All the positives come from all of the


When the likes of ManUre play poorly and still grind out a win, as they did on Sunday, the pundits are all over it as a sign of their strength. When their manager makes a change that has a dramatic effect on the situation it’s the same.

Of course when it’s Spurs and Andre Villas-Boas they just some old crap about a ‘keeper controversy and hand all the plaudits to their mate managing the other team.

Well I can’t criticise AVB for playing Bale at left-back in the absence of both Assou-Ekotto and Naughton as I’d advocated it when BAE first became unavailable…

Just felt he hasn’t really worked in this roaming role, as he didn’t under the last manager. Giving him a strict defined role on the left, with someone cutting inside in front of him, Dempsey in this case, would give him an area to run in and build up that pace to frighten those in his way. Which after all was only Wright-Phillips and Dyer, after the 3rd minute substitution. After all it’s what brought him to real prominence during a certain Champions League appearance in Milan, where he put three past the ‘keeper now in the QPR goal.

It didn’t work. Do wonder if Bale made sure it didn’t. Ronaldo don’t play left-back.

Though it wasn’t just Bale that wasn’t working the hole mob weren’t. It was another lacklustre start to the game, much like the Norwich encounter. No life in the team whatsoever. Now it did happen under ‘Arry, especially against this type of opposition and when they do start like this you know it’s going to be one of those games.

Normally when the team plays like this you can’t really blame the manager, he hasn’t that much control once they’ve crossed the white line but it seems in this case it was his doing as he stated after that In the beginning we thought that giving QPR the initiative was the best solution. Luckily he figured out… but it proved to be wrong.

Certainly was, Spurs play best when they come out all guns blazing, for one thing it gets the crowd into it and no mater what the score is with a purposeful display of intent it cuts down on the chances of the boos ringing out at the break.

I hadn’t figured in either manager’s approach. Normally figured it would be a flat back 9 for the visitors, but no, they came to play and out play he hosts they did, if not for Friedel making a couple of saves it would have been worse than going in at the break one down.

Though with some better officiating that might not have been the case. Sigurdsson upended in the box for what should have probably been a penalty – about only thing he did in the game – and I don’t know how QPR’s Granero stayed on the pitch. One cynical trip on Lennon as he was on a charge down the sideline should have been his first yellow. There was plenty more incidents after that should have seen his second before one finally came ten minutes after the interval.

Goal was defensively sloppy as they had been throughout the half. One thing AVB needs to get sorted is defensive headers, far too often the Spurs back four headed the ball back into the middle just out and around the penalty area, where there was always an opposition player ready to pick it up. Simply heading wide would have cut out much of the danger faced.

So as said before AVB saw his tactics weren’t working, the visiting ‘keeper had nothing to do all half, didn’t need the boos You make your own criticism, and we changed from the first half for the second. Questions being how would he change it and who would come off? Plenty of candidates.

On came Caulker which meant Vertonghen to left-back, Bale up and who between Dempsey and Sigurdsson, both having a poor first half. Well it was the latter as the formation shifted to a 4-4-1-1. From then there was more purpose, more drive and an end product. Though a lucky one.

I’ve had a go at Rio Ferdinand before and Vincent Kompany didn’t half ponce one against Madrid but both were beaten by Faurlin who was otherwise excellent in running the game. Caulker heads back from a corner and it’s soft floater that Faurlin flinches the act of which knocks the ball into his own net. Honestly if you’re going to ponce it like that you deserve the consequences.

If you can’t be good, be lucky.

Nothing lucky about the winner, a minute later. Dembele does some great work to win the ball, ever present Sandro on to Vertonghen and he’s on a charge – and no Mark Hughes your player wasn’t fouled, was just a coming together – perfect lay off by the Belgian to Bale flying on his outside, cracking shot and the ‘keeper must have been having flashbacks, though this time he gets a bit of the ball, deflects onto the bar and Defoe is poaching, surprisingly onside, to scuff in the goal.

This is the Spurs we want to see.

Vertonghen was looking like the left-back we need. Great pace, great ability with the ball and most importantly maybe great defensive work. As with half an hour to go there was still time for QPR to get something back and it looked to be coming not long after when Caulker again headed out into the middle and danger, Hoillet was free in the box, he took just enough time to let the ball come onto his right foot, long enough for Vertonghen to nip in and nick it with a superb tackle, which kept up his success rate…

Unfortunately he’s also one of the centre-backs we need. If only we could have him all across the back line.

So played poorly, even with the second half it was a poor performance, and picked up the victory. Manager saw where he’d gone wrong and corrected it. Added to that we still haven’t seen the best of Sigurdsson, Dempsey or even Bale really. Those three start to click and the first win of the season may do that and those negatives look like a positive future.

It was all he sweeter as it happened to Mark Hughes, who unlike our AVB needed a coat in the pissing rain. Hard man. My arse.

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