the fans what they can and cannot say?
It seems to work, gives the crowd a lift which in turn gives the team a lift for the home game against Maribor in the Europa League.
Or maybe they were overjoyed by a seemingly 4-4-2 with Defoe joined by Adebayor not replaced by. Except of course it wasn’t the old fashioned formation with Adebayor dropping deep, moving wide, much in the way Dempsey does. The result they say shows that at home it should always be like this, completely missing the point that visiting teams will pack the midfield with somewhat better players than the limited visitors from Slovenia. Where a middle pair that includes Tom Huddlestone will be overrun, with ease.
But the crowd lifted proceedings and the team followed with the pace of attack that has been missing at various points through the season so far. Bale in particular, running, running fast, running with purpose. Skinning his fullback and putting in cracking crosses. Only for there to be nobody on the end. Adebayor makes little effort to get on the end of such things done at pace and positionally Defoe is hit and miss, as well as having a habit of hanging outside the box instead of a dart near post for example.
Then 22 minutes in with a slip from a Maribor defender and Defoe finally getting in the right position for yet another Bale cross the striker managed to hit the target, miss the ‘keeper and not be offside all at the same time. It was an excellent finish, something he should do more of.
But straight away Spurs fell into being Spurs. Dropping off, not pressing ahead with their dominance, letting the opposition back into it and seemingly oblivious that one goal leads haven’t exactly worked out well before. It then all culminates in passing around the defence as the opposition move further and further up the pitch applying more and more pressure. Until something, or more to the point someone cracks. Naughton’s back pass, wasn’t good but could have been dealt with but Lloris is too left footed and in trying to move the ball onto that foot he gifts the equaliser.
Head in hand moment. Even though I knew it was coming.
Surprisingly Spurs didn’t spend the rest of the night on the back foot. again the crowd played their part. No half time boos. No post half time dozy 15 minutes.
No four minutes in Walker’s misplaced ball – give him a rest Andre, for his sake and ours – finds Carroll who for once passed it forward – though he’s comfortable on the ball and confident enough to seek it out too often he played Ray Wilkins style sideways ball or Parker style “to me, to you” balls – with a first time ball into the path of Defoe. Who again managed to miss the ‘keeper as he slotted it into the far corner.
But it’s still only a one goal lead. Spurs aren’t good with one goal leads. Well except if you’re the opposition they aren’t good.
Spurs though weren’t sitting back on this lead. Had it got through to them? A long ball up to Adebayor, oh he is playing this half and he’s still got a bloody awful first touch, back to Huddlestone another first time ball, like Carroll’s for the second goal, and about the only decent thing the big fella did all night, through to the marauding Bale who again lays it on a plate for Defoe. Who yet again missed the ‘keeper and wasn’t offside. And of course now with a hat-trick is the greatest striker that ever lived.
One thing that did worry me to begin with was Dawson and hoofed balls. No there’s a time and a place for a well humped hoof – Kyle, we’re looking at you – but Daws has lapsed into Stoke territory an awful lot. Last night he started early but something changed. These balls were pinged and pinged straight to a white shirt, Lennon or bale, and pinged in such a way that they could be controlled. The news Awesome Dawson?
This wasn’t a sign of things to come. Better teams will find out a midfield lacking, they’ll find out Adebayor’s first touch and Defoe’s runs. Yes the verve and pace need to be kept but more is needed against sides that are of a better standard than this. Though the crowd will help if they keep it up.
Oh and get rid of that bloody atrocious camera angle.