Forget the technical parts. The insipid attacking for so long, the lax central defending on the opening goal. The poor luck on Davies’ own goal. The fact that we came oh so close to losing out on another trophy hunt. Aurier’s injury and walk-off which we presume was for something serious that may sideline him for a while.
Forget all that. Dele won this game– at the place where his stardom was born– as our captain with a lot of help from Gazzaniga, Lamela, Son, Dembele and Harry Winks. The penalty turned the game on its head, after more than an hour of frustration in their end when every combination of Spurs’ attackers failed to produce any real chance. It led to a more open game, aided by both sides going a man down, and then Dembele and Lamela combined to produce what seemed for all the world to be a brilliant game-winner but then again this is Spurs. Capoue’s shot—to be fair—was after a threat in much too open space—and he got lucky. But our penalties were spot on and Gazzaniga came up big and Dele was there to bring it home, I checked my best bet calculator to see what odds I could get on Spurs winning the cup. What a moment for a player who five years ago could only dream of what his future might bring, playing at this very ground—his hometown ground.
As to the rest I thought Harry Winks was sorely lacking in the first half, when the way we were playing (around-the-world, from a playground basketball perspective) demanded some spark and creativity from the central midfield. But in the second half he sprung to life with several exquisite passes, runs and the correct play from his position. Son made a clear difference coming in from the left; Dembele was more assertive than Wanyama had been. So after Winks made a poor backpass and the central defence was missing in action leading to the opener, Spurs made a real game of it. It’s just the Carabao Cup—a trophy yes, but the least consequential—but a win, even on penalties, is a win. Huddersfield on the weekend gives Spurs another chance to climb back into the Top Four—and Barcelona next week at Wembley will be quite the spectacle.
I just do think we understand—a lot of important games lie ahead. But for tonight, our skipper was enough. Let’s celebrate his glorious return.
Have something to tell us about this article?