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Tottenham Hotspur vs. Stoke City, Match Recap: Stoke play football, Spurs not so much

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What if every lazy, hyperbolic internet narrative became reality?

Shaun Botterill

Tottenham Hotspur find themselves all the way down in 12th place following a loss to Stoke City in what I cannot be persuaded to believe was actually a football match. Stoke, using an inspired football from former Barcelona player Bojan, beat Tottenham fairly comfortably, while Spurs used poor performances from pretty much everyone not named Harry Kane to continue their worst start in the Premier League since 2008.

The first half was, undoubtedly, the most insipid half of football that Tottenham Hotspur have played since they faced West Ham last season. The game started promisingly enough though as Chadli broke down the right earlier and crossed into the box for newly-minted starter Harry Kane. Kane's attempt at a diving header left quite a bit to be desired as it merely flashed across the face of the goal and into the hands of Asmir Begovic.

Minutes later, Bojan opened the scoring. There's quite a bit to say about the goal and not a lot of it is good. Bojan picked up the ball in a seam between Tottenham's zones and no one, not the central defenders or midfielders, closed down on the Spaniard as he made his run and then fired past Hugo Lloris from outside the box.

I'm sure that things happened in the next 25 minutes, but I can't honestly think of any of them. Certainly none of the things that happened were good. In the 32' Danny Rose and Younes Kaboul forgot what football was and made a hash of clearing their lines. Rose picked the ball up on the left and immediately turned the ball over. Mame Biram Diouf's low cross found Jonathan Walters in all the space in the world and the Irishman finished with aplomb.

The second half started in much the same fashion, but with two changes having been made. Pochettino withdrew Christian Eriksen and Andros Towsend in favor of Erik Lamela and Mousa Dembele, but no real differences were evident. Kane went inches wide just before the hour mark, but not much else went right for Spurs. The home side, playing upon their minuscule pitch, finally pulled one back through Chadli in the 76th minute. An surprisingly competent cross from Danny Rose sailed over everyone, but found Chadli at the far post. The Belgian's finish was sublime, but it was all that Spurs could manage.

Spurs pressed for an equalizer for the remainder of the match, but the only real event of note was the sending off of Kyly Naughton. Naughton was well-beaten by Victor Moses and decided to trip the Moses up instead of letting him run free down the flank.

I have no idea where this team goes from here. I'm just convinced we can't expect any sort of consistency or momentum from this team. I'd settle for something cogent that resembles football though.