First of all, I would like to apologize for the lateness of this post. I would also like to apologize in advance for not making it as thorough as I wanted to. I was really, really pissed off after the loss on Monday and I've been swamped with work as well. The combination of those two factors made it tough for me to find the time to write this post and made me not want to write it at all. In the future, this space will include things like formation drawings, Guardian chalkboards, heatmaps, etc. This week, it's a tad bit half-assed. Sorry, guys.
1. Couldn't keep possession - HotspurFiend
Yep. Though the possession numbers don't look that atrocious (53 percent to United), our inability to keep the ball was a problem. Those numbers are inflated by the one ten-minute period where we were actually good and a 30 minute period where it was 50-50 because both teams did f-all. For the final 35 minutes of the match, Manchester United were dominant, possession and elsewhere. All of our forward-thinking players gave away the ball without an attempt at a positive pass or shot multiple times. Jermain Defoe was probably the worst offender.
2. Primarily fitness - Coit
This cannot be quantified by bloggers, but it was obvious. The team hit a wall sometime between the 55th and 60th minutes. Manchester United lifted the pace of play and we were completely overrun. All of our players looked slow. If it was not fitness, it was a terrible mentality. I don't know which is more concerning.
3. Lack of communication (and team coordination) killed us - greggregbrady
Just like fitness, impossible to prove, but fairly obvious. The passing between the players was not crisp at all and there was no one who was really directing traffic. Anyone still think Rafael van der Vaart is more important than Luka Modric?
4. Spine of the team needs to be stronger/United attacked well through the middle - Jams15
You will get only a minor argument from me here. Yes, Younes Kaboul was a tad bit out of position on the first goal, but overall I think the pairing of Kaboul and Michael Dawson had a very good game and is top four quality. As for CM, CAM, and ST, absolutely. Defoe was abysmal, van der Vaart was abysmal, Niko Kranjcar looked like a guy who had not played at this level for over a year and Jake Livermore looked like a guy who had never played at this level before. None of those four players are bad players, but they would need five or six games consecutively, as a unit, to develop the rhythm and chemistry required to compete with the big boys. The talent is there with all four, but they were awful against United.
5. Harry's Tactics Let us Down - Lennon's Eyebrow
When it comes to tactics, I am NOT a Harry Redknapp apologist. I think Harry is an average manager who should hire an assistant who is a "tactical expert," and I feel like we sort of lucked into top four a few years ago. Having said that, Harry played the cards he was dealt. Tom Huddlestone was obviously not 90 minutes fit. This is not Harry's fault. Also, the game was over before he made his late substitutions. He had to try something desperate. We didn't have the players to control the midfield in that game, period.
6. Speed difference exaggerates fitness difference. Man United's players clearly are fitter than Tottenham's, however they are also faster - DW19
I completely disagree with this. Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Kyle Walker, Aaron Lennon, Gareth Bale, Younes Kaboul, Jake Livermore and Jermaine Defoe don't have great speed at 100 percent fitness? Get out. This is the least of Tottenham's problems.
7. All these thoughts and opinions seem well grounded in logic and observations. Really all this game was about was giving ManU and the other top clubs a false sense of security. They'll be sorry in a couple of months once Redknapp starts caring though. - Bryan Ashlock
Bryan Ashlock, ladies and gentlemen...