Optimism in the face of playing the league leaders lasted as long as we though Dembele and Bale’s names would be on the team sheet.
Once they were omitted for separate reasons – for Bale I’m reminded of the beginning of David Lee Roth’s “Yankee Rose” video (right) in the grocery shop where the pregnant chiquita in a wedding dress is shouting at the harassed slob of a husband
I can’t believe it ok. My honeymoon night, ok, I will probably only have 3 or 4 more of these in my whole entire lifetime. Priorities damn it! – ironically for all the praise Bale got over the international break Dembele would be missed more. Though you feel AVB missed a trick doing a ‘Arry and just picking the next player off the rank to replace Bale instead of replacing a quick left footer with a quick left footer in Townsend.
Without Dembele’s dominating calmness in the centre of the park – Huddlestone is no substitute – to go with a general lacklustre approach by the hosts it just gifted the initiative to the visitors and made it far too easy for them.
A poor half for Spurs was topped off by one of those individual errors. A Chelski corner was headed back into the middle of the goal by Gallas for Cahill to volley in the opener past Friedel, who had little chance. Poor header by Gallas but as I’ve posted in the past not the first time Spurs defenders have done this, headed back into the danger area, instead of out wide or for another corner. And nearly every time they’ve done it the ball as fallen to a visiting player completely open. Do wonder if they’re being told to head it there to keep it in play.
It could have been worse as Friedel palmed a Mata shot straight back at the player, again back into the danger area. There was a notable change with the goalkeeper. Back in the side after Lloris’ outing in the last league game, the old guy was running off his line, doing a bi of sweeping work. Adapt or die.
AVB had to do something at half-time. Changes maybe even called for as Dempsey and Sigurdsson were struggling. But it was the same XI that came out after the break. They just looked like a different set of players, more pressing, more urgency and more desire.
Two minutes in and Gallas went some way to redeeming himself. Dempsey was fouled just inside the Chelski half, about the best thing he did all afternoon. Huddlestone’s resulting free kick, though missing everyone in the middle of the area, was dangerous – again probably his only contribution – Vertonghen managed to knock it back across the face of goal for Gallas to bundle it over the line. Combination of head and arm. Can’t be good, be lucky.
On the up, Spurs were flying and the visitors were on the back foot. Seven minutes later they took the lead. From an aimless hump Chelski hesitated on that back foot the ball finally finding Lennon who ran at Cole, scuffed his shot, finding Defoe to smack it in with a snatched shot. Surprisingly he wasn’t offside.
But from being on top and looking like winners, Spurs gave it away again. Now Gallas is taking all the blame but it started with Vertonghen who had been having a good game but did something twice which needs eradicating and led to the equaliser. It’s something that’s been overlooked in the ratings I’ve seen him given for the game because of the errors of others.
Going for a run up field he tried a pass out wide that was pretty poor and didn’t get close to it’s intended target before being cut out. Vertonghen then just stood there, arms out wide, gesticulating it was the other players fault – it wasn’t. As Chelski broke he just stood there before slowly, very slowly making his was back. It left Huddlestone to cover at left back, which he was too slow for and so an easy cross was put in.
A cross that could have easily been dealt with but Gallas made a right hash of the clearance falling to Mata for his first. Gallas’ latest error to go with the one for the opener hugely glossed over Vertonghen’s part in it. It was also not the only time in the game he did exactly hat when one of his passes didn’t come off.
For all the praise he’s rightly received, from here and elsewhere, and there was one excellent chance saving tackle in the game it shouldn’t hide things like that. Something he needs to cut out.
Spurs changed thing and with Livermore for Huddlestone there seemed more life. But again more individual errors let Mata in for the lead. Through ball catching Gallas out, looing slow, with walker not knowing to stick with his wide man or twist with Mata and the Spaniard had a easy chance to pit away.
With Adebayor replacing Dempsey Spurs looked better again. Defoe actually worked out wide, Sigurdsson looked more involved and comfortable. Adebayor though looked like someone who has hardly played over the weeks. Though some of his lazy play can’t be written off that easily.
As the clock was ticking down towards the final whistle Walker had his meltdown. Who knows what he was doing. He could have squared things up a little earlier with a rasper but he just put the tin lid on a poor defensive display by the back four. Dithering about, he had plenty of time to clear his lines, plenty of time to do so without an aimless hump up the park, just meekly gave up the ball, ok it may have been a push but it shouldn’t have got that far, for Sturridge to bag the fourth.
Walker apparently didn’t appreciate being told how poor this was on Twitter – not guilty guv, don’t think I even follow him. Taking it much in the way he did a the end of that game.
Poor game with some good moments, gifted them most of the goals, if not all. Blips happen. The main difference between this and the ManUre game? Other than Bale and Dembele and an early kickoff, Spurs aren’t good with them. No it was proper blue shorts then not the all white here.