Five lessons learned from Tottenham's loss to West Ham

Tim Sherwood Press Conference 12/02/2014

A dreadful 2-0 loss to West Ham saw Spurs lose their third game of the season against their London rivals, with a Kaboul red card instigating the defeat.

These 24 minutes could have been Younes Kaboul's last in a Tottenham shirt

With his contract up at the end of the season, it is very likely that French international Younes Kaboul could have made his last appearance for the club after he was sent off after 24 minutes. Kaboul has suffered some terrible injury problems over the last few seasons, before finally finding some fitness in February and starting 12 of 14 games. Things haven't been easy for the former Pompey man though, with a red card against Chelsea that was rescinded after the game now followed by a red against another London rival, and with this card unlikely to be challenged, he is set to miss the last game of the season. His performances have been generally disappointing too since rediscovering his fitness, so any possible new contract will likely be based on earlier seasons' work. 

Sherwood should have brought Chiriches on immediately

It was crazy for Sherwood to wait a minute after Kaboul's red card before bringing on a defensive replacement. Andy Carroll had been battering Spurs with both centre backs on the field, with one off the field it was inevitable that the ex Newcastle man would be an even bigger presence. The last thing you want to do is allow for a set-piece to be taken, but that's what happened, and a free kick and then a corner let Carroll force the opener. By the time Vlad Chiriches took to the field, the damage was already done.

Going down to 10 men has seen Spurs frequently collapse this year

And it was the same once again at Upton Park. With an hour gone, roughly half of which were with ten men, Spurs could easily have been losing by 4 or 5 goals but for the heroics of Lloris. Even though they witnessed a superb lesson in how to chase a game with a man down last week, as Stoke nearly drew level after Ryan Shawcross had seen red, Tottenham completely failed to employ the same determination and attacking intent, and instead were there for the taking every time the Hammers came forward. Sherwood's tactical ineptitude is there for all to see when his side is hamstrung in such a way. 

4 red cards this season hint at something being wrong at the club

Like their manager, Spurs have become a side capable of losing their discipline this season, something not usually attributable to the club. It's all well and good if it ensures the side are combative and rarely rolled over, but these Tottenham players have the nightmare combination of poor discipline leading to hopeless defending and petty fouls. It's a lack of direction and a focus from the manager, and for all Sherwood tries to make us believe in front of the cameras, a lack of authority too.

Hugo Lloris shouldn't have to put up with some of the defensive errors his side continue to commit 

Not for the first time this year, the Frenchman kept the score respectable with a series of superb saves from Matt Taylor, Mo Diame, and Kevin Nolan, as well as some solid punches to give his defence some undeserved respite. To put it simply, Lloris is too good for a defence capable of playing this poorly, as another set of awful defensive errors let the goalkeeper, and the fans down. The former Lyon man is as good as anyone in the league, and Barcelona could do worse than consider him as a replacement for Valdes.

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