…then what is.
As I tweeted yesterday afternoon sometime shortly before the final whistle…
It wouldn't be Spurs without days like this.
— Toxic Web (@Toxic_Web) September 1, 2013
Quite a few quid worth of talent out there just didn’t turn up for most of the game. Most of the new guys and especially the middle three – though one wasn’t new – were too static, too standoffish and the only time they were quick was when they were too quick to stop and pass back or sideways, while the opposition passed forward and attacked at pace.
People having a go at Townsend for his
ambitious shooting. But at least he was doing something and doing something positive. Yes he could have tried to find Soldado more and shot less but one of those goes in, either a screamer or a deflected scuffer and the tunes would have changed. The rest seemed more intent on leaving things to others. Again too much was coming through the middle, when out wide was causing the problems. Too much was little nothing passes or desperation passes when under pressure.
Pressure. Something they applied and Spurs didn’t, that standoffishness. They also seemed to win most of the tackles that mattered. for midfield numbers that matched, Paulinho, Capoue and Dembele always seemed surrounded in possession and then brushed off. No matter that they hadn’t gelled you expected more of a fight than that.
Chadli disappeared and that’s what most people seem to be concentrating on but that was down to not getting any service. Wingers like strikers need service. It doesn’t come, they don’t get involved. Before that service dried up he had his defender on toast.
So there just wasn’t that spark, spark that was crying out for a certain Welsh player. Or someone who could just link up play between the very isolated Soldado and the rest. It’s something that has been missing so far in the league. Dembele while having all the passing stats hasn’t produced anything cutting and must the one in great danger of bench warming if the likes of Eriksen provide that.
There was much expectation that Lamela might provide the spark once he came on. But again AVB left things late and made some odd substitutions. Defoe coming on for a midfielder, no matter how under-performing that midfield were especially. While it was cramped in there giving them a numerical advantage in there didn’t quite add up. The calls for Holtby to replace Dembele no doubt coming from those decrying him not so long ago and looking to send him out on loan. Personally, think he should have come on. Might have done nothing, might have provided the spark, we’ll never know.
The goal was an omnishambles. Rose not tight enough on Walnutt, and you never have to be that tight because he never has control of the ball and Dawson playing Walnutt and the scorer onside when he was looking along the line and should have seen where his central partner was. Funny how the ex-England international on TV automatically blames the foreigner.
The penalty shout for handball wasn’t a penalty, hit the point of his shoulder. The shout for Soldado being pushed in the back was a penalty as it was offence that was punished when it happened everywhere else on the pitch. But then those decisions had no immediate consequences so the ref didn’t have to bottle it.
Did they deserve a draw, maybe on stats but that’s just too much Brendan Rodgers. There wasn’t enough clear cut chances created, while Lloris made some cracking saves, as he always does, and one cracking tackle.
They were there for the taking, as is the league, but Spurs didn’t turn up, while they were at full pelt and so lost 1-0 away. If Capoue isn’t too badly injured – nothing broken it looks like, though sprains for Spurs players tend to take a while – it could have been much worse. Just need to do what they did last season after losses, go on a long unbeaten run.