Walking down Tottenham High Road last night, it wasn’t hard to feel optimistic. The signs are there that the area is slowly rebuilding itself after the summer damage, even if it’s just the addition of colourful hoardings and I Heart Tottenham posters. When you get to the ground the cleared space to the north is a pointer to hopes for a better and bigger future. The good press the club and the fans received after Saturday’s near tragedy even made you proud enough to forgive the trying too hard Get Well Soon Fabrice t-shirts worn by teams and the officials during the pre-match rituals.
All that optimism was dispelled though as soon as the game started as we made both possession football and goal scoring look an undiscovered art form. We took an age to get going. So many players couldn’t give the ball away fast enough; there was no width and often little intelligence. Stoke had a couple of chances in the first twenty odd minutes but then faded and for the remainder of the game it was siege stuff as we improved but were unable to make the breakthrough.
Minus Adebayor the performance was reminiscent of much of last season in that we looked toothless and impotent up front. Saha had his worst game so far and the absence of Lennon once more made us narrow and often slow as well. Very slow and very laboured. That we came back at the death to get the point is a relief and also no more than we deserved in spite of everything.
We desperately need a way to rediscover the zip and pace that took us through the end of last year and early this. Adebayor back on the pitch is a necessity, Lennon to get over his injuries and return to give the side some balance also. For the first time yesterday I started to fear for our season, we just didn’t look up to it for long periods. Nine games to go starting with Chelsea on Saturday. Without a steep improvement in the performance of a lot of the side, there’s a good chance that it might not be pretty.
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