At some point last week a statistic was produced stating that if all Premier League matches this season had ended after eighty minutes then Spurs would be at the summit. That fact was reinforced yesterday with an unlikely turnaround – even by Tottenham’s standards.

After the Everton match, Andre Villas-Boas conceded that the late defeat was tough to take.

“The last minutes were our best with Clint’s goal and Gylfi’s chance, we kept the ball and played well, but then the game changed completely against the run of play,” AVB said.

“To be fair, Everton had a first half where they could have scored, that’s the reality.

“But we managed hold on to that 0-0, then had a brilliant second half and to see it escape from us in the last minutes is difficult to take.”

Andre also admitted that late goals had been an issue this season.

“It has been quite an adventure in the Premier League this season; if we count the number of results that have been going for us before the last minutes we would be first,” he added.

“There are so many different reasons. It is not really easy to explain because a couple of them come from different situations.

“It is something we are aware of, which is why we speak about it openly, and it is something we have to improve, seeing off games.

“It is not a mental thing, it is the nature of the game because it was our best period for quite some time in the second half.”

Defeat leaves us in fifth place, level on points with Everton and West Brom and after a rare blank week it’s Swansea at home on Sunday.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. gut wrenching. Decent perf by most. Our striker needed to get more involved. Caulker looks like he lacks some concentration – and the pressure might get to him in the last 10. We missed someone like Dawson in a game like this. We need to get a regular back 5 playing, who can communicate better. Seeing lloris coming out for the ball, and then Caulker making a poor clearance just made it worse. A similar thing happened a few games ago as well.

  2. You will always get these kinds of errors when we are playing as makeshift a back 4 as we are right now. A 35 year old and a 20 year old in the middle, and a third centre-back pretending to be a left-back. It’s a million miles away from our best back 4.

  3. Anyone wud hv noticed by now, that some teams pump the balls upfront, either they have tall, aggressive strikers/attacking midfielders Eg Felaine, or physical teams like Stoke, hoping for the other team for lapses, and score. Therefore SPURS must be ready for such teams, AND therefore Spurs must then play the Rio Ferdinands, thr Vidic’c, the Kompany’s etc. We have our own ball winning players like Vertonghen, Caulker, Dawson ( coming back ) Kaboul ( injured ), who are tall, aggressive, ball-winners, with ball winning-attitudes. But sadly Eg AVB first 12 games keeps on playing Gallas instead of giving more games to DAWS, and even wanting to sell our Captain, whose fighting-attitude is second to none. With January coming, Martin O Niel and Sunderland and QPR are ready to snap out captain away, coz they are experienced managers who can sniff a good player.

  4. Agree…AVB needs to beef up the back line but then again, our front line are not convincing. If Gallas needs to go (due to his age and fitness level), Adebayor needs to go as well. Of all the games he has played this season, his rating has never exceed 5 and for last night’s game I can only rate him a 2….he is crap!! Would rather see Coullibaly in the number ten shirt anytime, anyday!!!

  5. AVB has to shoulder the blame. Yes AGAIN he makes pointless substitutions and tries to defend a slender lead. Once he took off Dembele, Defoe & Lennon he gave control of the game to Everton and invited them to attack. But he’s too arrogant to admit his mistakes. That’s 14 points we’ve lost in the last 15 minutes of games this season. Wake up and smell, well, something at least…..

    • Spot on, with those three still on the pitch Everton would never be able to attack so massively. And stop rotating the GK, please…

  6. Will be so happy to see Kaboul and BAE back in the side,, Gallas and Caulker both make way to many crazy decisions for my liking, it`s guaranteed that either Gallas or Caulker will always make one big mistake that costs us points… Also not sure what AVB was thinking about when making so many poor substitutions decisions so late on in the game)… To throw away 3pts like we did yesterday is a total joke,, it can`t keep happening… Feel gutted…

  7. The main reason in my mind is that we use a gamestrategy of high pressure and winning the ball early from the opponent, and the stamina isn’t just there to keep this up during the second half. I’ve noticed this in almost all matches, first half is brilliant with high pressure and domination of the gameplay, just to let the opponent take over in the second half. Dembelé isn’t 100% fit yet, Sandro has a massive job to do and performs in world-class style until he gets too tired (75+ mins) and we leave the rooms wide open to pass into.

