Another often flat performance but at last one with the right result. Led by stand out performances from Sandro, Kaboul and Gallas and the intelligent promptings of Van der Vaart we saw off a chronically poor Blackburn, probably the worst side to come to White Hart Lane this season.
Kyle Walker’s unexpected but beautifully arced free-kick made the points safe after 75 minutes but previous to that our display had been one typical of late in that it was characterised by a nervousness, a narrowness and a lack of penetration. Van der Vaart’s goal after twenty something minutes was met with relief, and also a touch of surprise when the lino got a ball-over-the-line decision both correct and in our favour, but it was no more than we deserved given our domination in terms of possession and intent. Lennon should’ve scored after a minute and Sandro and Gallas hit the bar, all in the first half. After the break we again took the game by the proverbials but didn’t test Robinson often as the biggest question mark over this side, “where are the goals going to come from?” once again came to the fore.
Blackburn barely strung a couple of passes together and without Samba, weren’t even a threat from Robbo’s Wimbledon style lobs into penalty area from free kicks. Anything in the air was emphatically dealt with by Kaboul who provided a better than reassuring presence on his return from injury. Those hoping to see the best from the much touted Junior Hoilett were disappointed as service to he and the Yak was non-existent so poor were Blackburn. To not even muster one shot against a team as nervous and mentally fragile as us is not a good sign. “Steve Kean for England” sang those Blackburn fans who’d bothered to make the journey as well as the obligatory “you don’t know what you’re doing” after Yakubu was subbed. It’s unlikely we’ll be seeing them again next season given their remaining fixtures.
Parker missed out through injury and must be a doubt for Wednesday at the Reebok. Sandro substituted for him well in this game, contributing some forceful forays forward as well as his trademark tackling and non-stop running. The presence of Lennon also must be a question mark after he went off injured here, even though it took him ten minutes to do so. The bizarre indecision surrounding whether or not he was fit enough to carry on can’t have done him any good. Surely after Walker’s rocket he should’ve come off straight away?
Adebayor looked completely knackered at the end of the game but needs to revive himself for Bolton. You leave most matches wondering how on earth he got all those goals against us for various sides given that he seems to need half a dozen chances per goal, he does though fill the role of target man much better than anyone else at the club and we consistently play better with him than without him.
Having just got used to the idea of Joe Jordan on the England bench we now find that the chair earmarked for Harry now has Roy Hodgson bouncing up and down in it. It’s surprised me how much this has affected my feelings towards Redknapp and the prospect of CL qualification. All of a sudden I’m much more positive about both. If I feel like that as a spectator, hopefully there’s a magnified effect on the players. Big game on Wednesday. COYS.
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