West Brom are eighth in the Premier League table but they were shown firsthand how big the gulf is between themselves and the top six as Spurs ran out 4-0 winners in a one-sided encounter at White Hart Lane. Although Tottenham were very good, Tony Pulis will not have been happy with the way West Brom played. They gave the ball away far too easily, invited pressure on themselves and even their usual strengths such as defensive organisation and set piece prowess seemed to desert them.
It's pretty difficult to take many positives from the type of performance that West Brom put in and the main plus point is probably that they only lost by four goals. He may have scored a hat trick but it's no exaggeration to say Harry Kane could have had double that if it wasn't for Ben Foster, who continued his fine form with a series of saves to keep the scoreline respectable. That Tony Pulis had Kane Wilson, Sam Field and Jonathan Leko on the bench may be a reflection of how thread-bare West Brom's squad is, but it's nice to see these young players in the first-team picture.
Some of West Brom's defending was nothing short of appalling. Jonas Olsson has been a tremendous servant to the club but it's clear he can no longer cope with the speed of the game at the Premier League level, while Gareth McAuley also appears to be struggling, albeit only in fixtures against the top sides at the moment. The midfield trio of Darren Fletcher, James Morrison and Claudio Yacob got nowhere near Spurs, while Salomon Rondon looked exhausted from the start of the match.
Manager rating out of 10
5 -- While blame can't be attributed to Pulis for the fact his players simply didn't show up, he did get things wrong tactically. West Brom switched to a back three against Hull after an injury to Jonny Evans and should have continued with this tactic against Tottenham, matching them up to try and contain their wing-backs. Nacer Chadli was used in a wide role but he was never going to be able to mark Danny Rose. James McClean would have been far better choice as a more energetic and defensively-aware option on the wing.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Ben Foster, 8 -- Called into action from the start and was in fine form from that point on. There wasn't one outstanding save as such, just a series of good ones to keep West Brom from being well and truly embarrassed.
DF Craig Dawson, 6 -- West Brom's best defensive performer, particularly up against the rampaging Danny Rose. Looked more comfortable after the switch to three at the back, but one of the worst culprits for giving the ball away.
DF Gareth McAuley, 5 -- A couple of decent clearances in the first half but then a poor error for Tottenham's third goal, once again being too hesitant with the ball at his feet. Looked uncomfortable on the left-hand side of the back three.
DF Jonas Olsson, 5 -- Couldn't live with the movement or pace of Spurs. Tried to mark Kane tightly but this only resulted in constant fouls being given away. Another who was uncomfortable on the ball
DF Chris Brunt, 5 --Totally wasted at left-back, West Brom need Allan Nyom to be cleared to play by FIFA as soon as possible so Brunt can be restored to the midfield. One of the few players who picked a decent pass occasionally but was positioned poorly for Spurs' second goal.
MF Nacer Chadli, 5 -- With no possession, Chadli was a totally ineffective selection. Couldn't get into the game at all and didn't provide Dawson with anything that resembled decent defensive support. This game didn't suit him at all.
MF Claudio Yacob, 5 -- Couldn't live with the Spurs midfield, who dragged him out of position with ease. Another player guilty of giving the ball away, he simply wanted too much time in possession.
MF Darren Fletcher, 5 -- Similarly to Yacob, was simply out-paced and out-maneuvered by the opposing midfield, particularly Dele Alli who embarrassed the Scot on a couple of occasions.
MF James Morrison, 6 -- The most energetic of West Brom's midfielders but unfortunately most of his work had to come in the defensive areas of the pitch when he is far more effective playing forward behind Rondon.
MF Matt Phillips, 5 -- Worked hard defensively both as a winger and wing-back. Made a couple of poor decisions with the ball at his feet, trying to dribble out in the wrong areas. Poor dead ball delivery and missed West Brom's best chance.
FW Salomon Rondon, 5 -- Was never going to get much change when out-numbered three to one by Spurs' defence but lacked his usual energy and strength.
MF James McClean, 6 -- Added some much-needed energy and passion to West Brom's midfield, helping to stem the tide of attack from Kyle Walker somewhat.
FW Hal Robson-Kanu, 6 -- Stronger than Rondon when holding the ball up, should be given more of a chance to ease some of the burden on the Venezuelan forward.
MF Sam Field, n/a -- Brought on to give Phillips a couple of minutes rest.