Flaky would be a good description of our second-half efforts at Bramall Lane.
Sheff Utd pressed well and took advantage of a saturated pitch, but their attacking efforts were so meagre it really did take some doing to lose that match.
The immediate sequence of events leading up to the late penalty summed up a truly awful second 45.
A foul throw (Ait-Nouri), a scuffed clearance (Ait-Nouri) and a refusal to contest an aerial ball (Fabio) all contributed to that calamitous finish and it’s not the first time the players involved have shown physical and mental weakness in clutch moments.
Even against a depleted Spurs side, they will have to fix up tomorrow to avoid back-to-back defeats.
There’s blood in the water and this is suddenly a presentable opportunity to take something from the team that had been setting the pace prior to Monday’s implosion.
I’m not sure any side has suffered such an expensive defeat in recent footballing history, but they can’t complain – most of it was self-inflicted.
The two sendings off were madness from Romero and Udogie and had they not been playing with reduced numbers the hamstring injury suffered by van de Ven may also have been avoided.
With those three out along with James Maddison and – I assume – Richarlison, Ange Postecoglou is digging deep into his squad to come up with solutions.
You wouldn’t bet against him finding the answer though given their brisk start to the campaign and the vibrant brand of football they’ve been playing.
Like plenty of others, I enjoyed their maverick approach to playing with nine against Chelsea and am a fan of the manager. He speaks a lot of common sense – a rare commodity in football.
I can’t see Bellegarde being left out after coming on to net the equaliser last weekend. We still haven’t seen much of him but what we have seen has been impressive.
Tottenham like a high defensive line too, so it makes sense to choose players who can run in behind as opposed to those who can hold it up.
The other quandary will be in midfield. Tommy Doyle didn’t really make his mark against Sheffield Utd so it’s a coin toss between him, Boubacar and Gomes. Lemina seems undroppable but he is still just one booking away from another suspension.
It would be a huge lift to get Pedro back in the two weeks between now and the trip to Fulham. Fingers crossed we get encouragement on that front.
Nobody predicted the 2-1 defeat last weekend, so that’s nice and easy.
It’s hard to say how this one will play out, but I certainly feel more confident about our chances given the trauma their fixed starting XI has suffered. I’m going to split the difference and say 1-1, which would still be a handy point to stick on the board.
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Up The Wolves!