who think they can play.
After Spurs’ opening day draw against a flat back 10, Angeball was going to look better against an open midfield like Man United’s, as their 2-0 victory showed.
It was fun during and after the game hearing Man U fans bleat about not getting decisions and how refs are against them, a level of irony and lack of self awareness rarely seen outside an Alastair Campbell tweet.
Added to that Ten Hag saying how his team should have won, because they were the better in the first half. I mean he was praising Mason Mount, while most people didn’t know he was on the pitch until the 85th minute, when he was taken off.
Yes, United had good spells in the first half but most of it was down to slackness by Spurs. Giving the ball away, fannying about at the back and gifting chances. And at the end of the half the visitors had had more shots but teams were level with shots on target. A lot of this was thanks to Vicario in goal. I said after the last game that he’ll cause some palpitations and he does but not with his saving, which again was class here.
While Spurs had come closest to opening the scoring, with Pedro Porro’s shot off the bar. By that time Spurs had got themselves together. Bissouma, Sarr and Maddison were now beginning to run things.
A trend that continued into the second half. One trend that didn’t continue, well for the second and it seems last time was Kulusevski cutting inside. I’d tweeted in the first half after he’d done it yet again, that Kulusevski cutting inside and killing attacks was getting tiresome. He got to the byline once in that half, it caused problems. Four minutes into the second half he was on the paint and in acres of space when receiving the ball. He made his way into the box then cut the ball back, it doesn’t matter really where the ball goes, it’s gonna create danger for the defending team, which it did as a deflection that fell perfectly for Pape Sarr to take his first goal for the club brilliantly.
Spurs were now all over United. There was only one team in it. Bissouma was looking like prime Dembele. Just gliding past players, keeping the ball. Maddison was doing something similar, while looking like the Eriksen Spurs haven’t had since the Dane left. And Sarr was here, there and everywhere.
United all over the place. Funniest moment, well in the first half the perpetual moaner Fernandez was booked for one of his moans, I questioned how many times the ref would bottle sending him off for another but he kept his moaning to everyone but the ref in the second half, then in that half United under pressure played the ball out and Fernandez headed it straight into touch for a throw, under no pressure, plenty of time to take it down but no and he followed it up by turning and moaning at somebody, anybody. Really is a loathsome character. Decent footballer but a moaning tart.
His mood wasn’t improved when his own player made it 2-0. Spurs had gone a bit defensive – Ange had done the Conte sub he wanted to last week when bringing on Davies. And were just letting United back into things. Then with some nice interplay in the middle, Maddison swung out the perfect ball to the other sub, Perisic, he played the ball into the box where the running Davies missed with his attempt only for the United player to scuff the ball and roll it into the net, when it was going past the post without his touch.
Roll on United moans and whinges. Complaining that they didn’t get a pen in the first half when the ball hit Romero’s arm, yet nothing when Spurs didn’t get a pen for Romero being bundled over in the box. The first incident was an accident as Romero was going for a block the second incident was intentional because the United player had no intention going for the ball, just the man.
Well Pedro Mendez is saying “cry more”.
A team that Wolves ran rings around should have been easy pickings at home. In the end they were, just again the front three didn’t work. As said Kulu repeatedly coming inside and Richy looking shot. His first touch was worse than useless, he has no reading of where the ball is going to be played from midfield. At this point he isn’t even gonna get a rebound of his arse. Son was more in it than last week, due to there being more space than last week. But with the other two under performing it’s easy for a defence to concentrate on Son.
Solomon came on late, very late, far too late. He showed in the few minutes that he should probably start ahead of Kulu for the next game. But they really need to sign someone up front, before the next game.
Also worrying was Maddison leaving the ground on crutches with a boot on that they said was nothing, just precautionary. Well now he’s going for a scan and with the medical staff at the club and past history, this looks like 6 months to the season out. Lo Celso is the only real option for that spot and if that’s what happens then it shows the folly of not giving him a run out of at least a couple of minutes in either game.
The next three games are against the current bottom of the table Bournemouth, then two newly promoted teams. They must be won. To show things have changed you have to win these type of games after beating Man U. There’s no point doing the former if you cough it up against poor relegation fodder.