Tottenham player ratings: Spurs loss to Monaco
There weren’t many bright spots for Tottenham in the Monaco loss
Regular readers of my work know that I’m a generally positive person when it comes to Spurs. Unfortunately, after Tottenham’s dismal performance in the 2-1 loss to Monaco, I’m not feeling very optimistic.
As such, if you’re looking for someone who’s going to wax lyrical about the wonderful occasion that is Champions League football you should likely go somewhere else. I’ll be delivering the post-mortem report on what was a very grim performance by Tottenham.
Sure, a few players managed to grind out decent performances, but the squad on the whole was pretty poor. I don’t know if it was the larger pitch at Wembley or the intimidation of the moment, but Spurs didn’t look ready from the opening whistle.
The only real bright side is that this was just one Champions League match out of what will be a grueling Group Stage set. Tottenham have made things much harder on themselves by dropping their home opener. Without further comment, read on for Tottenham’s individual player ratings for the match. We’ll begin with the moribund attack.
This was one of Harry Kane’s weakest matches in a Spurs shirt. I’ve argued that he should have been rested before now, and it’s clear to me that he has to be given the Sunderland match off. He looked tired and off the pace all match long.
He had the best chance to tie the match in the second half, but fired his shot directly at the Monaco keeper. Kane was terrible today and something has to change before he steps onto the pitch for Tottenham again.
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The Argentine attackers gave his detractors plenty of fodder today. He never really got into the flow of the match offensively, and his giveaway in the first half led to Bernardo Silva’s goal. His only saving grace is that he worked his socks off, per usual.
Tottenham’s Danish midfielder had a reasonably bright start to the game, but was nearly invisible during the second half. If he wants to be considered one of the best players in the squad, he has to come up big when it matters most. He failed to do that miserably today.
Son got the start as a result of his two goal performance at Stoke, and looked reasonably lively to start this match. In fact, he should have scored the match’s first goal but had his tame effort cleared off the line by a Monaco defender.
He faded as the first half went on and was mercifully taken off early in the second stanza. He really failed to capitalize on his momentum from the Stoke match.
I have a feeling this rating is going to shock some people. I acknowledge that the English starlet tries to do too much with the ball at times, but he didn’t have any support today. He nearly scored an equalizer early in the second half, and was the only Spur who consistently tried to pull off anything creative.
Was he perfect? Of course not. But if one of his tricks had gotten him in on goal we’d all be talking about how stellar a second half he played. Unfortunately, he didn’t find the back of the net, and that will gain him mountains of criticism. It’ll be unfair though, he was the brightest member of the squad for long stretches.
I tweeted during the match that Eric Dier was a passenger. I’m not sure I’m capable of describing his performance any better now. I didn’t think he should have started ahead of Victor Wanyama, and his listless performance proved me right.
He, along with Kane, need to get some rest before they step back onto the pitch for Spurs. The club can’t afford to let him play through his doldrums if they want to get results.
For me, the Belgian defender was Tottenham’s Man of the Match by some distance. Not only did he have Spurs’ only goal, but he also put in a solid defensive shift. He completely muted Falcao’s impact on the pitch, and didn’t have much to do with either goal Tottenham surrendered. Alderweireld deserved better support from his teammates.
This was Vertonghen’s weakest performance since the season opener. He looked passive, and failed to cover for any of his attacking midfield’s mistakes in front of him. He wasn’t at fault with the Silva goal per se, but he certainly didn’t do much to stop it. Vertonghen has to play better if Tottenham are going to advance out of the Group.
During the first half, Walker was one of Tottenham’s best players. He got forward with regularity and put in a few dangerous crosses. If one had found its mark, it could have been a very different match.
Unfortunately, his influence waned in the game’s second 45 minutes. He seemed to tire out after all of his end-to-end play in the first half and never really looked dangerous down the right wing. In a weird way, he missed Danny Rose on the offensive end of the pitch, more than on the defending end.
The Welsh left back seemed to really be bothered by the size of the Wembley pitch. It exposed his lack of athleticism and made him look very ordinary out there. He didn’t get torched by any Monaco attackers, but he didn’t really add anything to his team’s efforts either. He played an utterly non-descript 90 minutes.
The French captain couldn’t have done much about either Monaco goal, but his distribution of the ball was exceedingly poor. He played the ball out-of-bounds twice in the second half. That’s simply not good enough for a player of his caliber.
I was stunned Dembele didn’t start the match. I know he’s been out of the lineup, but that’s entirely due to suspension, not a lack of fitness. Spurs really suffered without him on the pitch in the first half.
When he came on for Son, he immediately tilted the field in Tottenham’s favor. We really shouldn’t be surprised. It’s what Dembele does. He was one of the best players of the second half, and it’s a shame he didn’t get more match time to showcase his abilities.
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Janssen came on with about 20 minutes to go, and didn’t get anything accomplished. He bailed Monaco out with silly fouls on two occasions, and didn’t get the ball anywhere near the net. I’m starting to have grave concerns about his ability to play at the highest level.
The French midfielder didn’t get much time in the match, but I thought he looked reasonably bright. He should have been brought on for Dier earlier in the second half. Look for him to get the start against Sunderland this weekend.