William Gallas: Late goals are jeopardising Tottenham's Champions League push

Defender warns team-mates that unacceptable errors are putting Tottenham’s hopes of a top-four finish in doubt

William Gallas today admitted Tottenham are not yet at the level of his former club Chelsea and urged his team-mates to show greater concentration after their late collapse at Everton.

Steven Pienaar and Nikica Jelavic scored last-gasp goals 88 seconds apart to overturn Clint Dempsey’s deflected strike to propel David Moyes’s side into the Premier League’s top four and condemn Spurs to their first defeat since losing the north London derby at Arsenal last month.

Everton’s dramatic comeback, scoring in the 90th minute and then in the 92nd, continues an alarming trend for Andre Villas-Boas’s side, who have now conceded 12 goals in the final 10 minutes of matches in all competitions.

That inability to close out matches has cost Spurs nine points in the League. They have scored first 12 times in 16 matches and if all games had ended at 80 minutes this season, Spurs would be top of the table.

Gallas revealed he was at a loss to explain why they cannot replicate the more controlled performances synonymous with other top sides including his former club Chelsea.

“Football is a bit funny — I’ve seen the good quality at Tottenham but for some reason, we lose the funny games at home or away and I can’t explain it,” the centre-back told Standard Sport.

“We have to pass one more step to be on the [same level as the] top three and I don’t know when it is going to happen. I hope it will this season but it is a shame because when we get very near, something always happens and we draw or lose.

“In our squad, we have some players that have experience now so I don’t think it is about a lack of maturity. For example, yesterday we did almost everything right but they scored that goal which killed us. It is difficult to explain but sometimes you need luck.

“When I was at Chelsea, we had that luck to win some games even if we were not playing good. But Tottenham is different. I hope it will change this season or next.

“We gave everything yesterday and had no luck. If you go back, [Gylfi] Sigurdsson hit the crossbar and it would then have been 2-0 but it didn’t happen. They scored late and it is very difficult to accept. When we came here, our target was to take the three points and at the beginning of the game, we played well. Maybe in the last 10 minutes in the first half, Everton pushed a lot but we went back to the dressing room with a 0-0. In the second half we played better and we scored.

“What we have to know is that the game is never finished until the referee blows his whistle. Yesterday showed that we have to be much more focused at the end of the game.”

Fatigue appeared to be a factor in Spurs’s downfall. Eight of the starting line-up at Goodison Park also began Thursday’s Europa League victory over Panathinaikos and Villas-Boas’s determination to take the competition seriously seemed to contribute to a flat performance yesterday. Gallas, who sat out Thursday’s match, said: “Was tiredness an issue? Yes. We played on Thursday. Even if we had three days to recover, it is not easy. But when you want to win some competitions you have to play every game.

“Only big players can play all the games. We know that so when we go on the pitch we don’t think we played three days ago, we just go on the pitch and try to fight.

“However, sometimes it is not easy, especially at this time of year because we play so many games but that is not an excuse. We have to accept the defeat yesterday and we have to carry on.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
News
Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders were pictured embracing in 2012
people
News
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
scienceBumping fists rather than shaking hands could reduce the spread of infectious diseases, it is claimed
Sport
Laura Trott with her gold
Commonwealth Games
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
arts + ents
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel
arts + entsPrince Oberyn nearly sets himself on fire with a flaming torch
News
Danny Nickerson, 6, has received 15,000 cards and presents from well-wishers around the world
newsDanny loves to see his name on paper, so his mother put out a request for cards - it went viral
Sport
France striker Loic Remy
sportThe QPR striker flew to Boston earlier in the week to complete deal
News
Orville and Keith Harris. He covered up his condition by getting people to read out scripts to him
People
Arts and Entertainment
Zoe Saldana stars in this summer's big hope Guardians of the Galaxy
filmHollywood's summer blockbusters are no longer money-spinners
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Life and Style
Workers in Seattle are paid 100 times as much as workers in Bangladesh
fashionSeattle company lets customers create their own clothes, then click 'buy' and wait for delivery
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried