Mid-December saw Tottenham handed another Premier League defeat away from home, this is an issue that has not just been prevalent in the first half of this season after defeats to Manchester United, Arsenal and runaway leaders Manchester City but now for a number of seasons.
For all their dominance at home, something which this season they can no longer rely on due to the fact that they have temporarily moved from White Hart Lane to Wembley it is fair to say that Tottenham have been undone when on the road.
Last season they went unbeaten in 19 Premier League matches when in front of their own fans, but it was matters away from North London which proved to be their undoing. A failure to win against any of their “big six” rivals on enemy territory would ultimately see the title going to West London with Antonio Conte lifting the trophy in his first season in charge of Chelsea.
The 2016/17 campaign bought just two points out of a possible 15 for Tottenham in their five biggest away matches of the season. The only small glimmers of light were draws at both the Etihad and the Emirates as they had to make do with a share of the points against Manchester City and Arsenal.
But they would fare even worse against the trio of Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United. The defeat to the Blues at Stamford Bridge would invariably create a six-point swing and although not the sole factor in the title going to West instead of North London, it did mean that Mauricio Pochettino’s men were in a continual state of catch up to their crosstown rivals.
If you were to use one of the many sports betting sites that are available then last season had you backed Tottenham to win on the road, you would have come away feeling a lot less lighter in the pocket.
This season has fared no better though as Mauricio Pochettino has already been outsmarted by Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger on the road while it is fair to say that his Spurs side were absolutely schooled when paired with the footballing juggernaut that it is being driven by Pep Guardiola at present.
What exactly the reason behind this string of poor away performances is can be argued, whether it is a stubbornness by Pochettino in terms of tactics and not having a ‘plan b’ when not at White Hart Lane or Wembley or whether it comes down to a lack of belief from his players is up for debate.
Truth be told it may lie somewhere in between the two schools of thought, until the players can get this particular monkey off their back then it is always going to be an ongoing concern. but you do also have to wonder if Tottenham’s Argentine manager can cultivate a plan to really get the best out of his players when it really matters.
The defeat to Manchester City is one that can be taken in isolation due to the fact that everyone else is in the same situation this season. But with Tottenham also struggling at home it means they are feeling the effects of defeat more often than they have been used to as of late and ultimately a solution has to be found before the trips to Anfield and Stamford Bridge later this season.