we’re nothing. We’re nothing.
So said (Sir) Bill Nicholson, it may have been something whispered in ‘Arry’s lughole by Levy.
The Europa League isn’t the big profile competition they wanted to be in but it’s better than nothing – all the talk about it’s too much playing Thursday night and Sunday, well Citeh managed to do it, get top 4 and win the Cup – and someone must have wanted it, how else would you explain a 2-0 victory against a resurgent Liverpool, at Anfield only our fourth win there in 99 years.
Well the nil part can be somewhat explained by a mysterious figure in defence. Young children will have pointed at this stranger amongst the men in lillywhite, while their dad were straight onto the bookies to find out what the over/under time wise was for this tall dark stranger to hobble off.
The King was in his rightful place and he stayed there for the whole game.
Ledley’s presence just lifts the whole backline, especially Dawson. Our loveable big Yorkie lump is such a better player when he’s stationed on the right and Mr. Tottenham is on his left. Through 90 minutes as he eased round the park mopping up for others it showed just what we’ve missed these last few years as this was only his 299 appearance. When Kuyt turned him and for once got away Ledley managed to get round on those dodgy knees catch up and block the cross in the space of the box. Truly highlighted his class and that if it hadn’t been for those injuries he would have been the best centreback England has produced since Bobby Moore.
With those two and the pairing we’ve all come to love of Sandro and Modric in front of them Spurs bossed the opening half of the first half, it was almost like we had a man extra – maybe we should after Suarez’s petulant kick at Dawson. A great display was topped off by van der Vaart chesting the ball down and volleying it past Reina at the Kop end.
They need to get the Dutchman fit during the summer, he came off again injured 8 minutes into the second half. It had been a bit more disciplined game from him, not so much dropping too deep.
Liverpool came back into it but neither ‘keeper really had that much to do save wise, then shortly after van der Vaart’s departure Pienaar did one out the only three decent things he did all game – the other two came when he played a nice reverse ball to Defoe and then picked up the ball after that piece of play after Reina’s poor delivery and shot just wide. Taking the ball from a throw he turned the scouse fullback and was heading into the area when he lunged in front of the aforementioned defender and fell over under the challenge. It wasn’t in the box and it was shoulder to shoulder. In other words soft.
Up stepped Modders for the spot kick, now with Spurs’ penalty taking woes and the fact no one seems to remember Modric taking one there was probably a belief that Webb’s mistake would be corrected. But no, straight down the middle, past the diving ‘keeper, no real power and the game was won. Hey even if it wasn’t a pen, they didn’t score so it would have been one nil.
As for Pienaar everyone is really asking why he was bought. Most places I’ve seen have given him a 6 out of 10 for the game. I figure it brakes down to 5 for falling over for the pen and 1 for his name being spelt right on his shirt. I wonder how many joined me in saying
about time! when he was finally subbed for Kranjcar in the 90th minute?
So the double over Liverpool and this result and performance – minus the strikers who again were anonymous, can Crouch actually go to the front post or is he contracted to be only at the back one? – just showed how they’d buggered this season up. You do that at Anfield you should be beating the likes of the relegated Spammers, Wigan, Blackpool etc. No excuses ‘Arry.
Now just beat Brum in the final game on Sunday and it’s
Thursday night channel five!!, that should get ‘Arry twitching –