I’ll keep this short today, as Tottenham Hotspur put four past Stoke for the second time in six months, continuing our poor start to this campaign.
The away side dominated proceedings, taking advantage of Stoke’s frail defence once again. Goals from Hueng-min Son (x2), Dele Alli, and Harry Kane was enough to finish off The Potters, and leave the home support in disbelief.
It is clear that Stoke haven’t started the season the way we would have liked, with just one point from a possible three. A 4-1 loss to Manchester City was a hard to swallow, but there was no real cause for concern before todays game.
Mark Hughes handed debuts to new signings Wilfried Bony and Bruno Martins Indi, whilst keeping playmaker Bojan on the bench. This sparked a lot of controversy on social media, as the Spaniard is undoubtedly one of our best players, and it was an odd choice to continue to play Whelan in his place.
Regardless, the home side started the better of the two, as Marko Arnautovic would have a goal disallowed for offside, which was a shame as the Austrian finished with some style. If you were to base the game off the first 10 minutes, you’d put your money on a Stoke victory. We looked cool and calm on the ball, and looked by far the better team.
However, things took a turn for the worst as the half went on. A controversial call by the referee sparked outrage from the fans and management, as Arnautovic was judged to have dived looking for a free kick, moments after the referee gave an identical decision to Spurs as Son went to ground. At this point, the stadium erupted with boos. Arnautovic was booked (either for diving or dissent – was hard to tell in the stadium), and Mark Hughes was sent to the stands for complaining.
After this point Stoke crumbled, and Spurs were more than happy to take advantage. The first goal of the game came just before half time, as Eriksen beat Allen with ease down the right, before firing a ball into the box, which Son was able to volley in.
The second half would not be much better for Stoke, as both Tottenham and Son would double their tally for the day. Again, it was the same combination of Eriksen and Son, as the Danish midfielder tipped the ball past Shawcross again with ease, then laying off Son on the edge of the box, who curled a shot beautifully past Given first time.
Looking back on the goal itself, there was not much Given could have done about the finish, but the defence made it way too easy for Eriksen and Son to link up for the goal. We’ll talk about it all in more detail in a future blog, but it is the same old story when it comes to our defence I am afraid.
Spurs made it 3-0 just minutes later through Dele Alli, who all but sealed Stoke’s fate. Again it was a classic counter attack by the away side, as Kyle Walker burst down the right hand side, before teeing up Alli in the box, who stroked it past Given. The Englishman made it look so easy, as the cracks in our defence w=once again were shown.
They weren’t there however, as Harry Kane managed to get in on the action for his first league goal of the season. The striker missed his first swing at the ball in the build up to the goal, but the ball would fall to Son, who’d whip the ball in yet again to find Kane, who took a touch before firing past Given from close range.
And that is how it would finish. 4-0 was the scoreline, and unfortunately for Stoke not in our favour. We created our fair bunch of chances, but none quite enough to really test Lloris in the Tottenham net. Ryan Shawcross had a glorious chance to equalise just after half time, but his effort would just brush past the post.
Definitely a day to forget for most fans (which is why this is so short), and with a tough away trip to Palace coming up, Hughes needs to figure out what the problem is and try to sort it out. We know we are better than what we have shown so far this season, so we shouldn’t get too worried. But we need to start picking up results sooner rather than later, or risk falling behind already.
We’d like to know your thoughts on today’s game. What do you think the problem really is? Are we too dependent on Jack Butland? Should Bojan have started ahead of Whelan? We want to know your answers!
Expect a follow up piece regarding todays game in the coming days, where we go into more detail about what happened in today’s game!