Opinion: A wake-up call for the Conference League – Spurs Web



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Well, we hope You-Know-Who wasn’t watching this. Two mediocre teams (and that’s a generous estimate) playing on a small field in a Mickey Mouse competition which is sort of meant to be our best chance at making money this season. And we were lucky to have lost only 1-0.

The minute I saw this lineup without any of the starters against City even making the trip, I knew a) we wouldn’t score and b) Nuno would be happy if he came out of Porto with a scoreless draw. or a draw loss. So we have that to ourselves, which is good.

But let’s take an honest look at who played last night, and realize that, but for a striker who doesn’t want to be here, a center-back who has fallen injured and an attacking midfielder who has yet to play just one second of football so far this season, whether it’s because he’s been in Nuno’s niche, his own or both, it’s all who haven’t played on Sunday. In other words, our second team. And wow didn’t he manage to impress. Scarlett and John were simply outmatched and unable to demonstrate the power, speed or creativity needed to secure scoring chances.

Gil and Sessegnon were six and seven playing on the left in the first half, things improved a bit when Clarke came on and the Spaniard moved up to a central position, but overall no d ‘between them only shone. Winks and Doherty are no better and maybe worse than their 2020-21 uninspired selves. Carter-Vickers has shown why he is far from a top-notch defender, the final bollix of the ball between his legs leading to Pacos’ last chance is a case in point. Davies was OK and at least understood the need to move the ball through the air. And Romero was as advertised – imperious, aggressive, but also capable of taking an unnecessary risk, as he was overtaken by Silva. There were a few quick passes from the Argentinian so I’m ready to give him some slack. I thought Giovani Lo Celso was our best player, but even he passed out in the Portuguese heat. And our replacements were called Clarke, Bennett and Posotsky. Is there anything else to say?

Presumably Nuno will have to bet on a few of the regulars playing on Thursday no matter what happens at Molineux. He doesn’t want the ignominious distinction of being knocked out of this sordid competition almost before it even begins. But then again, without Kane and Ndombele, it’s a risky proposition – we just can’t afford to see Son, Dele, Bergwijn or Lucas fall for a considerable period of time with such a thin squad. But let’s face it – a 16-17 man squad – which is about all we really have right now – is never going to cut it in today’s Premier League.

I just don’t see the value of Winks, Doherty, or Cameron-Vickers; I don’t think John, Clarke or Posotsky are ready for this level yet, if they ever will be. Scarlett is still a long way from becoming a decent replacement. Gil and Romero will take a while to get used to this team, this framework and this coach, just like Sessegnon, I’m afraid. We have Aurier and Sissoko, of course, but for how long? And do you really want one of them to deny a young player or academy product the chance to improve?

Assuming a sell off from Kane, Levy and Paratici have to bring in a striker, another striker, and another defender to get this ranged team close to where they need to be to a) have a chance of being in the top four. first and b) advance in this Thursday competition. And Ndombele’s situation needs to be resolved – it’s wonderful to see Skipp making the progress he has and Lo Celso can play a crucial role – but we need more in midfield and Tanguy’s potential is still there. for everyone. What was sorely lacking last night (Sessegnon and Gil attempted it a few times but were betrayed by their finishing touches) was someone who could break Pacos’ defense and mount an attack in the middle. Ndombele if nothing else can.

Sunday was wonderful but it really doesn’t change a thing. Without our best player, we are a marginal European competitor in England; and a marginal threat of gaining something in Europe. We are not deep. And our attack will leave a lot to be desired. Hopefully a run of results like last night doesn’t quickly make us forget that a wonderful opener, Nuno has a lot of work to do.

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