Spurs latest calamity, in a season of calamities, saw yet another humiliating performance, having rings run round them by Leicester, as Conte returned to the touchline.
Last week, no Conte and the best performance of the season against title challengers, Man City. This week Conte is back in his technical area, looking miserable as Spurs capitulated against a team who were 14th in the league.
Again they started the brightest. Again it didn’t last long. Again they were a shambles. But this time it looked even worse, with players looking like they’d downed tools and were really bothering. To add injury to insult they lost Bentancur for the season.
It started well, Spurs were out of the traps and were up. They had even made the home goalkeeper make a save from a free kick. Not something that usually happens, it was Perisic who took it, not Kane. This led to two corners, Leicester almost Spurs’d the first one, but the defender kneed the ball over the bar. From the second they did. Flicked on the Leicester player who saved them last time kicked it on towards Bentancur who stuck out a leg for his fifth league goal of the season. Of course VAR were looking for a reason but he intentionally played the ball, so everyone is onside, why did it take them so long to figure that out? Because they’re useless, I know.
Perisic took those corners, both of which were dangerous, after that free kick. It was the last time he helped Spurs on the day. As he and the rest of the defence proceeded to put in a classic Spurs omniclusterfuckshambles performance for the next 75 minutes plus stoppage time.
By halftime it was 3-1 to the home side. In fact it barely took them ten minutes to be ahead.
Leicester saw the way to go at Spurs, down their right. Porro making his debut was a bit all over the place, while Tanganga was standing in for Romero and isn’t exactly a like for like replacement. The equaliser started from a corner, nodded across and then nodded away, the ball fell to the Leicester player who had a bang, right into the top corner. Perisic stood there, yards away, pretending to make a block, while actually being far enough away he didn’t have to do that flinch turn. And for a giant, Forster in goal, seemed awful surprised at the ball flying towards goal, you’d think he could see over everyone.
A couple of minutes later and more ineptness. Oh look they’re fannying about at the back right up to the moment Davies just aimlessly kicks the ball into the middle of the pitch. Might as well have the keeper hump it up the pitch, at least then it wouldn’t take everyone by surprise. One challenge on the ball and it’s through to the Leicester striker, he’s faced by Tanganga, who is all alone facing a two on one with Maddison out to his right. Played the perfect ball Maddison slots home what was effectively the winner.
There is the irony of it all. This transfer window saw Spurs still need what they’ve been needing for a while, what they still need after the window closed. New, better, central defenders and and creative attacker. Having got none, you saw the folly of it right here, as the three centrebacks were hopeless and that creative player they needed got the goal.
10 minutes had passed from Spurs opening the scoring.
It took them a while to get the third, it came a few minutes into added time at the end of the half. Amazingly it could have been all level as the home side nearly out Spurs’d Spurs again, with a mix-up between keeper and defender, which saw the latter kick the ball out for a corner, but nearly score an own goal.
Again though the next goal was a shambles. They’d had a warning with the second Leicester goal and a bit later, with one clearance putting the striker one on one with Dier. This time the striker again backed up Dier but the curling shot wasn’t saved by Forster who took his time getting down.
So were we gonna get that Spurs turn up for the second half thing then? No. We weren’t.
It was the homes side on the front foot and creating the chances. Just after the hour, things turned even more for the worse as after a long time sating on the floor, looking in agony , Bentancur hobbled off the pitch with what was later announced as a cruciate ligament injury that’ll keep him out for the rest of the season. To go with Lloris and Bissouma being out for weeks, if not the season.
It looked like Leicester had their, deserved, fourth, when Barnes curled the ball past Forster, after more half arsed defending from Spurs. But Barnes’ toenail was ruled to be offside when he was passed the ball. It didn’t take long for him to get his goal though.
By now Conte had made more changes as Sanchez and Emerson had replaced Tanganga and Porro. It really was like for like changes, for those claiming how great Emerson was and that he should have started, he didn’t cause Leicester’s attack any problems, while Sanchez was falling over.
The fourth came by Leicester just playing through Spurs’ middle, with ease, under no pressure, there was no attempt at a tackle as the ball made it’s way to Barnes at the edge of the box for him to take his shot.
He’s an underrated player, Barnes, always surprised he’s never talked about in any transfer rumours. Young, only 25, English talent in his fifth top flight campaign, so got the experience, decent scoring and assists record, doesn’t sound thick when interviewed.
Four one, against Leicester and it could have been worse, could have easily been six if not more. And here was Conte stood on the sideline, looking like he was wishing for his gallbladder back.
From being up for the fight, defending like your life depended on it, going forward, to looking like you couldn’t care less, half-arsing challenges and a general disinterest in one week.
The week the manager returned. Not a good look in front of the boss, Levy, who was slumped in his director’s box seat, watching it all unfold…