.The JimmyG2 Column.
And it was all going so well. Back down to earth not with a bang but a whimper. However we didn't get carried away when we went top of the league with three wins and no goals conceded, well not completely, so we won't totally despair at this loss to Crystal Palace.
But the manner of our losing gives cause for concern. We were pretty abject although we have plenty of reasons which border on excuses but in the main the wounds were self-inflected. Tanganga's exuberance got the better of him and on the hour was sent off for a second yellow.
Even so it was another 15 minutes before Davies conceded a penalty for a sloppy handball and Zaha converted to set the rout on its way. Nuno Offered no excuses after the game but did little during it to change its course other than gap plugging- (See Video)
Most Spurs fans were surprised that Bryan Gill did not get an opportunity to run at Palace or even that wild card Ndombele was not given the opportunity to erase the blot on his copy book. Nuno opted to defend a one goal deficit which was a novel approach.
Dier was injured early on retrieving a poor throw-out by Lloris who was a bit off key throughout the game with his distribution and he should at least have saved the third goal. I assume he was unsighted for the second.
With Lo Celso, Sanchez and Romero banished to Croatia for defiance of Covid regulations and Son and Bergwijn injured on International duty Nuno's options were limited and he chose only to try to remedy the contingencies of the game .( Rodon for Dier: Davies for Winks)
Emerson had a proper baptism of fire at right back and eventually lost the battle with Zaha but he showed some promise and determination, initially.
The midfield of Hojbjerg, Winks and Skipp showed little creativity and spent much of the match fire-fighting. Neither full back could add any attacking options down the flanks. Moura generated some hope and excitement at the start but it fizzled out. Harry was either sulking or seriously out of form or condition.
So an increasingly rampant Palace for whom Callagher was lively. If he'd had last week's shooting boots on it might have been a lot worse. He scored twice in the draw with West Ham, but he was at least inventive..
We were curiously subdued and played without any intent. Harry was isolated and we had few chances and only one shot on target in the whole game. Nuno sent his players out five minutes early for the second half. “The perspective was to improve,” he admitted. “But it didn’t happen.”
How worried should we be? Down now to 6th. which is more like our proper level. The successful return of Ronaldo and the triumph of Emma Raducano in the US Open may distract the critics for a while and give Nuno time to refocus, reassess and get more players back to the squad.
We had the critics worried there for a moment but normality is restored at least temporarily.
But the squad is unbalanced with a plethora of right-backs, left backs and defenders and still no proper back-up or support for HK. Ndombele and Lo Celso would supply some creativity to the midfield which is looking more than a little dour.
If the suggested plugging into the Spurs DNA is to come about Nuno needs to be quicker to re-jig and re-organise the team under stress. Crossing your fingers and looking skywards is not gonna cut it. Ndombele, Gill and Scarlett could have replaced Skipp, Winks or Moura or even Dele or Kane when Tanganga lost his head on the hour.
His options were limited by the various catastrophes that beset us but doing nothing is not an option. Like Southgate this week doing little or nothing only made things worse. We had three different centre back pairings during the game (Tanganga/ Dier: Rodon/ Tangangs and Rodon/ Davies which is clearly not ideal.
But we need to to cope better with adversity although they didn't score until the 76th minute with some effective blocks by Dele and Rodon in front of Lloris but it was all getting a little desperate. New Palace boy Edouard on for the last 8 minutes scored twice which was not in the script at all.
Everything that could go wrong did go wrong: a penalty. a sending off, an early injury and a depleted squad. It's early days of course so just moderately worried I suppose but Nuno needs to take charge and quickly. The test of a manager is when things are not going well.
No more Mr Nice Guy especially with no definite news of Son or Dier's injuries. If Everton neat Burnley on tonight we'll be back down in 7th. a position with which we are already familiar.
Next up two London derbies against Chelsea and Arsenal with the European Conference fixture against Rennes sprinkled between. So no time to lick our wounds. Nuno needs to apply something invigorating to the scars of the Palace game rather then TLC.
Final thoughts. Oliver Skipp (20) is very much a Hojbjerg clone and the two should not start together. He's OOOOwn and I naturally incline towards him but he has been seriously over-hyped. Give him a little space and time to develop.
Aparecido Leite de Souza Junior (22) Emerson Royal to you and me looks like a good signing strong and willing although he struggled against Zaha as most do.
Tanganga. needs to curb his enthusiasm a little. The initial foul on Zaha was wild and to tempt the referee within minutes before he had put his cards away was just silly.Spurs (4-3-3):- Lloris (Capt.); Emerson, Dier (sub Rodon, 12), Tanganga, Reguilon; Hojbjerg, Skipp, Winks (sub Davies, 60); Lucas Moura, Kane, Dele
Subs not used:- Gollini; Doherty, Omole; Gil, Ndombele, Markanday; Scarlett
Booked:- Tanganga (foul on Zaha), Lucas Moura (Dissent)
Sent off:- Tanganga, 58 (second yellow for foul on Ayew)
European Conference League Group stage. Away to Rennes this Thursday 16th. September at. 5.45 pm.
Premier League. Home to Chelsea on Sunday 19th. September at 4.30 pm.
Jimmy's Video Sp0t.
Last word to Nuno in the post match Press Conference. Congratulations for winning the Curse of the Manager of the Month award.