SN Blog 67 – Trouble in paradise?

It was Sunday 25th August 2019 and I had been watching Cricket since play had stated around 11am that day.  There were two sporting events for me on this day, England trying to pull off an impossible comeback in the Ashes against Australia and then Tottenham playing Newcastle later.

If I was asked at the start of the day if I thought England would win from the position they were in and Tottenham would lose at home to a side tipped for relegation … well we all know what I would have said.  As it is I watched a man take charge of a situation in Ben Stokes and drive his team to victory.  It was incredible and it was everything that makes sport amazing!

Then, Spurs kicked off against Newcastle and I was left remembering everything I hate about sport.  Where was our Ben Stokes?  Where was our player willing to step up, take charge and say “hey, I am the man, come on guys, follow me” ?  This person should be Harry Kane?  Eriksen when he came on?  What is going on at our football club right now.

Now we are all fans and I have no inside knowledge here and so just want to make that clear up front BUT something is wrong.  Vertonghen being sat on the bench when he is our best left sided central defender, Eriksen being sat on the bench when he is our best creative midfielder.  Now we all know about contract situations and there is a lot of speculation over things happening behind the scenes.  Some “downing tools” and reporting back over weight and others making it clear to the whole squad they want out, creating disharmony.

The team are playing… or not playing as it so happens like a group that are not happy.  No smiles, no real effort or desire and certainly no ability to create a chance it seems.  You can point to the tactics of the opposition but its been a couple of seasons now where teams play that way against us.  Do we simply lack the ability to break this down?  A stat showed we played more balls sideways than any other team in the Premier League for this weekend of games and I do not think that will shock anyone who was at the game.

Of course that is fine, if you are keeping the ball, being patient and then you create a chance no one thinks that is a bad thing however our midfielders, even when Eriksen and Lo Celso came on looked completely out of ideas.  Kane was dropping deep and running wide just to get on the ball and then snatched at his only real chance of the game… Lucas missed a sitter… but were there may more chances?

Now I know a few may read this and think we should have had a penalty, we should, but the ref did not give it.  We can argue about it and say what the hell is VAR doing if not correcting bad decisions… all worthy of discussion but its really something that should not be a debate.  We are a better team than Newcastle, so why in the hell are we not showing it.  Why is it we looked so poor and they looked like they might score any time they came forward… We had it similar with Aston Villa; although in that game they seemed to tire and we were able to grab a goal and momentum led to more.

Arghh!  I think that sums up my emotions better than anything when it comes to the goal we conceded.  You see Sanchez got caught ball watching and Danny Rose got caught in no mans land, his pace nearly allowed him to get back but it was awful school boy stuff.  Now I know many are likely going to just write Sanchez off.  Vertonghen would not ever make that mistake? … Sadly we all know that is not true.  He would likely, at this stage of his career not be making it though as that comes from the experience of making the mistake… if this is making any sense.

Sanchez is a good central defender who is still young and there is a massive upside potential for him.  Like with any young player he needs to play games, learn and develop.  He has played and looks great in a three, hopefully he will now develop as part of a two.  Another player learning is KWP.  I saw many online be very critical of him and yet all I saw is a player working very hard and when caught on the ball it was down to others not putting in the effort to be available for him.  I hope his injury is not as serious as it looked and he is back very soon.

I guess the purpose of this blog for me is to just air some things on my mind from the game but also just to put out there that I believe something is very wrong behind the scenes.  This squad looks fractured to me and I am starting to honestly wonder what we are going to do to fix it or if there is anything we can do.


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