Tottenham Hotspur went into today’s home match against Wolves knowing that it was a very good opportunity to halt a pretty dispiriting slide and reestablish themselves as solid contenders for top four in the Premier League. Instead, they got punched in the mouth, again. Wolves scored two first half goals, one each from Raul Jimenez and Leander Dendoncker, both from poor defensive mistakes, and despite having the majority of the possession and numerous chances, Spurs couldn’t find their way onto the scoresheet. The final score was a dispiriting 2-0 home loss, and Antonio Conte has more questions than answers with his Tottenham team.
Here are my notes from this match.
- For the second straight match Tottenham’s biggest problem was the “axis of evil” on the right side. That combination of Doherty, Lucas, Winks, and Sanchez was just incredibly poor, and Wolves knew it.
- That first Wolves goal was all on Hugo. Winks didn’t close out his man to contest the first shot, but Hugo had two opportunities to catch the ball and opted to punch (poorly) both times. IDK what he was doing.
- The second Wolves goal was a team screw-up but it was started again by Hugo with an awful pass. Ben Davies’ clearance was a colossally bad decision (just put it out to touch!) and then it was clown shoes pinball until the ball hit the back of the net.
- Conte made the emergency early sub and tactical switch, but Ryan Sessegnon did not deserve to get hooked so early. Poor guy. He was the one defender (along with Romero) who was not bad out there. Hopefully Conte said something nice to him as an apology.
- Spurs shifted into a 4-2-3-1 after the sub with Kulusevski playing off of Kane and Davies at LB. It started a period where there was definite improvement, though Tottenham couldn’t finish most of the chances they created.
- Again, one of the biggest issues was that the midfield was just not providing much service to Son and Kane. Winks was again awful, tons of giveaways, dribbled past a number of times, even if he did win a couple of free kicks in the 2nd half.
- Let’s have a slight silver lining on this dark cloud: both of Spurs’ new signings were good on the day. Bentancur looks like he deserves to be starting every match from here on out, and Kulusevski was bright and worked hard in possession.
- Spurs had most of the ball in the second half but their finishing was just... off. Sonny was uncharacteristically wayward, Kulusevski put a golden chance wide, Romero had an open header saved by Sa, and Kane’s chances were contested or hit straight at the keeper. Plenty of opportunities to get back into the match, Spurs just didn’t finish them.
- Good today: Bentancur, Kulusevski, Romero, Kane. Bad: Sanchez, Doherty, Winks, Lucas, Son.
- Spurs’ next three league matches are away to City, away to Burnley, and away to Leeds. This could get ugly. Football is a terrible sport, 0/10, do not recommend.