A GUEST BLOG from Ray Milo<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
A few chickens have come home to roost.
Pochettino is a very positive person, so I hope he can use the mistakes made against Leicester to help the team to grow and learn.
Certainly his press conference was more positive than the team’s performance. MoPo isn’t one to wash his linen in public.
The enforced absence of Alderweireld and Lamela showed a couple of problems. Firstly, Vertonghen tends to wander if Toby isn’t about.
A few times Dier ended up to the left of Vertonghen – notably for the Leicester goal. If Toby had been tracking Vardy ‘inside’, as he should have been, Dier would have been another body in the middle of the penalty area (where he should have been) to stop Vardy’s cross.
Then there is the enigma that is Lamela. When he is in the side I marvel at his speed of thought. But only when he doesn’t have time to think.
Give him time to think and he will over-embellish, try a flick that inevitably doesn’t come off, or get caught in possession.
We have paid a lot of money for a player who only shows flashes of his brilliance going forward, but he does work hard for the team.
Against Leicester we lacked his physicality and commitment.
This leads on to another problem or two.
Who is actually getting the team going? – Or the crowd for that matter? Against Manchester City, the atmosphere was superb.
You just knew from the start of the game that the tempo was high and consequently the ball moved quickly. But yesterday, from the off, both the crowd and the team were very flat. Where is the ‘Stephen Freund’ type player interacting with the crowd?
To get the crowd going, perhaps MoPo should take a leaf out of Conte’s book? And who (on the pitch) is bawling out the players and pushing them to perform better? It was obvious that the tempo was too slow.
What I saw was a bunch of individuals who didn’t recognise this or were powerless to change things.
A team in need of a Cockerel?
Lloris, for all his leadership qualities, should not be captain.
Supposedly, only the captain can approach the referee to ‘discuss’ decisions made on the pitch. Yesterday’s referee had a very curious game and made many poor decisions, for both teams.
The Leicester players committed petty fouls all over the pitch to try to frustrate Spurs, many off the ball.
How is Lloris able to bring this to the referee’s attention if he is 70 yards away in goal? You need a player ‘up field’ in the heat of the action, giving the referee a roasting.
Lloris should be kept as club captain, but we need a leader of men further up the pitch. For now, my choice would be Ericssen. I think he needs to be dictating the way we play. But I am not convinced.
Eventually the captain should be Dele Alli. Yet again he showed why he is on a different planet from the rest of the team.
Please pass my match notes on to Mr Pochettino if you will.