It was a year ago today Roman Abramovich…

…let André Villas-Boas play.

March 4th 2012 after his 40th game in charge of Cheatski the fidgety Russian showed AVB the door – well he had a minion do it. One year later after AVB’s 40th game in charge at Spurs he’s enjoying football.

Tweeted yesterday that Spurs better not “Redknapp” this game. In that I meant chuck it away much like the former manager did in a certain defeat and the final run in after amassing that 10 point lead. You feel AVB is the type not to capitulate so easily.

Saying that both this season’s North London Derbies have ended up like last season’s. Scoreline wise with the away fixture, though this time there was extenuating circumstances that can be used as an excuse – unlike last time round. The home game was fairly similar in both score and actual game.

Right from the off, actually even before Spurs going in as favourites with the manager just announced as the previous month’s Manager of the Month. Then when the game started they had most of the play. Parker running around in rings chasing shadows. And too many longs balls. It was all a bit too much ‘Arry.

When Spurs did get the ball Parker lingered before passing back, when he got the ball back he did his usual pass straight back where it came from. The visitors closed in, it may have been the tactic to draw them out but all it did was lead to Parker panic and passes to Walker, Dawson, Lloris or BAE that put them in a situation where they just launched the ball up field. Where it went straight to a red shirt. Adebayor doing his usual useless target man routine.

Couldn’t trap a bag of sand. This match looked for one instance like it may have gone the way of the away game when Adebayor, yet again, butchered his first touch and in desperation lunged out to retrieve his error. With refs these days you just didn’t know what card could be shown for a recklessly stupid challenge.

Through it all though their passing may have been off the back four were doing what they are mainly paid for. Defending. Vertonghen looked like Jan the Man from the early part of the season. I had wondered about employing him in the middle of the park as the blocker but he looked a lot happier yesterday. Maybe being back in the centre in a big game brought the best out in him. Alongside Dawson was the steady rock. The captain.

The defence had to be on top because off all that away possession, some 61% and the fact that our so called midfield general while running around like a headless chicken only managed one whole tackle. Some quarter that of his midfield partner who you’ll see marked down in out of ten scores. It was half the tackles put in by Lennon.

But even though the scum had the ball, Lloris didn’t have much to do. In fact he didn’t have much to do save wise all game. While they had the ball, Spurs had the chances. Clear cut ones that were missed and you’d think previously would have been punished, just seconds after they were missed.

Two goal lead at half time came almost exactly the same way. First time it was Gylfi playing a cracking ball from the left through their static defence for Bale to run onto and bang past the ‘keeper to the side he wasn’t expecting.

Minutes later the same ball, this time amazingly from Parker – who actually managed a forward pass to a Spurs player – to Lennon, for him to round the ‘keeper and slot home. We don’t lose when Lennon scores.

Road out what little they had and saw in half time. Second half was though back to that sloppy post break few minutes. Parker gives away another stupid foul. Walnutt’s free-kick goes in via their defender and Bale’s head. The scorer having being marked by Adebayor who just let him go without any effort.

After giving away such an easy goal like that in the past to cut the deficit we’ve seen Spurs fold. As said before they didn’t here. More than holding on they should have wrapped it all up making those last few minutes a touch more bearable.

First up Bale should have finished it. Nice little triangle on the right, finds it’s way out to Dembele. BAE is wide open on the left flank, his first time cross is missed by Adebayor but finds it’s away right across goal to Bale who balloons the shot with his left.

Then after an injury to Adebayor he was replaced by Defoe who was found by a glorious outside of the foot ball from Bale in defence. The striker passed to the advancing Sigurdsson, again in acres of space, straight through on goal for some bizarre reason decided to dink the ball to his right, presumably for Bale who miraculously was up with play. Why he didn’t have a shot himself, who knows? Defoe also had an attempt that just curled past the post.

It should have been 4-1.

But that would have been too simple for the watching Spurs fan. Walnutt had a chance from a free-kick that was far too close for comfort just before the end of the 90 minutes. Then the fourth official put up the board with 6 minutes on it. From where we do not know.

But see it out they did, to some great joy.

After his 27th league game AVB was sacked by them lot, he moved above them with his 27th league game at Spurs. It’s the same as his 40th game for both in all competitions. Thanks Frank, John, Ashley, Petr, Didier and Roman.

But we’re not getting carried away. What was 10 points last season is still just 7 this. Just feel AVB won’t “Redknapp” this one.

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