Festive Flops: Spurs Sunk by Southampton
As we signed off for our own Christmas holidays we suggested that Spurs should be looking to target a minimum of seven points from a possible nine across three festive fixtures. As it turned out, only four could be harvested in what was a painful time for anyone unlucky enough to be watching.
Across those three games, we came from behind to edge past Brighton before making bottom of the table Norwich City look like Barcelona. It all culminated in that abject display on Wednesday at Southampton and with Harry Kane under an injury cloud, it’s not exactly a happy New Year.
We don’t want this to be another moaning Spurs blog but that was a tough watch over the holiday period. The win over Brighton was just about deserved but we were lucky to come away with a point from Carrow Road. Following on, the Southampton loss did at least confirm the issues within the club that manager Jose Mourinho will need to tackle.
Of course, the transfer window is now open which gives the new boss a chance to address the void in the two full back positions which now seem to be a priority. Central defence has also been a concern of late, especially at Norwich when, in the first half, the bottom side were made to look like table toppers.
These quotes from Mourinho are from the club’s official website so they are quite sanitised. Speaking after the Southampton match, Jose said:
For me, quite a strange game because they didn’t create problems for us defensively, they had two or three shots and scored a goal and we didn’t score.
We had chances to do it in the first half, we had a couple of good chances in the second half. Again, the offside is what it is.
Then we lose Harry, and without Harry things are more difficult because we don’t have direct replacements especially without Son who is a player who can play in his area.
We suggested prior to Christmas that Spurs could still start 2020 in fourth place even if we lost to Chelsea on December 22nd. That wouldn’t have been the case even if we had picked up maximum points but it’s still galling to see the club slip up in three winnable games against opposition in the wrong half of the table.
As it turns out, those four points from a possible nine leave us in sixth place, six points behind Chelsea who remain in that final Champions League place for now. In league terms, things get tougher initially and across our next four matches, we will play Liverpool at home and Manchester City at home.
Sandwiched in between those games is a trip to Watford and another home clash – this time with Norwich City. Before all of that can get underway, Tottenham will make the long trip to Middlesbrough for Sunday’s third round FA Cup tie. It’s our only realistic chance of a trophy this season but will it provide some Cup comforts or will the fixture continue to underline the problems at the new White Hart Lane?