The purple shirted smash and grab


The shirts Spurs wear do seem to have an effect on the way things go. That ‘orrible baby blue away one meant a weak, insipid, capitulation this new purple thing means shoddy, sloppy, slack performance ending in a 3-1 victory.

Not a good way to start the game with the two most gifted and creative players missing, van der Vaart injured and Modric ill, but is it a better sign for Spurs? Not a one man team, not even a two man team. A squad, squad that’s not quite as deep as some would have you believe – anyone praying for Pienaar to come off the bench? – but a squad that can still grind out results with the players that usually make things tick missing. Compare say to another side, shackle their one player, he doesn’t score and they don’t win.

So the usual line up but with Sandro in place of Modric and Defoe for van der Vaart. It meant things were different on the pitch. One of them mainly being the absence of Defoe for great periods of the game. People keep complaining about van der Vaart roaming to much, dropping too deep. But it’s very noticeable how you miss his presence as Defoe doesn’t contribute much and the central pairing are outnumbered by in this case West Brom’s middle three.

No surprise Sandro picked up an earlyish yellow card, he was having to do too much. Parker being back to his spinning ways. Funny how Modric can spin in a tight circle and get away from an opponent, whereas the Golden Boy takes a QEII age and turning circle and ends up still being faced by the player he was trying to get away from – that an the overrated stats percentage. Possibly it was a surprise the big Brazilian didn’t pick up a second, W.B.A.’s Mulumbu did his best waiving an imaginary card after another challenge.

This was after the Baggies’ player had opened the scoring after some sloppy Spurs play, during a slow, sloppy opening period. Kaboul, such a beast of late alongside Ledley had a bit of a day off here, next to him Walker wasn’t having his bet outing either. A collective poor showing for the goal, by the back four, and for big parts of the game but doing just enough, along with West Brom’s ineptness in front of goal, to keep their score to just the one.

The lead didn’t last long and no coincidence that Spurs brightest moments came when speed and pace were introduced. Every time Lennon touched the ball, as with the last few games, he looked dangerous. A nice one two with Adebayor and Lennon was off. Into the box and you could see he had nothing in his mind but keep on running until someone brought him down. It’s something he should do more often, in this day and age defenders are all arms and tugs and poor defending, penalties should be plentiful. And so it was, a tug and an ankle tap by Shorey and a chance to equalise from the spot.

Up steps Adebayor and becomes a true Spurs player. By missing the said spot kick. He did get the rebound from Foster’s save though. It, along with the build-up to the pen, pretty much summed up the striker’s day, piss weak in front of goal but a lot of good work getting there. In the absence of van der Vaart it seemed Adebayor had taken it on himself to do some of the work that was missing due to the Dutchman’s absence. It’s certainly not something you expected from the Togo striker, not something we’ve seen before but a big indicator of the team spirit and ethic that seems to be at Spurs. Is this ‘Arry’s touch?

So instead of going in at the break one or two up after handing out a battering that deserved a bigger lead it was a lucky draw. So this probably negated that post break 15 minutes of sloppiness we usually see end in conceding a goal. Not that they were that much better after the break. Still too sloppy and slow.

But the chances came, 23 attempts, 14 on target in the whole match. I did hear some pundit say clinical :shakeshead:. Adebayor was pretty profligate with some pretty easy chances. Defoe actually started to appear on the screen but his finishing mirrored that of his strike partner. Especially when he was being greedy and could have played others in or left a rolling ball for someone better placed.

It was very shortly after Brunt had cleared the bar with a gilt edged chance that the ball was played out to Adebayor, he beautifully back-heeled it into Defoe’s path on the halfway line and the little fella was off. West Brom hung back and let him run at them, and run and run. Until he was just at the edge of the box, perhaps his most dangerous position, he let fly and another smash and grab game was on the cards, just like the away game at Fulham.

Adebayor could have really finished it, he could have had a right bundle. Bale really should have but his left foot curler, from the right, decided to straighten up at the last moment. But just like that Fulham game it was all signed sealed and delivered in the dying seconds, after the home side had chances to draw equal, a Younes Kaboul ‘ave it hump fell perfectly to Bale who squared it to Adebayor and after yet another piss weak attempt the ball was in the back of the net. Adebayor’s second, Spurs’ third and yet another 3 points.

Snatch and indeed grab. It’s that purple shirt I tell ya.

So a pretty good weekend for ‘Arry’s men, an away win after playing poorly with two major players missing, three while all the main competitors for the top four spots dropped points. Nine wins and one draw the last 10 games. Third in the table two pints behind ManUre with a game in hand and an up coming fixture list of Bolton (H), Stoke (A), Sunderland (H), Chelsea (H), Norwich (A), Swansea (A), West Brom (H), Everton (H), Wolves (H) before they meet Citeh.

The optimism, the hope, is it too much?

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