Pressue. I noted last week to a few pals o' mine that this particular game was causing me some concern. After a few jeers at full-time of the West Brom game, it was always likely to be the case that if Spurs weren't trouncing Norwich 3-0 at half time you'd get the fickle bunch emerging with a roar.
In truth, AVB's team selection was one to cause quite a surprise from my side of things. I don't like seeing two holding players sitting in front of the back four, especially at home. This just comes across as far to negative. What contradicts this is that these two players were both charging forward to try and win the ball then play it into the advanced midfielders; i.e. doing what a creative midfielder is there to do. This left a monumental gap in front of the back 4. One holding player with Sigurdsson sitting alongside would've made more sense with possibly Dembele behind the forward. We lacked fluidity. No player looking to play football. We were far to predictable and played into Norwich's hands. They packed the midfield, forced us out wide knowing that we'd have no target man to aim for.
This brings me to Defoe. He's not a starter. He's a player to introduce when we're chasing a goal. He has a good shot on him and is lively up front, but he's not a starter - not in the system AVB is implementing at Spurs. The issue was when we first went ahead it made sense to me to try and close the game out as we were playing particularly poor and Norwich looked bright; and I'm not just referring to their shirt.
This would've been the time to bring on Sandro or Livermore to shut out the game. I'd much rather have seen Sandro & Livermore sitting in midfield when we were ahead than Livermore and Huddlestone. The second issue was when they equalised we had no plan B as both forwards were already in play. Okay, it can be argued that when you concede in the 85th minute a substitution may be of little effect, but I'd have far rather had seen Defoe come on then instead of starting.
We look nervous defending set pieces without Kaboul sitting in defence. No one seems to take authority or bully the forwards like he does. 4 months? It'll be a long end to 2012. I'm in no means anti-AVB, in fact, I still think we should give him the season and see what he can do. I just feel today he made a couple of errors that cost us not only a win but a good performance as well.
It's easy to forget that this same side dominated Newcastle at St. James' and were very unlucky to not leave with anything. I can only assure myself that we'll approach the following games with more positivity. A creative player (Dembele/Sig) alongside one of Livermore or Sandro. Adebayor up front. Mixing up our play. Dropping Gallas and giving Caulker a run. More energy, more confidence. We've made our choices this summer so we stick by them. 3 games shouldn't change that.
I'm intrigued to know the sort of backing AVB has after today. Please vote in the poll on the right whether you want him out or not.
I welcome this international break. It did wonders for us last year and a repeat of this wouldn't go a miss.