Like most Spurs fans I suspect, I woke up yesterday morning with all the optimism of a man hoping for a quiet night out with Nicklas Bendtner. Our injuries, recent form and ability to either shoot ourselves in the foot or get a referee to do it for us when added to the relative sprightliness of the filthy gooners made this weekend’s game one where watching through your hands felt like probably the only viable option as long as you knew there was a blindfold handy as a backup.
In the end it wasn’t as bad as that. We recovered well from the early spawny goal and whilst we created nothing remotely clear-cut we had much more of the possession in the first half, certainly a lot more than would’ve been expected. We looked slow and indecisive as usual but they looked unadventurous and ordinary. Not as ordinary as our defence mind which was square enough to be used in a geometry lesson. Oxlade Chamberlain was the clearest beneficiary as he ran completely clear before proving himself the first of the many players on the pitch who’d having trouble locating a cow’s arse with a banjo.
Adebayor found plenty of space between their two centre backs but his touch let him down when he needed it most particularly on one occasion when Sandro found him completely free but the ball slipped past him for a goal kick. Tim’s Tactical Innovation for this game was to put Chadli down the middle whilst keeping Eriksen wide on the left. It sort of worked in that the former found plenty of the ball but unfortunately he did little with it. At half time there was a lot of shaking of heads in the North Stand, we’re a team of such little tempo and verve, there’s not much to pin your hopes to when you’re behind.
We pushed them back though at the start of the second half once again but this time with more conviction. Chadli almost profited from a flap from their keeper and then was unlucky when Townsend put a cross just behind him. The momentum was with us. Townsend was finding space, Eriksen was seeing a lot of the ball and we had them back pedalling until Sherwood replaced Chadli and Sandro with Siggy and Paulinho then that was that. We lost our way and went long ball. They brought on defenders and Mike Dean decided that his whistle per minute ratio needed a boost. Adebayor’s curled shot at the death was the closest we came to a deserved equaliser.
It was a poor game overall. There were some decent players out there on both sides but in the end the overriding impression was that they should be passed on (both teams, as I say) to someone who knew how to use them properly. On the train on the way home someone described us as being “like an ice cold knife through f***in’ ice cold butter”. That about summed it up.
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