Same Old Tottenham, Always Teasing
I’m not sure where to start with regards to yesterday’s game against Wolves so like any good story maybe it’s best to start at the beginning. The Dean Richards tribute and minutes applause was one of the most touching moments I’ve experienced in football.
I say this with the greatest respect and honesty but I never thought Deano was a fantastic player. He was decent enough and without meaning to sound contradictory towards Wolves and Southampton, he was their sort of player. A no nonsense centre half who did the simple things well but not a lot else. He came to Spurs with a very large price tag which I don’t think helped but he always seemed to give 100% which is all you can ask and is more than some of our current squad give. Yes Pav, I’m looking at you. Anyway, back to the tribute which in reality was just a minutes applause while some of his old managers and team mates stood in the centre circle but it was his two children who stood next to their mum while wolves and spurs supporters stood as one and in unison sang, “there’s only one Deano”. Thanks to the low sun and the distance the stands are to the pitch at Molineux I couldn’t see their faces and if I’m honest I think had I been able to the lump that formed in my throat would’ve escalated to full blown tears. 36 is no age for anyone to die and leave a young family. I’m 7 months away from starting my own and the thought of something happening to me fills me with dread. For this reason alone, yesterday’s game took on a different meaning to any before it this season.
As I was driving back down the motorway I had the usual feeling of disgust and anger that follows a disappointing result but it was easier to resolve. During a match it doesn’t feel like there is but there’s definitely more to life than football. So I’m sorry Mr Shankly, your opinion that football is more important than life and death is just plain wrong. Ask Dean Richards’ two little boys if you don’t believe me. RIP Deano.
However there was a game yesterday and a fitting one it was too. Frustrating that we couldn’t defend properly and yet again fail to beat a team in the bottom 3 but that’s the Tottenham way. At half time I told a friend of my anger at this team I love so much constantly teasing me into believing they’ll become great soon only to then pick up 1 point from Blackpool and Wolves. Supporting Spurs is like marrying a beautiful women who walks around naked all day but doesn’t let you touch her. It’s like being made to watch Basic Instinct with all the naughty bits of Sharon Stone cut out or being placed inside the Swedish beach volleyball teams dressing room after a very sweaty match but being blindfolded. It’s dick tease after dick tease with this lot.
I could cope when we were just crap. I didn’t expect much, maybe the odd cup run which would ultimately end in disappointment but defeats at home to Charlton on a regular basis and a top 10 finish being seen as a decent season was what we expected. Deano was part of that era, an era we would prefer to forget but one where we knew what we were letting ourselves in for. Nowadays it’s beating the champions of Europe and travelling to the San Siro to beat the AC side of Milan followed by crushing defeats at Bolton and Blackpool. We’ve now conceded three goals in our last two games against strikers of the ilk of DJ Campbell, Brett Ormerod and Kevin Doyle having kept a relatively easy clean sheet against the likes of Ibrahimovich, Robinho and Pato.
Their were two positives to come out of yesterday’s game though and they were Defoe’s goals and the performance of Sandro. I’ll come onto JD in a second but first I want to focus on Sandro who has improved so fast he’s not far from being the first name on the team sheet and with performances like his last few it’s hard to see where some of the returning players will fit in. I’ve said it for a while now and while we have missed Huddlestone’s passing ability I’m not sure how he could walk straight into the team in front of the Brazilian on current form. Competition is great but so is team consistency and rewarding players performances with selection. He was my man of the match yesterday once again.
Defoe was visibly different after his first goal. The spring in his step and his movement improved ten fold and if we’re to somehow secure a top 4 finish, which I believe will now require taking points off Chelsea, City, Arsenal and Liverpool as well as the other games we play, we’ll need a fully fit, confident, goal scoring Defoe in our side. Much like Sandro, whether that’ll be possible once everyone returns from injury we’ll have to see. It’s a nice problem for Redknapp to have but it’s a problem all the same.
As for the negatives I thought there were many. I haven’t seen the highlights on TV yet so bare with me if my view from the terrace is wrong but that’s the only view I can give at this point. My initial reaction to Lennon being dropped was that he must’ve picked up an injury in Dubai, maybe he got sunburnt, but that doesn’t seem to be the case so he was either being rested for Wednesday’s game against Milan having just had 11 days without a match or it was tactical. Whichever of those it was, Harry got it terribly wrong. We lacked any sort of width with both Pienaar and Modric preferring to cut inside and neither Ekotto or Hutton pushing too far forward. In all fairness none of the team played well until after Wolves scored, something we’ve had to put up with this season no matter whether it’s home or away, against a good team or a struggling team. At least we did pick it up though with two fantastic strikes by Defoe to put us into the lead.
