As Alice would say
welcome to my nightmare but on the plus side I don’t now have to remember what the League Cup is official called these days. Rumbelows Cup isn’t it?
If the Spurs players haven’t bought into AVB’s desire to win the Europa League they looked even less interested in the least popular domestic trophy on offer. AVB showing his intentions lie elsewhere with the youngsters getting a run out against a second string Norwich.
It was good to see them getting a game, though the manager could have gone a bit further. Walker needs a day off, not dropped, just an arm round the shoulder and told take a day. He’s played every game this season and he’s not looking any better with passing one. He looks more and more off it. Move Naughton over there and then at least he wouldn’t be cutting inside all the time.
First half a nothing affair with not much happening, bar Bale – on the right – ripping the Norwich fullback, Tierney, apart. Spurs controlled what actually went on, which was very little, looking comfortable for the most part – Lloris hardly called to action and when he was looked like he knew exactly what was coming. Tom Carroll looked comfortable in the middle, though some of his passing was a bit Parker style predictable, sideways to back. Others though were a bit missing.
Second half had at least some life about it. Though funnily Bale somewhat disappeared, with his shift to the left as Falque, on the right, took over being the main source of Spurs good play. The young Spaniard showed what promise he has, as I said most of last season I’d have preferred his inclusion in the side when either Bale or Lennon was missing than the great shift of players out of position that ‘Arry liked.
Though one point being while he provided some great deliveries during open play – one in particular to Bale was exquisite – his corners were amongst the worst seen. And for Spurs that’s saying something.
The other piece of irony was for his disappearing act in the second half Bale scored the opener. With his right as well.
Not ironic, or anyway surprising was the way Spurs dropped off after taking the lead.
One thing that didn’t help, it never really seems to was the introduction of another defender in place of a more forward player. Vertonghen came on for Carroll with ten minutes to go, AVB predictably trying to see out the game. But an extra defender in there causes confusion during defensive situations.
From a corner yet another goal against after a header out of the penalty area into that danger area just on the edge of the box. Wouldn’t have mattered though if Vertonghen hadn’t decided to flick the off target shot goalwards. From that point though thoughts turn to extra time and needing that like a hole in the head, in reality it looked more like it would just be the hosts name in the draw for the next round.
And so mote it be.
From another set piece, free kick this time, defence all at sea, Vertonghen too busy trying to play the man than the ball, Lloris fumbles the first attempt and it’s bundled in for the winner.
But one final hope, Walker on a run, is taken down in the area – no matter the ridiculous protestations of the Norwich defender, Tierney again, leg across both of Walker’s, right foot clipped – penalty. But it’s Spurs and it’s a penalty. Dempsey steps up, yes he actually is playing – anyone see him? – doesn’t look happy and cements his place as a true Spurs player by not scoring.
Another chameleon display, dropping to their level, another game where they couldn’t keep a lead. Though the usual excuse of it’s only the League Cup and after all this competition means so little that Mark Bright is on the highlights programme.
Though it would have been Villa at home in the quarter final