The JimmyG2 Column.
It's a well established rule of Spurs Musings that one should never blog when tired, hungry, angry, disappointed or drunk and, in such circumstance, wait 24 hrs before committing one's thoughts to paper.
Perhaps longer when you are all five simultaneously, but we have another game on Sunday, so I will have to risk it. I note with approval that Conte has the same philosophy and doesn't talk to the players when emotionally charged.
After Thursday, I wonder if he'll ever speak to them again. I think this was, and excuse me for getting technical, a clusterfuck of giant proportions. Defeated by the lowest ranked team in the Conference League and our worst performance in living memory.
Defeated by a team that have lost their last four games in the competition and languish mid-table in the Slovenian league. Defeated by a team ranked on a par with Accrington Stanley and Burton Albion in League 1.
When the team was announced, I thought, 'I like it', plenty of experience on the bench and opportunity for fringe players and youth who need game time to make their mark and stake a claim.
With so many games imminent, 10 before the New Year, we certainly need some players to step up, but on this showing the first team squad will have to soldier on unaided until reinforcements arrive in the January window.
Gil didn't impress; Sess burnt his bridges by getting sent off after half-an- hour; Dele seems intent on a change of scenery; Sanchez beaten twice for the goals may get one whether he likes it or not; Doherty could easily join them.
Rodon could probably do with a loan spell; Gollini doesn't seem to have it; Davies lost the ball for the final goal with seconds to go and is well past his sell-by date; Ndombele given every chance to shine didn't pass muster.
And yet another addition to our impressive and growing collection of first halves without a shot on target.
Positives? Desperately few. Harry scored and took his goal well; Skipp probably wasn't quite as awful as the rest: things improved after the quadruple substitution 10 minutes after half-time. Desperate times, desperate measures.
We are the only English team that lost in Europe this week and played, on paper, the weakest opponents. Our hopes to progress depend on next week's fixtures and the best we can do is finish second which results in two more qualifying games.
It certainly didn't go according to plan unless the plan was to bomb out of this competition to free up space and time for the others. That is not what Conte indicated but he is beginning to realise the nature of the task he has taken on.
“After three weeks I am starting to understand the situation. It is not simple. At this moment the level at Tottenham is not so high.'' Masterly understatement but perhaps it lost a little in translation.
After Mura and his first loss no-one would be at all surprised or blame him if he tore up his contract and departed, but he's a proud and successful man and he will stick with it. I hope.
Horvat scored a fine goal after 11 minutes and Sessegnon was sent off on the half-hour. Things looked increasingly bleak until Harry scored 15 minutes before the end. With Rennes and Vitesse level a draw would have kept our hopes alive.
But the hapless Sanchez beaten on the wing by Marosa desperately tried to make amends and diverted the ball over Gollini for the winning goal on 94 minutes. A shambolic end to a shambolic night.
The 200 Spurs fans that made the trip should have all their expenses paid and a letter of apology although they had been present at an historic occasion: Spurs worst performance certainly in Europe if not ever.
Next time on the 9th. December Spurs need to match Vitesse's result against Mura. If both sides win,
then Spurs can only afford to win by one goal less than Vitesse to come 2nd. (Spurs Odyssey)
Spurs (3-4-3):- Gollini; Tanganga, Rodon (sub Dier, 54), Sanchez; Doherty (sub Davies, 53), Ndombele (sub Hojbjerg, 76), Skipp, Sessegnon; Gil (sub Lucas Moura, 54), Kane (Capt.), Dele (sub Son, 54)
Subs not used:- Lloris, Austin (GKs); Reguilon; Emerson Royal, Winks
Booked:- Sessegnon (foul on Karnicnik), Dele (unsporting conduct)
Sent off:- Sessegnon (second yellow for foul on Kous, 31)
Marosa, 90 (+4)
We had 2 players booked, one of them twice and sent off. They had seven different players booked and wore their yellow cards as a badge of pride but never the same one twice. That takes a bit of organisation and planning or collusion.
Conte was booked for over-enthusiasm on the touchline. A pity the team didn't show the same level of commitment especially in the first half.
Premier League: Away to Burnley this Sunday 28th. November at 2pm.
Jimmy's Video Spot.
Last word to Antonio Conte. Top man almost lost for words at the horror of it all. It's alright Boss Spurs sometimes has that effect on you.
No magic, just work, time. patience, honesty and much more work and time.