Spurs being "Spursy"?

Tottenham Hotspur threw away a 2-0 lead in the Champions League

The Times

Tottenham Hotspur draw with Olympiacos after throwing away two-goal lead

In the city of the Acropolis and the Parthenon, Tottenham's own well-preserved relic of a team began to show a few cracks in the opening round of the Champions League group stage. For the second time in 18 days, they surrendered a two-goal lead - before the draw against Arsenal on September 1, they had not done that for almost two years - and no one could doubt that Olympiacos, who outshot Tottenham by 17 attempts to ten here, deserved at least their share of parity.

Seven of the Tottenham players who took the field have been at the club since the start of Pochettino's tenure, three more since 2015, and for each of the past five seasons Tottenham have made a virtue of that.

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Are Tottenham Hotspur still hobbled by psychology?

By Joe Harker

If there's one thing that dogs Tottenham Hotspur in their quest to establish themselves as a successful team that seriously and consistently challenges for trophies it's accusations of weak mentality.

For years the "lads, it's Tottenham" thing has followed them and the team fluffing their lines in important games has become so notable that it's described as "Spursy".

That's the tag they need to get off their backs, but a 2-2 draw against Olympiacos in the Champions League this week will have done nothing to dispel the idea.

The Claim:

Spurs were 2-0 up and cruising after a Harry Kane penalty and a wonderful goal from Lucas Moura looked to have put them in control of the game, then they conceded twice and took only a solitary point away from Greece.

The performance was described as "a bit Spursy" by pundits Gary Lineker and Rio Ferdinand.

It's precisely the description Spurs don't want, but their draw in the Champions League and slightly odd start to the Premier League campaign have sown the seeds of doubt.

They threw away a lead and several key players put in poor performances when the team needed them to shine. After the game manager Mauricio Pochettino criticised the mentality of his players for throwing the game away.

Spurs don't sound like a happy camp at the moment after last season's appearance in the Champions League final represented something of a high point for Pochettino and his squad. Now things feel like they're falling apart again.

The Counter Claim:

However, Pochettino said mentality wasn't a big issue for his players despite the lack of it against Olympiacos.

The game could have been so different, a couple of good chances near the end of the game weren't taken but Spurs did recover near the end to finish well.

Even if the game looks "a bit Spursy" not every bad result is emblematic of wider failings with the mentality of the team. Sometimes blowing a 2-0 lead is more about the other team catching you on a bad day and making the most of it.

Spurs are a much better team than they used to be and expectations may have been warped by them reaching the Champions League final last season. They're not the second best team in Europe, let alone England, but that doesn't mean they aren't very good.

The Facts:

This isn't the first time this has happened to Spurs this season. In the recent North London Derby they took a 2-0 lead over bitter rivals Arsenal before being held to a draw.

Still, they're third in the Premier League and they should progress from their Champions League group. The other teams in their group besides Olympiacos are Bayern Munich and Red Star Belgrade. While most would expect Bayern to top the group Spurs are still tipped to qualify.

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Tottenham fans will not like what Gary Lineker has said

Tottenham's display against Olympiacos has been described as "a bit Spursy" by former striker Gary Lineker.

Mauricio Pochettino's men led 2-0 in Greece against Olympiacos, with first half goals from Harry Kane and Lucas Moura giving the visitors a 2-0 advantage.

But Daniel Podence reduced the deficit shortly before half time, before Olympiacos levelled the score early in the second half, with Mathieu Valbuena picking himself up to convert from the penalty spot after being fouled in the box by Jan Vertonghen.

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