t need 2 like that

Poch 3 - couldnt tell if he was playing hearthstone on his phone or actually texting instructions

Not going to rate our subs, team was already going downhill at the start of 2nd half and didn’t get any chances to make impact. Not sure if Poch realizes subs can be made before 70min mark.
 
There Used to Be a Midfield There

Earlier in the season when we were outscoring our performances, a few of us said it's hard to sustain that long term, to be honest, I'm surprised we lasted this long. For all those saying we are now bottling it, I'd say it's largely bottle that's got us this far into the season with this many points, because it sure as shit hasn't been the quality or cohesion of our football, no matter what the happy clappers want to keep ramming down our throats.

And this isn't just this season either, the writing was on the wall for much of last season too. There was a clear drop off from the previous season.

Various factions of us have ideas about where the problems lie. And many point the finger at our FB's. But in a league where Leicester can win it with Simpson and Fuchs, and Cheslea with Moses and Alonso, there's no way any of our FB's, as imperfect as they may be, are copping the lion share of blame.

We have adequate full backs by this league's ropey standards, we have the best pure CF, in Alli, Son and Eriksen we have two or three of it's best and productive hybrid AM's/wide forwards and we have the best CB pairing in this league, and some pretty decent depth at CB too with Sanchez, Dier and Foyth.

Where we lag miles behind our rivals is the gaping hiatus where a midfield should be.

Saturdays abomination of Dier and Sissoko is possibly one of the worst midfield's in this division. I mean there are teams in the relegation zone who have better midfielders.

This is not a new phenomena. I believe we would have been able to finish above Leicester in 15/16 if we'd had a proper midfielder next to Dembele, instead of a centre back doing his impression of Phil Jones doing his impression of Marcel Desailly. As soon as he was upgraded with Wanyama, a voracious busy cunt with more dynamism and an ability to hunt and gather, who could also move with the ball and play it quicker, we improved exponentially - and had the best season, not just in terms of results, but performances too, in my memory (back to the 70's when I started watching in earnest) and probably since the days of Nicholson (and maybe one season under Pleat in 87).

The message should have been loud and clear to Pochettino - "neglect this area at your peril". But he ignored all the warnings.

While the midfield deteriorated, money has been spunked on a bunch of peripheral athletes - Sanchez, Sissoko, Aurier, Moura. It's like spending on a new bathroom suite when you've got damp and your roof's leaking.

And it's not all about spending. There were options here. Winks, should be much further on in his development by now but he only gave him 8 games in the two years prior to this season, whilst we got to watch Dier and Sissoko play hot potato ping pong for two years. Onomah got 20 fucking minutes in his last two seasons, none in CM - could he have possibly been more limited than Sissoko given two years to learn how to trap a ball further than most can kick it like Sissoko's been given?

And he's pulling the same stunt with Skipp. Introduced earlier in the season, the kid handled himself with aplomb, clearly a much more natural midfielder than Dier and definitely Sissoko, but he's now been mothballed, as it was with Winks, as it was with Onomah (and we'll get onto KWP in a bit).

As soon as the heat got turned up on Saturday, Dier and Sissoko just fucking disappeared, stopped wanting the ball (Dier went from 40 passes first half to 19 second, Sissoko went from 28 to a fucking pathetic 13 second half). Having a a midfield pair that are scared to receive the ball under duress is bad enough, but to compound this, both are poor and hunting the ball down, winning it and turning it into transition, they are reactive, Dier just sinks further and further back, dragging the opposition onto us, and Sissoko just trundles around like an bewildered overgrown toddler who's lost his mum at the zoo.

We ended up just humping long balls, which has become a “thing” for us lately, and it’s pitiful to watch.

Like Winks, KWP has wasted nearly three years of his life whilst Pochettino has been teaching Aurier how to take throw ins. I don't think he was terrible Saturday at all, every time he plays he shows signs of being able to do things that Trippier and Aurier can do, but in the same bundled package. He can run with the ball, take people on, he gets his head up in forward areas (hence his excellent assist rate) but his defending needed time on the pitch to develop - as with any player - and 5 or so league starts spread over three seasons, with a couple of cup games at LB, just isn't conducive to proper "development". A scandalous waste IMO.

The first half it was nice to see Eriksen and Alli back in the same team. Two brains are always better than one. But Southampton were dreadful, playing a high line but deciding not to press the ball high up, allowing Alli and Eriksen to get on the ball, dictate and thread through balls, unfortunately Kane wasted most of them and we ended up going in 1-0 instead 2 or 3.

