Honest responses from Mauricio Pochettino in the wake of the disappointing home loss to Newcastle.
Something is just not right with Spurs.
This was a game set up for three points. The return of Son Heung-Min, Newcastle’s poor form and a full house at our shiny new stadium. Instead, the bad habits of last season’s late Premier League form came back to roost.
Ponderous build-up play, lack of overlapping full-backs, refusal to pass to running players and the constant side and back passing without significant forward penetration, not to mention dubious finishing.
Add to that uncharacteristic tentative defending and the result is a shock home loss. The players looked out of sorts. Perhaps it’s the uncertainty over Christian Eriksen’s future or the ongoing absence of Jan Vertonghen and/or Dele Alli from the lineup. The spark is clearly missing.
Sure, if you wanted to be charitable, you could point to the nailed on penalty and red card in respect of Jeremy Lascelle’s foul on Harry Kane in the box or the incomprehensible misses from Kane and Lucas Moura in excellent positions.
Considering the relative positions of the two sides, Spurs should not be depending on good luck to win games but that I suppose says it all about where Spurs appear to be at the moment.
Four points from three game is not a crisis but with the North London derby looming, there is a real need to get our season going and fast.
It is all down to Mauricio Pochettino again. Much has been made about his demeanour in press conferences – not an accurate indicator I would argue, though the media would shit-stir – but more than anyone else, Pochettino is the man to sort things out for Spurs. I believe he will.
COME ON YOU SPURS!!!
Once upon a time, Newcastle United were our bogey team. But we have enjoyed victory over the Magpies in the last four Premier League encounters.
No reason to believe that that solid record will change on Sunday when Newcastle – still pointless this season – visit the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Spurs will be buoyed by the return of Son Heung-Min after suspension and Dele Alli after injury and it will be an interesting selection dilemma for manager Mauricio Pochettino.
In defence, Jan Vertonghen and Serge Aurier will similarly be available giving Pochettino more reason to consider his choices carefully.
On the injury front, Tanguy Ndombele – who has had a cracking introduction to the Premier League – is carrying a thigh injury and Ryan Sessegnon remains unavailable.
With the containing doubts over Christian Eriksen in the week remaining on the European transfer window and Giovani Lo Celso’s lack of match fitness, there are still constraints on Pochettino’s selection.
I still expect Spurs to be too strong for Newcastle, though it might be a bit of a grind similar to the Aston Villa game.
Possible lineup : Lloris, Walker-Peters, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Winks, Sissoko, Eriksen, Lamela, Son, Kane.
COME ON YOU SPURS!!!