the man of the match?
Spurs were going through their usual routine against a non-footballing flat back nine, that is struggling, until Big Sam played the master tactician.
Wash, rinse, repeat.
That’s Spurs in this situation, it was the same over the last couple of games against Leicester. Spurs have all the ball, pass it around, have plenty of shots from outside the box and miss a number of decent chances – sometimes you can add the opposition ‘keeper having a career highlight day.
And then generally let in a soft goal.
It was going that way again, Allardyce the Hut had sent out that flat back nine, with Defoe isolated yards away from anyone else in that horrid Sunderland away kit. There was plenty of passing, there was a number of shots, their ‘keeper on his debut was pulling off some good saves. It was all too familiar.
Then up steps the soft goal against. As Johnson’s pass through the channel found Van Aanholt, who had left Trippier standing, the left-back then beat Hugo at his near post. Omnishambles, as per.
A forty minute battering up until that point. A battering that continued straight after that point as seconds later Eriksen equalised. Well, we’ll all give it to Eriksen as he hadn’t scored a league goal at home in almost a year to the day. Bizarrely also against Sunderland.In reality it’s a Cattermole own goal isn’t it?
He was perfectly placed to block Eriksen’s shot, also perfectly placed to bounce the ball up his leg and knee it over his own head into the net. Veryy fitting. Cattermole is very much an Allardyce player, short on any ability other than clogging around picking up yellow cards.
Obviously another Allardyce player is Jan Kirchhoff, his £3m signing from Bayern Munich. Kirchhoff entered the fray as a substitute for Danny Graham, Allardyce’s technical and tactical master-stroke, replacing a striker – and I use this term in it’s loosest sense, most would struggle to class Graham as a striker, a forward who doesn’t score would be more apt – with a defender. Protecting that one all draw. Strange, strange move.
Within seconds of Kirchhoff’s arrival Dembele had ended that dream of a point for Fat Sam. Scoring his third league goal of the season, matching his league tally for the previous league campaigns he’s been at the club. Poch seems to be getting the best out of the Belgian. Spurs certainly look the better for having him in the side, far more midfield control, Carroll is just too lightweight for now to fill that position.
Minutes later Allardyce’s day just got better as Kirchhoff meekly held out a leg at Eriksen’s shot which nicely deflected it in for Spurs third. Both the Sunderland men’s day got better shortly after as the German upended Rose in the penalty area. It was so blatant that Allardyce, one of the games major whingers, couldn’t even complain about the awarding of the spot-kick which Harry Kane duly dispatched.
Finally a last 10 minutes of relaxation in a Spurs game.
Just enough time to contemplate the man of the match award. it went to Eriksen for his two goals, though Dembele’s controlling act should maybe have got it if you’re just looking at the winning team. But the game changer was Allardyce and his introduction of Kerchhoff.
Big Fat Sam keeps moaning on about the lack of opportunities afforded to English managers in the Premier League. The fact Sam is still employed in this league tells it’s own story and maybe owners want managers who aren’t going to take off a front man for a defender to hold a point with half an hour to go. or a manager who plays Cattermole (yeah, I know some foreigners have done the latter).
So a much needed three points after the disappointment of the midweek defeat, bounce back and get another run going.