Spurs v Inter (a) CL 18/19 Ratings

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When it Rains it Shits

Lets get the midfield grumble out the way first. Dier and Dembele. Again. If I thought that this was Poch playing the turtle twins because he plans to play Wanyama, Winks and Eriksen at the weekend, I'd be more Ok with it, but we all know isn't, it was just Poch, having run out of ideas and bollocks, regressing to the good old 4231-CM2 of three seasons ago, in the hope that it would be a retro answer to a current problem. It isn't. And he really, really, needs to start evolving our midfield, even if it means some short term pain, with the goal of long term gain. Our ailing midfield needs electric convulsion shock treatment, not a fucking mogadon enema.

If he was going to play these two CM's again, why the fuck not just play an orthodox CM3, give Dier the simple remit of holding the centre, providing insurance, and have Dembele and Eriksen either side, charged with moving us forward, also allowing us to transition from defensive through to attack a bit better.

The first half largely followed recent patterns, we weren't quite as shit as we were against Liverpool, but that was largely because Inter are nowhere near as good as Liverpool, and are also a side going through a dip in confidence, struggling to find their rhythm. It was like watching an episode of the Undateables. Two sides conscious they have issues, clumsy and lacking in self belief.

Our biggest problems remain midfield driven. Dembele and Dier were just weren't showing enough when we were trying to play out from defence, Dier often preferring to point instead, and we just kept tripping ourselves up.

And the front end, again, was not helped by Dier and Dembele. Several times two or three front players will move in to press, but Dembele and again, particularly Dier just don't want to commit to it, knowing that they are going to struggle to recover. So whilst we were struggling to play out fluently, Inter frequently just popped it around and broke our half arsed press, luckily Inter were wasteful, and as careless as we were and didn't take advantage. We were the team with more possession, but as with all our games this season - bar Watford - it was way to open, we still looked way to fragile and easy to get at.

Inter had pressed quite hard first half, and second half started to run out of the puff, sat back more and allowed us more of the game, and we actually started to look a bit like our old selves. The goal we got was fortunate, a bumbled finish form what had been another bumbled move which had started with promise. And largely that was how the second half went, we looked better, our team play started to look more assured, but we were still wasting some very good situations.

Ive said all along that Moura will be much more effective played as a wide left forward and he showed glimpses of that tonight, unfortunately also showing why I said he can be exciting and frustrating in equal measure, he did brilliantly to get into some great positions, but didn't really find a composed end product at the end of any of them. The same can be said for all of our forwards though to be fair. Son and Lamela can both produce good stuff, but only if they manage to survive their own first touches, which for technically gifted players, can be really clumsy.

Kane showed a couple of flashes of "real Kane" but also is still having long phases of being Ricky Lambert.

I have no problem with the subs really, but I'd have been tempted to take Kane off not Son, he wasn't playing well, Son's fresher, and as Inter were now pushing, having Moura and Son's pace and directness on the break might have been smart. But I don't think it was a huge deal. The Winks sub made sense to me, trying to sure up the game, and I guess the Rose sub was the same.

We definitely didn't deserve to lose this game, and Inter sure as shit didn't deserve to win it, but we are in a funk, and when you are a football funk, shit like this happens. We weren't exactly great, but had seemed to have the game sewn up, when bang, a lovely strike from Icardi and yet another set piece clusterfuck does for us.


Vorm - Very solid game, good handling.

Aurier - A very solid game. Got himself skanked early on, but after that defended well, and nearly set up Lamela after a good serge (pun intended) forward.

Sanchez - Decent game.

Vertinghen - Decent enough.

Davies - Terrible first half, incredibly careless passing, but did at least improve to meh second half.

Dier - I just want this over.

Dembele - Meh/OK.

Lamela - Not great, bit clumsy first half, but kept going and got into some decent positions. Hardly surprising considering how little football he's played I guess.

Eriksen - Bit more like proper Eriksen tonight. saw shitloads of the ball, was the CM making what little tock there was tick, and popped up to play a lovely through ball for Kane and score our goal.

Son - Like Lamela really, first half bumbled about too much, kept at it though and was a little more composed second half.

Kane - Fluffed the best chance of the game completely, still isn't always leading the press well, but their was the odd glimpse of proper Kane, like getting into that one v one for a start, and did hold the ball better a couple of times second half.

Moura - This is Moura's best position for me, cutting inside from left onto his right, made a couple of jinky runs, just needs to be a bit more composed at the end of it.
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Remember the 90s?
Vorm 2
Aurier 8
Sanchez 5
Vertonghen 5
Davies 1
Dier 2
Dembele 3
Lamela 7
Eriksen 7
Son 1
Kane 1

Lucas 7
Winks 1
Rose -
Signs of a starting 11 that have had very little time in the off-season. No synchronicity and that is compounded when you have tweedle-dumb and tweedle-dee in midfield.

Like bus-conductor bus-conductor has said over and over again, the game is won in the midfield and as long as Poch believes the 2015-2016 version of Dier and Dembele are still there, than we are in for a long season.

Dier that season was still new to the league and teams were just learning about his weaknesses. They are fully atuned and he is a mess.

Glad to see Maura back on the wing. It’s where he should play.

The game started looking acceptable with the 4231 in effect, but nothing will change until we figure out our midfield.

Poch has to be braver and attempt a midfield two/three combination of:


There is talent in this squad and I know we will find a string of confidence, but the season is following the same trend of slow starts in form. We just can’t seem to kick into full gear until November.

That said we should have won today, but you also have to keep your head cool and not succumb to set pieces.
Dembele getting a harsh time in my view, I thought he was pretty good.
Eriksen played very well but was too deep.

Everyone is having adapt their role to accommodate a new tactic....a new tactic with the same players essentially.

Why not just do what we used to do? Press and attack?

Anyway, Aurier the stand out, and I thought Sanchez and Eriksen were very good.
And Moura as always.
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