Fan View: 'Second-half shambles cost Spurs vs Wolves'

30th Dec 2018

A painfully bad second half performance saw Tottenham fall to a shock 3-1 defeat to Wolves at Wembley, raising serious questions about Spurs’ title credentials.

Harry Kane celebrated his MBE and kept himself in the race for the Golden Boot with a stunning goal midway through the first half. Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-min had chances to add to the lead before the break but failed to take them.

Our intensity completely disappeared in the second half, allowing Wolves to gain the impetus and strike three times in the final 18 minutes.

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I was astonished at the room Spurs gave Wolves in the second half. Despite their tepid first-half display, it was inevitable the visitors would go on to create meaningful chances given the time they were allowed on the ball.

When Mauricio Pochettino arrived at Tottenham he was renowned for his pressing approach. That has changed over the last couple of years with the Argentinian tweaking his system somewhat.

We don’t press our opponents as intensely as we used to, instead squeezing teams just enough to force them to play long and lose possession. Against Wolves, we didn’t even do that. 

Was it tiredness? Had we simply won too many games in a row? Did the title talk get to us? Were Wolves just… better than us? I think all of the above applied in some way.

Ultimately, the result proved Spurs aren’t quite good enough to win the title regardless of our brilliance in recent matches. Liverpool are now nine points clear – that’s a huge gap to close considering the leaders’ quality.

How much will Spurs miss Son?

There are four games left before Son goes away with South Korea for the Asian Cup. Thankfully, he will be around for clashes with Chelsea and Manchester United before leaving.

Still, losing him will be a big blow. Our best moments – in truth our only good moments – against Wolves came in the first half and Son was involved in most of them.

Fortunately we have other options in attack. Lucas Moura and Erik Lamela have proved to be immensely useful squad players this term, although Lamela missed the Wolves game with a calf injury.

If we can avoid further injuries, Son’s absence shouldn’t affect us too badly. But it would be foolish to suggest his absence won’t be felt in some way.

Will Pochettino target signings in January?

Tottenham have missed Eric Dier in the last three games. We have been far too open at times against Everton, Bournemouth and Wolves with Harry Winks at the base of the midfield diamond.

Winks is a talented player, useful for confidently receiving the ball and starting attacks. But he sometimes struggles to track the opposition midfield runners, which is understandable considering he isn’t a dedicated defensive midfielder.

Even with Dier sitting in front of the back four, Spurs conceded four goals at Arsenal earlier this month, and our need for a new central midfielder is made more urgent by Mousa Dembele’s contract situation.

Frustratingly, I don’t think the club will make any signings in January. The rising costs of the new stadium clearly had an effect in the summer and I can’t see that changing.

READ MORE: The defining games of Pochettino's Spurs tenure

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