The rise and rise of Harry Kane reached new levels as his two goals saw off the Woolwich bus Arsene Wenger tried to park at White Hart Lane.
So Wenger does have a plan B, the Jose plan, well he probably figured that Spurs do struggle against sides that stump up with no ambition but to try and nick one, on the cheap.
It was a plan that could have worked, was working when Spurs gifted Ozil the opener. A plan to attack the Spurs’ weak links. First Welbeck ran away from the, sadly, returning Bentaleb – how many time will it be glossed over that players run past him at ease and so many goals come from it, while he’s lauded for a performance that was just plain ordinary or worse? – past the defensively inept Rose, his cross was sliced by Giroud to Ozil, who couldn’t be more alone if Kyle Walker was marking him. Oh that’s right the other fullback isn’t that crash hot at defending either. Far better at jumping about and looking for someone else to blame.
Kane had started as he finished off, causing problems for the visitors with an early shot coming in off the left and curling one to the far post, which Ospina saved well. It also caused the ‘keeper some discomfort but Spurs didn’t try and test that out the way they should.
What followed was standard Spurs when the little team has the lead. The little team don’t get the ball. Almost non-stop pressure from the boys in lilywhite. Unfortunately a lot coming down the wide open expanse of Spurs’ left, which resulted in Rose seeing a lot of the ball and firing wide of the goal.
Most of the attempts on goal, against this flat back ten, were from outside the box.
Dembele was again showing that this was his role, further up the park, but again he was infuriating when he didn’t shoot with clear opportunities. Mason wasn’t getting the love that Bentaleb, bizarrely, gets, yet he was the one doing something. Yes he may lose the ball but at least he’s going for it, not playing the safe, sideways, backwards pass. Eriksen was quietly getting on with his business, nothing brilliant but occupying the opposition while Lamela certainly wasn’t outstanding but certainly wasn’t as crap as the haters made out.
In fact Lamela was a prime example of the way Spurs, and himself should play, the way for the most part they played in this game. Quick, one touch stuff. When Lamela does it, it works for him, when the team does it also has the best results. When Lamela dithers on the ball in inevitably losses it in a way which looks really poor. But he does try his damnedest to get it back as soon as possible, as do all the team – well Bentaleb minces about.
The equaliser came from the usual source 9 minutes after the break. A Lamela corner, flicked on by Dembele and they only went and left Kane all on his lonesome at the back post. Twenty goals this season, nah, let’s not mark him.
The first part of the visitors plan B down the pan. So the second part kicked in. Bring on Walnut hoping his pace will cause problems for a tiring Spurs side. Only problem being Pochettino’s training has led to a fit Spurs, a Spurs that don’t tend to fade so badly in the last part of the game. Why there’s been so many late goals for 2-1 victories.
By then though Poch had used up one of his head scratching substitutions, bringing Dembele off, his removal say Woolwich have more of the ball and have their chances to get back into it.
They were helped by the likes of Walker who again played the team into difficulty when he showed reluctance to play the ball. When he dithers in such a way letting the ball bounce or run past him, waiting and waiting before actually playing the ball it just causes problems.
But thankfully Lloris was as per usual on hand to save the day. Nothing to do for the most part but when called on never found wanting.
And then a miracle, well the second of the day. Bentaleb had actually played the ball forward once earlier in the game with a decent shot he followed this up with a second and one that found it’s intended target. A cross from the left was met brilliantly by Kane who curled the ball into the far corner. No chance for the ‘keeper, as another of those late winners went in.
All in all a very one sided game, with the right result, as Woolwich showed they really don’t have a plan B, well one worth bothering with, though they still have whinging by Wenger and Pochettino shows his training methods can bring the desired results.