Spurs tribute to Jimmy Greaves

Chelsea DOMINATE Spurs in London derby! | Tottenham 0-3 Chelsea | Premier League Highlights

falls flat.

Spurs lost their second league game in a row by the score of 3-0 as they fell, worryingly, back into old habits after initially taking the game to Chelsea.

As two of Jimmy Greaves former clubs faced each other shortly after the announcement of his death, the strikers for Spurs and Chelsea were outshone by the more defensive players. It was billed as Kane versus Lukaku but neither looked a patch on the late Greavsie.

Nuno picked a reasonable looking starting XI, with injuries and suspensions, Romero, Lo Celso and Ndombele got their first league starts. The latter probably getting the nod due to last weeks midfield trio that produced very little creativity.

And it started so well. Well, sort of well. There was huff and puff, but no one was really attempting to blow the house down. Spurs were in their faces and finally looked up for a game – probably the first time since the opening game, almost as if playing a top side is the only way to get them interested. It was the visitors who looked disjointed.

But while both teams had chances in the first half, both of them just butchered them. Chances mainly came on the break, a glorious one for Chelsea was stopped because Mount was clueless – I know, what are the chances – with Havertz free on the left, he chose to play the ball behind Lukaku, who passed it back for Emerson, who had left Havertz free, to block.

While Son, lo Celso and Reguilon butcher good opportunities to get ahead while Spurs were on top. And you just knew how that would go. Reguilon’s chance came from some excellent build up play from deep in the Spurs half, some nice one touch stuff, especially from Dele, off to Son, who then played Reguilon in. With plenty of space to run into he headed for the box. He had two choices go for goal himself, which maybe he should have taken, or cross for someone in the middle, Lo Celso and Emerson were at the back post. His cross was easily cut out.

Kane’s follow up curling shot, from just off the edge of the box, showed a trick Spurs missed all day, as the stand-in Chelsea keeper, a known flapper and howler merchant, spilt the ball almost at the feet of Emerson. But they do so little to test his flappiness.

It all changed at half time, while Spurs were probably more than happy with their first 45, Tuchel wasn’t and so he made the change that changed the game. It looked at first like a defensive move, with two more defensive minded midfielders already on the pitch he removed a so called attacking one, in Mount, for one seen as defensive, in Kante.

As their wingbacks advanced more it saw a change in formation from starting 3-4-3 to more like 3-3-4, which turned into a 2-4-4 when one of the centre-backs moved up. They basically pushed Spurs back and dominated the next 45 minutes. Once the first goal went in, Spurs heads dropped and that was it, you only saw one outcome and it wasn’t a glorious fightback.

Not even five minutes into the second half and from a corner Silva headed in that opener. Dele getting the blame, but he turned to see if the ball was coming and that moment cost him. The second came less than 10 minutes later, when Lo Celso lost the ball, a pass later and Kante took a touch and smacked a shot that took a wicked deflection off Dier to leave Hugo flat footed as it hit his left hand post and rolled across and over the line.

Spurs changes came a few minutes later, just after the hour, with Lo Celso and Ndombele, making way for Gil and Skipp. As someone pointed out the whole team looked knackered after the hour. It’s something Solskjaer commented on his players after Jose left there. The lack of fitness.

The changes didn’t do much. The final nail came in added time before which Timo Werner showed he probably is a lost cause. I mean, if he couldn’t score against Spurs in this situation, with a couple of good chances, what are his hopes? He did cut the ball back to the Rudiger, who was all alone when he turned and banged in the third.

But for Hugo it could have been a lot worse.

Kane was all over the place and uninvolved again. Nuno went with the Chrimbo tree again, with Kane off the central Son. It was like watching England as he came deep and dropped wide, with little or no effect. The irony of it all is that the formation Chelsea ended up with after the break would probably suit Spurs. Nuno had his best time at Wolves with a back three, it started to go wrong when he went back four, because he thought it was less defensive but this showed it doesn’t have to be.

Spurs, in their best days under Poch, were almost like this. Walker and Rose were nominal fullbacks but played like wingers, while Dier dropped in alongside Jan and Toby. Why not go back to it? Pundits said Spurs lacked width, this would provide it. There would be defensive cover, while also having room for creativity. The midfield wouldn’t be overrun. Son and Kane together, wouldn’t see either isolated, especially if Kane is told to stay up.

Spurs starting XI and match day squad
Spurs starting XI and match day squad

There’s plenty of room for movement and replacement, all places are covered, Doherty not even on the bench when his best days with Wolves were as an attacking wing-back. OK so no left back replacement. But fresh legs off the bench, like Moura, to cause trouble for tiring teams.

Something has to be done, because nothing is really working at the moment. The way they’re playing Kane isn’t gonna break any of Greavsie’s records for the club.

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