So, the end of another week for Tottenham. Isn’t it crazy how the mood can change full circle in such a short space of time?
This time last weekend, we were all in the warm glow of confirming a trip to Wembley – the good kind of a trip, not the temporary home stadium kind of trip – and mostly looking forward to the most romantic of FA Cup ties in recent years.
I say mostly looking forward to as I refuse to believe there is a single one of us out there that didn’t, however briefly, entertain the thought of being in the headlines for the wrong reasons come Monday morning.
Jose playing a reasonably weak team that underwhelm as they had done in the Europa League in autumn. Harry Kane, sensing a great opportunity to edge closer to Jimmy Greaves’ goalscoring record, so keen to play (and one of many reasons why we love him) that Jose had to break into his house and leave him tied up and bundled in a cupboard for the weekend.
0-0 with 10 minutes left, a rusty Vinicius is asking for the ball back from Number 3, Moura next to him as his language teacher while a free-kick for Marine is launched up to their striker/binman.
In the end, the game proved fairly uneventful, although heaven knows Joe Hart did his best around the half-hour mark to make it interesting. Come full-time, the Tottenham mood was fairly rosy.
Moving onto mid-week, however, and the first of the 180-swings back to opinion-splitting Jose. After going a goal up, no, Tottenham didn’t attack.
No, Jose didn’t instruct Son to miss a chance. No, Jose didn’t instruct the defence to give away a header for the goal. No, Jose hasn’t learnt from the other games in which Tottenham struggled to see out a 1-0 lead.
Yes, Tottenham always need the second. Tottenham needing the second goal is not exactly Mystic Meg levels of crystal ball-gazing and Whatsapp groups around the country were a-glow with spread bets of what minute the equaliser would come.
Inevitably it did, and the mood at the final whistle was of severe frustration and a little anger I’d say; a full stadium and that would be a 3 or 4 on the Final Whistle Boo Scale.
Dele’s Instagram story of him looking completely fed-up after the match nicely summed-up what everyone was feeling.
Up next was Sheffield United, a team in woeful league form who curiously and unTottenham-like had managed to end this run in the previous game.
An early goal from Aurier and I was genuinely confused as to my own feelings. Tottenham have scored – great. Jose’s Tottenham have scored with 86 minutes left – hmm.
Before Sheffield United had even kicked off again the jokes came around along the lines of ‘Here we go again…’ and I must confess my attention went more to the Sunday roast until Kane got the second with a few minutes to go until half-time.
At the break, all was well – Michael Dawson talking in his flat-capped Yorkshire man accent of a tactical masterclass by Jose, a second Spurs goal, one of the goals being not only from a corner but also from someone other than Kane or Son.
The second half started well too, with Bergwijn hitting a dipping shot early on that the keeper had to save. This could be… alright?
Ah. A few minutes later and Sheffield United got one back, seeming like a different team to the first 45. Just when the familiar feelings of frustration emerged alongside questions of how their second would arrive, Ndombele pulled out an absolutely wonderful finish, delicately lobbing the keeper for the third.
A third Tottenham goal, and a second for someone other than Kane and Son. The rest of the game wasn’t too bad to watch either, and a few chances could have meant a fourth on another day.
Sheffield United looked a shadow of the side that played excellent football in the 1-1 draw in North London back in November 2019. I think the team’s performances said more about them than they did about Tottenham.
A full eight days now until an FA Cup tie against a Wycombe team concentrating on survival in the Championship, with a tough but winnable fixture to follow in the fifth round should Tottenham pass through.
Within sight of the top of the table again…the sun is out, the days are getting longer, vaccines are being distributed…here’s to feeling rosy again. Until the next mood swing, that is.
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