Town’s latest gig on the tour of forlorn futility rolled up to Tottenham Hotspur’s gleaming new citadel in North London to provide the Lilywhites with some light relief between their Champions League quarter final match up with Manchester City.
Feasting on the doomed Terriers in a ludicrously one sided first half, Spurs dictated the tempo of the game with measured ease. Pochettino had the luxury of resting his major players knowing that he could have picked a team out of a hat to secure 3 points. His counterpart Siewert appears to have actually followed that plan with another failed experiment which managed to add a new level of frailty to his so far entirely uninspiring tenure.
The timorous visitors approached the game with a debilitating level of fear and should have been buried well before a quick double between the 24th and 27th minute gave the score line a semblance of reality. For the first, Stanković was embarrassed by Llorente on the edge of the area before the Spaniard fed Wanyama to waltz through the little resistance there was in front of him. Minutes later, Durm lost the ball on the halfway line allowing a lightning fast counter which ended with Lucas Moura firing under the hapless Hamer.
Revelling in their sumptuous new surroundings, Tottenham strolled their way through a first half without, remarkably, adding to their lead leaving the away support with no choice but to stick around in the unlikely event that the old adage of 2-0 being a dangerous lead came true.
In fairness, Town showed more fight in the second half and had an excellent cross by Hogg been guided in by Mounié on the three quarter mark rather than creeping agonisingly wide, the game may have become interesting. By that point, the home side had contrived to miss a plethora of chances and their profligacy may have come back to haunt them.
Prior to the miss, Bacuna had released Grant with an excellent ball only for the youngster to run out of steam at the vital moment. These two combined again later to no avail but they represent just about the only hope that the club can be revitalised next season.
For the time being, we look hopelessly out of our depth even against lesser lights than a scratch Spurs team who scored two late goals through Mauro, allowing the Brazilian a first Premier League hat trick. The record books won’t have an asterisk denoting the appalling opposition he faced to achieve the feat.
A raucous celebration of our lamentable team at half time in the concourse provided just about the only entertainment for the visiting support – once it was broken up by stadium staff the beleaguered travellers had to go back out to endure yet another humiliation in a season of desperate, dreary tedium.
Growing and serious question marks now surround Siewert. Not because he has picked up just one, streaky, win since his appointment or because he has been unable to produce miracles with a squad destined for relegation long before he arrived or that he lost to a team on a completely different financial plane, but because there has been no discernible improvement in tactics or performance; pretty much the opposite, in fact.
Our identity was lost before he took over, but the path from dogged, aggressive Terriers to supine poodles has been accelerated rather than reversed. The pride we had in a team battling overwhelming odds has been replaced by the shame of humiliation, disguised with scathing self mockery.
The club is in a dangerous place and the decline is becoming malignant.