If recent performances have been shambolic then Saturday’s point against the Saints at least brought with it some light relief.
To twice come back from behind showed ‘character’, but I was left wondering how on earth we can expect Hugo to stay for another season if that’s the dross he’s gonna have served up in front of him. I’m half tempted to book him a Eurostar ticket to Paris myself. It’d be a mercy killing.
Sure, Lamela’s performance was improved, even if his goal deflected focus from his knack of skirting around the edges of a game without ever getting too involved.
The same can be said of Chadli whose haul of goals is nonetheless genuinely impressive from midfield.
I’m not ready to give up on either, but with Lamela in particular the lack of explosive pace in the wide areas does restrict our ability to counter attack with any real impetus. Throw Dier and Davies into the mix and you can see how light we are in that respect when the first choice full backs are out.
That some bookies were offering as much as three-to-one for an away win reflected just how meekly the season has panned out, but there were glimmers of what we are capable of achieving – even if we struggled, once again, to demonstrate any kind of template or philosophy.
For the first few months of the season we read and heard lots about Poch’s preference for a team that presses aggressively from the front. The requirement for fit, energetic and willing runners. We were constantly told that his double training sessions were having the desired effect – especially when we went on a run of games where we stole all three points with goals at the death.
Clearly the reservoirs of energy have been all but exhausted by our Thursday night exertions in Europe and that’s to be expected with a young squad. But barring a minor miracle we are likely to find ourselves there again next season and Poch’s unwillingness to rotate is alarming.
Mason looks like a he needs a long rest. He’s shouldered an awful lot of responsibility this season for an enthusiastic but ultimately limited player. But he’s knackered now and he hasn’t looked the same since the United game in which we were completely overwhelmed until Dembélé came on.
Mousa can look languid at times, cut from the same cloth in many ways as Berbatov. But he offers craft and strength in the middle of the park and Mason looks a lot better when his role is restricted to feeding the more creative elements in the team around him.
It’s also becoming increasingly obvious that Stambouli wasn’t the manager’s pick. Which rather begs the question as to why he was bought in the first place. Have we learnt nothing from the way in which the Bale money was invested?
In defence of Pochettino, he cannot be held responsible for failing to get a tune out of the team if he isn’t being allowed to shape the squad in his own image. A job that’s going to be made harder if tonight’s Lloris to United rumours are to be believed.
The Metro are claiming that a release clause could see him shipped off to United for as little as £14 million. You couldn’t make it up, though it wouldn’t be the first time a journalist did.
I started writing this with the intention of being positive but, somehow, I’ve been left feeling deflated as the season has tailed off.
There will be plenty of time to dissect and reflect over the summer, and I don’t want to lose sight of the positives. But nor do I want a repeat in the next transfer window.
Watching a Southampton side full of young, homegrown talent is awe inspiring. But it’s also a reflection of an acceptance of their status as a club.
I’m ok with that for Spurs, it’s a noble pursuit. But the club need to be honest about their intentions and revise expectations accordingly. I just don’t trust them to have the patience to see it through.
ENIC have to shit or get off the pot, it’s as simple as that. Football isn’t your average business, and fans don’t measure success on a balance sheet. Just look at Newcastle.
Levy, take note…