Match Report: C Palace 3 Spurs 0 (what went wrong?)

Match Report: C Palace 3 Spurs 0 (what went wrong?)

I started the day in a positive mood, in fact, Tottenham started the day positively and at the top of the Christmas tree and then it suddenly all changed. In my match preview, I predicted we would win by three goals (and three goals were in it) and in a much stronger position at the top while we looked down at the others. But it all ended with egg on faces (mainly those that predicted we would win, such as I).

What went wrong? Nuno had the wrong players out there. Three holding midfielders; why? Ndombele was on the bench, if he was good enough to be picked for the bench, then he was good enough to come on as a sub, and why didn’t Gil play? An attacking team might have got something out of this match. I also said in my preview blog that this game – with all the injuries we had – would test Nuno’s mettle; sadly, he failed at the first hurdle.

The day’s highlight was a fight outside the pub where we had a few glasses before and after the game. After the match, some knucklehead decided to put his fist into the side of a passing van, thus causing the driver to get out and smack the Neanderthal in the mouth and then have fisticuffs with the thug (mainly handbags at thirty paces). As quickly as it started, bouncers from the pub separated the two, then the driver went on his way, and it was all over. If only our players had the same enthusiasm as those two amateur pugilists.

The day started off so optimistically; Mel picked me up from Newbury at 8 am (he came from Bristol), we got to near Palace’s ground at about 9.40 am, and then we made our way to the stadium where I went into the Palace shop to buy a programme. Suddenly somebody tapped me on the shoulder, it was Terry. Outside was Colin and Ian waiting, then we all went to the pub for a few drinks or more (normally I drove, but this time I could take the evil pleasures of alcohol, and I did).

An hour before kick-off, we went to the stadium, got something to eat, then met up with Rick, Beverely, Ollie, and Steve and chatted for a while before going to our seats.

Once in our seats (we were all scattered all over the place), the fun started, and as the game went on, my optimism began to dissipate.

Odsonne Edouard scored twice on his debut as the Eagles claimed their first win of the season over our 10-man team. Our 100% record was suddenly disappearing in front of our eyes, like water down the sink.

Wilfried Zaha put Palace on their way, rolling in from the spot after Ben Davies was penalised for handball before substitute Edouard added a second and third late on. Then it was all over bar the piss taking.

Palace were well on top even before Tanganga’s dismissal, with him collecting two yellow cards in the space of five minutes before the hour mark. The sending off saw Nuno springing into life that saw his second defensive reorganisation. Eric Dier hobbled off on 12 minutes after being on the receiving end of a clattering challenge by Jordan Ayew. But that didn’t change anything as we barely offered any threat of our own. To me, Nuno changed it wrongly, and as they say, proof of the pudding is in the eating, and the end result showed that he got it wrong.

It ended up being an Arsenal day; ex-Arsenal player Vierira oversaw his team beat us while the Gooners themselves got their first three points (by beating Norwich City), which lifted them off the bottom of the table and into 16th place. But seven points behind us.

Thoughts

Granted, Son and a cluster of our players were absent through injury or for some other reason, and we ended up having a depleted squad, nonetheless, I do believe that Nuno picked the wrong team, and the result reflects this.

Emerson Royal suffered a brutal initiation to his first game for us, with Zaha twisting and turning him inside out on several junctures. And as for Tanganga’s impetuousness, collecting a booking after forcefully challenging Zaha and then another after mistiming a tackle on Ayew ensured he was entertained with chants of “cheerio” from the Palace fans. Kane didn’t look that fresh, and at times he looked like he was running around like a headless chicken.

We’ve got a habit of going out and doing well against the likes of City, United or Liverpool and then suddenly collapsing when we playing against teams like Palace. What is the betting that we show what we are made of when we face Chelsea in a week’s time?

On the positive side, this is only our first defeat of the season, and we are only one point behind league leaders United. We are currently fifth in the league, however, that could change if Liverpool beat Leeds and Everton beat Burnley, then we will drop to 8th. As the optimist would say, all to play for, while the cynic will say, “same old, same old”.

After the game, we went for a few more drinks (well, more than a few), and I returned home by 6ish. Stayed up to watch Emma Raducanu ended Britain’s 44-year wait for a women’s Grand Slam singles champion as she beat Leylah Fernandez to win the US Open in the most thrilling style. Maybe our players and manager can learn something from the 18-year-old girl?

What is next for us?

We travel to France to face Rennes in the Europa Conference on Thursday, kick-off at 5.45pm and then on Sunday we are back home at our Tottenham stadium to face Chelsea. That kick-off will be at 4.30 pm.

Well, that is it, folks, back to the grindstone on Thursday and European football. Take care, and fingers crossed for next time.

Glenn

COYS!

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