…an early kick-off.
As if Andre Villas-Boas being named manager of the month for December wasn’t bad enough the first game after the award announcement was a 12:45 Saturday kick-off against ‘Arry’s side who weren’t interested in playing football, just hanging on.
The only surprise on the day was old twitchy one’s side didn’t nick a winner.
This was a pretty bloody awful game of football, with the home side deploying a flat back 9, while Spurs laboured with their usual lacklustre lethargy that accompanies the first kick-off of the weekend. Of all involved in half and half monochrome shirts very few looked better than crap as everything was cramped into a central area that benefited those determined to just defend.
At the back Lloris did what he had to do well. The fullbacks were found out on the few QPR raids forward. Vertonghen had a quiet game, comfortable in defence didn’t get forward maybe as much as he could have. While Dawson made a good block, after pinging in a beauty of a cross field ball things wet to his head a bit and he kept on doing it far too much. With inevitable diminishing returns. Back to the old Dawson aimless humps up the park.
Lennon was trying to bring some width but as per usual he wasn’t served well by his team-mates, time and and again he received the ball facing his own goal. Can’t remember once him being played a ball that he could run onto. On the other side Bale barely rated a mention. There was one run wasn’t there? About it, wasn’t it?
In the middle of course the central pair were out-manned by QPR’s three which was increased to four with their “striker” Taarabt dropping deep. Things weren’t helped by Dembele having possibly his worst game so far. It was a pretty poor display, where he couldn’t handle being pressed, giving the ball away with ease far too often. At least with Dembele you know it should be a one off.
Sandro beside him again having to do the work of far too many players. Things got worse 25 minutes in when the only player that could do any damage to the big Brazilian did so. Sandro. Taking a swinger he tweaked his knee. Looking ominous from the moment he landed on the ground thankfully it sounds like it isn’t as bad as we all first feared. Especially when you figure in the next off the rank is Parker. Rank being such an apt word. One could only hope here he would put in a performance that would entice ‘Arry, QPR being about his level. He put in his usual game that others love so much.
Up front with little from the midfield the “striking partnership” again failed to deliver. Defoe actually did some team work and could have opened the scoring early on when Rangers’ ‘keeper Julio Cesar tipped his shot onto the post. Adebayor should have scored from the rebound but as per usual he was on his heels not expecting the ball, leading to a slow and laborious attempt that was easily blocked.
It was a relief when Adebayor was replaced, it should though have happened quite a bit earlier than the 70th minute. How many hoping that ticket to the African Cup of Nations is one way? A lamentable performance, from a season that’s got worse as it’s gone on from him. Time for a
told you so? Anyone really believe when, or indeed if, he returns from the tournament he’ll be a changed figure?
What Spurs needed here desperately was guile from the midfield and a clinical eye from a striker. Two areas that the chairman should be putting right during this transfer window. Doubtlessly it won’t happen. But picking up three points in this game would probably make more difference at the end of the season than just the one.