Tottenham fans had mixed feelings about the central midfielder's display against Crystal Palace.
Tottenham Hotspur's excellent run in the Premier League has come to an end at the hands of Crystal Palace. It was a combination of Wilfried Zaha's introduction and poor refereeing that cost them the game in truth, but overall, Palace were good value for the three points.
It looked like plain sailing for Tottenham when Harry Kane (who else?) put them 1-0 up but a penalty from Dwight Gayle and a strike from Jason Puncheon gave Palace the win in the second half.
But the referee's decision to award a penalty for Palace and not to Harry Kane later in the game was contentious.
For one man, the first decision proved costly to his performance. For the first half hour of the game Benjamin Stambouli, who was playing due to the absences of Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason, looked decent. He covered the pitch well, was making some good interceptions and looked set to be on his way to a good performance.
Then he gave away the penalty.
On close inspection it seems harsh. Stambouli appears to get the ball from Joe Ledley, who went down like a sniper victim, and the referee gave the penalty.
But in truth, as unlucky as the Tottenham midfielder was, he had only himself to blame.
He had no reason to dive in so recklessly and the referee was always going to struggle with the decision, which in the end went against the Frenchman.
After that he struggled to continue his early form and was subbed off in the second half.
A mixed performance and a subsequently mixed reaction from Tottenham fans on Twitter...
Stambouli... Unlucky son— RDMJA (@Raudreego) January 10, 2015
Stambouli's tackle is never a penalty in a million years and if you're gonna give that, you have to give the one against Kane.— Dan Sagers (@D_Sagers) January 10, 2015
Stambouli would never play for me again after that. How is that not a penalty when Ledley has fouled Kane?— Rhys Thomas (@vantomert) January 10, 2015
Stambouli got the ball ! Never a penalty !— Mike Pellegrini (@MIKE_CAVS_UK) January 10, 2015
Despite the stupid Lunge that cost us the game stambouli was impressive— (@mjryid) January 10, 2015
Stambouli has been impressive!— Siôn Roberts (@SionwRoberts) January 10, 2015
Stambouli isn't spurs quality IMO dembele at least has the ability to be decent.. Oh and andros saints at best for him..— Jack Smith (@Cmonuspurs1) January 10, 2015
Stambouli showing quality on the ball— Dust Particle (@dust_particle) January 10, 2015
If stambouli can sort out his passing he has the making of a quality player #goodskills— Damien McCloskey (@dmacc79) January 10, 2015
Stambouli has been nothing but awful since he got here and he just cost us a game— Clique (@alexbafaglia) January 10, 2015
I'm sorry but Stambouli's passing has been awful— LlEriKane (@Amit_Spurs) January 10, 2015
That was awful from Stambouli, no need.— Georgie (@LieutenantSloth) January 10, 2015
Stambouli excellent, Townsend awful, the rest pretty bland. Must be better in the 2nd half, although Palace working hard— Ian W (@IanDubbleU) January 10, 2015
We've had an absolute shocker with Stambouli. Christ he's awful.— Jason (@Flembo889) January 10, 2015