Everyone is absent from work from time to time, but when 9, 10, and 11 perform well below normal standards, the true calamity that emerged from Tottenham’s miserable and miserable display on Saturday It happens naturally.
Tottenham’s game plans were somewhat compromised by situations beyond their control. With each international break, club managers cross their fingers, roll dice, and pray at bedtime in the hope that all players seeking national team obligations will return to good health. I will say a little.
What Nuno Espírito Santo apparently tried didn’t work. Four players returned to Hotspoolway with knocks and nigles, but three more were redirected to Croatia to return to London from the Red List Zone in South America. Cristian Romero, Davinson Sanchez, Giovani Henrso, you have a few things to do. Oliver Skipp has recovered from knocking, but the other six are no longer available in London Derby against Crystal Palace.
They were also important. Son Heung-min accounts for two-thirds of Tottenham’s Premier League goals this season. Sanchez was playing every minute of the first three games where the Spurs didn’t score a goal. Steven Bergwijn’s zip adds another dimension to Son-Kane’s comedy duo. Romero is the second most expensive player in club history.
As Nuno discovered, misery is by no means alone. In the absence of his son, the tonesetters and matchwinners in Tottenham’s attack felt painful: the Spurs tried two shots in every game.
Spurs, who lost two of the three top centre-backs before the kick-off, lost a third within 12 minutes when Eric Dier pulled his leg. Defensive partner Japhet Tanganga left the pitch to chase him and was sent off with two yellow cards in the 58th minute. The Spurs ended the match with central defenders Joe Rodon and Ben Davis, who were fifth and sixth on the pitch.
UNO seems to be the card game of choice among the Spurs team, and this weekend they were dealt two skip-ago cards together, followed by a healthy amount of +4. But to portray this defeat as purely unlucky is to close your eyes to the misery of the performance and stab your fingers in both ears. After 15 minutes, the palace was completely dominant.
The warning sign was before the kickoff. Nuno found the winning formula in the first three games. He set his side in a narrow 4-3-3 formation and pushed the wings so that he could bounce off all at once with a counterattack. Even if the Spurs encounter grizzly moments in each match, winning three times in a row suggests that it was a successful ploy.
However, Shorn of Son and Bergwijn chose some sort of 4-4-2 diamond. It didn’t work with emphasis. Lucas Moura and Dele Alli, alongside Harry Kane, changed the role of support striker in an unconvincing way, and neither Sergio Reguilon nor Emerson Royal, who made his debut, gave enough inspiration to the side. However, it was in the middle of the game that Tottenham’s biggest problem became apparent.
The trio of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Skipp, and Harry Winks seemed unconvincing and incompatible before the match. As proof of the match itself, it is Trident that will never be seen again in a hurry. Safety-first passages, sloppy touches, and slow recovery practices defined each of their afternoons. They were the palace’s central midfield throwback, and everything that the game’s prominent player Conor Gallagher didn’t.
Palace started the game carefully, but eventually realized the fact that this version of Tottenham wasn’t particularly good. While Wilfried Zaha made his royal Premier League debut, they fought and manipulated the Spurs in the middle. He will never forget in a hurry. The Spurs seemed to be a team that stuck to the half-time whistle and longed for the creativity and breadth of injections.
They were screaming for Tanguy Ndombele and Brian Gil. Neither was summoned from the bench after half-time, 50 minutes and 55 minutes. And finally, as expected, the relentless onslaught of the palace spoke. On this day, Tanganga, one of the best performers of the Spurs, received two cards in five minutes and the game went up effectively. The blood rush sacrificed Tanganga, but his manager’s stubborn refusal also tried to change something.
Players realized that they were caught up in the tsunami with only armbands and inflatable unicorns to save them.
With four games played, the numbers aren’t particularly encouraging for Nuno’s Spurs reading. Tottenham was 14th in the league with a goal (3), 16th with an expected goal (3.79), 15th (38) with an attempted shot, 18th (26) with a chance created, and 5th with a faced shot (5th). It is ranked in 70). For the first time in his Premier League career, Kane couldn’t aim for a goal in a single match or touch within the penalty area. It was his 248th appearance in the tournament.
There are factors that alleviate the problem, and Nuno needs time to rebuild this poorly performing team long before it arrives, but at the moment Tottenham struggles to create a goal-scoring opportunity, and I’m giving up a lot of them. When that combination becomes standard, not an exception, afternoons like Saturday are terribly inevitable.