I still don’t understand why Poch persists with Moura as a CF. He just spends most of the time running, head down, into a congested sea of legs, invariably creating or producing the square root of fuck all.

The second half was just a shit show, to add to the collection in the last couple of months.

To compound what was already going wrong, the midfield zombies, Moura et al, we had Rose deciding to do his Timothy Atouba impression in our six yard box. It was diabolical defending.

I said at the start of this season Poch needed to get brave and integrate, get some new life into this team, especially in the absence of any purchased input, the only player he's taken a chance on, Winks, has probably been the only player to come out of this season with any credit (Vertonghen as well maybe). I just wish he'd had the bollocks to do the same with KWP and Skipp, and maybe even Jack Roles too while Alli was out.

I'd happily take a 5th or 6th place and a potential cheque to cash in the shape of some promising kids, what we might end up with is 5th or 6th and a hefty overdraft at the bank of footballing talent.

Individual

Lloris - pfft.

KWP - Was generally decent, but clearly has defensive learning to do, if he'd been played the last three years, might have a fully developed RB by now who's better than our other options.

Sanchez - Not great.

Vertonghen - Had better days.

Rose - Another dreadful game, offered nothing offensively and a horrendous error for their first goal.

Dier - I keep reading "brilliant how he drops into the back line" like it's some kind of tactical epiphany. Like it's more useful than a midfielder who can actually play football under pressure. OK first half, abysmal second.

Sissoko - Has well and truly regressed from the "meh" it took him two years to find, and everyone to wank over, back to being as dynamic as a clockwork zombie. Pitiful second half.

Eriksen - Very good first half, created a couple of nice chances, but as the service dried up to the AM's and we just started humping it long, his influence wilted. Still managed to see more of the ball than Sissoko, despite playing mostly as the ACM.

Alli - Good to have him back, nowhere near as involved as Eriksen (seeing about half as much ball) but he created the goal and a couple of other situations. Dropped back into midfield second half before being subbed, and was helping, I would have left him on personally.

Moura - As ever, lively but largely unproductive.

Kane - I hate the "playing himself back to fitness" stage with Kane. It's still Kane, but everything he does just seems about 50-75% as good.
 
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There Used to Be a Midfield There

Earlier in the season when we were outscoring our performances, a few of us said it's hard to sustain that long term, to be honest, I'm surprised we lasted this long. For all those saying we are now bottling it, I'd say it's largely bottle that's got us this far into the season with this many points, because it sure as shit hasn't been the quality or cohesion of our football, no matter what the happy clappers want to keep ramming down our throats.

And this isn't just this season either, the writing was on the wall for much of last season too. There was a clear drop off from the previous season.

Various factions of us have ideas about where the problems lie. And many point the finger at our FB's. But in a league where Leicester can win it with Simpson and Fuchs, and Cheslea with Moses and Alonso, there's no way any of our FB's, as imperfect as they may be, are copping the lion share of blame.

We have adequate full backs by this league's ropey standards, we have the best pure CF, in Alli, Son and Eriksen we have two or three of it's best and productive hybrid AM's/wide forwards and we have the best CB pairing in this league, and some pretty decent depth at CB too with Sanchez, Dier and Foyth.

Where we lag miles behind our rivals is the gaping hiatus where a midfield should be.

Saturdays abomination of Dier and Sissoko is possibly one of the worst midfield's in this division. I mean there are teams in the relegation zone who have better midfielders.

This is not a new phenomena. I believe we would have been able to finish above Leicester in 15/16 if we'd had a proper midfielder next to Dembele, instead of a centre back doing his impression of Phil Jones doing his impression of Marcel Desailly. As soon as he was upgraded with Wanyama, a voracious busy cunt with more dynamism and an ability to hunt and gather, who could also move with the ball and play it quicker, we improved exponentially - and had the best season, not just in terms of results, but performances too, in my memory (back to the 70's when I started watching in earnest) and probably since the days of Nicholson (and maybe one season under Pleat in 87).

The message should have been loud and clear to Pochettino - "neglect this area at your peril". But he ignored all the warnings.

While the midfield deteriorated, money has been spunked on a bunch of peripheral athletes - Sanchez, Sissoko, Aurier, Moura. It's like spending on a new bathroom suit when you've got damp and your roof's leaking.

