Twenty Minute Efforts Don’t Earn Three Points

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Yes, we could have won it at least twice in the final ten minutes. But they could easily have scored a second at least twice before that. And given the listless effort—particularly from our attack force—put forward for 70 minutes, the result was deserved.

Let’s start with the positives. Except for some typically curious set piece defending early on, the back four was as advertised. Solid in the middle—and Rose and today mainly Walker was marauding down the flank but still came back to defend at critical moments. Vertonghen was a bit rusty but that was expected. Janssen came on and played hard from the get-go—but for Stekelenburg he would have been the hero in his Spurs debut. Vorm saved our bacon—one presumes Hugo is still not 100% from the injury he suffered vs Portugal that contributed to Eder’s Euro winner—it might be prudent to rest him at least a couple more weeks. And Dier and Wanyama do what they do—defend and disrupt. The latter’s discomfort going forward (Moussa—we miss you) was eminently predictable. It was telling that it was Dier who was subbed for Janssen—Poch likes and trusts his former charge. And Lamela rarely had a misstep and deserved the equalizer, as opposed to his teammates.

Kane was largely invisible and didn’t do much with the ball. There was an impostor with a different name wearing Number 20—oh, that was really Dele (the artist formerly known as Alli), you say? Could have fooled me. He was curiously tentative all afternoon. And the less I say about Christian Eriksen the better other than Daniel Levy has some leverage with his agent now—Idrissa (I’ll undress Christian again and again) Gueye had his way with the Dane all game long.

It’s a point and about what I figured. But we learned the hard way last year—when you are the better side and drop points, it adds up. We had better dispose of Palace but I worry—they can’t win at home (lost again today) but they sure are able to cause us trouble at the Lane.

It’s early (Newcastle supporters: repeat those words because the alternative is simply too horrible for the Toon Army to contemplate) but we had better learn that in this league (Leicester knows this) you can never assume a thing.

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Paul is a respected U.S. political pollster (Democrat) based in Madison, Wisconsin and Los Angeles. His love for Spurs began when the Premier League games started appearing regularly in the U.S. and an American lover of football had to choose a side. Bale, Rushdie, Adele, Shakespeare, the Spurs faithful, The Lane, etc. were all irresistible attractions and have made Maslin a Spur for life.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Fair comments. I have been a critic of Lamela. Today was another improvement. If he chips in with a few more PL goals I will be an advocate.

    I think Vorm is a decent keeper. If he gets no PL time, it won't help him.

    My prediction for the first four games was D W D W. I am doing ok so far :-)

    Last season saw 3 points from 12 at the beginning. That was as much to blame as the last three games.

    Let's hope they come out of the traps early next week and get a few goals. Goal difference could matter. A win is a win but it should be a decent one next week. Another draw would be a poor show.

    I do not think we need two holding midfielders holding at the same time. Yes, Dembele would be my choice. I wonder if Dier were given the remit, if he could play further up when needed.

  2. Eriksen has been a shadow of his former self for the last 12 months, and Dele, with all his obvious talent has become sloppy. He seems to believe all the media hype about him and has become complacent. Much improvement is needed from these two, otherwise I can see them being demoted to the bench. Janssen should start the next match, in my opinion, as Harry has also gone off the boil and needs more support.

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