Tactical takeaways: Chelsea 3-0 Tottenham

It’s not every day that a club buys Christian Eriksen, Nacer Chadli, Paulinho, Etienne Capoue and Érik Lamela and falls off a cliff. Yet that is what has happened to Tottenham Hotspur, who despite another summer of sexy acquisitions are still miles off fulfilling their potential, or flashing more than glimpses of the passing football Mauricio Pochettino’s Southampton was capable of. The aforementioned players aren’t hipster football icons, the preserve of those among us who choose to follow alternative leagues: they’re good, in some cases damn good. They undoubtedly have their flaws, but are mostly young and can learn.

Yet here in North London their skill is a thing of the past, a relic the Spurs faithful are desperately clinging onto, in the hope that this tunnel really does lead back to the great outdoors.

Yesterday’s game perfectly encapsulated this, as an interesting start from the Lilywhites quickly turned into a nightmare when Chelsea landed a fierce one-two to put their opponents on the ropes. Tottenham never recovered. So much promise, so little to write home about. Chadli’s criminally late entrance wasn’t enough to change things.

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