And it's not all about spending. There were options here. Winks, should be much further on in his development by now but he only gave him 8 games in the two years prior to this season, whilst we get to watch Dier and Sissoko play hot potato ping pong for two years. Onomah got 20 fucking minutes in his last two seasons, none in CM - could he have possible been more limited than Sissoko given two years to learn how to trap a ball further than most can kick it like Sissoko's been given?

And he's pulling the same stunt with Skipp. Introduced earlier in the season, the kid handled himself with aplomb, clearly a much more natural midfielder than Dier and definitely Sissoko, but he's now been mothballed, as it was with Winks, as it was with Onomah (and we'll get onto KWP in a bit).

As soon as the heat got turned up on Saturday, Dier and Sissoko just fucking disappeared, stopped wanting the ball (Dier went from 40 passes first half to 19 second, Sissoko went from 28 to a fucking pathetic 13 second half). Having a a midfield pair that are scared to receive the ball under duress is bad enough, but to compound this, both are poor and hunting the ball down, winning it and turning it into transition, they are reactive, Dier just sinks further and further back, dragging the opposition onto us, and Sissoko just trundles around like an bewildered overgrown toddler who's lost his mum at the zoo.

We ended up just humping long balls, which has become a “thing” for us lately, and it’s pitiful to watch.

Like Winks, KWP has wasted nearly three years of his life whilst Pochettino has been teaching Aurier how to take throw ins. I don't think he was terrible Saturday at all, every time he plays he shows signs of being able to do things that Trippier and Aurier can do, but in the same bundled package. He can run with the ball, take people on, he gets his head up in forward areas (hence his excellent assist rate) but his defending needed time on the pitch - as with any player - and 5 or so league starts spread over three seasons, with a couple of cup games at LB, just isn't conducive to proper "development". A scandalous waste IMO.

The first half it was nice to see Eriksen and Alli back in the same team. Two brains are always better than one. But Southampton were dreadful, playing a high line but deciding not to press the ball high up, just allowed Alli and Eriksen to get on the ball and thread through balls, unfortunately Kane wasted most of them and we ended up going in 1-0 instead 2 or 3.

I still don’t understand why Poch persists with Moura as a CF. He just spends most of the time running, head down, into a congested sea of legs, invariably creating or producing the square root of fuck all.

The second half was just a shit show, to add to the collection in the last couple of months.

To compound what was already going wrong, the midfield zombies, Moura et al, we had Rose deciding to do his Timothy Atouba impression in our six yard box. It was diabolical defending.

I said at the start of this season Poch needed to get brave and integrate, get some new life into this team, the only player he's taken a chance on, Winks, has probably been the only player to come out of this season with any credit. I just wish he'd had the bollocks to do the same with KWP and Skipp, and maybe even Jack Roles too while Alli was out.

I'd happily take a 5th or 6th place and a potential cheque to cash in the shape of some promising kids, what we might end up with is 5th or 6th and a hefty overdraft at the bank of footballing talent.

Individual

Lloris - pfft.

KWP - Was generally decent, but clearly has defensive learning to do, if he'd been played the last three years, might have a fully developed RB by now who's better than our other options.

Sanchez - Not great.

Vertonghen - Had better days.

Rose - Another dreadful game, offered nothing offensively and a horrendous error for their first goal.

Dier - I keep reading "brilliant how he drops into the back line" like it's some kind of tactical epiphany. Like it's more useful than a midfielder who can actually play football under pressure. Meh first half, abysmal second.

Sissoko - Has well and truly regressed from the "meh" it took him two years to find, and everyone to wank over, back to being as dynamic as a clockwork zombie. Pitiful second half.

Eriksen - Very good first half, created a couple of nice chances, but as the service dried up to the AM's and we just started humping it long, his influence wilted. Still managed to see more of the ball than Sissoko, despite playing mostly as the ACM.

Alli - Good to have him back, nowhere near as involved as Eriksen (seeing about half as much ball) but he created the goal and a couple of other situations. Dropped back into midfield second half before being subbed, I would have left him on personally.

Moura - As ever, lively but largely unproductive.

Kane - I hate the "playing himself back to fitness" stage with Kane. It's still Kane, but everything he does just seems about 50-75% as good.
I find it hard to disagree with much here. I don’t really know if Skipp or Roles would have done any better but if you effectively lose Dembele and Wanyama and don’t buy anyone then you are going to be in trouble if you don’t replace them and don’t trust your young players to step up. Sissoko and Dier just could never fill that void. So that’s a lot of responsibility for Winks week in week out but he’s the only one capable of doing it and he’s still improving. He gets injured and we have problems.

