Spurs face an uphill struggle to finish
out of the Europa places.
The JimmyG2 Column.
I well remember one of our first managers, Albert Sisyphus as I recall, who set the pattern for Spurs. Albert was an unorthodox coach who cut his teeth in the Athenian amateur league. Probably before your time.
One of his training techniques was to get the lads to roll a giant ball up a steep incline and just as they approached the top he sounded a klaxon and they let the ball roll back down again to the bottom and started again.
Spurs still use it today. Harry showed a fondness for it the year we got robbed of the Champions' League place by Chelsea. Mauricio seems to have adopted it too.
It's a variation of the two steps forward, three steps back routine which Spurs have made their own over the years.
My grandfather remembers the Albert Sisyphus ball logo on the shirts in the early years before Spurs moved to the site of a chicken farm on the High Road when the cockerel logo was adopted.
We went into the Manchester Utd. game approaching the lower heights and hoped to make it three away wins in a row at Old Trafford. But the klaxon sounded at kick off and the ball rolled back down towards the lower depths.
They out-thought us and out-fought us and in truth we were thumped. They eased up at 3-0 and we drew the second half 0-0. The game passed all our players by and once again Danny Rose was the pick of a poor bunch.
Rooney had a laugh at his own and our expense; Fellaini and Carrick ran riot almost unopposed, Fazio's ability in the air might have helped and Dier's inexperience was cruelly exposed. Dembele might usefully have started
Lloris should not have been beaten from that angle. By this time the milk was well and truly spilled and it's no good crying now. Hugo was slow to confront Rooney neatly set up by Bentaleb for the third though Dier probably confused them both.
We sold Carrick to Utd. over 8 years ago but could still use his calm control. Kyle Walker who was wild beyond comprehension needs to take a leaf out of Carrick's autobiography 'My life as a Zen Buddhist'.
The lift that a win would have given us might have been decisive but with all our immediate rivals gaining points it looks as if the ball is firmly stuck in a Europa slot. With an 8 point gap between us and Stoke in 8th the Europa place is ours to lose.
With a full weeks rest after our last game we certainly can't blame fatigue after a midweek European game. In fact it was just like old times where we were beaten in our heads before we took the field. Still work to do Mauricio on and off the pitch.
If we beat Southampton we might make sixth but we are unlikely to finish any higher. Our moment seems to have gone for this season. Henderson's fluked rebound goal to give Liverpool victory over Swansea was an indication of the operation of the fickle finger of fate.
Can one game make this much difference? Well yes if you take account of who it was and most importantly the way we played. This was a tired performance lacking spirit from the players and imagination from the coach.
The sight of Adebayor in place of the 'injured' Soldado gives an indication of our level of desperation. The last chance saloon banned him months ago but there he is still was propping up the bar.
With Leicester Burnley and Villa next up things might look different in three weeks time but I somehow doubt it.
Jimmy's Video Spot:
For the first goal Carrick moves quietly into the wide open spaces of our midfield and sets up Fellaini unmarked with a measured pass.
For the second we fail once again to clear the ball from a set piece and Carrick scores with a well placed header from the penalty spot though Dier was almost certainly fouled by Fellaini the build up.
For the third Bentaleb kindly squares the ball to Rooney; Dier mixes his feet up and Rooney makes no mistake from 6yds. Cue knockout blow.