A performance as miserable as the Manchester weather but did it have to be this way? It seems that as soon as we see the kit of a top 4 team our knees start knocking and we beat ourselves before the referee blows the opening whistle. We had a decent chance tonight, opened the better only to find ourselves behind against the run of play.
We pick ourselves up and try again only to give up possession too easily and allow another great effort from Gibson to hit our net. 2-0 down and really game over unless we can get ourselves going and we failed to do so melting away as the second half wore on.
Both sides played people who often sit on the bench. Jenas should fancy to do as well as Gibson or better. He has loads more experience yet Gibson shows him how to deliver when a chance to show the Manager arrives. Bentley gets a rare start and on his favoured wing yet doesn’t really get going and cannot beat the first man from any dead ball situation. Hutton has loads of good runs but cannot cross the ball with any accuracy.
Why is that? How can these guys not know what to do to get the job done.
Ok, I accept Vidic played well but did we do our best to put him under pressure. Jenas has a great engine I’m told but all I see is him ambling between boxes without the ball and getting rid when it comes to him. What does he offer apart from defeat when he is in the starting line up? The only answer is a lack of desire and motivation.
What else do these guys have to do apart from practice? And there lies the problem. It seems that some have trouble fitting in training and matches into their busy lives. What with all the drinking, car crashes and hotel room fun who would want to practice corners or moving towards the opposition goal when putting your foot on it and going backwards appears acceptable.
Yes we had good possession but did we create enough? Harry’s tactic of putting Lennon against Gary Neville was a cunning one but we failed to get him the ball in positions where he could exploit it. When Tommy came on we did try and exploit the space better as nearly every distance pass had been under hit in the first half.
We also have to believe there will be a man in the box. JD was playing so he’d be borderline offside every time but we did not believe enough to try and make the cross. Bale had several good opportunities and then checked himself. If the cross was gone for and good it’s up to others to get the head/body/foot on it so why don’t we believe a man will be there?
Tonight we can console ourselves that Top 4 is more important than Carling Cup and we are right. But we shouldn’t overlook that this was another poor performance when it mattered and a couple of thousand Spurs fans travelled 300 miles to see it.
We also have to make the top 4 and on this showing we won’t get any points against the top 4 teams because we’re too busy showing them too much respect rather than getting stuck in. That means it is questionable. Harry’s face summed it up in the last 5 minutes. It said “we’ll be in the top 3 for agent payments again next season if we really want to compete”. We certainly need to do better on Saturday.
Finally I noticed Berba’s new hair cut. Is it so that Sir Alex does not recognise him and he maybe gets picked more often?
Posted in Carling Cup, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur Match Reports
Tagged Bentley, Berba, Carling Cup, Harry Redknapp, JD, Jenas, Lennon, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur Match Reports
We’ve already seen Robbie Keane score 4 goals this season against Burnley so to expect to see someone score more in a game would have been more than a little bit greedy. But we got it and what’s more all in the space of 45 minutes for he wasn’t breaking the offside trap in the first.
Firstly the team. I called for width and balance and got it. Keane was rested and I bet he enjoyed his drive home tonight – Not! Lennon on the other hand will be enjoying his having returned to the side and putting in a devastating shift which provided goals for firstly Crouch, then Defoe before helping himself to one and Kranjcar put in a superb performance carrying on from where he left off against Sunderland. His vicious shot which became the ninth goal was really deserved to round off his best performance in a Spurs shirt.
And really in the second half they were all outstanding passing it around at will and taking the game by the scruff of its neck and forcing home the advantage. Had we played like that throughout, instead of allowing Wigan back into the game in the latter stages of the first half we would have broken the Premier League highest score record. Granted we did not keep a clean sheet and as it was a hand ball goal a West Ham friend of mine has already texted suggesting the game should be replayed but a momentary lapse could not detract from the sort of performance all football fans dream of.
In my preview I did suggest that if we got the show on the road we could score more than my 2-0. I said to G before the start this could be good today having seen the team sheet and so it proved. After a quick start which saw long balls floated in for Lennon to attack and deliver deadly crosses which produced an early goal for Crouch and a second near miss.
Then there was a quick corner which saw a ball laid across the face of goal for Tommy to hit a powerful shot which was unstoppable and just wide. Palacios took a ball and carried it before hitting another powerful drive that Kirkland acrobatically saved at his top corner.
At the other end Wigan were also attacking and Gomes was made to take crosses and make saves one from a long throw out of his own that was picked off and driven low to his left corner.
At half time we questioned why we had let go of our early grip and could we pick up our play once more to get the second goal. G felt a rocket from Harry would put it right and as usual he was on the button! After the second goal the game burst into life with a flurry of Defoe goals running onto through balls and finishing in style. And that was history of the second half. From the Paxton Road you thought on occasions he had gone too wide only for him to rifle it into the far corner.
Lennon left the proceedings to much deserved applause and Bentley came on scoring an excellent goal from 25 yards from a free kick which we understand is credited to Kirkland as it came back onto his back from the crossbar.
Can it get any better? Probably not. You don’t want to criticise on such a day but we did give the ball away too easily in the first half which might have been punished by a stronger opponent but you can only beat what has been put in front of you and those sloppy passes were made in an effort to provide the type of entertainment that Harry knows Spurs fans expect to see. I’ve seen 10 in a game before at White Hart Lane but that was 6-4 against Reading. I didn’t see the 9 against Bristol Rovers when we were in Division 2 as it was then so this is the pinnacle in scoring on my many visits. I loved it and congratulate the team for delivering a result far beyond any of our expectations at the kick off.
So what now for Robbie; how doe he get back into the side? And Jenas and what about Modric who we understand is nearing fitness? Performance is the answer, they may have to wait but they will know that none of those who performed so well today can be dropped without good reason for the next game. This team looked miles better than the starting line up for Sunderland and got the result in confident fashion. That’s what this game is about. Come on You Spurs!
Posted in Blackburn Blackpool Bolton Burnley Wigan, League Game, Tottenham Hotspur Match Reports
Tagged Aaron Lennon, Crouch, David Bentley, Defoe, Gomes, Harry Redknapp, JD, Tottenham Hotspur Match Reports, Wigan
On paper and form this is a victory but that ignores the personalities and scores that go into this match. On a good day the crowd is worth a man to most teams but today expect it to be 2 men in Portsmouth’s favour so we need to quieten them down quickly. Then there is Kevin Continue reading