Poch does not have a great record of bringing players through from our Academy . Looks like he doesn’t take it that seriously which is a shame for a club that doesn’t believe in spending. When we do spend we go for tier 2 or tier 3 players like Sissoko, Aurier and Moura and that generally doesn’t work.
 

Neumanator

You're a long time dead
There Used to Be a Midfield There

Earlier in the season when we were outscoring our performances, a few of us said it's hard to sustain that long term, to be honest, I'm surprised we lasted this long. For all those saying we are now bottling it, I'd say it's largely bottle that's got us this far into the season with this many points, because it sure as shit hasn't been the quality or cohesion of our football, no matter what the happy clappers want to keep ramming down our throats.

And this isn't just this season either, the writing was on the wall for much of last season too. There was a clear drop off from the previous season.

Various factions of us have ideas about where the problems lie. And many point the finger at our FB's. But in a league where Leicester can win it with Simpson and Fuchs, and Cheslea with Moses and Alonso, there's no way any of our FB's, as imperfect as they may be, are copping the lion share of blame.

We have adequate full backs by this league's ropey standards, we have the best pure CF, in Alli, Son and Eriksen we have two or three of it's best and productive hybrid AM's/wide forwards and we have the best CB pairing in this league, and some pretty decent depth at CB too with Sanchez, Dier and Foyth.

Where we lag miles behind our rivals is the gaping hiatus where a midfield should be.

Saturdays abomination of Dier and Sissoko is possibly one of the worst midfield's in this division. I mean there are teams in the relegation zone who have better midfielders.

This is not a new phenomena. I believe we would have been able to finish above Leicester in 15/16 if we'd had a proper midfielder next to Dembele, instead of a centre back doing his impression of Phil Jones doing his impression of Marcel Desailly. As soon as he was upgraded with Wanyama, a voracious busy cunt with more dynamism and an ability to hunt and gather, who could also move with the ball and play it quicker, we improved exponentially - and had the best season, not just in terms of results, but performances too, in my memory (back to the 70's when I started watching in earnest) and probably since the days of Nicholson (and maybe one season under Pleat in 87).

The message should have been loud and clear to Pochettino - "neglect this area at your peril". But he ignored all the warnings.

While the midfield deteriorated, money has been spunked on a bunch of peripheral athletes - Sanchez, Sissoko, Aurier, Moura. It's like spending on a new bathroom suite when you've got damp and your roof's leaking.

And it's not all about spending. There were options here. Winks, should be much further on in his development by now but he only gave him 8 games in the two years prior to this season, whilst we got to watch Dier and Sissoko play hot potato ping pong for two years. Onomah got 20 fucking minutes in his last two seasons, none in CM - could he have possibly been more limited than Sissoko given two years to learn how to trap a ball further than most can kick it like Sissoko's been given?

And he's pulling the same stunt with Skipp. Introduced earlier in the season, the kid handled himself with aplomb, clearly a much more natural midfielder than Dier and definitely Sissoko, but he's now been mothballed, as it was with Winks, as it was with Onomah (and we'll get onto KWP in a bit).

As soon as the heat got turned up on Saturday, Dier and Sissoko just fucking disappeared, stopped wanting the ball (Dier went from 40 passes first half to 19 second, Sissoko went from 28 to a fucking pathetic 13 second half). Having a a midfield pair that are scared to receive the ball under duress is bad enough, but to compound this, both are poor and hunting the ball down, winning it and turning it into transition, they are reactive, Dier just sinks further and further back, dragging the opposition onto us, and Sissoko just trundles around like an bewildered overgrown toddler who's lost his mum at the zoo.

We ended up just humping long balls, which has become a “thing” for us lately, and it’s pitiful to watch.

Like Winks, KWP has wasted nearly three years of his life whilst Pochettino has been teaching Aurier how to take throw ins. I don't think he was terrible Saturday at all, every time he plays he shows signs of being able to do things that Trippier and Aurier can do, but in the same bundled package. He can run with the ball, take people on, he gets his head up in forward areas (hence his excellent assist rate) but his defending needed time on the pitch to develop - as with any player - and 5 or so league starts spread over three seasons, with a couple of cup games at LB, just isn't conducive to proper "development". A scandalous waste IMO.

The first half it was nice to see Eriksen and Alli back in the same team. Two brains are always better than one. But Southampton were dreadful, playing a high line but deciding not to press the ball high up, allowing Alli and Eriksen to get on the ball, dictate and thread through balls, unfortunately Kane wasted most of them and we ended up going in 1-0 instead 2 or 3.

