Mauricio Pochettino may have grounds for adjusting Spurs’ style but needs to remember the key purpose of Fannying About Theory – to hurt opponents further up the pitch
There was an unusual moment in the first half at San Siro on Tuesday night. With the score 0-0, the sky still deep blue above the stand, the game still to take its decisive shape, Mousa Dembélé burst the ball. Radja Nainggolan will claim an assist on this. Both men went into a slide tackle with full force. As they made contact simultaneously there was a deep booming noise, like the sound of a major World War Two ammunition dump exploding 50 miles away.
For what it’s worth Dembélé just about won the ball, albeit at the expense of the ball’s good health. Nainggolan punted it off the pitch with a look of distaste. The game rushed on. And looking back on Tottenham’s oddly mannered defeat it felt like a reminder of this team’s best qualities of the past two seasons.