‘Spurs v Stoke starring Lee Mason’, I must’ve missed those words on the match ticket somehow. Clearly not afraid to take centre stage judging by his delayed entrance on to the field for the
second half, “oh am I late? Is everyone waiting for me?”, the referee’s weak, random and ineffective (he was still booking people deep into injury time he’d made such a lack of impression on the game and his spineless attempt to move a Stoke wall back late on was comedy) was one of the many frustrating things about the afternoon.
Stoke, ughed, grunted, hoofed and time wasted all over the field for the full ninety minutes. We didn’t have the technique to pass round them at the front and often struggled at the back too where Dawson, Caulker and Walker seemed intent on playing some sort of game of Russian Roulette in the first half, and didn’t have enough of a physical presence up front to disturb the tree trunks in the Potters’ back four. Our build up was rarely quick enough and our corners and free- kicks had all the guile of Shane Ritchie.
We put in any number of crosses but failed to get on the end of many, Adebayor and Defoe were generally outnumbered and there was no attempt from Dembele or Sandro to help out. Sigurdsson made a difference in the area when he came on and he nearly won it at the death with a header superbly saved by Begovic.
Nobody could’ve argued if we’d won, no-one can really argue with the draw either. The nil-nil was Stoke’s fifth of the season, the most in Europe according to the BBC. They must be ever so proud.
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