if that’s the response.
And even though the draw was disappointing the manner in which Spurs went about the game was rather encouraging but only if they keep it up.
Yes those stats everyone is so obsessed about were down – possession and passing accuracy – but what Spurs did they did with purpose and intent. It wasn’t just passing around for passing’s sake, that only pumps up the stats for no reason, because what’s the point of having all the ball if you do nowt with it.
The performance and to some extent the result was a great response to those idiots in the media with an agenda – you know The Friends of ‘Arry. The pre-match prattle of BT Sport being a prime example. It was where we were told Livermore, Huddlestone and Parker were far better players than the current lot and AVB blew it last year dropping points at the end of the season. Which of course never happened at all under ‘Arry.
Yes United had more of the ball but when Spurs had it they attacked with a tempo we haven’t seen in this league campaign. And yes at times it was a bit hit or miss but it was far better than sideways, sideways, back passing that has blighted the home games especially.
Things were probably helped by having Dembele and Sandro back in tandem, where they performed so well at the start of last season before The Beast injured himself, while pushing Paulinho further forward out of the engine room, almost as a number 10.
Of course things were far from perfect. Soldado didn’t score, as a number of good chances went a begging as per usual and there was the standard foot shooting to gift ManUre both of their equalisers. But while they had all that ball Spurs just didn’t seem to be in any trouble.
Both sides dominance came from their right sides. As Lennon once again had Evra on toast over the other side Vertonghen was having troubles with Valencia, showing that while it’s preferable having the Belgian at left-back when there’s no other left footed defender available it’s not his position.
One change AVB had to make with Sigurdsson not starting was someone else to take the set pieces and that worked perfectly 18 minutes in as the ManUre wall jumped over Walker’s daisy cutter.
The quick counter attacking that followed should have seen the game dead and buried before half-time – no way this ManUre would come back from three down like Fergies did. Firstly some nice interplay between Soldado and Paulinho – after some cool defending from Chiriches – saw the Spaniard blaze over the bar. His anger at himself, taking it out on the advertising hoarding, showed that he should have done better. He then turned provider playing Lennon in with a great ball. It initially came to nothing but Lennon slashed a cross across the face of goal that Paulinho should have been gambling on. Tap in and it would have been 2-0.
Again have to say Lennon showed why it was right to start him. Hadn’t played well in his return games, certainly not well enough to merit a starting spot but against the two Manchester clubs he’s put it in.
Of course missing those two good chances could only mean one thing. A ManUre equaliser. Unsurprisingly it came from a cross from their right. Don’t know what Walker was doing but he cushioned the ball perfectly for Rooney to score.
Just before the hour another difference between the current manager and his predecessor was highlighted as Sandro turned Cleverly inside out before unleashing a ferocious shot into the top corner. Unstoppable. As the big Brazilian raced off to celebrate it brought back his first goal for the club, another screamer, against Chelsea where ‘Arry who would only pick Sandro when no other player was available berated the player.
Dissent came just after the hours when boos rang out as Lennon was replaced with Townsend. Stupidly. That’s the boos not the substitution. Lennon had faded after the break, barely touching the ball never mind having an influence. Some screaming for Chadli to go instead was equally stupid. Chadli was playing his part while Lennon was shot.
This time the lead didn’t even last as long, as four minutes later Welbeck left his leg trailing to make contact with Lloris and give the ref the very chance he needed to point at the spot. If you laud Lloris for being the decisive sweeper keeper he is you can’t have too many complaints when this sort of thing happens. But if a Spurs player had done what Welbeck had I wonder at the media reaction.
Also what would they have said and written if a Spurs player had dived as shamefully as Chelsea’s Essien did against Southampton. Well they haven’t been banging on about that but then if they gloss over a Chelsea loss in Europe because they’re too busy wanking themselves over Jose’s haircut what can you expect.
Things could have been easier for Spurs if the ref had shown the cards to those in red that deserved them. Jones alone could have – should have – been shown about four along with Evra. But it looked more like Spurs would get the winner on the counter than ManUre would walk away with the three points.
At least it gave AVB a post-match chance to give it to some of the Fleet Street scum.
Now if they can only play with that tempo against other teams the chances and goals will come for Soldado and others. And they’re still only three points off fourth.