I mean it both ways. On another night, Wolves get a result. Lord knows they deserve credit for never quitting. And I also expect that after this trauma our young Argentine defender will have better days ahead—after all, he might have been MOTM just 72 hours ago and the second penalty was rather soft.
The three points count. We’re back in the Top Four. Harry Kane scored a very deserved goal and on a different night vs a different keeper he might easily have added two more. Erik Lamela continues to shine—he and Lucas Moura were clinical when it mattered. And Hugo’s on again off again reality continued as he made at least two or three potentially game saving stops. Harry Winks shone for most of the game, until he didn’t.
Yet of course every Gary Neville wanna-be (Robbie Earle just called us gutless on the USA broadcast) and Neville himself will just laugh and say “It’s Tottenham”. We really can’t simply play a game out, can we? Once Particio had gotten the better of Kane looking for the fourth, and particularly after the first penalty, the sweat at the end was inevitable. Balls were lost in the midfield; the defence was split; and Foyth made a couple of ill-advised decisions. Mike Dean made up for the improper ruling of offsides in the first half with a dubious penalty in the second. (It may have been the worse refereeing in Premier League history. Seriously. The Leicester handball. The West Ham penalty that became a dive. The Liverpool bogus offside decision. And, worst of all, the cruel yellow card awarded to a man, Demarai Gray, who simply wanted to express his grief) We played in the final 15 minutes like the proverbial headless chicken. Neither Eriksen nor Sanchez—Poch’s substitutions designed for a) possession and b) stalwart defending—helped all that much. And Sissoko had a huge case of Sissoko-itis, ending a handful of runs with poor balls of every variety.
But you know what? I think Juan Foyth is still the story because but for his two particular decisions Wolves probably either never score or just get one back and none of the sturm and drang is taking place. He’s an Argentine—on a team with, now, three of Poch’s countrymen playing increasingly valuable roles. Poch will talk to him. He has a fellow South American to commiserate with; and two elders in Jan and Toby. He’ll be better for this. A month from now, a year from now—the penalties will fade into the mist and the three points will remain. Of course Arsenal and Liverpool played a better game with cleaner action easier to the eye. We are not as good as the latter—we will see in the next six weeks—twice—how we rate against the former, and Chelsea too.
It is surely troubling—going back to Juventus—how often we have been shipping late goals in the past 8 months. We all thought Poch had rid ourselves of that particular brand of Spursiness. When the sun comes up we will be looking down on Arsenal and will be only three points from first place—at least for a little while longer. Ugly three points are still three points.
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