for this game?
Spurs’ rollercoaster ride through this season, hit another low with their exit from the last thing they were in that they could win, the F.A. Cup, to second division Middlesbrough.
Conte’s record in cup matches, in three competitions, for Spurs now stands at won four, lost four. So much for trophy winning, with the Boro defeat matching the embarrassment of the loss to Nura in the ECL and the two lifeless defeats to Chelsea in the semi-final for the League Cup.
This was a clueless display that went perfectly with the current cycle of win one, lose one. Look great, look like a total shitshow.
Conte picked the same starting XI for the second game running. This must be a first for some number of years, a Spurs team that’s the same for a league game and then the following domestic cup game. Of course he is hampered by what he has available, what with January offloads and injuries.
Up against Wilder’s 3-5-2 formation, Conte’s middle pairing, in a 3-4-2-1, outmanned and no creativity, again.
I mean again, with Winks in there they were playing with only 10…
Look at those stats, shockingly awful. You can’t keep on trying to carry that.
I wasn’t expecting Boro to be so open, it invited Spurs to play for the counter and when Spurs went forward with pace, one touch, they looked like they could do something. Unfortunately with the likes of Winks providing, they spent most of the game passing the ball sideways and backwards.
Hugo ball in hand looking for the quick break, he has eight Spurs player in and around his own box. When they did create chances, then Kane was generally offside, but more often than not when they got into good positions the ball went backwards.
Conte stood passively on the touchline and watched this not working for 80 minutes before making a change. He look even less interested than his players. When it came, one of the changes made sense, as Sessegnon made way for Bergwijn but Royal for Doherty was a head scratcher. Now Doherty wasn’t having a great game, not even a good game but Royal.
Was Conte thinking because he was shifting to a back four that Doherty is a wingback and Royal is a fullback, so the latter would be the better defender, when he’s not exactly shown that. Bergwijn injected some go forward, that almost paid off immediately. But it didn’t, Spurs finally created some chances though. They did have to wait until the 51st minute for their first attempt on target, from a Dier free kick. Which sums everything up.
Boro, while being talked up by the TV commentators, were having their own stinker in front of goal. While Spurs would hit the keeper, the home side would miss the target. Hugo only having to make half the saves of his opposite number, while facing about the same number of total shots.
The only thing he had to do more of was pick the ball out of the back of the net. Second minute of the second half of extra time and Boro just waltzed through Spurs’ left, Royal playing the scorer onside by being miles behind his teammates.
It was a shambles from a Spurs side that looked tired and like they just had to turn up, much like they did at Burnley, while Conte looked resigned to the fact from the first whistle. They all looked for most of the game as if they were playing for penalties.
So top four is all there is to play for… but you know following the next good game, there’ll be one like this coming soon.