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Same Old Spus

After an exhilarating end to last season which saw Tottenham earn the Premier League's final Champions League spot, the excitement of the fans spread like wildfire. The wealth of signings only served as fuel to that fire. However, the fans can only do so much for the club they support. As of now, the story of Tottenham Hotspur's season can be summed up as consistently underperforming yet getting results. The start to the Champions League echoed this sentiment as all of Tottenham will be enraged by the lackluster performance but will sleep comfortably at night having taken all three points. Now let's have a look at some of the players before handing out the Man of the Match award and closing by looking into the future of Tottenham.

Starting with the captain, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris certainly did not look like he was playing in his fifth Champions League campaign. A questionable punch and distribution errors plagued his performance. To his credit, Lloris did keep a clean sheet which required him to make a few decent saves.

The star out of the defense was without a doubt, Emerson Royal. I would go as far as to say Royal was Tottenham's best player through the first 45 minutes. His removal from the game had everything to do with tactics and nothing to do with his performance. Romero, Dier, and Lenglet all had a decent game but nothing noteworthy. Romero was saved by Royal early after a lazy tackle nearly led to an early goal for the French side. For better or worse, Romero has been placed on a pedestal and anything less than extraordinary will leave Tottenham fans disappointed. With that being said, Romero did show why he earned such praise as he pinged a beautiful ball do a streaking Ivan Perišić, who could've scored his first goal in a Spurs shirt if he had a better first touch. Lenglet's surprise came in terms of his mistakes, or in this case, the lack of them. Tottenham fans greeted the former Barcelona man with mixed emotions after the Frenchman found himself on the outs with Barcelona legend and manager, Xavi. However, today all of the mistakes seemed to be made by his substitute, Ben Davies. Lenglet managed to cross some balls into the penalty area but none could be nudged into the back of the net. Perisic is the player who scares me the most on Tottenham. Whenever the Croatian touches the ball, I feel like something positive will happen. Today he managed to snag another assist but Tottenham's reliance on a man his age to put in these kinds of shifts is concerning.

The midfield was consistent as ever. The pair of Hojberg and Bentancur blend together beautifully but Marseille's press led to the forwards receiving space as they dropped into midfield. The strategy seemed to be working as the forward trio couldn't quite connect afterward. The Tottenham midfield is not as flashy as the De Bruyne-led Manchester City midfield, but their quality and work rate should make for an interesting battle this coming weekend.

The forward trio, or should I say quartet as Son, Richarlison, Kane, and Kulusevksi all played together as the Swede came on for wingback Emerson Royal. Son still hasn't found his form from last season but today looked promising. After all, the Korean's off-ball movement is what led to the red card tackle which ultimately flipped the game on its head. Son's partner in crime, Harry Kane, will certainly be frustrated with himself today. The first half chance from Son led to an opportunity for the Englishman. Although the finish was difficult, in the end, Harry Kane is no stranger to goals like that. Kulusevski came on for Emerson Royal to bring more attacking flair and he did just that. In his first five minutes on the pitch, he dribbled past a Marseille man, and throughout the remainder of the game, he launched in some crosses that looked quite dangerous. If Royal could add this type of final third play into his game, Tottenham could really become a team to fear. Last, but certainly not least, the Man of the Match, Richarlison. Fans lost their minds at the sight of the famous pigeon celebration after the Brazilian bagged the second goal of his brace. Richarlison showed why he demanded such a high price tag and it seems like he can do no wrong at the moment. Though the skies of North London may be sunny today, clouds of regret will certainly glide into the minds of the attackers as, if they were able to connect, could have found much more joy.

Tottenham's performance, and season, can be summed up by a late play by left-back, Ben Davies. After a disastrous attempt to play out from the back, Marseille saw themselves with a chance to steal a goal. Davies stumbled over his own two feet yet still managed to dive and head the ball away. In short, the performance leaves much to be desired but crisis has been averted time and time again. Will Tottenham finally put the pieces together and challenge for trophies or will their sloppy performances continue and lead to an inevitable disaster? Only time will tell.

© 2022 Wolfe Rygaard

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