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.”

Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
Sport
football
Life and Style
Agretti is often compared to its relative, samphire, though is closer in taste to spinach
food + drink
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Kelly Osbourne will play a flight attendant in Sharknado 2
people
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
i100
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
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

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?