London is, undeniably, an amazing city.
As is (in my opinion) Stoke. Things we have to boast to our name include; the Spitfire, the pottery industry, and of course, Robbie Williams.
One thing we don’t have to our name at the moment is a defence.
Good god. We were awful.
It was initially the job of my Tottenham supporting colleagues to write this article, however after the score line they’ve gone out to celebrate and I’ve stayed at home to be miserable.
But, were Tottenham that good?
Yes, okay, I accept the questionably named ‘one of our own’ Sir Harry Kane was clinical in front of goal today. In fact, the Tottenham half of my friendship group where less than sympathetic, saying that ‘clinical finishing and an all-around trampling was exactly what we needed after Gent’. And to be honest, I was as hopeful as a Stoke fan could be going into White Hart Lane, on account of Tottenham’s recent work rate and our recovery.
But, they got the trampling they wanted. However, don’t be too happy, Spurs weren’t half helped by shocking defending. Kane’s second goal was a phenomenal volley, however for the second time writing a Stoke vs Tottenham article I’m going to say it; give a world-class striker 10 yards of all around space in the box and he should be burying it.
This been said, I’m a very cynical person, and in search of opposition opinions other than mine as they tend to be wrong (lest we forget me saying Roy Hodgson could take England all the way last summer) I asked the football oracle – my dad.
In view of Stoke’s performance, we “Snatched defeat in the face of victory”. The worst part is he’s right, Tottenham should and would have been in double figures if they hadn’t mercifully taken their foot of the gas.
That’s a nice thing to do, and I understand professional curtesy, but it’s still embarrassing – Spurs were so good today, and so confident, that they could ghost the second half and not even a heartbeat was raised by the “mighty potters’” attacking threat.
I was gracious in defeat until another insufferable Tottenham ‘friend’, when asked for an opinion, said that it was “a great performance”
Not too bad, right?
He then said “can’t wait for the 4-0 next autumn”
What an arrogant so-and-so, I thought, but again he’s right – “It’s happened again, Stoke City, its happened again” chimed around the Bet-365 stadium last autumn, and I spent £40 to hear it.
But why? Were Spurs that good or were the Potters that bad?
I went in search for another opinion; a certain Mr Waters summed it up as the embarrassment it was. To paraphrase, the blame lies with not one player, but the majority of them. “After a series of games, Tottenham played us absolutely off the park – even after being unceremoniously dumped out of the Europa League on Wednesday. We thought confidence would be low, and we thought Tottenham would be exhausted from such a busy schedule, and after our team’s holiday in Dubai we should have been well up for it – 9 out of our 11 players were still in the UAE. Defence was woeful, and had no idea what was going on, the wings were barely used. Crouch has been good before in the season, but was the wrong choice considering Spurs have the youngest squad in the league, and fast paced teams need fast paced counter attack”.
Let’s be honest, he’s not wrong, Crouch has never been quick, and he’s somehow slowing up. Our defence was indeed woeful, even a favourite of mine, Ryan Shawcross, cannot escape criticism.
It says an awful lot when the fan channels have either Ramadan Sobhi – a winger that, despite his obvious best efforts, didn’t really influence the game, or Lee Grant – a keeper who conceded four goals, as picks for Man of the Match.
Tottenham deserved – and would have got – more goals. But, not by playing their socks off – this was not a dogged battle for the win – this was exactly the trampling that the fans wanted after the European disappointment.
This could have been double figures if they’d wanted it to be. But thankfully their pity won over, and it was the familiar 4-0.
I’d really rather it was 5 or 3, just not four again in autumn, not again, please.
Title Image from: The Huffington Post.
By James Doherty