Hull City ended this game just about clinging on to the point they started with after forcing the first draw at White Hart Lane this season. Despite some all action performances from a couple of outfield players the Tigers owe this result to their keeper and their keeper only. Boaz Myhill made two outstanding double saves, one in each half to deny Spurs. On both occasions it was Robbie Keane who was the unlucky victim of the goalieâ€™s heroics as his follow up shots were pushed wide with reflex saves, though you could argue a strong case for him fluffing the second one. To add to these spectacular offerings, Myhill also denied Defoe, Modric and Crouch with top class keeping. His own strikers never mustered a meaningful shot all afternoon.
It was an almost indescribably frustrating couple of hours. Not only did we not see Spurs break through, we also had to witness Hull attempting to question why football is a spectator sport in the first place. Their physicality was clear from the 2nd minute when Steve Hunt (who else?) got in a tangle with Corluka and their time wasting antics started soon after. The first half barely got into any rhythm before another player collapsed to the floor as though dead and then carried on as if nothing had happened after a bit of judicious rubbing from the City medical staff. Barmby was booked after 28 minutes for time wasting, thatâ€™s how bad it was. 28 minutes! Three Wolves players were booked for the same offence when they won here in December so obviously a card doesnâ€™t seem to actually do any good. Referee Atkinson did his best to stamp it out and in the end ordered a total of an extra ten minutes injury time split across the two halves which we canâ€™t complain about. The thing is the disruption to the game though. The stop-start-slow-slow-quick-stop-start-slow is tedious in the extreme and makes you start to wonder what youâ€™re missing on telly.
If Spurs always played like they did for the last twenty minutes today that might make you ask questions as well. Palacios was replaced by Jenas after 54 minutes after the former was yellow carded. We immediately started conceding possession, as we always do when Wilson is missing. Harry rectified this by swapping Crouch on for Robbie and from that point on we were absolutely shamelessly Route One. And it nearly worked. Crouch won plenty of knock downs and flicks despite being manhandled non-stop by the Hull defence who didnâ€™t know how to cope with him. The last twenty minutes was just a siege as the ball was piled forward quickly and often towards Myhillâ€™s goal. But it was all ultimately in vain as the keeper proved unbeatable on the day.
We, of course, never got the break that a handball decision or a deflection wouldâ€™ve given us. To witness Gardner keep hold of handfuls of Defoeâ€™s shirt all afternoon and then come home and hear that Everton have been awarded a penalty for the same offence against Man City is frustrating but of course you canâ€™t rely on getting breaks to win you football games. To me the moment we donâ€™t start with Crouch and Defoe up front weâ€™re not starting with our strongest team and as soon as you start doing that you probably get what you deserve. Maybe Harry expects Crouch to have a tough night at Anfield on Wednesday but on the other hand heâ€™s not played since December 28 so shouldnâ€™t be too knackered. Our most reliable source of goals is Aaron Lennon. Injury denied us him today but it was our choice to start without Crouch, probably second on the list. Squad rotation is all very well, but only if youâ€™re rotating players in who can do the job.
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