I still don’t understand why Poch persists with Moura as a CF. He just spends most of the time running, head down, into a congested sea of legs, invariably creating or producing the square root of fuck all.

The second half was just a shit show, to add to the collection in the last couple of months.

To compound what was already going wrong, the midfield zombies, Moura et al, we had Rose deciding to do his Timothy Atouba impression in our six yard box. It was diabolical defending.

I said at the start of this season Poch needed to get brave and integrate, get some new life into this team, especially in the absence of any purchased input, the only player he's taken a chance on, Winks, has probably been the only player to come out of this season with any credit (Vertonghen as well maybe). I just wish he'd had the bollocks to do the same with KWP and Skipp, and maybe even Jack Roles too while Alli was out.

I'd happily take a 5th or 6th place and a potential cheque to cash in the shape of some promising kids, what we might end up with is 5th or 6th and a hefty overdraft at the bank of footballing talent.

Individual

Lloris - pfft.

KWP - Was generally decent, but clearly has defensive learning to do, if he'd been played the last three years, might have a fully developed RB by now who's better than our other options.

Sanchez - Not great.

Vertonghen - Had better days.

Rose - Another dreadful game, offered nothing offensively and a horrendous error for their first goal.

Dier - I keep reading "brilliant how he drops into the back line" like it's some kind of tactical epiphany. Like it's more useful than a midfielder who can actually play football under pressure. OK first half, abysmal second.

Sissoko - Has well and truly regressed from the "meh" it took him two years to find, and everyone to wank over, back to being as dynamic as a clockwork zombie. Pitiful second half.

Eriksen - Very good first half, created a couple of nice chances, but as the service dried up to the AM's and we just started humping it long, his influence wilted. Still managed to see more of the ball than Sissoko, despite playing mostly as the ACM.

Alli - Good to have him back, nowhere near as involved as Eriksen (seeing about half as much ball) but he created the goal and a couple of other situations. Dropped back into midfield second half before being subbed, and was helping, I would have left him on personally.

Moura - As ever, lively but largely unproductive.

Kane - I hate the "playing himself back to fitness" stage with Kane. It's still Kane, but everything he does just seems about 50-75% as good.
I'll forward this comment on to Poch... I'm sure he'll appreciate your professional advice and guidance on Tottenham's squad management and performance analysis.
 
There Used to Be a Midfield There

Earlier in the season when we were outscoring our performances, a few of us said it's hard to sustain that long term, to be honest, I'm surprised we lasted this long. For all those saying we are now bottling it, I'd say it's largely bottle that's got us this far into the season with this many points, because it sure as shit hasn't been the quality or cohesion of our football, no matter what the happy clappers want to keep ramming down our throats.

And this isn't just this season either, the writing was on the wall for much of last season too. There was a clear drop off from the previous season.

Various factions of us have ideas about where the problems lie. And many point the finger at our FB's. But in a league where Leicester can win it with Simpson and Fuchs, and Cheslea with Moses and Alonso, there's no way any of our FB's, as imperfect as they may be, are copping the lion share of blame.

We have adequate full backs by this league's ropey standards, we have the best pure CF, in Alli, Son and Eriksen we have two or three of it's best and productive hybrid AM's/wide forwards and we have the best CB pairing in this league, and some pretty decent depth at CB too with Sanchez, Dier and Foyth.

Where we lag miles behind our rivals is the gaping hiatus where a midfield should be.

Saturdays abomination of Dier and Sissoko is possibly one of the worst midfield's in this division. I mean there are teams in the relegation zone who have better midfielders.

This is not a new phenomena. I believe we would have been able to finish above Leicester in 15/16 if we'd had a proper midfielder next to Dembele, instead of a centre back doing his impression of Phil Jones doing his impression of Marcel Desailly. As soon as he was upgraded with Wanyama, a voracious busy cunt with more dynamism and an ability to hunt and gather, who could also move with the ball and play it quicker, we improved exponentially - and had the best season, not just in terms of results, but performances too, in my memory (back to the 70's when I started watching in earnest) and probably since the days of Nicholson (and maybe one season under Pleat in 87).

The message should have been loud and clear to Pochettino - "neglect this area at your peril". But he ignored all the warnings.

While the midfield deteriorated, money has been spunked on a bunch of peripheral athletes - Sanchez, Sissoko, Aurier, Moura. It's like spending on a new bathroom suite when you've got damp and your roof's leaking.

