What’s a realistic finish for Tottenham following Crystal Palace humbling?

Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur (Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images)
Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur (Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images) /
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Tottenham Hotspur lost 3-0 at Crystal Palace, squandering their unbeaten run in the process. And because of this, Nuno Espirito Santo has lots to do as he dissects what went wrong at Selhurst Park.

Despite winning all three of their opening matches, Spurs’ performance resembled a side preparing to go to the beach. From the kick-off, Palace played better football and they dominated the game with 67 per cent possession.

Spurs can blame the injuries and the COVID shenanigans, but this is a team expected to challenge for silverware – had the better team on paper – and who were on a sounder run of the two London clubs before they met on Saturday.

All English Premier League
All English Premier League /

All English Premier League

Is a top-six finish achievable for Tottenham?

It’s too early to make a final position prediction. Based on Saturday’s performance, Spurs have a lot to do. Any team averaging a goal per game can’t sustain a title challenge. Spurs have scored three goals in four games. There’s no need for panic, but Santo must encourage his players to get the ball forward more.

Per, PremierLeague.com Tottenham dominated possession in their 1-0 win against Watford while their other three opponents have enjoyed the share of the ball possession. Title contenders keep the ball, making it hard for the opposition. With Xavi and Andres Iniesta in midfield, both Spain and Barcelona were masters of playing possession football.

Tottenham has several problems. The squad is still adjusting to Santo’s methods and tactics. The Spurs’ gaffer is without key players, highlighting concerns over squad depth.

Eric Dier’s injury did not help Tottenham’s cause, nor did Japhet Tanganga’s second yellow card, however, even afore this and @ 11-v-11, Tottenham’s players weren’t good enough.

Santo gave his thoughts on yesterday’s defeat:

"Tough day, tough day, we didn’t play a good game. We knew it was going to be tough, but we didn’t perform like we showed before, and, honestly, I believe we should do much better in all aspects of the game. There were too many obstacles during the game, always trying to find solutions, so it was a tough day for the boys, and after having one man less, it becomes much harder, trying to look for a goal with one man less, the imbalance comes. We have to analyse, and we have a lot of work to do. (Via Tottenhamhotspur.com)"

When Harry Kane plays well, Tottenham plays well. Kane scored three-in-three for England, so why did he look like a different player at Selhurst Park? Santo must be stronger with his game decisions. Kane’s performance was unacceptable on Saturday. He didn’t warrant 90 minutes on the pitch.