Seems like a lifetime now but it was only seven days, during which Bolton and Sunderland have shown themselves to be amongst Europe’s elite, well far superior to the current champions of Italy and Europe.
Everyone expecting the weekend outcome and it was a poor outcome but last night’s was even worse. On Saturday it was the early kick off, away to Bolton who played up. Last night it was at home against a side who gave nothing and yet came away with a point.
The difference form seven days earlier couldn’t be more extreme, from the sublime to the witless. From a game where everyone was on it from players to fans to one where barely anyone was on any sort of form. The problem of anticipation over expectation and how many times do Spurs fail when there’s expectations?
As I said Sunderland did bugger all last night, that’s averaging out over the 90 minutes in the first 45 they did even less than that, as Gyan found himself further away from anyone else in red and white stripes that he is from his homeland. Spurs pretty much had all the ball and all the play, it wasn’t even a fighting display they were confronted by as time and space were pretty much afforded to all. It wasn’t even as stifling a flat back 9 that we’ve seen before at the Lane. Of course their goalkeeper decided to put in some saves, though looked flaky on crosses.
But to go along with all that possession there was something missing, no spark. Modric did his best, certainly put in a shift and of course had a good shot which didn’t score van der Vaart was probably as quiet as he’s been. Bale, well was doubled up again but saw a lot of the ball and just seemed to do the wrong thing most times, crossed to early or too late, not enough running to get fouled. Though when taken out he got nothing because he’d knocked the ball yards ahead. So what? He would still get it, like he did against Maicon. Did nobody see that game?
The man taking most of the blame, today and last night when yet again he heard the boos, was Bentley. He had to play, after Kranjcar’s non-performance on Saturday, he was the only option with Lennon out – strength in depth don’t you know. But where he provided an adequate cameo on Saturday last night he chose to try and prove he should be a regular starter. Where at the weekend it was do the simple things here it was all far too much Hollywood stuff. When the first flick doesn’t come off well then knock it on the ‘ead son. Also far too many crosses come from deep static play because he just can’t beat a deep lying fullback, Hutton was afforded a lot of space but for the sake of glory wasn’t quite used enough, too much coming inside, stay out wide you are a winger. Then there was the booking. A dive? Well he was going down before any challenge came in but a challenge did and it was a foul. One of those looks completely different from two different angles of course from the Howard Webb angle it was never going to be a penalty.
So the first half was poor but with promise, after the break it was much worse as there was even less life to Spurs. They did come to life twice, once with the goal, nice bit of work by Assou-Ekotto, Bale in space finally gets over a cross that finds a Spurs player and where have we seen this before a Crouch nod down for van der Vaart to spin and score. Yes handball and I don’t know what Webb is thinking allowing it, I bet he doesn’t either.
And that was as good as it got as the next 25 minutes was completely inept from the moment 2 minutes later the midfield stood of Welbeck and then Gallas gets in Kaboul’s way they both miss the ball and Gyan equalises. Spurs just petered out after that, barely even reaching the level of a whimper.
And the second piece of life when Cattermole went through Modric, that got them all riled up. Yes the Sunderland player touched the ball but it was studs up and reckless, red card but no Webb has a clear view so it can only be a yellow. Poor old Modric with the breaks he’s had since coming here left all alone lying on the pitch as the players all look for a bit of a barney.
Two draws and two losses from the last four games, 2 points, and ‘Arry isn’t disappointed and says there isn’t too much wrong. There is ‘Arry if you can’t win that game. Of course the return of Dawson and Ledley can’t come quick enough, and Defoe well we are missing his goals bit will he fit with van der Vaart who you feel is more suited to playing behind a lone striker.
Tonight if there’s a winner between Bolton and Everton, the scouse, West Brom, Fulham and Blackpool win they’ll all go above Spurs and we’ll be in the bottom half of the table – it’s all going well ‘Arry, you won’t have to worry about the Europa League.