Ahead of kick-off in Brighton, Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino said it wasimportant to move on from the midweek 7-2 humiliation at home to Bayern Munich. But, instead, Spurs 3-0 defeat the south coast has just served to hamper their problems.
Rather this really can be really a Tottenham team stuck in a rut, with problems throughout the pitch undermining any hopes they had of using last years run to the Champions League final as a springboard to the new chapter Pochettino has talked about.
As theoles rang out around the Amex Stadium, with Brighton – a team that hadnt won at home since March – passing the ball round the defeated blue shirts of Tottenham with a confidence earned in their dominant display, it was tempting to wonder where Spurs go from here.
Immediately, there is an break which will leave Pochettino stewing over what has gone wrong for the next two months, but might supply a psychological refresh .
However, Tottenham have.
On the pitch, the Tottenhams defence, midfield and attack are failing to satisfy the criteria they have set for themselves at the past, whilst contract problems with Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen have created a feeling of uncertainty about where the team is led.
Pochettino has described his squad sinceunsettled and, after the humbling League Cup defeat at Colchester, stated the January transfer window would bea good chance to repair this situation. After 17 defeats in 2019, its tough to see a quick solution to their problems that are current.
A wretched away record, that has witnessed Spurs win three of their last 18 games away across all competitions, coupled with the blown leads against Olympiakos, Arsenal, Leicester and also Bayern this year, has observed Pochettino question the mentality of his team.
Physically, the pressing game that characterised Pochettinos style has dropped , with the side looking lacklustre and weary at Brighton.
The brand new, hard-fought comeback win over Southampton with 10 men seemed to be a turning point. A nightmare week has followed with the underlying difficulties exposed of Tottenham.
Tottenhams defence, which had the best record in the Premier League in the 2 seasons between 2015 and 2017, after sending 10 targets in the last two games, seems out of sorts and saw its standing slip.
There were only two clean sheets this season – in the home to Crystal Palace and in the shock shootout defeat at Colchester – and Spurs are facing up to a lengthy spell without first-choice goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris once he dislocated his elbow following his pricey early error at Brighton.
Vertonghen and Alderweireld – both out of contract next summer – have looked insecure, while in full-back, positions connected to the brilliant play of much of Pochettinos predominate, Spurs strength looks something of a weakness.
Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier made more opportunities from the Premier League than every other defenders. Last year, Trippier – regardless of all of the criticisms of his job that was defensive – jelqing the Andrew Robertson of Liverpool along with Evertons Lucas Digne from the metric.
This year, while Robertsons team-mate Trent Alexander-Arnold approaches 30 opportunities no Tottenham full-back has reached double figures.
On the left, with new signing Ryan Sessegnon out injured, Davies and Danny Rose – a participant who was expected to leave Spurs from the summer – have been under the desirable level.
At right-back, Pochettino has had to look to choices in Davinson Sanchez or even Moussa Sissoko as an alternate to this Serge Aurier, who had been suspended for the visit to the rear of his display against Bayern Munich.
Tanguy Ndombele and giovanni Lo Celso were likely to re-model Tottenhams needing central midfield but the plan has been stalled by injury to the inconsistent and former type contrary to the latter.
Pochettino searching alternating staff and the form in his or her deathbed has been left by that.
Harry Winks, acting like a deep-lying playmaker, has needed better defensive support about him than Ndombele or Sissoko have provided – particularly when a diamond has been employed – while in Brighton the coming Eric Dier was a shadow of the destructive defensive midfielder hes shown he can be previously.
Further forwards, chief creator Eriksen is earning fewer crucial passes per 90 minutes when hes at any stage in his Tottenham career, although Erik Lamela has made only one goal contribution in his past nine appearances, scoring Spurs fourth in their 4-0 win over Crystal Palace.
As Dele Alli, his beginning has been triggered by a hamstring injury to the year, but he has failed to impress when he has been played, disappointing in the Champions League against Olympiakos and Bayern Munich and dropping his England squad place.
The aims continue to flow for Harry Kane – hes 11 in 12 appearances for club and country this year, with five Premier League run-outs to get Spurs – however beyond those characters there are signs Tottenham arent getting the maximum out of their star guy.
Kane is averaging shots every 90 minutes than he has in his own Tottenham career. He is currently doing so without plenty of chances, although he can be discovering the net.
The issue with that is when Kane will misfire – because he did with a definite second-half opportunity in Brighton – there are very few opportunities to make up for it. Really, that wayward effort was his shot at goal within 90 minutes on Saturday.
Together with him, Heung-Min Son – who wasted a good opportunity against Brighton – and also Lucas Moura are still to hit on the shape.
The hope will be that they will strike a streak shortly and, together with bottom-of-the-league Watford up next, followed with a home Champions League game with Red Star Belgrade, Spurs have opportunities to get back on course after the global break.
But altering momentum and the mood isnt likely to be an easy endeavor.