A bleak, snowy night in north London was the setting for a display as predictably painful and unwatchable as Tottenham served up precisely nothing against AC Milan, crashing out of European football once more.
Tottenham Hotspur‘s opening 45-minute stint against AC Milan was arguably some of the worst football I’ve ever seen at this level.
Tottenham decided to show no fight, determination, intensity, integrity, or intelligence. You could have made all five substitutions in the first half and changed the game plan an abundance of times and still, it couldn’t have and wouldn’t have been as disjointedly pathetic and weak as Spurs’ spineless first-half display.
The fans emulated the flatness of the display. Why would they not? How can a stadium get up for something when even the eleven players on the pitch and the coaching staff can’t be bothered too? Hey, at least they get paid for it. Meanwhile, the fans are being robbed blind whilst sitting next to day-tripping tourists or AC Milan fans.
Before the game, Antonio Conte called on the fans to show unwavering support. They have done, Antonio. They were there in their thousands at Bramall Lane, watching a depleted Spurs offer nothing. A similar story days later at the Molineux. How many times do we Tottenham fans have to turn up for you to provide us with a performance worthy of the extortionate money we paid to watch?
Predictable story for Tottenham as the game went on
Slipping into the second half and there wasn’t much else to report that could surprise you. Cuti Romero had to get himself sent off in another unnecessary and avoidable situation. Heung-Min Son continued to play the role of ‘man who’s just discovered the game of football’. Ivan Perisic was there. So was Clement Lenglet! Oliver Skipp did all the defensive work around the middle, and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg kicked the ball at the Milan goal once. All whilst Conte continued to prove that, actually, he’s not worth a third of the money he’s paid.
Tottenham asked questions of AC Milan’s forwards rather than their defence. Can you press us? Can you create half-chances? Can you show us what it looks like to attack? Admittedly, an Antonio Conte side shouldn’t be scoring goals. They shouldn’t be creating chances. They should look like a footballing crab. Sideways, backward, sideways.
The most incredible thing in the whole game for Spurs was a Harry Kane header, from a mid-range Son free kick, in the 90th minute that forced a great save.
Luckily, this is most likely the end of it all now. Antonio Conte can go. Thank you for the fourth-place finish last season at Arsenal’s expense. No thank you for creating the most rigid, predictable and lethargic football to exist. You’ve made me miss Jose Mourinho.
I miss football. I miss watching a football team. I miss watching technically competent footballers who knew how to take a man on or find a short but attacking forward pass. I miss the free-flowing, unpredictable nature of it all. I miss the integrity and the passion. We don’t have that now. We have predictability. Boredom. I said this game would finish 0-0, and the only thing I got wrong was that Conte did make a sub before the 80th.
We offer zero. It’s all on the board, and it’s all on the chairman. This is his expensive mess. This is all their doing. Jermaine Jenas questioned their motivations towards the end of the game whilst commentating. He discussed how the board half-backed Conte and didn’t know how to support his needs. He’s right.
However, Conte still spent money. He has signed players that fit his system, supposedly. Multiple players too. He opted against creative midfield options. He prioritised a striker over another starting centre-back.
Tottenham’s social media team created this whole TogetherTHFC movement off the back of the Champions League final defeat in 2019. And it really is TogetherTHFC behind the scenes now, isn’t it? Because everyone involved with the running of the club and managing the playing squads is failing, together.