Jim Salveson takes an alternate look at the week in football
Lets start with the age old way of bumping up the word count in an academic essay… a good old Oxford Dictionary definition:
Spursy: To seemingly grab an impossible defeat from the jaws of victory or to crumble when under pressure. Eg: “Did you see the fight last night. He looked like he was going to win but then it all got a bit Spursy.”
Ok, maybe that’s not the official definition but for year any fan of English football has known about the Achilles heel that runs through Tottenham Hotspur‘s DNA, and now it seems everyone in Europe does too.
To the untrained eye you might have been forgiven for thinking that the 2-0 lead that Tottenham took into their second leg tie against Dinamo Zagreb would be enough to see them through to the quarter finals… but that eye clearly has never watched Tottenham.
Let’s for a moment cast our minds back to when Jose Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham. It was for one reason and one reason only: To win trophies!
Given his record so far at the club and the performance on the pitch, its amazing that it was the Zagreb manager that has spent the last week in Croatian jail after being convicted for fraud rather than “the Special One”.
For his post match press conference, Jose brought one of the classics back giving “Sad Jose” a bit of a spin in front of the media. He did his whole school teacher “Dissapointed not Angry” spiel before promptly throwing his entire team under the bus, questioning their mentality and passion.
Funny isn’t it? Out of all the clubs that Jose has managed in recent years he is yet to find a squad that can deliver the winning mentality that he requires. You’d think that out of Tottenham, Manchester United, Chelsea (the second time) and Real Madrid, teams that over the ten year period in which Jose has been their manager have won an impressive 23 major trophies, at least ONE squad would have had the right mentality?
Just when you thought peak Spurs had been reached, Joe Hart saw to take it to the next level. The Tottenham goalkeeper posted to his Instagram stories a message congratulating his team on a “Job Done” as he seemingly mistook the 3-0 drumming for a convincing win. You can only assume that Joe Hart has as much interest in the Europa League as the rest of us!
To be fair to the stopper (actually I cant remember the last time Joe Hart actually “stopped” anything), it would appear the social media gaffe was not his fault and instead was the mistake of a social media member:
Joe Hart, blaming someone else for something that he should really take responsibility for. Who says Jose hasn’t taught his players anything during his time in North London eh?
You can listen to the reaction to Tottenham’s Europa League defeat on the Football Social Daily podcast.
Gareth Southgate was probably a little relieved to see Spurs getting done over in Europe for no other reason than, for a while at least, it took a little heat off his decision to axe Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold from his England squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers in favour of defenders who can actually tackle… shocking!
For some reason the media were outraged and whilst you could argue that TAA’s form has dipped this season, he’s not playing to the best of his ability and Liverpool have had a torrid time in the Premier League this season. However, all those arguments are negated by the fact that Eric Dier is still an England regular!
Finally, a quote from Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan caught my eye this week. The Blues midfielder was talking about goal scoring exploits this season and said:
“If I have to sign a document that says I’m not going to score any more this season, but my team win all the trophies, I’m going to sign that document now. It’s about putting your ego aside, allowing the team to shine, not just you.”
What a team player! It is this kind of mentality that has made Manchester City the team they are this season and shows a togetherness that is surely going to get them over the line when it comes to lifting that Premier League trophy.
It also gives a potential insight into the minds of other Premier League players and their form. I am 100% convinced that Joelinton at Newcastle must have signed a very similar document at the start of the season… but without the trophies part.