The Players Were Poor & Redknapp Got It Wrong

By on January 7, 2011

everton-2-1-tottenham

Wednesday night wasn’t pretty to watch. We were systematically taken apart and not only had no plan B but looked at times like we had no plan A. With Chelsea losing and the Arsenal/City game ending in a draw we had one of those moments in a season where a team can really make a statement. Instead of currently being 1 point in front of Chelsea in 5th and 4 points behind Arsenal in 3rd we could’ve had a 4 point cushion over Chelsea and be breathing down the goons necks.

However, before you think this is a massively depressing match review let me put the result into perspective. We lost, but none of the teams around us won so it didn’t hurt as much as it might have done. It was out first defeat since losing to Bolton on 06th November, or if you prefer, our first defeat in 2 months. If we can react well from losing and go on a similar run we’ll enter March still in the chase for the top 4 position we so desperately want, we’ll probably still be in the Champions League and we won’t have lost to United or Arsenal. Teams lose games. That’s nothing new and this season it’s hardly surprising with any team, although Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat to Wolves last night was a bit of a pools breaker.

Like everyone else we’ve had a tough festive period and the only other team before Wednesday nights games with a 100% record, Man City, managed to play a game and not get a shot on target at all. As the saying goes, you can’t win them all. I’m going to break this review into three sections, Everton, The Players and Harry Redknapp.

Everton

I thought they were excellent. When we played the reverse fixture earlier in the season I was very critical of what I called their “non football” and “anti entertainment” strategy. I believe football is all about entertainment and as such when I see teams play with little or no attacking endeavour I don’t like it. On Wednesday Moyes did what he should’ve done a long time ago and played with two strikers. If I was an Everton fan I’d be slightly annoyed that my team couldn’t play like this all the time. They were agreesive, but on the whole fair, closed us down high up the pitch when they could and attacked quickly and directly.

In Fellaini they had a player who just held his position in midfield and let those around him push on while he helped keep tabs on our attacking threat. Something we didn’t have at any point in the game. Coleman, for the second time, spent the second half tearing us a new one and deserved his winning goal having spent large amounts of the game helping to shackle Bale and then being released to attack seemingly at will once Bale went off injured.

The Players

Try and think of a Spurs player who had a good game? You can’t can you? The entire team was knocked off their game and just weren’t at the races from the first whistle. I could highlight players who were worse than others, in particular Jenas, who I felt was out of position for both their goals but also offered little in attack. However, that really wouldn’t be that fair because Modric was poor too. As were Lennon, Bale, vdV and Crouch. There were moments from them all but not enough to warrant a special mention and reprieve.

Defensively we were all over the place and a lack of cover from the midfield meant whenever Everton got past Modric and JJ, which wasn’t hard, they had a free run at the back four. Both our central midfielders were very square so if Everton found the right pass it was simple to bypass our midfield. They all gave the ball away too much throughout the game but more so in the second half meaning we came under wave after wave of Everton attack.

No-one stood up to be counted once they crossed that white line and while I believe the manager has to take responsibility for the game, the players are equally to blame. We needed a leader. No, we needed a few leaders. We needed Dawson to command the defence, Modric to sort out the midfield and keep possession while vdV spearheaded the attack. We could’ve also done without Gomes having one of his flappy mental nights.

Harry Redknapp

It’s an interesting stance that many fans have when it comes to Redknapp, one which I don’t agree with. As I watched on a very hit and miss live feed of the game I tweeted a few times about a lack of substitutions and tactical nous, even as early as half time when it was obvious we needed someone to either sit deep or someone on the pitch more accustomed to breaking up play and protecting the defence. The response I got from most, not all, but most, was that Harry Redknapp has been the best manager we’ve had in decades and we shouldn’t question him because of one defeat.

Harry Redknapp IS the best manager we’ve had in decades. The success the team has had on the pitch highlights that, but no-one at the club is infallible. Even the great Bill Nic made mistakes and I’m sure fans of the time would say so. Most of the time Redknapp gets it right. He’s got a wealth of attacking options and some world class players in the side so he picks them and sends them out to play football. That’s about it really, as both he and vdV have confirmed in the past, but that’s fine when it works.