Without wanting to sound like Wenger I couldn’t see the penalty situation from where I was. No-one seemed to know what it was for but I’ve been told it was for a pull and using my knowledge of Hutton’s inability to defend it doesn’t surprise me. As far as Wolves insistence it should be a red card they’re right in one sense. By the letter of the law if it’s a penalty then it’s a red card but personally whether it’s against us or for us I’ve always thought that law is wrong and a scored penalty plus a yellow is right. If the penalty is missed then the player should walk, but given FIFA and the International Football Association Board are too busy discussing snoods it’s hard to believe they might one day take a look at the game and change it for the better.
Onto the second half and it looked like one of those games where the next goal would win it so it was a pleasant surprise to see Pav do what Pav does and lash a deflected shot in. Fantastic technique as he did what he tries to do every time which is push the ball forward with his first touch and smack it with his second. If the kid would also do something else and give as much effort as a Dean Richards did he’d be some player. Unfortunately for him he’ll find himself back on the bench once Rafa returns and will struggle to understand why. I know this sounds like I’m being very anti-Pav and I guess I am but I should point out I give my full support during the 90 minutes of a match but yesterday was the final straw. I can’t put my finger on it but for some reason he only works in 5 minute spells. During a good 5 minutes he’ll run into the channels, hold it up well, link play, score goals and generally be a nuisance. Then he slips back to his normal self, often following on from scoring a goal where he stops closing down, stands still, doesn’t control or pass the ball and then gets the hump when he’s substituted. If you watch cricket he’s our equivalent of Australia’s fast bowler Mitchell Johnson, who spends most of his time bowling utter garbage but occasionally throws down a world class delivery that surprises the batsmen so much he knocks their middle stump out the ground. It’s all about consistency Pav.
It was great to see Bale come on and had he been placed on the left of midfield it’s hard to imagine him not scoring or at least making a better fist of the couple of chances he created while on the pitch. I found it an odd decision to play him on the right, especially when Lennon then came on and was put on the left and when I say an odd decision, I mean a retarded one. Pace or no pace, even I could defend against Lennon on the left.
Their goal should’ve been allowed apparently but as I haven’t seen the replay’s I can’t really comment on that. I’m guessing as the ball went up Gomes came to collect it but instead of taking everything in his way like a good keeper would he’s gone in like a baby, the Wolves player has made a good and fair connection but because the keeper’s gone down the easy option is to give the free kick to Spurs. About right? A stupid rule but I’m sure the same decision would’ve been given at the other end of the pitch.
Their late equaliser was once again poor defending. The one thing that was annoying me beyond belief was our inability to stop Jarvis floating crosses in. It’s the one area Wolves benefit from and it isn’t a secret. Even Match of the Day were discussing it a few weeks ago and we all know those guys know very little so why did we apparently know nothing about that threat? Maybe we did but having Hutton as the right back resulted in knowing about the threat and neutralising it were two very different things. Once the cross went in the fact Fletcher managed to get to it instead of Dawson or Gallas who both had poor games should worry us for Wednesday. I’ll briefly touch on the two centre backs because throughout the game both Gallas and Redknapp were spending a large proportion of it seemingly telling Dawson where he should be which I find strange given he’s the captain of the team and now a seasoned player. Let’s just put that down to one of those games.
Finally, while we all applaud the style of football the team have played under Redknapp I’m not sure going for the fourth goal instead of trying to shut up shop is the way forward. I understand the logic behind it because Wolves were pushing for the equaliser and had we managed to put away one of the few chances we created in the final 20 minutes or so it would’ve been game over but I would’ve preferred to see a Palacios coming on for Pav with 15 minutes to go instead of Lennon. Stick 5 in midfield or even 5 at the back with Sandro dropping deeper. There’s nothing wrong with playing defensively to win a game instead of going go hung, all out attack at times.
On the day we mourned the loss of Dean Richards, I guess it was not only fitting to have a thrilling 3-3 draw but also a game that showed how both teams could probably still do with him in their squad.
Submitted by THFC1882
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