A mixture of Spurs modern and Spurs of old as the season ends on a high and on a low but with promise.
Seventy two points, six points off second place but a point behind those that finished fourth – and celebrated doing so like they’d won something, I don’t know when they’ve scheduled their open top bus parade, obviously they see finishing above AVB’s team as a great achievement.
Spurs of old was on show again as they struggled to score against a side that’s been in and around the relegation fight up until last week. It’s was the strugglers with their flat back 10 at The Lane that caused problems this season look at the top of the table and it’s a different story and a new one for Spurs…
— George (@georgebann) May 20, 2013
This game also saw something new we’ve seen this season. The last minute winner. Days of yore it was the last minute equaliser or winner conceded. Under AVB it’s been the reverse.
So Sunderland at home for the final game of AVB’s first season in charge. Just needed to win, baby, everything was irrelevant and out of their hands. It’s just that first part took some doing. All the ball, all the shots, all the penalty shouts, all the inept officiating. It was all there.
None of the goals, as per usual wasn’t.
There was something missing. A bit of control. Was a touch harum scarum. With Sunderland offering very little going forward it was unnecessary to have Parker in there – this hopefully his last outing in a Spurs shirt. Dembele may of course not been fit to play long enough to start, so Holtby could have been a better option, easily cover the tackling duties what little there was.
Generally pinging the ball about from the back from Dawson and Vertonghen was Beckenbauering proceedings, with Huddlestone dropping between the two centre-backs and the fullbacks as wingers it was all out attack.
Twenty minutes in and a common sight this season. Bale through, into the box, hauled down by the defender Larsson, who first grabbed Bale’s arm and then pushed him to the ground. Nailed on penalty for everyone – look at the Sunderland players who walk away head down resigned to the fact – except of course for the inept officials. Andre Marriner showing yet another undeserved yellow to the incredulous Bale.
Bale’s got a reputation. It’s a reputation that’s perpetuated by refs getting it wrong. He’s been booked half a dozen or more times for diving this season and all bar about one have been fouls against him, like this.
Marriner then preceded to cover himself in more glory by turning two more stonewall penalties for handballs. Hell if the clown co-commentating, an ex-ARSEnal player and Sunderland chairman thought they were nailed on it tells you how obvious they were.
Through all this Sunderland had a couple of chances, mainly brought about by slack Spurs play. I do like it when a player has the ball taken off him easily and then just stands there lamenting his luck. Thankfully Lloris was in goal and a couple of good saves, well one good one a cracker kept the clean sheet. I have to admit no matter how great Bale has been this season i have tended to go for the ‘keeper as player of the season. Wonder how many games he would have played under ‘Arry.
So it looked like being one of those days, especially when Newcastle couldn’t do their job properly. Then a cheer went around the ground. I can only think they were mugged by a stupid Tweet from Alan Sugar – titles only recognised here when you earn them not buy them – who seems to know less about the game than when he owned the club. An embarrassment. Still get what you deserve following that clowns Twitter account.
No goal was coming. When Parker had a shot cleared off the line straight to Lennon who repeated the feat for the ball then to hit the post it really looked like being all she wrote. Even when the ref actually got something right with Vaughan’s sending off I was somewhat resigned to the fact.
Than a opposition player did what a number have done this season, allowed Bale, on the right, to come inside on his left get a yard of space and bang one past the ‘keeper into the top corner of the net. Another Bale wonder goal.
Well at least they’d done their job. Toon didn’t, them lot celebrated. The ‘Arry lovers came out of the woodwork. Forgetting that their beloved had just picked up 2 points from 9 games with a squad of 20 full internationals. That AVB side has amassed more points than he managed without Modric, van der Vaart, Ledley, Kaboul, Sandro for a large part, BAE for a large part and a striker for most of the season. They talk of a seven point gap over turned forgetting it was 10 points last time around. Also conveniently forgetting this side could have contained Charlie Adam, Kenwyne Jones and Anton Ferdinand if ‘Arry had his way.
And as predictable as the ‘Arryites were the doom mongers, especially those in the media, talking about how this means we can’t hold onto Bale or attract decent players. Well Vertonghen, Lloris, Holtby, Dembele etc all came without Champions League football. And unlike that other club our star player doesn’t seem that desperate to jump ship as soon as possible. Rumours of a new contract, though what are they worth these days.
Win the Europa League next season and all this will be forgotten while celebrating an actual trophy, hell if that Russian mob can do it.
Just gotta put up with all the transfer speculation crap now. Just get it done and done quickly Daniel.