It certainly wasn’t the result anyone wanted. For the fifth time, Tottenham Hotspur raced out to an early lead in their latest Premier League match, this time going ahead 1-0 over West Ham thanks to a Cuti Romero header. And again, they failed to put the match away and let their opponents come back, conceding two flukey second half goals and losing 2-1. It was Tottenham’s third straight home loss and extends their winless streak to five matches.
Afterwards, club captain Son Heung-min blasted Spurs as “soft” in how they played in the London Derby loss to the Hammers.
“We lost the game which is unacceptable. You get the lead five times in a row and losing the game I think is unacceptable and as players we should take responsibility.
“West Ham have always been tough to play against but look we were soft. Especially in the Premier League, even if you are winning 2-0, 3-0, you don’t know what will happen in the end.
“[It’s] not at all [psychological]. But as I said before the players should take responsibility, and the fans don’t deserve this. When you go 1-0 up early you should bring even more energy. We didn’t and that’s why we lost.”
There are certainly tons of mitigating factors you can point to as to why Spurs are struggling. We knew their bench was paper thin, a situation only exacerbated by the spate of injuries and suspensions that Spurs are still dealing with. But just four days ago, Tottenham put three goals past the defending champions in a 3-3 away draw at Manchester City. There was very little of that same bite on Thursday night in North London.
Son’s manager agreed. Ange Postecoglou, in perhaps one of his testiest press conferences since joining the club, put a pretty fine point on his teams’ struggles.
“I think it’s another game where we’ve dominated a game of football and haven’t turned our dominance into something more tangible and kept the opposition in the game. I thought we were really poor in both boxes tonight - both with our finishing and both goals were terrible to concede.
“We had some unbelievable chances - for us it’s another game, like the Villa game and other games earlier this year, and I said during the week our attacking play has a long way to go. In general we have a long way to go, and tonight was more evidence of that.
“Us being good means us being 3-0 up. This isn’t about us playing good football, it’s about us winning games of football. That’s what I’ve said from the start. I set teams up to win games and 1-0 at half-time was not a good performance from us. A good performance would have been 3-0 or 4-0 up, as was the case against Villa. And when you don’t, and give up goals you shouldn’t like today then you get what you deserve.”
Spurs do not have long to figure things out — they host Newcastle this coming Sunday.