A Disappointing Trip to Turf Moor – Burnley 1-0 Spurs

Ben Mee provided the only goal of the game in the 71st minute to boost Burnley’s survival hopes by claiming three invaluable points against Tottenham Hotspur. This unfortunate result means that Tottenham remain 7 points from those coveted ‘top four’ positions.

At no surprise to the fans, Antonio Conte selected the same squad that pulled off the magnificent victory against Manchester City over the weekend.

Tottenham started the game well and if lady luck had been shining her light on the Lilywhites then the result would have been very different. Harry Kane almost engendered a Burnley own goal within the opening minute of the game after delivering a devastating cross-come-shot that wrongfooted the Burnley keeper and deflected off the defender to bounce against the site-netting.

Following that early engagement, Spurs failed to really provide any substantial threat to the Burnley goal for the duration of the first half. Although Burnley had spells of first-half pressure, they too seemed impotent in front of goal.

A slightly better 2nd half for Spurs

As is common with Tottenham, Kane and his men looked more alive in the second half. The English marksman, who was majestic against Manchester City, rattled the bar with a bullet header that had Nick Pope beaten. If only his effort pinged off the bar and down into the goal.

It was the Burnley defender Ben Mee who then gave the home team the lead following a powerful header of his own that left Hugo Lloris at a standstill. That goal injected some energy into the team scrapping for safety at the bottom of the league and striker Jay Rodriguez should have made it two just 12 minutes later. The goalscorer Ben Mee set him up with a cross-goal pass that left Rodriguez 1-on-1 with Lloris, but he failed to convert from close range.

The squad that has become accustomed to finding answers late in the day, with 90+ minute goals coming in the last three Spurs victories, seemed not to have it in them on this cold Wednesday night up north.

Following the match, head coach Antonio Conte reflected on his own position at the club, telling Sky that the ‘club will have to assess my position’. The stark comments come after a run of four defeats in the last five games. However, I think the Tottenham board, the fans, the squad, and even this new manager knew that this partnership between Spurs and Conte was not going to change Spurs overnight. It’s a project.

With parting ways from Nuno Espirito Santo only a few months ago, I find it hard to believe that the club would be questioning Conte’s vision at this moment in time. He has bought in two players who have shone already in the famous white kit. He has re-ignited the flame that makes Harry Kane shine. He needs time over the summer to sign more players and really make the squad his own. Only then can we assess what a full PL season under Conte looks like for Spurs.

The Spurs starting XI

H Lloris
C Romero
E Royal
R Bentancur
P Højbjerg
R Sessegnon
H Son
D Kulusevski
H Kane

The manager’s thoughts

After the game, Conte claimed that,

“It was a difficult night. It’s not only tonight, in the last five games we lost four games. It means there will be [an] assessment about the club, about me, because I think for me it is very frustrating to lose four out of five.

“For sure the situation speaks clear. I am really sorry for the fans, I am really sorry because I think they don’t deserve this. But when you lose four out of five it means the club have to make an assessment, also to speak together, and to understand which is the best solution.

“In this situation the players are always the same in this club, the club change coaches, but the players are the same, but the result doesn’t change.”

What’s next for Tottenham Hotspur?

Spurs are away at Leeds on Saturday at 12:30. This is a huge game for Tottenham. Leeds were hammered 6-0 midweek by Liverpool and are low on confidence from what has been a poor season from them. However, like Burnley, Leeds are fighting for Premier League survival and will no doubt put up a fight at Elland Road. Tottenham will have to dig deep and find the spirit they played with against the table-toppers last weekend.

Tottenham then travel tyne-side to play Middlesbrough in the 5th round of the F.A. Cup on the 1st March at 19:55.

Come on you Spurs.