Second guessing, 20/20 hindsight and what


The life and times of Tottenham Hotspur.

Two weeks back a semi-final had been lost and the final spot meekly handed to Pompey during which Palacios had picked up the yellow card everyone was fearing and so would miss the next two league games. And of course those two were the first two of three against the top three.

Two weeks ago if any Spurs fan who had been offered 6 from those possible 9 points they would have swiped your hand off but after picking up 6 points in the first two games not getting the remaining 3 in another pretty meek display does feel like a let down.

The irony of it all being the reintroduction of the midfield steel, missing in the first games, went some way to losing those points. So here comes the hindsight and the second guessing. Should you change a winning team, especially a team that annihilated Chelski previously – yes it ended 2-1 but as Pav said it should have been at least 6-1 – that team playing the way they did in that game was the team to take on ManUre. But the changes that ‘Arry made were went a long way to cost Spurs the game.

Now I can understand him wanting Palacios back in there, though the Honduran hasn’t really been at his best since the beginning of the season but it meant major changes, but it didn’t work. After their good work in the last two games, and before, the two central midfielders – Modric & Huddlestone – had to stay in the side, so to accommodate Palacios, Modric moved out to the left, which led to Bale shifting back to defence and after his decent performances of late Assou-Ekotto shifting over to the right-back slot in place of Kaboul. Too much change and as bad as everyone’s opinion of Kaboul at right-back, having BAE there just felt plain wrong as soon as the team-sheet was announced.

Never change a winning team. Of course it wouldn’t have mattered if the changes had worked. They didn’t in a major way. Wilson had a shocker of a game, yes his ball winning was good but once he had it he the gave it away, weakly time after time. You shouldn’t be tackled by Scholes, he can’t do it. It was as if the Jenasite was working on him and it could have been as the shadow was cast from the subs bench.

I had mentioned a bit back that Bale had looked better when coming from deep, left-back, with Modric pulling the defenders inside to create the space, rather than as an out and out winger but the last two games showed that is only the case when the opposition is playing a flat back 9 or 10. Now ManUre at home aren’t going to be doing that, are they? And even though you feel ‘Arry picked the team with way ManUre would play more in his mind more than just picking a Spurs side to play the way they did against Chelski, he got this one wrong.

So with Bale not getting forward on the left – our major outlet these last few months – Bentley being very useless and slow and having no support from his fullback, Wilson being extremely profligate and Huddlestone being out manned, Defoe and Pavlyuchenko had absolutely no service. Added to that there seemed to be a flatness about the side like they expected nothing from the game, a body language that just sent out all the wrong signals.

Because this was a piss poor ManUre, one that could have every easily been beaten on the day. And that makes it so much worse.

Ledley and Dawson had them in hand quite easy, until BAE decided to have a moment of madness as he stupidly and needlessly jump into Evra. There was still hope a penalty, almost an open goal from 12 yards out and Giggs had placed the ball. If anyone can miss a sitter it’s Giggs, it’s the one thing he really is world class at. Gomes almost got it.

‘Arry then made the right changes, side was better balanced and there play was more joined up, when Ledley scored the equaliser there was only one team in it, the pace, the verve was back. Right up until they just parted for Nani to swan through and kill ’em off. After that the second penalty was just icing for them, of all the times Giggs manages to finish off two sitters it’s against us. Gomes was close again.

Poor game, and very poor performance, three though flattered them. Hopefully there’ll be the turnaround from this as we saw after the cup semi. Bolton need to be on the end of a defeat, chances have to be taken in the game, can’t let points slip at home as they did against Stoke, Wolves and Hull. Having Lennon back should help.

Ledley for the World Cup? Well they always take injured players don’t they and I’ve railed about it on here but if they are going to take a crock better Ledley than Ferdinand. King is a far superior player than the lazyboy and Terry but then Dawson is far better than those Fabio likes. Upson for christ sake is second division.

Defoe though is doing what he did in the season before the last World Cup, he started that season off banging them in left, right and centre looking so much the World Cup striker but then faded as the season went on and didn’t get in the squad, this season has almost gone exactly the same way…

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