Spurs 1 Watford 1: Another Woeful 90 Minutes
Dele Alli and, to an extent, a combination of Ben Foster and VAR rescued a point for Spurs at the end of another disappointing display. For much of Saturday’s game, it seemed as though Tottenham would hand bottom of the table Watford their first win of the season and although the point takes us to seventh, it barely covers our own dismal start.
There were few positives and, ahead of a tough run of games, it will do little to inspire confidence in either the team or the players.
Watford lost Danny Welbeck to a hamstring injury in the fourth minute but the Hornets looked more threatening with his replacement, former Barcelona man Gerard Deulofeu, on the pitch. Within three minutes, Tottenham were behind as Daryl Janmaat breezed past Danny Rose and sent in a cross that was swept home by Abdoulaye Doucoure.
From there, it was the usual case of Spurs dominating possession without creating too much of note in the final third. Son Heung-Min, introduced as a second half substitute, came closest as he struck the bar within minutes of entering the field but it was left to Dele to restore parity.
In the 86th minute, Foster flapped at the ball, leaving Dele to control with his shoulder before firing home. VAR did its best to intervene as it incorrectly posted no goal on the screen but after discussion in the middle, we escaped with the point.
To be fair to VAR, it had ruled out Watford’s strong penalty claims earlier on so on balance, we should probably overlook the error although there are clearly some big issues with its introduction.
Speaking to Spurs’ official website after the game, manager Mauricio Pochettino said:
We started again by conceding a poor goal and you can say ‘all is against us’ but the most important thing is that in the second half we pushed to try to score.
Watford defended well, they were so strong but I’m happy for the players because at the end we found a way to score. We maybe deserved to win in the second half, we didn’t, but this is the first step to build confidence again after two bad games against Bayern Munich and Brighton.
Addressing the wider picture, Mauricio looked ahead and was positive that the side could turn things around.
Five years ago we started in the same way and then we made an unbelievable second half of the season.
Our objective now is to fix this as soon as possible and to be in the way I believe the team deserves to be.
That confidence-building needs to start on Tuesday when Spurs take on Red Star Belgrade in the next round of the Champions League group phase. It gets tougher from that point with back to back games on Merseyside – away to unbeaten Liverpool this Sunday before a trip to Everton exactly seven days later.
It’s not an encouraging run but has that late goal done anything to restore confidence as the manager hopes or will Red Star, plus the two Merseyside clubs continue to heap misery on Spurs as we head towards the winter fixtures?