Sunday, 30 September 2012
Spurs Crisis Continues.
Oh deary me, is it that time? United already? At Old Trafford? Upon approaching October it was inevitably going to be that time, we'd have to pit ourselves against one of the 'bigger boys' (no homo). Spurs have become incredibly hard to figure out this year. We've played well and dropped points, we've played poorly and won. So a dyer performance in Manchester may see us escape with a draw? Naa, that was never going to happen.
After an obvious Spurs mutiny was set to take place (again) due to mythological double training sessions and athletes that are already tiring 5 games into the Premier League season, this game was one that I'm sure very few were eagerly anticipating. A fixture usually flooded with controversy, I was just hoping we kept it tight. Play fairly high up the pitch and press. Give their midfield little space to hit their forward players. Of course, a dodgy offside goal always looked to be on the agenda with this system; but it's our system, and a system we're slowly adapting too.
In typical AVB style we went for it. Ekotto's injury may prove to be but a blessing with Vertonghen at left back looking incredibly useful. It's evident already that the Belgian plays without fear and enjoys the ball at his feet. Although grafted with the luck of a deflection, his break into the box just shows the versatility of a player quickly setting up camp in the heart of many of us. His understanding with Bale looked years ahead of its' time.
Our second epitomises what Spurs are all about - breaking with pace. This by no means was all Bale's doing. Sandro cuts out United as they move into our final third and gives the ball to Dembélé. His intelligence and quick turn of pace is something that brings a lot to us in the now forever absence of Modric. Bale's run was Norwich all over. I'm not a fan of him breaking through the centre as I find he gets stuck out there and struggles to cover left back when we're having to defend. Although, mixing it up every now and then clearly may be something that can bring more to our attack. Defoe's movement to take Evans out the game and leave Bale to give Rio more of a burning than my hungover toast this morning was fantastic.
Defoe this year has definitely brought more to his game. He's really pushing to take his chances in the absence of Adebayor. From a player that looked disillusioned towards the end of the season and over the summer, he looks refreshed. A new signing. There's definitely more to him as a forward now. He understands his role up front alone, he keeps his head up more than down and looks for a killer pass. He finally looks hungry. I'm one that hates being hungry, but Defoe's thriving on it.
Defoe was efficacious in our third. I was almost lost for words when Sandro knocked a hopefully long ball to Jermain but Defoe did fantastic to take it out the air and hold off Ferdinand. His killer ball to Bale mirrors what I've mentioned above in that, in the past, Defoe may have ignored Bale's overlap and looked to shoot at first sight. Admittedly, Bale naively shot when the decision to pull the ball back to Dempsey looked the best one. An unfamiliar slice of luck ensured the ball landed at the American's feet who slotted home for his first in a Spurs shirt.
Maybe it would be our day. Maybe we can hold on.
The second half was more than a predictable one. United would come out of the blocks. The bench holding Rooney, Welbeck and Hernandez was tipped onto the pitch and it was two different sides in the second half. I knew we'd be on the back-foot in the second 45 but I didn't think we'd almost redefine the word. We stuck 11 behind the ball and sat and sat and sat. The character of the side to concede early, then to respond immediately for then to only concede again but hold out cannot be faulted. The mental resilience of the side to hold on for half an hour was a blessing. We had a fair slice of luck that has been lacking in this fixture previously and the win was long overdue.
We seem to be taking our chances more this year. We had few against United yet took 3. We seem more dangerous in front of goal and always look like scoring. Mentally, this should do wonders for the players. It should go some-way to cement AVB's feet into the managerial position and ease the haters off his back. He'll never do enough to satisfy everyone, but we'll live with it. A fantastic performance all round from a side that are obviously unhappy, tired and have little faith in AVB. Caulker, despite being at fault for United's second, was almost a new signing. His partnership with Gallas looked at ease throughout. Vertonghen, Bale, Defoe, Sandro and Dembélé were all brilliant. It's already clear that second guessing Tottenham will be harder than predicting who will win the League. Let's hope this crisis we're in can continue.
Paul Jiggins' position at the Sun is now untenable.
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