- Oct 19, 2004
I'm surprised Lloris, Vertonghen, Lamela and Eriksen were started. But I guess if we wanted to seriously pursue the CL spot on offer in this tournament, and I understand why we might, then some compromises were always going to be made.
We didn't exactly deserve to lose this game, but we didn't do enough to win it either. Most disappointing is that once again I don't think we applied ourselves with the tenacity and cohesion we did against Arsenal and Liverpool, and like West Ham I thought Fiorentina did. They were busy, energetic and pressed us furiously out of any real creative rhythm.
There were some disappointing individual performances out there, most notably Soldado who not only was guilty of one of the three catastrophic pieces of carelessness, but was also just plain insipid and wasted the slim pickings he offered with flicks to no-one and other such fuckery.
Chadli and Lamela were both piss awful with the ball, but Lamela did a least see twice as much of it as Chadli, created the best chance of the game and was once again our most prolific tackler.
Until his fuck up I thought Vertonghen was one of our better players, but by a country mile our best player on the night was Eriksen, who was back to his industrious best. Saw shit loads of ball, worked hard off it and gave it away less than most.
Everyone else worked hard enough but offered little by way of creative inspiration. We largely dominated the game but found their pressing and organisation very hard to fracture. Any slim chances to make something happen, the pre situation situations, were squandered with poor final decisions or execution of those decisions.
And once again Pochettino's subs were utterly counter productive. Why leave Soldado up front offering insipidity and put Kane into the "10" spot where he always looks laboured and tend to run into more dead ends. And why the fuck put Townsend on the right and move Lamela over to the left ? Tactical moves that made things much worse not better. We now had a ponderous "10" instead of the excellent Eriksen, Townsend in his cut inside and shoot high or wide position and Lamela in his least effective position out left. And if the sub of Vertonghen was a petulant punishment I think it's piss poor. He made a mistake, as did many others.
It's a mark of how far we have come as a club, in some ways, that we are going away to Italian clubs with a make shift team and competing and dominating the game, just a shame that what is costing us so often is schoolboy stuff.
Lloris - Couple of vital saves.
Chiriches - decent game defensively and got forward but wasted every chance to put a decent ball in.
Dawzio - Second time he's cost us with a piece of dopey carelessness.
Vertonghen - I thought he was having a very good game until the fuck up.
Davies - OK.
Stambouli - Works very hard, saw lots of ball, lacks a bit of ingenuity or vision. Decent game.
Bentaleb - OK+
Lamela - As ever was busy, did see plenty of the ball, did work for the team and make the chance of the game but other than that was careless with the ball quite a few times.
Eriksen - Very good performance, worked tirelessly, tried to make things happen and had a part in the great chance we created. Still would be nice if he could find a killer pass a bit more often.
Chadli - Nearly as poor as Soldado overall. Not involved enough and when he was he made poor choices and wasted the odd situation he was involved in.
Soldado - bad.
Subs - Badly used and had very little impact.