No wheels on our wagon! Fulham 4 Tottenham 0

I haven’t been to Craven Cottage and I’m very glad that I did not choose today to change that. Unfortunately for them a strong contingent of Spurs fans made the trip across London and made a better fist of it than the players being extremely vocal throughout the game. 

It was probably all there was to do as we threw ourselves wholeheartedly into the worst Spurs display for many months leaving Harry looking very hot under the collar as he chose his steps carefully back across the pitch to issue (hopefully) the rollocking of all rollickings to those gathered in the dressing room. Quite what the problem was is hard to tell but both teams carried on from the last time we met with Fulham getting much better and Spurs getting much worse!

Over confidence? Complacency? The thought of a home draw after coming through this match? The year ending in 1? Whatever it was it gripped them all at the start, none more so than Michael Dawson who firstly played a suicide pass to Alan Hutton before allowing himself to be blocked off in the chase back and then giving away a second penalty and getting himself sent off for tugging a shirt after 14 minutes.

Hutton’s challenge which conceded the first penalty looked unfortunate in real time but he never got any the ball and clipped his man so a fair decision. Quite whether Dawson should have gone for the second is debateable. I felt it harsh but the way he was playing Phil Dowd clearly felt sorry for him and allowed him to sneak off quickly to the Cottage changing rooms. 

But it was not just Dawson who was having a mare. Over the 90 minutes we hardly had an attack and one shot I recall was from a Van Der Vaart free kick near the half way line. Not the right decision though the keeper was a shade of his line but Rafa could only see two men ahead of him and both were short and useless in the air.

Fulham were good – of that there is no doubt but when they got the team sheets they probably felt we can get a “Lancashire performance” out of this lot if we get into them early. The midfield we presented was Lennon on the left, Rafa out right with Pienaar, Sandro and Modric in the centre. Time and time again we feel we can go into these games in all out attack mode but once we get put onto the back foot there is never any answer to it. 

Sparky’s job was easy, “The only real tackler is the boy Sandro and he has no experience of our game.” I know I’ve complained about Jenas on this blog but this year he has looked better and his experience was vital to compete and take the sting out of Murphy and Dempsey in the early stages. So we lost that battle and inside 45 minutes the war. What made it worse was that Sandro was them removed to allow Gallas to come on. 

Let’s understand this. Sandro plays for the defensive midfield role – or that was my understanding – and then gets taken off after 17 minutes. In the past Lennon or Modric would have gone, personally I think it should have been Pienaar. He’s new to the club and it could have been justified. Easy for me to say after the game but I thought he showed little and will only be a squad player as he offers nothing over Bale or the others.

Many will look at the absence of Bale but that wasn’t it. He would have helped as he has been able to assist in back tracking but he would not have got the ball enough to make a difference. Added to that he played in games where we did give away goals for fun before recovering. 

So looking at our team – and squad – what we can see is that it’s OK when things are going well but when things go wrong the personnel are sadly lacking in breaking up play and taking the steam out of the opposition. There are exceptions. Gallas – but he was on the bench, Dawson – who went Hari Kari today and Palacios but he cannot keep it when he’s got it. 

Once again Crouch was called upon to try and resurrect the failures of the first half and Rafa limped off when it was clear it was game over. So it appears we have problems with a day to go in the transfer window. Or do we? Juvenile football says you play your strongest team, win the game and then make changes. Why don’t we do that? 

Lennon’s started right all season so why start left today. Switch by all means but start? Sandro is in his first season so why put him in as he is clearly not ready yet. Why rest Gallas if we want to win the competition and we needed a different strategy up front. When first signed Rafa was arriving in the box and scoring these days he is pressed back against the half way line leaving us with no support in the box.

Bad day at the office? Bloody bad day at the office if truth be told. No new striker on the horizon and only loan deals for those leaving. This was a competition we had a decent chance of winning. Unfortunately we thought we already had or at least for the first 14 minutes.   

21 responses to “No wheels on our wagon! Fulham 4 Tottenham 0

  1. giovanni dos santos!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Far to kind a description of what happened today. Hutton was absolute garbage as usual! Pienaar is the biggest waste of spurs funds in years! Dawson was uncharacteristically crap also. Harry’s tactics were deeply misguided, as they have been in the last few games. This is the business end of the season and Harry is falling way short of the required skills to lead a team to glory as a manager. Things are looking a little rough at the moment.

    • Yes rough is a description. All this talk of Beckham and the stadium has been the sideshow we expected and attention to detail has gone missing. We’ve been average on the field but expect a series of interviews suggesting “pleasure to train with David” etc etc between now and Birmingham.

  3. It was a ridiculous line-up and formation.
    Modric, Lennon, Pienaar, Defoe and van der Vaart. All well under six foot.
    Lennon on the left?!
    ‘Arry says the players are running on empty. So pick some of the rest of the squad.
    What’s wrong with a balanced midfield of Kranjkar Jenas Modric Lennon.
    Pienaar for me was bought because he was cheap. But he wasn’t needed.
    He’s never done anything of note at Everton. Decent player, but no better than what we already have. Which isn’t supposed to be our transfer policy this window.

    • It’s hard to see how they could be running on empty as we hadn’t played since last Saturday but that’s the modern excuse. DavSpurs would tell us that Fulham had had more drinks than us before we played. Maybe its time to drink more…..

  4. screwed up spurs

    it was humiliating, to say the least. everyone cocked up, the worst is Dawson. i think harry’s got it totally wrong with defoe up front, i think defoe’s increasingly looking third rate. now, 4 games without a freaking win. what’s next?

