oh and Levy.
Spurs shipped another pair of added time goals to lose their second straight Premier League game, as Wolves came back for a deserved victory against a flat Ange team.
After the fall out from Monday’s game – yeah funny how Spurs play Monday then the early kick-off on Saturday – unfortunately Ange did the things that past managers have done and have regretted doing. Going with the experience and trying to fit those square pegs. Bizarrely enough it was the players who played so well on Monday that underperformed and handed the victory to Wolves.
But it was the players that past managers have failed with. Players that Levy has never managed to sell, or wanted to sell.
It was exactly the team sheet I hoped Ange wouldn’t go with. With three of his preferred back four out he put Dier and Davies in the middle and Emerson on the left. No wonder they conceded so many shots and eventually conceded victory. With that Ange replaced the creativity of Maddison with the non-creativity of Hojbjerg.
Experience over common sense. So in the back four you have two players out of position, when you could have played a kid who is a centre back, summer signing Phillips, and Davies on the left, so no players out of position and no Emerson clown on the pitch.
So then we have Hojbjerg in the midfield and despite having more of the ball, Spurs produced very little in front of goal. In a first half when they had two thirds of the ball they managed only two shots – and one of them was from Davies – just one on target, while Wolves managed 10, same on target but still.
That other shot on target was the opening goal, just six minutes in and it was the best of Spurs and something that we really only saw once more in the match. Sarr’s cross field ball probably wasn’t meant for Kulusevski but that who it found, of course he cut in but put a lovely back heel towards the byline with Porro overlapping. Porro’s hard hit cross along the six yard line was knocked in by Johnson in the perfect position to score his first goal for the club.
It was excellent, it was quick, first touch, keeping the width, getting crosses in. So why did we not see it again? It was over an hour later when we next saw something close. When Kulusevski and Hojbjerg linked up on the right, a good one-two between the Dane and Son then a curler to Johnson who should have doubled his tally and put the game to bed. Again, quick one touch forward play with width and a cross. That could have wrapped it up, not long after Lo Celso could have done the same, his top corner curling shot brilliantly saved.
So twice in the whole game and two whole shots on target all game.
Meanwhile it was only Wolves poor finishing that kept Spurs in the game. That and Vicario putting in a Vicario performance.
As I said two of the players who did so well against Chelsea were at fault here. Dier and Hojbjerg. The equaliser came a minute into added time, it started with Dier’s poor ball down the line for a throw, a cross into the box which Dier did his best not to block, as did Hojbjerg who just stood there with his hands up. One touch and bang, excellent taken goal. It was deserved.
As that equaliser went in I tweeted… still time to lose this… yeah, you know one of those Spursy jokes but of course this is Spurs and Spursy is just round the corner, doesn’t matter who the new face in charge is.
Five minutes later it was full Spursy. A poor ball by Hojbjerg, who just stood there as the resulting free-kick as the goal scorer ran past him. He then started to jog back but as the cross went in, he stopped short of the area and just stood there with his arms behind his back doing nothing but looking like he was doing something. As the scorer ran between Davies and Dier.
There was no pace at the back, no creativity in the middle and no press up front. The players looked tired early, even with having most of the ball. There was no life and that’s on Ange with his team sheet. Would it have been worse if he’d started with two centre backs who are centre backs – a youngster to cover for Dier’s lack of pace – Davies at left back and some creativity in midfield instead of Hojbjerg? Lo Celso or anyone.
The losses are big losses but let’s not forget that Neto is a massive loss for Wolves, for them as big as Maddison. And yet they created chances. And yes Ange is dealt the hand by Levy, meaning that the likes of Davies, Dier etc are still here, while there isn’t the cover required. But did Ange push for cover, or was he happy that Emerson and Davies are his backup?
And that’s Levy. For as much as there was signings in the summer, good signings, there’s still too much deadwood and positions required to fill. Two fullbacks and centre backs for a start.
Someone asked if this was worrying. Well it is if Ange doesn’t learn. If Ange goes with this team and this type of performance next time around – of course it’ll have to be a different starting XI as Bissouma is finally on his suspension for five yellow cards, though he hasn’t been the same player since his red – then it’s very worrying and the honeymoon will be well and truly over.
People were happy to gloss over things with an entertaining performance of attacking football… but if that’s not happening and defeats are the result… then…