Youâ€™d generally say that a point at Villa Park is a good result, but when the final whistle blew on this one, the over-riding feeling was that we really should have won this game.
We dominated for long, long periods in a fashion that would have made unfamiliar and uncomfortable viewing for Villa fans. We looked strong and confident and full of flowing football. It was really quite something to see. Maybe the legacy of the nine goal rout against Wigan last week is that this Spurs team now has a residual bank of belief in itself, that will allow it to go to places like Villa and impose a pattern of control. Weâ€™ll see as the season progresses.
Of course, for all Spursâ€™ mastery at Villa Park, the simple fact is that we failed to win. Villa defended really well, especially Cuellar and his goal line clearance to deny captain-for-the-day Michael Dawson in the first half. It was a frustrating day for Jermain Defoe, who saw efforts well saved, disallowed or slide narrowly wide. One week everything goes in, the next you canâ€™t score for toffee. Thatâ€™s the way it goes.
The style of some of the football we played was sumptuous. Niko Kranjcar was at the heart of most of the best stuff, and hit a couple of fantastic strikes that Brad Friedel did well to keep out. In the middle, Palacios and Huddlestone were not at their best but still won the battle hands down. Dawson was an inspiration, as usual. He must be a managerâ€™s dream.
Villaâ€™s early goal was scruffy and annoying. After that Gomes was pretty much left in peace to enjoy the view. Damn smart it was too, and if this continues there is a chance of a top four finish. Granted, it is a big if, but weâ€™ve certainly got promise.Â Â Â Â Â
Star man: Niko Kranjcar was outstanding
Worst perfromer: Seems harsh to pick one. We didnâ€™t quite click up front so maybe Defoe
Best moment: Daws driven equaliser and joyous leap of celebration ensured we got the very least we deserved
Tactics: Same as the week before, with big man/small man up front and two wide men; Bassong replaced the injured Woodgate in defence
Opposition fans: I think we gave them plenty of food for thought
By Andy Knaggs
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