    This isn’t solved by leaving Defoe, Lennon and Dembelé on for the full 90s and wave a wand, this has to do with changing the gameplay details like how the pressure is set, how the passing is done when the opponent pressure us, how much distance between the defence and midfield etc.
    If anyone could fix this, I believe AVB is our man due to his knowledge and attention to tactical details.

  8. ps: I also think Defoe and Adebayor did really poor yesterday vs Everton. Adebayor didn’t win many aerial challenges, lost control of the long passes and dropped too deep, taking the space from Dembelé when he should be higher in the pitch receiving a pass. Defoe was invisible, where is the movement he keeps talking about ? Dempsey was our best offensive player again, second match in a row. I think we’re starting to see him finding his usual level again, exciting because we need him performing well.
    Sandro is just awesome as a defensive mid, his commitment, strength and tackling is wonderful to watch, unfortunately he doesn’t seem to last more then 70-75 minutes each game. Dembelé also had an average game, we know he can be world class but against Everton he struggled and made several bad passes. To defend his pass errors, the movement close to him was poor as many other matches this season. Caulker, well he has the future in front of him. Gallas, please retire soon and leave room for Dawson to be regular when Kaboul is injured!

    • I’m not normally a Defoe fan — and this game he was pretty quiet — but he can’t take shots unless the midfielders are feeding him the ball at the right time. In the past he doesn’t do anything other than take shots when the opportunity presents itself but against Everton he was dropping back and making himself a useful option.

      Ade is 90% holdup play and 10% goal threat. sometimes that’s OK, but against Everton he kept giving the ball away — so there’s 90% of his game.

      Defense isn’t a problem — or rather, it is, but only because of injuries. We need a serious goal threat up front and a playmaker to make the most of Bale, Defoe, Lennon, etc.
      For all his goals, Defoe ISN’T a serious goal threat. He’s a poacher, but not really someone you can target in your attack.

  9. It’s not difficult to explain . If you take off your attacking players, retreat to the edge of your penalty box and invite the opposition to attack they will score. To do this once was bad enough but 5 times shouold be a sacking offence.RON

  10. essentially …..dembele should have stayed on and whoever was captain orders the defence to clear …period…….possesing the ball in the half way line and out to the wings would delay everton in the dying minutes……AVB sort this obvious thing but the players should know this anyway? being professional etc….train for the end game …..the last ten mins chaps …………as away from home if in front is top four style……..

  11. From memory, alot of the late goals have come from balls delivered into the box from around the 18 yard box and easy headers or tap ins being scored. When teams get this close, our aerial defensive frailties are revealed- walker,gallas,vertongen and even caulker for his size are all susceptible to crosses. For most of the game, players are working hard and closing down, compressing the space so that opposition teams do not get close enough to deliver pin point crosses. However, the team is fatiguing terribly in the last 20 minutes of games. Anyone who suggests that dembele should have stayed on clearly didnt notice how physically wrecked he was when he came off. Dempsey ran his heart out, and further highlighted adebayors laziness. But as fit as he may be, dempsey too looked gone 10 minutes out. Young Falque came on and tried hard, but instead of retaining possession, tried silly long balls. Hudd looked well off the pace despite being fresh and i think Livermore with more pace would have been a better option for closing down quicker.
    The most obvious point for me was that Adebayor is not working in the style that spurs want to play this season. Dempsey has just started to gel with defoe and his tracking back, passing game and arguably shooting prowess is greater than that of adebayors. He is not winning headers, is giving the ball away all the time and doesnt look like scoring-why is he in the team? if bale is out this week would like to see dempey back in behind defoe and siggy on the left – ade can sulk on the bench until we can get another striker in january, sell him off to the highest bidder and good riddance! After all the disruption he caused to the squad by drawing out his signing and now his abysmal form, for me he is a big reason for spurs inconsistent form. No coincidence that we won three on the trot with ade out suspended…..

    • Totally agree with you on Adebayor, don’t like him in our squad. Last season as well, he strayed into offside so many times, biggest difference was the team got more balls into the box for him to tap in, and he was called a success. Dempsey was alot better the Ade against Everton, actually won headers, kept the ball, created chances for others and scored. Although, would like to see Dempsey on the left again but Gylfi as the deep striker behind Defoe.

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