Tottenham Defeat By Liverpool Reminiscent Of Last Season


Tottenham and Mauricio Pochettino had a reality check in the defeat by Liverpool as Spurs performance at White Hart Lane was reminiscent of many of last season’s defeats.

Tottenham fell to defeat in their first challenge against a top-4 team in a disappointing display against Liverpool as Pochettino suffered his first loss as Spurs manager. Following four wins to start of the season, Spurs fans were hoping for a result to reassure them that the team had set aside last season’s disappointments, especially against the best teams. So bad was their record against the top-4 teams that even a point against Liverpool would have equalled their tally from the 2013-14 season.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be and as the game had too many similarities with Spurs bad old ways of last season rather than the pressing football that Pochettino has spoken off as being part of his footballing philosophy.

Deja Vu for Tottenham

  • Early goal Conceded

In my preview of the game, I wrote of the need for Tottenham to avoid conceding an early goal as Liverpool would be aiming to score first to dampen the confidence that Spurs had gained with their successful opening to the season. In the article I commented,

"Liverpool will want to hit Tottenham early to dent their new-found confidence under Pochettino. Spurs must be prepared to combat those initial probings and stand tall."

Unfortunately, after only 8 minutes, Spurs found themselves a goal down. This allowed Liverpool to take control and dominate the match, something Spurs were never able to shake. Too often similar situations occurred last season in Spurs matches against the top-4 sides.

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Mauricio Pochettino spoke after the game. @SpursOfficial reported his remarks, he said,

"It’s a very disappointing result. Two key moments at the start of each half…….We need to improve and look forward. It’s the beginning of the season only 3 games in."

  • Individual Errors

Errors by individual players proved very costly to Tottenham last season. Having remained in the game until half-time with Nacer Chadli shunning an opportunity to equalise just before the interval, Spurs needed to come out for the second half with a determination and fight to get back into the game. Within 4 minutes they were two goals down when Eric Dier conceded an unnecessary penalty when pulling Joe Allen’s shirt. It was a soft penalty, the decision was harsh but correct and Liverpool took advantage.

Having had their best period of the game after conceding the second goal, Pochettino introduced Andros Townsend on the hour. The England winger was caught in possession inside the Liverpool half and Moreno raced away to score an individual goal to end any prospect of a Spurs revival.

These individual mistakes cost the home team two goals but other players made errors as well but were fortunate to get away with them. Younes Kaboul’s place in the team must be under serious threat after a performance which was riddled with mistakes. Kaboul has paid dearly for his injury problems of the past two seasons.

Speaking after the game, Emmanuel Adebayor’ comments were reported by @SpursOfficial,

"We are all disappointed. The season still has a long way to go. We have learn from our mistakes. We have to find a way to correct the mistakes and move forward."

More from Tottenham News

  • Pressing Game?

In previous matches, Spurs harried and pressed in midfield to regain possession but this feature was missing from their game against Liverpool. It was the visitors who brought energy and pace to the game at White Hart Lane.

When it was all going wrong, Spurs resorted to last season’s ‘tiki-taka’ football which was taking them nowhere as they passed the ball back and forward across midfield with no Spurs player capable of finding or making a telling pass to open up the Liverpool defence. It was played at a pedestrianly-slow pace allowing the opposing defence to set up in a covering position.

  • Third League Game of Season

As I warned in the preview, last year for the third league game of the season Spurs travelled to the Emirates having won the opening 4 games. Expectations were high for a positive result but after a lacklustre display Spurs were outplayed in a single-goal defeat. It’s happened again but this time at home and the defeat was much heavier.

  • Early Days for Pochettino

We need to improve and look forward

It is early in Mauricio Pochettino’s time as manager at White Hart Lane and there was always going to be setbacks like this.

This defeat will have shown the manager more about his players than last week’s easy win over QPR. It may even have changed his mind on which players to retain and who to release. While they may not go in this transfer window, he may be prepared to move them om come January.

Pochettino will learn from it and move on to build a stronger and more resilient Tottenham team capable of unsettling and competing against the top-4 sides.