Tottenham Hotspur went to Arnheim in the Netherlands for an away European Conference League match against Vitesse. With a win, Spurs could’ve really staked a solid claim for winning their group and earning an automatic trip to the Round of 16. However, with Nuno opting to leave the starting XI from last Sunday’s win over Newcastle back in London, it was a fully rotated side that took the pitch along with a bench of U23s. Spurs looked pretty toothless in attack, and although Bryan Gil smacked a great ball off the crossbar in the second half, the hosts were the clear better side on the day. Maximilian Wittek smacked a ball past a partially obscured Pierluigi Gollini and Spurs never recovered, falling 1-0.
- This was a heavily rotated side and boy howdy did Spurs play like it. Tottenham were well out-shot on the night (though few of them were of any real quality) and just looked second best the whole evening in what looked like a carnival atmosphere in Arnheim.
- For much of the match, Gio Lo Celso was the best player on the pitch, though he looked absolutely exhausted at about the 60 minute mark and his efficacy plummeted. But like, who’s coming on for him? Or Dele, or Bergwijn? That bench was so young.
- Bryan Gil’s shot off the bar was wonderful, as was Lo Celso’s pass to set him up. Lovely. Wish it had gone in as that was one of the few bright moments Spurs had all match.
- Man, Dele. I just don’t know... I’m a huge Dele backer but while there’s not a ton he can do with Harry Winks behind him and Dane Scarlett in front of him, he was just not very good today and I don’t know what to do about it. Maybe we should play him at striker?
- Harry Winks was either kinda okay today or again terrible depending on how you felt about Harry Winks going into this match.
- I’ve never been a blame-the-ref guy really, but this ref was super inconsistent the entire match. It’s not that he was calling it badly for one side over the other... just... you never knew what was a foul and what wasn’t. Let Vitesse get away with a number of awful dives, too.
- Super excited to see Dilan Markanday make his club debut! He’s been tearing up the U23s, and I wonder whether he’s more prepared for football at this level than Dane Scarlett is, who looked good in flashes but struggled for long stretches as well.
- This was a really poor result for Spurs. They went from having a very good chance of winning their Europa Conference League group to putting Rennes in the driver’s seat. With the remaining schedule — Vitesse home, at Mura, Rennes at home — you’d expect Spurs to still go through, but winning the group and skipping having to play a Europa League dropout is now a much tougher ask.
- If it makes you feel better (it really, really helped me!), Jose Mourinho’s Roma lost 6-1 at Bodø/Glimt today in this same competition. At least there’s that.