May 16, 2016

Tottenham straight-up blows it

by Dan Bilicki In: Soccer

In typical Spurs fashion, it all fell apart at the end for North London’s second sons.

Poised to finish second in the table behind runaway winner Leicester and finally beat fierce rival Arsenal, Tottenham choked it all away in spectacular fashion. After allowing a league-best 30 goals through 37 games, Spurs gave up five against an already-relegated Newcastle side playing purely for pride.

To make matters worse, the Magpies actually went down a man in the second and still managed to score three more goals to eventually win 5-1.

It was utter embarrassment for Mauricio Pochettino’s side, which actually finished with less points than his much-maligned predecessor, Andres Villas Boas did.

It wasn’t just this game either. Spurs switched off after Leicester had wrapped up the league, finishing a dismal 0-2-2 and sliding into third.

For their part, the Gunner smashed bottom-feeders Aston Villa 4-0, a result that was hardly a surprise. This marks the 21st consecutive season that Arsenal has finished above their North London rivals in the table and until Spurs learns how to finish out both games and the season better, you have to expect that to stay the same.


Speaking of finishing and Arsenal, how about Olivier Giroud?

After going scoreless in 20 of his past 21 league appearances, the Gunners striker struck with a hat trick to close the campaign.

He must’ve been buoyed by the good news of making France’s Euro 2016 squad because this is the type of explosion in form that you don’t really see coming.

Whether it translates onto the international stage remains to be seen, but with this French side hosting and looking every bit a powerhouse, there’s good reason it is one of the favourites to win it all.


Oh, you thought that Sunday was the final day of the EPL season? Well a bomb threat at Old Trafford meant otherwise.

We now know that it was a stupid mistake that led to the scare – apparently a piece of training equipment was left in the bathroom – but it was a scare none the less. Let’s just hope that there aren’t any real threats in France this summer for Euro 2016.

Either way, the United-Bournemouth game will kick off Tuesday to wrap up the season with very little at stake.

United is already in Europa League thanks to West Ham’s loss, clinching the other spot was Southampton.

If the Saints learned anything from their previous European adventure, it will add a lot more depth to their squad this summer after crashing out early last time. And to think that just a few months ago, this side was closer to the bottom of the table than a European spot.

With the Irons choking away at Stoke, maybe they avoided the curse that is Europa League, with its highly demanding travel schedule and Thursday kick offs.


A couple of legends waved goodbye to this weekend. Tim Howard picked up a clean sheet in his final game with Everton, tying the record for most shutouts by an American in the EPL with Brad Freidel. He’ll be joining the Colorado Rapids later this summer … John Terry may have played his final game with Chelsea. The future of the “captain, leader, legend” is up in the air with new manager Alberto Conte coming in and Terry’s contract up. It would be nice to see him walk off into the sunset and take a coaching role with the team, but we’d guess he’s not done playing yet … Conte isn’t the only new manager coming, as Pep Guardiola is set to take over at Manchester City – who limped to a 1-1 draw against Swansea. Also, there’s no telling If United will move on from Louis Van Gaal with Jose Mourinho licking his lips, waiting in the wings to take over … Chelsea also wrapped up the worst title defence ever with its draw. There’s no way that a squad this talented should have finished 10th … You have to love it when teams with little on the line give first-team chances to their youngsters in Game 38. It’s always nice to get a glimpse of the future, even if only momentarily.


It may have happened midweek, but we’ll take our chance to say goodbye to both Norwich and Newcastle now.

Both teams were relegated with Sunderland’s win – which was doubly special for the Black Cats as their victory insured their survival while also dooming their Tyneside rival to the Championship.

The big question for Newcastle is if manager Rafa Benitez – who started the season at Real Madrid – will stay on to manage in the second division? While our gut says no, the Spaniard says he’ll stay on.

As for the Canaries, they’re the only promoted team to go down this season, with Watford and Bournemouth both staying up. Really, it comes as no surprise when you consider that Norwich employs Sebastian Bassong. The Cameroonian defender has been relegated six time in the past 10 years. Talk about bad luck.


If you’re saddened by the loss of another Premier League season, there’s no need to worry: There’s plenty of football around the corner!

Liverpool takes on Sevilla in the Europa League final on Wednesday before Manchester United takes on Crystal Palace next weekend at Wembley for the FA Cup final.

The following weekend we get Real vs. Atletico in an all-Madrid Champions League final that should be a cracker.

All the while international friendlies will start cropping up with countries preparing for Euro 2016 starting on June 10.

Yes, a major international tournament is less than a month away!

And don’t forget that MLS is in full swing and Copa America Centenario is taking place this June, as well.

After the Euro final, it will be about a month before the Olympic tournament kicks off, but by then, we’ll already be into the next EPL season.

Yes, you’ll barely be able to blink before we’re kicking off again.

Follow me on Twitter @danbilicki

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