On Wednesday it didn’t and it was clear fairly early on that it wasn’t working. Ok, so we managed to equalise and if Crouch and Bale knew what offside was, we should’ve gone in at half time 2-1 up which if we’re honest would’ve been fortunate to say the least. So, even though we’ve been overrun in midfield and already conceded a goal because both of our central midfielders were too far forward after 3 minutes, we’ve somehow managed to go in on level terms.

No changes were made at half time, either to personnel or system and unsurprisingly Everton continued to create the better chances. Then Bale got injured which when you look at our bench and you see Niko as his obvious replacement that’s one injury we don’t want. In fact if you look closely at the replays of Bales substitution you can see Coleman in the distance licking his lips in anticipation of a foot race with a player slower than David Beckham. Again within a few minutes it was obvious we needed to change something on the left but we did nothing.

Then 2-1 down and needing a goal came one of the strangest substitutions I’ve ever seen. I’m no fan of Pav but he’s more likely to get a goal than Keane and why would you risk the possibility of injury when he’s so close to being sold for an amazing £7m?

I’m more than happy to say what a fantastic job Harry Redknapp has done at the club but against Everton he got it wrong. Who’s to say had he picked the right team or at least changed it when it wasn’t working anything would’ve been different. The players, who to a man had poor games could’ve been the same and Everton might’ve still won but at least we would’ve given it a go. The “we’ll score one more than you” philosophy is great to a certain extent. It’s why we’ve been entertained so much this season but when things aren’t going quite the way you want them to, we’ve got to learn how to make a change and one that will effect the game in a positive manner.

I started this off by trying not to be too negative and I really don’t mean to come across that way if I have. As I said, teams lose games and losing 1 in every 12 games I’ll take every season for as long as I live. We’re a team still learning, players still learning, a manager still learning and a set of fans who have been so spoilt in the last 18 months that we’re devastated when we lose an away game to a decent side.

The futures still bright and it’s always been lilywhite.

COYS

Submitted by THFC1882

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13 Comments

  1. davy

    January 7, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Have to agree harry got it wrong.A win against everton was a must and if we had played the right team we might have but the boss has to put this down to some bad decisions on his behalf and poor play by the players.A win would have put us one point behind the scum and three behind the rich half of manchester with a game in hand.We now need a win in our next game against manure so no pressure then.

  2. DaveK

    January 7, 2011 at 9:41 am

    My sentiments exactly. Harry must change our playing style when needed.

    What has happened to Sandro?

  3. davy

    January 7, 2011 at 9:47 am

    I would also like to say not buying at least one striker could cost us fourth place.I know its hard getting players at the right price however what price not getting the striker .My fear of harry is he does not seem to like taking a chance on a player he does not know.The player has to be right and just because he has scored 49 goals in another league does not mean he will fit into our team however we badly need at least one striker and given the chance i would move to statford to get Diarra .Although we are strong in the middle Diarra is better that what we have and so would be worth buying again what price not getting him and how many points could he be worth.Sort out the strikers and the Diarra and we can get second, don’t and we could loose fourth and then how many players could we loose without champions league.

  4. Ossie

    January 7, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Pretty fair assesment, the Keane subsitution was more than strange. He is a fantastic manager but I have lost count of the times he has made strange changes that have little or no effect but lets face it, Harry is not in the same league as Fergie or Jose, even Wenger fails to make good decisive changes when things aren’t going right so maybe we are asking for a little too much from him

  5. DessySpur

    January 7, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Good article and well thought out by a true Spurs fan, from half the crap I read there are not too many about.
    Palacios and Pav may have made the difference,. the Keane choice was weird but Harry may have had his reasons.

  6. TonyRich

    January 7, 2011 at 9:56 am

    We would have taken a point before the match – it was far from a must win match. 4th game in 10 days with a quarter of the playing time with 10 men, with 2 suspensions and no real rotation finally took it’s toll. It is very easy to say that Harry got it wrong when we don’t have all the information. Gallas, Jenas and Crouch started, but we don’t know if they were tactical, rotational, or because the players they replaced were knackered or slightly injured. The replaced players did not come on as subs for example. I would have kept Lennon’s pace up front because we were always gonna lose width & pace without him AND Bale. However, Lennon may have had an injury that we don’t know about. We can only go on the facts: for me 9 points out of 12 shows me that Harry has been most right recently.

