Opinion: It was close

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Wolves 1 v Spurs 2

Another enjoyable afternoon had by all, if you can call it that in the pouring rain and cold. No, I mean the result. We beat a tough team to break down. A team that wanted to fight all the way and for large parts of the game, we were on the back foot. A game that could have gone either way, but fortunately for us, it went our way. This is our only second away win since January.

After the game, Mourinho had said his side had won an “incredible three points” against a Wolves team he believes can challenge for the Champions League places. Maybe it was game that under Poch, Spurs would not have held on for the win. Before the appointment of Mouriniho, a lot of bookmakers and sites with online casinos reviews would have had the game would down as a draw or a loss. I certainly agree with his assessment of their chances of making it into the top four.

But before all that, it was an eventful start. I left home at 8 am, got to the ground at 10 am and found a perfect parking spot (only one left) next to the ground (free parking). Before all that I had bought a few Sunday papers to read about the election. About half-eleven, I saw somebody walking down some steps and to the ground. I thought the person was familiar but dismissed it. Then the person got closer and it was my friend Martin. I jumped out of the car, startled him, shook hands, and we made our way to Asda to get a cup of tea.

While there I noticed my phone wasn’t with me. Panic set in! Martin said, don’t panic, we’ll go back to my car and check (‘it’ll be there’, he said). Couldn’t find it and panic set in. “Stolen,” I shouted. He then wrung my number: “I can hear something,” he said. The phone had fallen down the back of the car. When I first saw him, I had lost concentration and was too much in a hurry to walk off with him. Lesson learnt, don’t be an arsehole, think before engaging. Panic over, we went for that tea. There we sat next to a Wolves supporter and had an interesting chat. After that, we went into the stadium and met Rick and Beverley.

Finally getting to my seat and met more friends. Chatted. As the game started who should sit next to me but another friend (Richard with his wife and daughter). Richard sites a couple of blocks along at the new stadium.

After all the talking, players coming out, the ceremony and standing and applauding the whistle finally went. But let us jump to the end and work backwards.

Jan Vertonghen scored a dramatic late winner as we ended Wolves’ 11-match unbeaten Premier League run to narrow the gap on the top four with victory at Molineux. When that goal went in, we were relieved, excited and whoever was nearby we hugged. We were ecstatic. The way the game was going, we thought that they could equalise. I did say the next goal that went in, from whichever side, would be the winner.

Vertonghen headed in from a corner in injury time, after Wolves’ unyielding approach had been rewarded as Adama Traore struck in a deserved equaliser from the edge of the box midway through the second half.

On his own side’s progress, Mourinho commented: “We went about a year without winning a Premier League game away, and we’ve managed two in a short amount of time.” He then went on and said, “Now we are not looking to the bottom of the table, we’re looking higher up.” All thanks to him.

Saying all that, there are concerns about our midfield. Part of the problem, in my view, was the pairing of Eric Dier and Mohamed Sissoko together. They are just not good enough on the ball. They do not have enough astuteness or finesse, and if you swarm them, like Wolves did, there is a good chance that they will give the ball away more often than not.  And of course, when that happens, you are unable to dictate the tempo of the game, and you are going to concede.

Following a breathless opening period for us, Lucas Moura’s run and an excellent finish into the roof of the net had put us ahead after eight minutes. We then had to withstand intense pressure as Wolves chased an equaliser, but it was they who went closest before half-time as Eric Dier hit the post from Dele Alli’s pass.

Paulo Gazzaniga produced an excellent save from Romain Saiss’ header in the closing stages as we appeared to be hanging on, before Vertonghen’s decisive goal.

But whatever way you look at it we won, and there will be games like this where guile and luck will play an important part. And “luck” is the operative word. This result sees us climb above Wolves to fifth, three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, who we meet today at 4.30. Beat them, and we will go fourth. What a contrast to Pochettino’s regime (or at least at the end of it). Then we were staring down the end of a barrel and a possible relegation battle to oblivion. With Mourinho, we see the light at the end of the tunnel and the glitter of silverware.

I got home just after 7pm.


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