Tottenham Hotspur were 2-0 up and cruising at home to Stoke City on Saturday, and then they imploded to draw 2-2.
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For the home fans at White Hart Lane, it’s something they would have been surprised to see, as their young team clawed back plenty of points from losing positions last season but were once again guilty of making naive mistakes defensively.
Spurs went 2-0 up at half time with Eric Dier and Nacer Chadli scoring and Mauricio Pochettino’s side cruising, with Jack Butland forced into making plenty of saves for Stoke.
[ RECAP: Spurs 2-2 Stoke ]
In the second half Stoke cranked up the pressure and Spurs cracked with star man Harry Kane going off after 65 minutes and having an ice pack on his ankle on the bench. After the game Pochettino said that Kane was “tired” and not injured. But really, tired in the second game of the season?
Anyway, here is what Spurs’ opening goalscorer Dier had to say about their late implosion which cost them three points.
“We started really well and played well for the majority of the first half, we looked to be comfortable but that’s what we need to work on, to not slow down and keep going,” Dier said. “It was our fault last season and we’re disappointed we’ve done it again this season. I felt it was our fault more than theirs, we let them back into the game. It’s more of a mental thing than a physical thing with us. We’re a young team and we have to improve that.”
Defensively, Spurs need to improve if they have any hopes of finishing in the top four. They conceded 53 times in the 2014-15 PL season, and they have to tighten up at the back if they’re going to push on. New signing Toby Alderweireld gave away a silly penalty, and he is the main additions to Spurs’ defense.
In terms of Kane, when he came off with 25 minutes to go Spurs did not have any real attacking options on the bench and Chadli appeared to be playing as a center forward. Tottenham signed Cameroon youngster Clinton Njie on Saturday, but he is unlikely to provide all of the support Kane needs throughout this season. Spurs look woefully short of options up top after Roberto Soldado left and Emmanuel Adebayor is on the way out. More needs to be done to give Kane the support he deserves.