I know what you’re thinking.
You’re thinking that in a week with Champions League football, exciting comebacks galore, that much of what I’ll be writing about is either something out of one of the following teams:
Manchester City’s and their successive failings, losing three in a row
Liverpool and their Champions League success – now up to face Mo Salah’s old team, Roma
The decline of Barcelona and Messi
How Real Madrid nearly got tossed out by Juventus
How Juventus and Gigi Buffon’s career in the Champions League came to a sad run.
Actually, I’m talking about none of the above.
Aha! Wait a second. You think I’m going to write about Arsenal and how they nearly lost it in Moscow, how Arsene Wenger’s life flashed before his own very eyes.
Instead I’m going to write about Tottenham.
Tottenham? You say. They haven’t done anything note worthy. They haven’t really been in the news for anything special.
Well, in fact, before tonight’s game against Man City, which saw the Spurs lose 3-1 at White Hart Lane, you could have predicted that the Spurs would lose. Really? One might have been forgiven in thinking the boys in white could have snatched one from the boys in blue, coming off a bad week for Manchester City, with successive losses at Liverpool, Manchester United (the enemy from town!) and then Liverpool again … maybe City were suffering from fatigue? What better to strike them while they were on a losing roll? Spurs might have fancied their chances.
Actually, it didn’t really matter who Spurs played. They could have played West Brom and lost. They could have played Southampton and lost. Heck, they could have played any team in the Premier League and not got a favourable result.
And you know why?
Because the Spurs are imploding.
Imploding? How so?
You can date it back to the game where Christian Eriksen, Spurs’ talisman over the recent two months, swung a ball in from the left corner of the field, which then slightly out of form striker Harry Kane claimed to have grazed his shoulder on the way in. The replays really were inconclusive, because if you watch the replays, the goal post is in the way right at the crucial moment that Kane claimed it brushed his shoulder. The Spurs striker swore on his daughter’s life that it had touched his shoulder and should have been awarded to him. During the game, the goal was credited to Eriksen but after a goals panel (all English) reviewed it, Kane got the nod.
What does it do for team spirit?
Really, Harry Kane should have let that one go. Sure, he is chasing Salah to be top scorer, and he wants to be the league’s top scorer three years in a row. But he should understand that Salah is in exceptional form, and is likely to run away with the award. Would you bet against Mo Salah to win the Player of the Year? Not even Kevin de Bruyne is in with a chance now. It’s all Salah, Salah, Salah.
Kane’s whingeing about how the goal was his instead of Eriksen’s really is unsporting. What do you think it did to his team and team mates?
To also swear on your daughter’s life that a ball grazed your shoulder in mid flight and ended up in a net is really a case of a selfish player putting only himself in his own frame.
If you wish to score, seek to make your teammates better first. Then when the opposition clamps down on them , you will have your chance. Look at Salah against Bournemouth.
But for Tottenham, unfortunately, every one knows the road will pass through Harry Kane. And his team mates feel obliged to help him. Stop Kane, and you stop Tottenham winning. They are too focussed in this selfish dream to think about winning now.
Which is why they are imploding.