And it's not all about spending. There were options here. Winks, should be much further on in his development by now but he only gave him 8 games in the two years prior to this season, whilst we got to watch Dier and Sissoko play hot potato ping pong for two years. Onomah got 20 fucking minutes in his last two seasons, none in CM - could he have possibly been more limited than Sissoko given two years to learn how to trap a ball further than most can kick it like Sissoko's been given?

And he's pulling the same stunt with Skipp. Introduced earlier in the season, the kid handled himself with aplomb, clearly a much more natural midfielder than Dier and definitely Sissoko, but he's now been mothballed, as it was with Winks, as it was with Onomah (and we'll get onto KWP in a bit).

As soon as the heat got turned up on Saturday, Dier and Sissoko just fucking disappeared, stopped wanting the ball (Dier went from 40 passes first half to 19 second, Sissoko went from 28 to a fucking pathetic 13 second half). Having a a midfield pair that are scared to receive the ball under duress is bad enough, but to compound this, both are poor and hunting the ball down, winning it and turning it into transition, they are reactive, Dier just sinks further and further back, dragging the opposition onto us, and Sissoko just trundles around like an bewildered overgrown toddler who's lost his mum at the zoo.

We ended up just humping long balls, which has become a “thing” for us lately, and it’s pitiful to watch.

Like Winks, KWP has wasted nearly three years of his life whilst Pochettino has been teaching Aurier how to take throw ins. I don't think he was terrible Saturday at all, every time he plays he shows signs of being able to do things that Trippier and Aurier can do, but in the same bundled package. He can run with the ball, take people on, he gets his head up in forward areas (hence his excellent assist rate) but his defending needed time on the pitch to develop - as with any player - and 5 or so league starts spread over three seasons, with a couple of cup games at LB, just isn't conducive to proper "development". A scandalous waste IMO.

The first half it was nice to see Eriksen and Alli back in the same team. Two brains are always better than one. But Southampton were dreadful, playing a high line but deciding not to press the ball high up, allowing Alli and Eriksen to get on the ball, dictate and thread through balls, unfortunately Kane wasted most of them and we ended up going in 1-0 instead 2 or 3.

I still don’t understand why Poch persists with Moura as a CF. He just spends most of the time running, head down, into a congested sea of legs, invariably creating or producing the square root of fuck all.

The second half was just a shit show, to add to the collection in the last couple of months.

To compound what was already going wrong, the midfield zombies, Moura et al, we had Rose deciding to do his Timothy Atouba impression in our six yard box. It was diabolical defending.

I said at the start of this season Poch needed to get brave and integrate, get some new life into this team, especially in the absence of any purchased input, the only player he's taken a chance on, Winks, has probably been the only player to come out of this season with any credit (Vertonghen as well maybe). I just wish he'd had the bollocks to do the same with KWP and Skipp, and maybe even Jack Roles too while Alli was out.

I'd happily take a 5th or 6th place and a potential cheque to cash in the shape of some promising kids, what we might end up with is 5th or 6th and a hefty overdraft at the bank of footballing talent.

Individual

Lloris - pfft.

KWP - Was generally decent, but clearly has defensive learning to do, if he'd been played the last three years, might have a fully developed RB by now who's better than our other options.

Sanchez - Not great.

Vertonghen - Had better days.

Rose - Another dreadful game, offered nothing offensively and a horrendous error for their first goal.

Dier - I keep reading "brilliant how he drops into the back line" like it's some kind of tactical epiphany. Like it's more useful than a midfielder who can actually play football under pressure. OK first half, abysmal second.

Sissoko - Has well and truly regressed from the "meh" it took him two years to find, and everyone to wank over, back to being as dynamic as a clockwork zombie. Pitiful second half.

Eriksen - Very good first half, created a couple of nice chances, but as the service dried up to the AM's and we just started humping it long, his influence wilted. Still managed to see more of the ball than Sissoko, despite playing mostly as the ACM.

Alli - Good to have him back, nowhere near as involved as Eriksen (seeing about half as much ball) but he created the goal and a couple of other situations. Dropped back into midfield second half before being subbed, and was helping, I would have left him on personally.

Moura - As ever, lively but largely unproductive.

Kane - I hate the "playing himself back to fitness" stage with Kane. It's still Kane, but everything he does just seems about 50-75% as good.
your humility just oozes out of your every pore, doesn't it?
It takes some doing but you are possibly more in love with yourself than any other poster I've seen on football news groups
 
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