Spurs’ fourth round victory over Burnley in the League Cup was like deja vu all over again, with the same dull play and failings that saw them lose to West Ham at the weekend.
It’s always misattributed to Einstein the quote that “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” but watching Spurs playing against the second team this week in claret and blue and playing exactly they same as they did in the previous game, I could only think of that phrase.
Of course the outcome was actually different but everything else was exactly the same.
Burnley crammed the middle of the pitch in front of their box while Spurs kept coming inside, time and time again. With acres of space out wide no one was putting in crosses, no one was even attempting to get out there to be in the position to put crosses in.
All with the same predictable results that we saw in the league game.
As with the West Ham game there was chances created but as with the second half in that game the first half in this saw Spurs fail to register a shot on target. There were changes to the starting XI form the previous game but Kane was starting, in desperate need to get scoring or relegated to the stiffs.
Either way it didn’t work as again he looked mostly disinterested while butchering chances he would have previously buried. In a movement that started in the Spurs area it ended when from Lo Celso’s excellent through ball, Kane ballooned the ball wide, it wasn’t within 6 yards of the goal when it went out of play. He was even further away with an attempt from a corner, later on.
Neither side ended up having a shot on target in the first half. That summed up the game. The closest anyone came was when Hojbjerg booted the Burnley keeper’s bottle and towel into the stand. Hojbjerg was also getting quite annoyed with Kane.
It got a bit better in the second half but I think everyone was just thinking… can’t we just cut to the penalties?
But then something miraculous happened. Someone in a Spurs shirt passed wide to a Spurs player who stayed wide and got a cross in. Lo Celso played it to Emerson who banged the cross in first time, no needless touches, where it found Moura on the penalty spot and his header won the game. The Brazilian had replace Gil early on, when the young Spaniard went down with what looks like a hamstring injury.
Just previously there had been a reversal of that early Kane miss, with the striker playing a ball through the defence to Lo Celso but the Argentine hit the ball straight at the keeper.
Following the goal Moura had a good shot, from the middle, saved by Pope. Then there was another cross, another good cross. Again from Emerson but no one was there to finish it off. Yes, Spurs they repeatedly do the stuff that doesn’t work but as soon as they find a way to score they completely ignore it. Getting wide and getting crosses in would have worked against West Ham and worked here, even with both of their defences.
It took until six minutes from the end for Burnley to test Gollini with their first shot on target. By now Spurs were doing their usual routine of sitting back and trying to hold on to that one goal lead.
Well, maybe they’re not insane after all, I mean they scored and didn’t concede but it was for the most part just repeating the same old mistakes and dull play… but hey… it’s a quarter final…