Spurs managed a last minute winner against Brighton after what some thought was a great game but was one that showed up far too many weaknesses in Spurs and Angeball.
It was only a short time into the game when you knew things weren’t right and Spurs were really off it. Micky van de Ven was left on his arse. It’s just something you don’t see from the Dutchman. It led to a shot and another excellent save from Vicario. It wasn’t his last save of the game.
It wasn’t Micky’s final error. About 15 minutes later it was his challenge that gave away the penalty that allowed Brighton to open the scoring. It was a clusterfuck of Spurs making that was not just the fault of the central defender. Fannying about in their box, just playing themselves into danger.
It’s funny in that the winner showed how Angeball can work, with quick breakaways, players going forward, crosses and players in the box. Yet for most of the game and for most of this season Ange has played Kulusevski, who for nearly all his time on the pitch against Brighton killed nearly every break that came his way by just stopping and cutting inside. Like he’s done for most of the season.
Kulusevski’s one forward pass was about his last kick of the game, much the same as Bentancur. The Uruguayan was having a poor game, admittedly he was played into trouble a number of times by people passing the ball to him with a man on. But he didn’t seem to be able to keep the ball or play a forward pass for the hour he was on the pitch bar the equaliser.
Having watched 51 minutes of a first half which just wasn’t working in any way shape or form for Spurs, Ange decided to stick with the same XI. And on the hour it worked for once. Bentancur won the ball just inside the Spurs half, he tried a pass that went straight to a Brighton player but luckily it confused said player and Bentancur got the ball back, he played it wide to Kulusevski on the right, the Swede played his one forward pass which was excellent and cut through the Brighton defence for the on-running Sarr. The Senegalese took a touch then played the cross for Richarlison, it was blocked with the ball rebounding off the post back to Sarr who finished expertly from a tight angle.
Kulusevski and Bentancur finally did something positive and that’s when Ange made the changes. The pair of them leaving along with Werner, who had one weak shot and one deflected shot that just reinforced the belief that he won’t score for the club. On came Son, after his Asia Cup exit, Bissouma after is African exit and Johnson after nothing.
They went to pieces a bit after that. Amazing that to think they could have less structure than before the changes but they did.
Brighton had numerous chances to retake the lead but thanks to their repeated time wasting there was 8 minutes added on at the end of the second half, five minutes into which Spurs finally played some go forward, fast football. Finally some Angeball. It came from quicker passing and fewer touches in their own half, before Maddison played the ball through to Richarlison, who released it just in time for the wider Son to be just onside, his cross found Johnson on his lonesome at the back post and for once the Welshman had gone for it and not looked scared of his own shadow as he thumped the ball into the roof of the net.
That’s the infuriating thing about both goals, they both showed how good they can be but aren’t for such great swathes of the game. When they play fast with minimal touches and go forward it works. When they fanny about with a ton of touches in and around their own area it’s a shambles.
But we’re told that they need to do the latter so they can do the former…