Danny Rose struggles, Juan Foyth shows promise as Spurs go out
On a dismal night at Wembley, Spurs surrendered a two-goal half-time lead to go out of the Carabao Cup with a 3-2 loss to West Ham.
Tottenham had started brightly, taking the lead inside six minutes when Moussa Sissoko finished off a neat, flowing move. Dele Alli doubled the advantage before the break, and Spurs appeared to be cruising.
But West Ham fought back in the second half, scoring three times in an intense 15-minute spell as Tottenham switched off. Spurs pressed for an equaliser but failed to create any clear chances.
Clutching at straws. By not leveling the scores, Tottenham managed to avoid 30 minutes of extra time that could have added to players' fatigue levels ahead of two big games against Manchester United and Real Madrid. And, if you're going to have an off night, better to get it out of your system in the least important competition.
Losing a derby always grates. To lose it so unnecessarily grates all the more. Spurs had done all the hard work in the first half; all they needed to do was maintain their focus and keep the game tight. Instead, they collectively relaxed. Passes began to go astray, players didn't track back and West Ham took full advantage.
Manager rating out of 10
5 -- Mauricio Pochettino. The buck stops with the manager. Although Pochettino made seven changes from the side that beat Liverpool, he still fielded a strong starting XI. So there can be no excuses. What the manager said to his team at half-time, one can only imagine, but Spurs came out for the second half as if they thought they only had to go through the motions to win. When West Ham fought back, Pochettino was far too slow to respond. He failed to notice that Danny Rose was a passenger for much of the second 45 minutes, and the changes he made were too little, too late.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Michel Vorm, 6 -- Should have been able to hold on to the shot that led to West Ham's second goal. Or, failing that, he should have pushed the ball away from Andre Ayew. That error clearly affected Vorm's confidence, and thereafter he looked shaky.
DF Kieran Trippier, 7 -- Made several strong runs down the right flank in the first half, though his final ball was seldom accurate. Like most of the team, he lost his way in the second half.
DF Toby Alderweireld, 6 -- A rare off day. Allowed Angelo Ogbonna to escape his clutches at a corner to head home West Ham's winner. An elementary mistake that cost Spurs dearly.
DF Juan Foyth, 8 -- One of the few Spurs players to emerge from the game with credit. Starting only his second game for the club, Foyth was commanding in the air and made a number of important interceptions.
DF Ben Davies, 7 -- Seemed confused by the manager's decision to play Danny Rose on the left side of the midfield, and never appeared entirely sure whether he or Rose was supposed to be making the forward run. The result was that Spurs lost a lot of possession down the that flank.
MF Eric Dier, 7 -- Looked to be entirely in command in the first half, but as the team wilted in the second period, he was unable to impose his presence at the heart of the defensive midfield. West Ham took full advantage of the space they were given.
MF Danny Rose, 5 -- Showed fleeting glimpses of his class, but is clearly still a long way short of match fitness. The manager's attempt to give him game time in midfield, where his lack of pace would not be so noticeable, backfired in the second half. Should have been substituted on 60 minutes rather than with 10 minutes left on the clock.
MF Moussa Sissoko, 6 -- A frustrating night. Took his goal well but all too often switches off and fails to anticipate the movement of other players. His final ball is frequently heavy or misplaced, and Spurs will be ruing the fact that two of their second-half opportunities fell to Sissoko. He snatched at both.
MF Son Heung-Min, 7 -- His pace of last season is back and he ran away from the West Ham defence to tee up the opening goal with an inch-perfect pass. But he continues to frustrate by searching for the Hollywood ball rather than playing the percentages.
MF Dele Alli, 7 -- Should have scored with a header long before he doubled Spurs' lead with a shot that took a fortunate deflection. Came close again in the second half with a neat volley, but, like Son, he indulged in too many ineffective flicks.
FW Fernando Llorente, 6 -- A sublime flick to release Son in the build-up to the first goal, but thereafter struggled to make an impression. Even so, it made little sense to take him off and replace him with a defensive midfielder when Spurs were a goal down and chasing the game.
MF Mousa Dembele, N/R -- It was good to see the Belgium international get some game time after being sidelined with injury, though hard to see why he was brought on for Llorente. A couple of nice touches, but made no lasting impression.
MF Christian Eriksen, N/R -- Was given just 10 minutes to try and save the game for Spurs. Couldn't find the killer ball.
MF Georges-Kevin N'Koudou, NR -- Last throw of the dice to force a winner. Failing to control the ball and kicking it into touch when a break was on rather summed up his and Spurs' evening.
John Crace is one of ESPN FC's Tottenham bloggers. Follow him on Twitter @JohnJCrace.