the team picks up three points playing poorly?
I don’t know if Spurs 1-0 defeat of West Brom is an indication of title winning form but it’s got to be a sign of things to come. Struggles ahead.
It was another lethargic, sloppy display. Flat. Both the team and the crowd. With a number of players just off it most of the night. Team looked knackered against a well organised but very limited side that Roy Hodgson sent out to defend for their lives – i.e. kick anything that moves – and maybe nick something.
Yes Spurs have struggled previously against a flat back 9 but say against Villa who showed as much forward adventure Spurs were buzzing, running rings around McLeish’s side. What was needed here was, as per usual, wide play, getting to the byline and triangles. None of which really materialised.
After Bales good game against Norwich down the middle he’s tended to come inside during the last two outings when heading out left would have been far preferable. On the right with Lennon still being absent it’s pretty much left up to Walker and all night he was presented with a rather large area to run into to get to the byline, with only Nicky Shorey to beat. No contest. And all night he cut inside or passed inside. Assou-Ekotto had the same thing facing him on the left, he did a better job but still didn’t get to the byline enough.
With Modric being flooded by red shirts it was left to the marauding van der Vaart to be the creating outlet. Unfortunately his creations were falling on stony ground with Adebayor being sloppy. Apparently Defoe was playing to. I did see some strange looking blond fella being offside, it must have been him.
Half an hour in one of the big factors facing ‘Arry came about as Sandro dropped to the ground, as there wasn’t really a challenge that came in it didn’t look good. When he went straight down again after trying to get up, it was confirmed. Torn calf, out for quite a while. A big loss, just as he’d got back into things. ‘Arry chose to bring Livermore on, personally as he was doing that I was wanting Bassong to come on and for Kaboul to move up. West Brom were causing no real problems for Spurs defence – the 50 plus yard gap between Odemwingie and anyone else in red was being adequately marshalled by Gallas, Walker and Benny – and Kaboul was imperious form. I just felt a rampaging run by the big fella here and there could do a job. In the end Livermore did OK until he decided to plant his face into Kaboul’s head. Only one winner there as the substitute had to go off to get stitched up, while Kaboul had to have a big lump of Vaseline smeared on his head. With the pair of them off the field it was West Brom’s best chance to get back into things.
Though before that Bassong’s introduction had been required as Gallas went down clutching his calf. Spurs injuries have obviously dropped down the leg. Honestly there’s something wrong with football training these days. Too muscular, too taut, too much gym bunny work?
Also by then Defoe had actually appeared on the screen/scene. Bit of interplay between Benny, van der Vaart led to Bale crossing it for Defoe whose first touch was atrocious – as it had been all night when he was actually involved with play. He was lucky to get a second but the Baggies defence left him to it and here comes the paradox with Defoe one minute completely useless next a sublime turn and finish and it’s one nil.
It was hanging on for dear life at the end there, bit like the Swansea game revisited but this time with a happy ending. Unbeaten over the Chrimbo period unlike all the other top 6 sides. But it’s come at a cost with the injuries. Is it a result of not rotating the players? Maybe but is there the players to actually come in and win games. The likes of Pienaar, no. Kranjcar well he came on last night and looked like he’d overindulged on the mince pies, though was wrongly blamed for loss of possession when on the end of a couple of piss poor hospital passes. ‘Arry trusts his first teamers, don’t think he really believes this squad strength and depth – bar the centre backs – we keep being told about. It’s one thing he’s probably got right.
Luckily got the Cup coming up now so I suppose it’ll be sacrificed before the next league outing in a week. The game in hand against Everton.