Far too often, the absence of one or two players makes the rest of Antonio Conte’s side crumble. Rodrigo Bentancur being unavailable left Tottenham Hotspur short of midfield industry during Monday’s 2-2 draw with Brentford, and they’ll lack bite in both defense and attack while Cristian Romero and Richarlison are out of commission. 안전놀이터
The squad’s brittleness could be one of the key reasons for Tottenham’s poor starts to matches. Spurs conceded the opening goal in each of their last six Premier League outings – their longest run since the latter days of Tim Sherwood’s reign in 2014 – and that bad habit stretches back nine matches when you consider games in other competitions.
The fact that Tottenham lost only four of those nine games indicates the individual character and quality in the squad, and perhaps also the impact of a Conte team talk. They’ve gained more Premier League points from losing positions (14) than any other team this season.
Spurs were 2-0 down at Brentford, but an excellent Harry Kane header suddenly gave them purpose. Dejan Kulusevski’s enterprising wide play – something Spurs sorely missed in October – and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s finish then put them in the ascendancy. After their sluggish start to the fixture, Tottenham created enough chances to take three points.
“To have another comeback is positive, but on the other hand, we need to be more stable,” Conte said post-match.
This is a huge source of frustration. Tottenham are often reactive and seldom proactive. They must address the issues behind their poor starts – low confidence, a lack of motivation, and preparation that is either inadequate or damaged by player absences could all be blamed – if they are to fulfill their huge potential this campaign.
However, the fact that Spurs are falling into the same traps following a gap of over six weeks without a competitive fixture doesn’t bode well for the rest of the season.
Newcastle didn’t skip a beat
The unprecedented World Cup hiatus came at an inopportune time for Newcastle United, who were soaring up the table on the back of five consecutive Premier League wins. How teams would respond upon the resumption of the domestic campaign, particularly those that had built up significant momentum – like Newcastle – was a fascinating wrinkle created by the unique timing of the tournament in Qatar. Would clubs in good form have their progress halted?
Newcastle answered that question in emphatic fashion Monday.
The Magpies blitzed Leicester City, scoring twice in the opening seven minutes en route to a commanding 3-0 win that provisionally lifted Eddie Howe’s side to second place in the table. Newcastle, led by Bruno Guimaraes and Miguel Almiron, looked sharp from the opening whistle, cutting through Leicester with relative ease. No rust needed shaking off here.
Almiron, who scored a picturesque goal at the King Power Stadium, typifies Newcastle’s meteoric rise. Once frustrating and profligate, the Paraguayan has taken his game to another level this season.