Even with the manager absent from the dugout, Spurs still couldn’t manage a full 90 minute performance, against relegation fodder Wet Spam, though at least they kept up stand in Cristian Stellini’s 100% win record.
Well, there was a number of changes to the line up for their Cup final, some that fans were calling for, some that they weren’t, and some that ended up in cracks being papered over.
Many thought after his midweek excellence that Pape Sarr would be the one to replace the injured Bentancur in the midfield pair, but that place went to Skipp instead. While most thought Son needed to be benched, which happened for the second time this season and for the second time worked, to an extent.
Emerson was still ahead of Porro in the pecking order, while Davies was now occupying the left wingback spot.
The first half saw Spurs be dull and clueless. A bright start, again disappeared quickly and it wasn’t long before they were gifting the visitors a good chance. Richarlison, who replaced son, giving the ball away far too easily, then Bowen is all on his lonesome to fire at goal. Forster diving for god knows what.
Then a quarter of an hour in and a West ham player is playing keeper again. They got away with it the previous game and they got away with it again. Just scoop the ball away with your hand, mate, no problems here on with VAR.
It’s not VAR that’s the problem, it’s the clowns in front of the screen, as we’re at a lowest point of trust in match officials, probably ever. They’re either massively incompetent, or bent. And neither works well.
The first half was summed up by the two wingbacks. About half an hour in a ball played out to Davies on the left was over hit but the Welshman did catch up with it and get the cross in, his cross did of course go to no one in particular, but then the only white shirt there was Emerson.
Right at the end of the half, Richarlison came to live and from a Harry Kane ball, had a decent chance, with two thirds of the ball in the half, it was just the second shot on target. Of a clueless and tedious performance. While Kane’s passing radar had been hit and miss, Kulusevski wasn’t doing what he did do before that injury, Richarlison was doing his best Son impersonation. Unfortunately it was the Son of this season he was impersonating, not the good Son.
But it was only a matter of time that the swap was made. Just a matter of when that time would be. How long watching things not working before something was actually done about it?
As per usual they did come out in the second half, though things still weren’t working, as highlighted by a Kane chance, he would usually bury, almost going for a throw, rather than the goal kick it ended up. All started up by a nice tap of the ball by Kulusevski, to take it off Rice, the one time bar a flare up a bit later when he was doing his best Mark Noble impersonation, that you actually knew Rice was on the pitch.
But then a goal came, and from very surprising source. Honest to god, nothing says you’re gonna get related like conceding an Emerson goal from a Davies assist. A glorious ball through from Hojbjerg and yet again that pair are the furthest forward. For once Davies plays the right ball and finds a Spurs player, the only Spurs player, while Royal hesitated and looked like he was going to blow it before putting a dribbler in the the far post.
Cue people claiming how good Royal was. No. He’s crap, he’s as crap as he was before the goal, he’s just crap. One goal doesn’t make a great performance.
It did take nearly 70 minutes of it not working before Stellini or Conte made that expected change. Richarlison looked like a player who has been on the pitch for a whole hour, over the previous 8 games.
Son entered, having one goal in all his starts this season, and three in his one appearance off the bench. Four minutes later and it was four. From a hump up the park, Kane fights with the defender and wins the ball, then the perfect ball through to Son on the edge of the box, for once the Korean had players behind him not in front of him blocking. One touch to take it into his stride – whereas before he’s been getting it stuck in his feet – the second to score.
Yes the old class and form saying but can he do it when he starts? Or does he need to be a supersub for the time being? But then it wasn’t working with Richy, so, where. Maybe go two up top and put Sarr in that midfield, stop them being outmanned. Nah, that’ll never happen.
Anyway, it was a win but the level of opposition was telling, lads, it’s Wet Spam. They looked like relegation fodder. Can’t score, can’t defend. About as bad as the ref, who should have sent off Antonio and probably Perisic, who came on late to try and mess things up for Spurs by the look of things. Didn’t want it being too comfortable.
Chelsea up next who can’t wait for their appointment with Dr Tottenham, he couldn’t cure Wet Spam but two patients in a row.
Will Conte be back? Will he ever return, or is this him done and dusted…