Andre Villas-Boas said his Tottenham side feel “ashamed” of their 6-0 drubbing at the hands of Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
Spurs got off to the worst possible start as a Hugo Lloris mix-up gifted City the lead in just 15 seconds, and after a miserable start to the afternoon, Villas-Boas’s misery was compounded as the hosts ripped through the Lilywhites’ ragged defence.
Just two months ago, the Portuguese boss insisted Tottenham were capable of challenging for the Premier League title this season, but after their latest humiliation, his tactical decisions have been lambasted by livid fans calling for his head.
Having lost 1-0 at home to Newcastle before the international break, AVB was under pressure to shake things up and made five changes to the starting line up, but for Spurs, they fell depressingly short.
The most alarming element of the whole debacle was the blank stare Villas-Boas greeted by the Sky Sports cameras with when asked (pre-match) what his thinking was behind the day’s team selection.
Emmanuel Adebayor returned from the cold to make little to no impact, and while Spurs bossed possession in the midfield, the misfiring north Londoners once again lacked a cutting edge and created few chances.
Mousa Dembele and Gylfi Sigurdsson were not introduced until it was too late, and though Spurs’ flow improved after their introduction, Costel Pantilimon’s goal hardly came under threat.
Erik Lamela looked out of sorts and appeared to be lacking communication with Sandro in an early mix-up as both midfielders went for the same shot.
It doesn’t get any easier for Tottenham, who face champions Manchester United next weekend in front of a disgruntled set of fans.
The travelling contingent put in an incredible shift despite the hefty score line – one thing in which the club can find some solace – but Villas-Boas will be in need of a midweek Europa League antidote (at the very least) to keep fans onside, especially considering the strained relationship he has shared with them this season.
Goalkeeper Lloris seems to have sustained a delayed reaction to his head injury against Everton three weeks ago, but his defence looked hapless at best.
Jesus Navas and Sergio Aguero took full advantage with some clinical finishing (Alvaro Negredo and a Sandro own goal also contributed), but Villas-Boas is right to feel ashamed of a diabolical performance all round.
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