  7. DessySpur

    January 7, 2011 at 10:17 am

    dont agree Ossie Harrys up there we have not spent the money Fergie and Jose have had.
    Davvy thats total and utter B*****s stick to your Playstation nerd

  8. Danny

    January 7, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Harry is a great manager. However he needs to sit down with Sir Alex and learn the rotation system. Utd had 4 players who started the 4 games over the Xmas/New Year period, says it all. We were mentally drained at Everton, fresh legs were needed from the start and again later in the match. Jenas, what a joke? You can’t expect players like Nicko and keane to change a game when they havn’t kicked a ball all season? We need to bring in 2 strikers in transfer window as Pav & Crouch are no better than Keane. I mean 6 league goals between them and they are staying !!!!!

  9. TonyRich

    January 7, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Danny – there is an argument for rotation, but when you are on your best ever run of games, you don’t want to change it. If Harry did rotate for Fulham game and failed to win, people would have criticised him for rotating. At least Harry is not as bad as Martin O’Neill for non-rotation.

  10. spursguv

    January 7, 2011 at 11:35 am

    we struggle every game crouch and jenas start. I’m wondering when the words on everyones lips will actually spill out..how far can harry take Spurs? the signing of VDV by none other than levy and the form of bale (Harry wanted rid of Bale when he arrived at spurs) is what has given spurs such a good season. Fair play to Harry for giving the players confidence but some where down the line we need to win games like this and certainly do better against united and be a bit more aware in the champs leqague. This isn’t the first time Arrys lack of nouse and very similar subs (same ol every week almost) has had me scratching my head. then bale breaks away and we score (is that luck?). I hope Bale is fit because he’ll be a massive loss and I for one am not sure Arry will have the answer! the everton game was screaming for palacios for the vacant jenas from half way through the first half, as with many games but arry will always drag off a striker or wide player?? Like why take off lennon? No Bale or lennon so how were we to get the ball to ol Lankey? we leak like a sieve so bring on keane wtf is that about. Kranjcar is pants and the only guy who runs his socks off gets left on the bench? Good on arry for getting away with it thus far but two things come to mind..how many players will we have fit in the run in..and how well will we do when we do not have bale? oh it’s idiotic to blame Bale for crouch being offside. it was the perfect pass otherwise the defender would have taken it! I hope hudd gets back quickly. jenas is so unreliable it’s beyond a joke. he’s been here five years and still can’t figure out what role he plays. peeps banging on about rotation all you need to do is give someone a run for 20 each week and rest VDV/lennon or bale. I think spurs not putting games to bed early is a sign we are not the team everyone bangs on about. good entertainment but a long way from being a clinical team which other clubs fear. good season by our standards but still not for a true top 4 team. rome wasn’t built in a day n all that but the fundementals need to change a little. imo

  11. mutiu jimoh

    January 7, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    spurs performance recently in this festive period is not bad at all by loosing only one game bcos spurs are not in the same class as Arsenal & Man u in terms of rotation of team and quality and dept in squad which is the fact , bcos we av not been introducing academy players or reserve player so to say especially like Wenger not Sir Alex , is not about buying players all the time that need time to blend or gel with the team apart from VDV bcos he’s a word class player , so promote this young players that know how to play the club way without needing time to blend, so Harry need to look into this area if we really want to be in the race to qualify for the Champions league bcos we cant win the league this year fact. The battle is btw Arsenal & Man u ,forget abt Man city threat spurs will soon overtake them, battle for 4th will be btw Chelsea & man city. forget that we beat Arsenal ,the way they are playing ,they are inform of their life, look at the way they dealt with city at D grove which no body has done to them this season, is ill luck to Arsenal the match would av ended 7-0 to arsenal. I think they will win the league this season bcos Man u are struggling ,and they will loose at D emirate and loose to us at lane & also loose at chelsea.this is the fact.

  12. mutiu jimoh

    January 7, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Up spurs

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