Seven Days at Spurs 22/4/13: Bale Ability Helps Others To Perform

By on April 22, 2013

Tottenham Hotspur fan Steve Jennings gives us his latest installment of his ‘Seven days @ Spurs’ series, where he sums up the weeks events at White Hart Lane.

Tom huddlestone

Gareth Bale’s majestic chip rounded off an incredible seven minute spell which saw Spurs put themselves back in contention for a top four finish.

Manchester City were blown away by Tottenham’s re-energised display in the last fifteen minutes at White Hart Lane. Clint Dempsey and Jermain Defoe struck the home’s sides other goals, but credit must go to Bale for his determination to re-find his pre-injury form after a lacklustre first hour on Sunday.

Fans and pundits were also quick to praise Andre Villas-Boas’ used substitutes – Tom Huddlestone, Lewis Holtby and goal scorer Defoe all played vital roles in the comeback.

It has been difficult to judge many of the squad this season, due to patchy form and inconsistent displays coupled with inevitable one-man-team accusations and unneeded comparisons with star-man Bale.

Analysing performances at this stage of the season seems slightly pointless as the most crucial part of the campaign is just beginning – the run-in. It is, however, interesting to look back on how certain players are performing now compared to how they were just a few weeks ago.

Personally, I have been quick to criticise Kyle Walker on many occasions this season. Although I would never hurl abuse at a player in a Tottenham shirt, I have honestly nearly given up on our young full-back more than once this term, stating that he isn’t good enough for a team pushing for a Champions League place.

But Kyle has been clever over the last games, possibly aided by the clever management of AVB. Often lost without a helpful Aaron Lennon playing in front of him, Walker seems, at times, lost without the winger in both defensive and attacking situations. Since the Everton match at home, Walker has realised that the only way Tottenham can play with width (without Lennon) is if they actually attack the flanks. His pace and confidence have shone through since the Merseysiders visited the Lane, meaning a few inexplicable errors have been excused.

Jan Vertonghen played well over 90 minutes on Sunday, despite performing slightly below par since winning the player of the month award in March. The Belgian perhaps over committed himself when chasing Carlos Tevez into the corner of the pitch – before the Argentine played in James Milner to set up the opening goal – but Vertonghen stood up to all that was thrown at him admirably from then on.

Part of the blame for the City goal could also be put on Benoit Assou-Ekotto, who simply gave up on chasing Milner when he saw Scott Parker was challenging the winger. I presume AVB doesn’t trust “Benny”, especially when the constantly sub-par Kyle Naughton is preferred at left-back more often than not.

Regardless of Scott Parker’s never-say-die attitude, the 32-year old still doesn’t look to have gotten over his pre-season achilles injury.  Parker spirals without spark around the field of play, offering almost nothing in an attacking sense. His passing yesterday was woeful, and I’m beginning to think his defensive efforts aren’t worth the complete lack of composure in advanced areas of the pitch.

Forgotten man Tom Huddlestone has been excellent in his three consecutive substitute appearances. The midfielder is still up there with the very best long range passers in the world. The awareness he displayed in finding Bale for Sunday’s crucial third goal was integral to Spurs’ success. Huddlestone’s form will give AVB something to sweat over when it comes to his centre midfield selections at Wigan next weekend.

Clint Dempsey, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Lewis Holtby have proved to be helpful signings in terms of the strength of the squad. The former loves a big goal in a big game, whilst the latter pair’s graft and ambition have delighted many.

Obviously Tottenham look a poorer side without POTY nominee Bale. But the Welshman isn’t the only reason Spurs could finish as high as third. Daniel Levy and AVB have built a very decent squad, and luckily, Bale’s match-winning ability can only aid the other players in terms of momentum and form.

Follow me on Twitter @SteveJenn93

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