Of Bronze Medals and Wengerian Trophies


It’s something to play for. Not a cup. Not a league title. But Top Four and possibly Top Three are still goals with some importance—particularly the former. So on a night when Watford could/should have scored at least twice, and Spurs could/should have scored at least one more, the result was certainly acceptable.

MOTM was Lloris—hands down. Reminding some Spurs supporters who want the successor search to begin in earnest that for pure shot-stopping there are few better. Eriksen was also inventive per usual in the middle, even if his teammates let him down time and time again in the end. Son had a rather quiet game, as did Dele but for the nice poached goal after Kamezis’ bungling. Of all players Kieran Trippier was contantly involved in the action, as both sides seemed to prefer to go down his wing. He made the cross for Kane’s goal and had a few other near misses. Yet there were times where a little more pace and imagination might have served the squad better. On defence he both played well and, at times, surrendered the ball and created a dangerous situation. But the effort was superb throughout and, all in all, it was a good night for our right back.

Not so our central defenders as both Dier and Dembele gave away the ball on multiple occasions which led to chances for the Hornets, with Doucoure in particular bossing the midfield as Pogba did last weekend, at least in the first half. Fortunately both Sanchez and, for the umpteenth time, Vertonghen were resolute in the back and limited the Watford opportunites. I still don’t know what Richarlison was doing with that sitter in the second half, much as Kane bottled the chance off the post after Jan’s header.

As for Kane, it was a decidedly mixed bag. He still seems a step slow and out of sorts. On the goal it was his bizarre slip that led to the ball squirting free where Trippier fed him perfectly. He is simply nowhere near the player we saw before the injury—for England’s sake we can only hope he will rediscover his form by June.

So here’s where we stand. If Chelsea defeat Liverpool at Stamford Bridge, then we can win the rest and be guaranteed third. As we can with a draw. If Pool win, then a draw is all we need in the remaining three games to secure fourth place given goal difference. Progress? At times in the second half against Juventus and Man United it sure seemed like this would be a season of progress. Now we’re not so sure, and will have to endure another summer of wage discussion, transfer rumours and general unsettlement on advance of what we had, and still hope will be a season of glory at the New Lane. But it’s better than being Everton. Or Arsenal.

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Paul is a respected U.S. political pollster (Democrat) based in Madison, Wisconsin and Los Angeles. His love for Spurs began when the Premier League games started appearing regularly in the U.S. and an American lover of football had to choose a side. Bale, Rushdie, Adele, Shakespeare, the Spurs faithful, The Lane, etc. were all irresistible attractions and have made Maslin a Spur for life.


  1. Because Chelsea and Liverpool are playing each other a win against West Brom more or less guarantees top four – considering we’ve played all our home games ‘away’, and it took us 4 or 5 games to get going there, I think that’s a remarkable achievement. Add to that FA cup semi final, last 16 Champions league, and some terrific performances against Real Madrid, Liverpool, Man U. Chelsea and Juventus, overall I’m satisfied with our progress. Every team in the world has periods when they aren’t playing at their best, we seem to be going through that now, but I’m really looking forward to next season in the new stadium, with all our key players still here and perhaps one or two exciting additions! COYS

  2. Agree with Mike P. We just need to calm down and do the job against West Brom and we should be home free.
    None of us know what goes on behind the scenes because common sense has always said Toby should be playing and Lucas given some decent game time. As we all see, Lucas has the skills to unlock those tight defences so it is baffling when Sissoko and Lamela come on in a must win game. Obviously Poch has a gripe or two with certain players but it should not influence common sense team selection. Harry is obviously not fully recovered, Dele drifts in and out and Sonny is currently below par. Moussa is tired and giving away the midfield almost every game. Use, Waynama, Lucas, Foyth if need be. We need some new blood to support the tired legs. Poch must know by now what players he wants to sign so just get on and do it. Lets not have another summer of indecision.


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