Andre Villas-Boas promised that Spurs would take the Europa League far more seriously this season but another lacklustre display in Maribor last night was reminiscent of some of the performances in the previous campaign.

Tottenham went behind in the first half before Gylfi Sigurdsson levelled from point blank range to take the point. Before the game, AVB said he would be happy with a draw and he maintained that stance after the match.

“We came back into the game, which is pleasant to see again and it is good for us to bounce back. It is obviously not the full result we wanted bearing in mind the draw between Lazio and Panathinaikos, but certainly we will take a point,” Andre said.

“The group is completely open. What we face now is two games at home and I think we are in a good position in the group. We are in third position. We have three games to play, there are nine points to play for.

“You see the group – it is very tight. It is not a group where the leader has run off with points.”

Spurs host Maribor next and while a current 3rd place isn’t a disaster, the next fixture is a must win game if we are to progress.



  1. Getting ourselves up for this competition has been a major problem under the last two managers. Even when Harry played players like Modric, Gallas, etc against PAOK at home, we lost.

    Second half we we showed the right attitude and stopped being sloppy but Maribor had a good shape and were difficult to break down. We need to start like that from the first whistle and we can easily get out of this group.


  3. I think the lads are struggling, like myself, in terms of motivation for this year Europa League, especially in these initial group stages.
    I don’t think its any coincidence that our best performance to date in the competition was against Lazio where the lads could at least pretend that they were facing Champions League opposition.

    The fact that only 500 fans bothered to make the trip to Slovenia tells a story.

    With all that being said, the performance of the team yesterday was pretty poor to be fair. Spurs laboured in second gear (cruise control) for much of the game and a couple of players, with seemingly points to prove, failed to do anything to suggest that they deserve a place in the first eleven, once a number of missing players return to the fold.

    Tom Huddlestone was chief culprit in my opinion, given the fact that he has spent most of this season as a bit part player, after a protracted season- long loan move to stoke fell through. Neat and tidy in possession, Tom failed to REALLY stamp his quality on the match, often appearing like he was enjoying a kick-about up the park rather than FIGHTING to save his Spurs career. When Spurs didn’t have the ball, his performance was even more casual and in truth his efforts were put to shame by those of Sandro, who showed twice the levels of desire and commitment to influence the game, in both offensive and defensive positions. I mean, Toms part in the Maribor goal was woeful and indicative of a lacklustre display from the big man. On this Performance, it was easy to see why AVB is so willing to part with the talented 25 year old, and Huddlestone will have to improve drastically if he is to have any chance of having a long-term future at the club.

    Andros Townsend was another player to struggle to make a real impact on the match, despite making his first start of the season. To be fair to Andros, he WAS his usual bright and busy self. But on a rare occasion where he has started a game, you would have hoped to see a little more from the gifted, if not inexperienced (at this level) winger. Often giving away possession, and generally looking more and more frustrated with how events were unfolding on the pitch, Townsend was hauled of at half -time. AVB’s decision to replace the young winger with Iago Falque at the interval, although understandable, was a little hasty in my opinion as I thought keeping Andros on would have allowed him to rectify his first half showing with an improved display, and learn something in the process.

    Although both Huddlestone and Townsend fell short of their usual performance levels, I don’t think either of their causes were helped by Spurs appearing to be playing with only 10 men for much of the game, as Gyfil Siggurdson put in another anonymous showing (barring his goal). For some reason, after a promising pre-season, Gyfil looks like a man who has lost all of the confidence and swagger that made him such a great potential signing. At the moment, he doesn’t seem to want the ball, which maybe isn’t a surprise considering the hostile support of the home ‘faithful’ at The Lane this season. Now Gyfil is only 22/23 years old and has plenty of time to improve on his lukewarm displays for the team thus far, but his biggest challenge will be to show that he is capable of playing for a club of Tottenham’ stature, and proving that he is not a one-season wonder in the process.


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