Player ratings and thoughts: Sheriff 0-2 Tottenham

5

Hugo Lloris – 6: Another solid display from our number one. He had quite a bit of work to do I the first half an hour of the game, and dealt with a number of Sheriff corners very well. Lloris also came off his line quickly and confidently in the second-half to thwart another Sheriff attacker from opening the scoring. He should have conceded in the first half, after being rounded, but Vlad Chiriches was there to mop up. On the whole though, it was another solid display from Lloris. His 9th clean sheet of the season.

Kyle Naughton – 4: Naughton’s below-par start to the season continues. As well as offering little offensively other than the occasional easy pass to Lamela or Lennon, Naughton looked extremely nervous at the back, and meant Spurs looked extremely vulnerable down the right-hand side. Naughton was nowhere to be seen as Sheriff attacked down the right and scored, only for the linesman to flag for offside. He will have to majorly improve if he wants to continue to make even cameo appearances for Spurs for the rest of the season.

Vlad Chiriches – 8: Chiriches was my Spurs ‘man of the match’ last night, and he put in an excellent shift for the side. Confident with the ball at his feet, Vlad started a high proportion of our attacks, feeding the ball to Sandro or Dembele to get things started. He was also remarkably composed at the back, with a nothing short of unbelievable flick over an attackers head in the first half, and another breathtaking block from Luvannor’s shot after Lloris was beaten. We still haven’t conceded a goal with Vlad on the field, and it isn’t hard to see why after last night. He did ignore Aaron Lennon, who was in a good position, to have a needless shot from range in the second half, but this does nothing to detract from an excellent display.

Jan Vertonghen – 6: Vertonghen didn’t seem particularly involved in this game, despite opening the scoring with an excellent header and captaining the side for the first half an hour or so. It was a typically solid display however, and although our defence was breached a few times, Vertonghen led our ‘high line’ very well indeed. I would prefer Vertonghen to be rested for the Hull game in the Capital One Cup, he has already played a huge number of games this season including commitments for Belgium, and I was surprised to see him start this game. He really needs a rest.

Ezekiel Fryers – n/a: Didn’t look out of place until he went off injured in the 34th minute. That is a blow for Fryers, he could probably have expected to start quite a few games in the coming weeks, so will be hoping his injury isn’t too serious.

Sandro – 7: Sandro played very, very well in this game. He dictated the play extremely well, and seemed to be not only a good protector of the back four, but involved in everything we had going forward as well. He had a 98% pass success rate at the end of the game, and really was a joy to watch. His dribbling has, without doubt, improved hugely since he joined Spurs, and looks extremely confident with the ball at his feet nowadays. This was shown perfectly yesterday. A great display.

Mousa Dembele – 5: I was disappointed with Dembele yesterday. He was constantly thwarted by Sheriff’s combative trio in midfield, but unlike Sandro was unable to craft himself any time on the ball and any exert any influence on the game at all. Very disappointing from Dembele, as these are the kinds of games he really should be dominating.

Aaron Lennon – 6: Lennon’s first start since the opening day of the Premier League season was a good one. For a player who had just come back from quite a bad injury, we was remarkably involved in the football match, and caused Sheriff a number of problems. He should have scored when put through 1-on-1 however as his weak finish went straight at the goalkeeper. That being said he did strike the post in the second half, after fantastic run and shot. On the whole I was very encouraged with Lennon’s performance. I highly doubt that he will start against Hull on Sunday, but his return to full fitness is a boost to Spurs without a doubt.

Christian Eriksen – 7: Eriksen showed flashes of excellence yesterday, which will hopefully be enough to persuade Andre Villas-Boas to start him again on Sunday. Eriksen assisted Vertonghen’s opener superbly well with a perfectly weighted cross, and when given the ball, looked excellent. His sumptuous flick set up a golden chance for Aaron Lennon in the first half, and another he did another mouth-watering through ball to Jermain Defoe in the second half, who unfortunately put his shot straight at the Sheriff keeper.

Erik Lamela – 5: Another under-whelming performance from Erik Lamela to add to his collection. Tottenham’s most expensive ever player is still finding his feet in the team, and I would suggest is still a long way off starting a Premier League game. He was deployed on the right and the left-hand side last night, and looked rather ineffective on either side. While there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Lamela will come good at some stage this season, he really does need to improve his performances.

Jermain Defoe – 6: Defoe equalled Martin Chivers’ 22-goal record to become Spurs join highest-scorer in European competition, and his goal was a cracker. Despite taking a deflection, it was an excellent shot, and was worthy of killing off the game. Eriksen crafted a few chances for Defoe, but he didn’t finish them very convincingly. On the whole Defoe wasn’t s involved as he could have been, and went missing for very long spells of the game.


Subs

Michael Dawson – 6: Dawson replaced Ezekiel Fryers after 34 minutes, and looked solid as ever. Aerially, Dawson was superb, and looked very solid alongside Vertonghen at the heart of Spurs’ defence. However, Sheriff did get behind our defence on a number of occasions, which concern Villas-Boas somewhat.

Nacer Chadli – 6: Chadli played really quite well in this game I thought. He is clearly a very skilful player, and showed that again yesterday. He was a lot more direct that Lamela and ran at players and took them on very well indeed. He will be getting slightly concerned by his lack of playing time in the Premier League, but a good display last night won’t have hurt his chances of getting game time whatsoever.

Lewis Holtby – 6: Holtby showed his versatility by player in a deeper role alongside Dembele yesterday, but didn’t feature for long enough to really have much of an impact on the contest. I personally wanted Lewis to start this game, as I wanted Sandro to be given a rest.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. "We still haven’t conceded a goal with Vlad on the field"
    We haven't conceded with Friedel on the field either, does that mean he should start instead of Lloris?

  2. Great analysis. Although I've enjoyed watching him play, Vlad may be a bit too highly ranked here. His flashes of brilliance have outshone some of the dangerous situations he puts himself in. Here's to hoping it doesn't come back to bite us!

  3. Not sure what you've been smoking. Vlad is an accident waiting to happen – a cross between Ramon Vega and David Luiz. I would have said Eriksen was our best player as he was the only one who played as if football was his main sport! Sorry to sound so down… Lamela … Lamentable…. there'll be some headlines soon!

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