    • Dawson was a surprise that’s for sure and Defoe was not getting much service. Hopefully we will get a win away at Blackburn but that is in Lancashire and you might know my feelings about our performances in that County after Bolton, Everton, Burnley etc, etc,

  5. What a joke!!!! Bashed up 4-0 by Fulham!!! We should be burying teams like fulham week in week out!! Wasnt 1 of thse blokes gobbing off about “we can win the Prem title” this season?? Dont make me fakkin larf!!! Taxi for Mr Redcrap…….phone call to Mr Mourinho before its too late!

    • I don’t think its got that bad yet though if we want Jose we might have to be quick as he lost again last night!

  6. Pienaar a waste of funds???hahahaha…u spurs fans make me laugh!!
    Your wheeler dealer manager gets the bargain of the month, getting in this guy and now suddenly he is the biggest waste of spurs funds?? Go get a life you dork!!

    • It strikes me that Mr Levy made a calculated purchase with Pienaar as he did with Kranjcar. Niko is being quoted around the net for prices well in excess of what we paid. Therefore it follows that if Pienaar is a squad player only he too will get restless after 18 months and we caqn them sell him for a profit making the accounts look good for the shareholders.

  7. It’s Harry! All the blame is his! He deployed the wrong tactics thru out the 90 minutes. The players played according to instructions and where do the instructions came from?? If the tactics were right and the lads failed to follow instructions, Harry would have said it (like other managers do!) but he didn’t. The starting line-up, subtitutions were all wrong! Playing against physical team like Fulham needs different approach. Harry is clueless! As much as I appreciate for what he has done to the team in the past 2 years, he does not have the vision to push the team further. After last nite’s trashing, no one will come and sign with us even big money is offerred (even Pienaar is regretting his move by now!). Forget Llorente or Aguero…they are not coming!! No CL nites next season and we’ll see the back of Bale, Vdv, Pav and even Lennon! Good Luck Harry and hope you have a good life with your loved one, i.e. Crouchie!!

    • Some Manager’s don’t criticise the players in public. Fulham aren’t what I would call a physical side either. They just got stuck into us with some pace and decent play and we weren’t up to handling it. We’re all a bity depressed to be out of the FA Cup but I think you might be overegging a very poor display.

      • Your memory fades fast eh…? Can you recall who said ” even my Sandra could put it away”? It was only last nite he said “the lads were sloppy”. Oh yes..we weren’t up to handling the pressure and why can’t we? Didn’t you see how we “handled” MU, Chelsea, Arsenal and Inter? I’m not overegging but it was a very poor display indeed. Well…truth hurts. Lets not argue or debate on this further. I’m just expressing my view.

      • And you are quite entitled to it and its respected.

        Why we can’t handle the pressure away from home is the conundrum facing all Spurs managers Bill Nick included since about 1965 I reckon! Thought we had it cracked but maybe not.

  8. If you didn’t know ‘arry you would almost feel sorry for him.

  9. I must admit that I was very surprised to see Sandro coming off. It meant that we had absolutely no support for the back 4. Even though I like Pienaar (and I am South African), he should have been sacrificed. Even if we kept it tight at 2-0 we could have stood a chance. Hutton is starting to look really poor in defense, as he was against Everton as well. And Dawson was poor at the beginning, just like against Newcastle. Teams are wise to our strengths and weaknesses – and not having a decent strike force does not help. Defoe looks very lost. Would like to see the likes of Corluka back in the side – and on a day like yesterday, I guess a certain Mr O Hara would have done very well.

    • No support for the back 4 is a consistent them in Spurs defeats. Defending starts at the front and works backwards so that if a centre back or full back is called into action its not the first challenge. All too often it is the first challenge at Tottenham Hotspur and that’s why we concede too many. Was Hutton any worse than some of his teammates. Yes he’ll get stick for giving away the penalty but he was playing catch up from the pass having been sold down the river by Dawson. I’m not sure Corluka would have done better with that misplaced ball.

      You are right about strengths and weaknesses. We are too nice. As an example we conceded two penalties and then stood and watched Danny Murphy knock them in. When we win a penalty there is a massive inquest and individual warnings from the referee over encroachment in an effort to waste time and put pressure on the kicker. That pressure weighs heavy and we miss. Why don’t we adopt similar tactics to try and keep ourselves in the hunt?

      The O’Hara thing is a bit funny. Whilst Sandro might have the ability to be a better player than Jamie he certainly knows the league better and did very well in the centre for Portsmouth last year. While Sandro beds in surely he would have been an option for the remainder of the season and if he did not do it then let him go in the summer having had his chance.

  10. If I was Levy I’d start tapping up Mark Hughes to replace ‘Arry who evidently has lost the plot. Fulham started where they left off when they we very unlucky to lose to us at the lane. We were ripped apart and very easily at that. What the hell’s gone wrong? Why havn’t we got that striker yet? Why are we such a soft touch at times? Where’s the guts and steel? What an embarrassing performance from a side whose players and manager were recently rattling on about winning the PL. It’s clear to me that our ‘so-called’ scouts are hopeless. It astonishes me that Tottenham have not gone in for Suarez who, mark my words will be an enormous asset for Liverpool. It’s not a question of cash which we have in abundance it’s the lack of vision. We are now going to pay the price for this ineptitude.

    • Why do we have cash in abundance? Have you evidence of this? Granted as a knee jerk reaction the Chairman is offering money at anyone that moves in an effort to placate the fans and get someone in upfront. Problem yesterday was Defoe rarely saw the ball where he needed too.

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