Spurs couldn’t make up their mind if they wanted a league cup run or trot out the old
concentrate on the league line as the eventually got past Hull City.
What a perfect way to test out AVB’s criticism of the White Hart crowd than the same opposition returning in a less important competition. Would the fans be up for it? Would the team? Which needs which more?
Well to start with they both were up for it as again those on the field faced a Hull flat back ten. Honestly what is the point of going away in the League cup and not bothering? Not like you get anything for a nil nil bar the chance at penalties and if that’s all your after then.
So Spurs weren’t exactly flying as in days gone past but there was certainly more life about as they pressed and harried the visitors each time possession was lost, Hull didn’t possession the ball much. Then life get a little easier a quarter of an hour in with a wonder goal. Gylfi – back in the starting XI fighting for his league place – dragging the ball on the turn leaves his defender in a heap and you can marvel at the touch has banged the ball into the top of the net.
It quietened the crowd for a split second before a reaction AVB would be pleased with.
It was all Spurs but with few actual chances being created. Until the half hour mark and Steve Bruce had to make a change taking of his injured defender son and bringing on a forward player. All of a sudden they actually looked like they wanted to play. When the removed the inept Graham at half time it was a signal of more intent.
What followed just over 10 minutes later was an omnishambles. Inept defending down the left, no surprise that Naughton was stationed there before he thankfully went off injured, a shot allowed across the goal and then back again while Friedel on all fours makes a desperate grab for the ball only to release his inner Gomes and bundle it into his own net.
As said Naughton went off with Vertonghen moving to the left and Chiriches coming on, as did Chadli for Eriksen. The Dane having another pretty nothing outing. Too much passing for passing sake. A couple of incidents highlighting something he needs to eradicate. One when between the Hull area and the halfway line receiving the ball from his own half had acres of space in front of him but instead Parker’d it and passed it straight back into his own half from whence it came. Second when through the middle just outside the box with again a gaping hole in front of him and he slides the ball to his right into a crowd of Hull defenders. No need to pass either time.
Unfortunately Eriksen’s replacement didn’t last ten minutes as Chadli went off injured, so that meant all three substitutes had been used with the arrival of Harry Kane. This meant that the returning Kaboul would have to see out the night, which looked like lasting another 30 minutes. Extra-time was confirmed when Harry Kane in the dying seconds cracked a shot off the woodwork.
With Everton coming up in the league early on Saturday this is just what wasn’t needed. Paulinho looked out on his feet.
When 8 minutes in a real nothing of a player scored a header from a cross it looked like this cup run was over. As it did Friedel’s stint in the starting XI. When you play with Lloris who is so commanding of his area, it can’t help when Friedel is so line bound and static. Lloris would have come for the corner and cleared the area, Friedel stood and McShane had a free header.
Then with a couple of minutes remaining Defoe produced his only bit of decent play all night – surprisingly wasn’t offside – fed Harry Kane who worked himself into a shooting position and fired into the bottom corner. The kid done good. Certainly put more in his 45 minutes than Defoe did in 120.
So penalties. Oh joy. What with Spurs’ previous in such things. Though of course they’d had three penalties this season and not one miss but Soldado wasn’t on the pitch. There wasn’t much confidence in Friedel redeeming himself either.
Gylfi scored first and then Friedel faced a fairly easy one and gave Spurs the lead. No confidence in Defoe was show either but he and Vertonghen dispatched their’s, matched by the Hull players. Then Lamela approached and it was guaranteed. He’d started off the game quietly but came into it more as it went along, had one cracking free-kick. But still doesn’t look full of confidence and people still keep banging on about the price tag, especially certain media types.
So when Hulls cored the next it was all square again. Nine penalties followed, all scored until Elmohamady stepped up and again after giving away the penalty on Sunday this was guaranteed but Friedel made another stop and Spurs actually won a shootout. Didn’t hear the post match stuff but would be surprised if Bruce wasn’t whinging about Walker being on the pitch to score the winning pen, got away with what looked like a bad challenge. But again as I said after the league game, I do enjoy it when these things happen against Bruce, cannot stand the guy.
So what started off with a purpose disintegrated into not the best of performances but there’s a resilience and there was a win.