Special Tottenham Hotspur Champions League Semi-Final Preview

If you are a smarter person than I, you didn’t watch Tottenham Hotspurs’ 0-1 self-immolation at Bournemouth on Saturday. So let me give you a little context: a win again bottom-half Bournemouth would have guaranteed Spurs a top-four finish and Champions League football for next season. A return to the Champions League is absolutely crucial to the future of the club.

So here in a nutshell is how the game played out:

  1. Spurs took about 1000 shots, but failed to score.
  2. In a move that will probably someday end up in a training video called “Properly Given Straight Red Cards” that they’ll show to referees-in-training, Heung-min Son got sent off for smacking a Bournemouth player in the back of the head while the referee was looking directly at him.
  3. In another play from that same video, Juan Foyth came on as a second-half substitute and, in his first action of the game, got sent off for a knee-high studs-up challenge.
  4. Nine-man Spurs held the game to 0-0 up into stoppage time, at which point they gave up a goal off a corner to get the loss they so richly deserved.

In that summary, I’m not even mentioning that in the first half, Eric Dier twice committed fouls that should have earned him a second yellow card and gotten him sent off as well.

Based on the poise and professionalism that Spurs demonstrated in this match, they’ll give up about 600 goals against Ajax today. I’ll be actually a bit surprised if we don’t end up witnessing a beatdown of almost comical proportions.

Even if Tottenham Hotspur or soccer or, frankly, sports in general don’t interest you, the stuff I’m talking about here might actually matter to you. We’re talking about top-level soccer players, the best of the best, and they are absolutely melting down at the end of the season. If you think in terms of stressors and energy flow, what’s leading to Spurs’ free-fall might make a bit of sense. What might that perspective suggest to us about the costs we accrue as normal people living normal lives, when we push ourselves beyond our limits?

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