AVB got on his high horse after the Hull game and slated the Spurs fans for their lack of support; not shouting loud enough.
He said to the BBC “Away from home their support has been amazing; we play with no fear and we need that atmosphere at White Hart Lane. We didn’t have the support we should have done. There was much anxiety from the stands, the players had to do it alone. We spoke about it at half-time. I told the players that we would have to do it on our own. They had to dig deep and look for the strength within themselves. They also believed that it’s not easy to play in this stadium when the atmosphere is like this.”
I was in the South stand and I must say that the hollowing, cheers of “Yid Army,” and the all-round positiveness of the Spurs supporters, and the yelling of the referee’s name Wayne Kerr (I did say where I was sitting the noise was deafened so it could have been something else they were shouting), and other such platitudes I thought it was all encouraging. Maybe where he was sitting it probably was like a morgue, but I couldn’t possibly say. However, listening to the fans on 5 live afterwards on the way home a lot of them concurred, but criticised him for censuring them. Even Ian Wright condemned AVB for voicing his concerns over the lack of noise. Ian Wright, that man who is so loved my Spurs fans (who did he play for again?). When I went to the West Ham game at White Hart Lane I was sitting in the South Stand (same place) and the noise was ear-piercing, like it was at the Hull game (I had to turn off my hearing aid because of it). In fact when the person next to me thought we scored against the Hammers he jumped up and I got elbowed in the face; so that match was memorable for all the wrong reasons. But enough of the past and back to the present (what is now the aftermath). The shouting was pretty vociferous where I was sitting. So even if he was right , because of where he was sitting, he did a disservice to those that were shouting their hearts out.
Another criticism that was expressed by the Spurs fans on 5 live; that we were dull against Hull and should have done better. Considering that Hull has a pretty good record and they came to defend (a 5 man defensive wall) I thought we did okish (we had 15 shots at goal compared to their 10). Steve Bruce has done a good job with little Hull. Nevertheless we had 66% of play and were constantly pushing. Overall a 1-0 win was probably about right. Lennon seemed to be wondering all over the place and wasn’t that affective (granted he had a couple of chances and then blew it). I wasn’t then surprising that he was taken off and replaced by Defoe. Early Sandro was booked and I presume was taken off as a precautionary measure and replaced by Dembele at the start of the second half. Holtby was replaced by Erikson. So good adjustments. Nevertheless the problem with throwing everybody on was that if there should be a problem, like an injury, we could be up the creek without a paddle. But Soldado scored from a penalty (to deafening cheers). Hull then had to open up and drop their defensive play. All well and good so far; however, there was a nasty incident where the Whippet was propelled into the advertising hoardings and over. For a brief moment he was knocked unconscious and in the process injured his wrist (not sure how bad). While the paramedics tried to deal with him the team carried on with 10 men. Hull attacked and we defended well in the process, repelling their forced change in their tactics (from defensive to attacking). What looked like a misfortune, and the concern over the whippet’s wellbeing, dulled the voices of the Spurs fans (this might be what AVB was talking about). We then saw Townsend getting up and being escorted to the benches (with the roar of the crowd ringing in his ears),suddenly, it seemed, he shrugged his escorts off and run to the edge of the pitch and waved to the referee to let him back on (which he did). I don’t think the doctors intended for Townsend to play any more part in that game; so hats off to the Whippet for showing his true Spurs colours (and guts) for coming back on. The final whistle blew and a cry of relief erupted in the stadium.
So recapping I thought some of the criticism of the way we played and the lack of noise, according to the maestro, was a bit unfair. We are now in 4th position and only 3 points behind the front runners Arsenal (Hull are 10th). Our next game will be in the Capital one cup against Hull, again. This time around we can be assured that Steve Bruce won’t be coming to play defensive football, as only one team can leave the pitch with their heads held high. We are still on course to do well. Granted AVB has still got some work to do in improving his 11 players and moulding them into a solid working team, but on the whole we are heading in the right direction. If we weren’t in 4th place and further down the league table then some of the criticisms might be justified. We’ve got the second best defence in the premier League (after Southampton) but scored fewer goals (which needs to be dealt with as soon as); compared to the top 4 teams. On the whole we are doing well. So come on and let us hear the roar and therefore pushing our team further and to greater rewards. Remember; we are at the beginning of something new and positive. You don’t invest £108 million pounds in buying players only to piss it up against the wall.
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