White Hart Lane.
I have to say I was shocked to wake this morning and find that Tim Sherwood and Emmanuel Adebayor hadn’t cured cancer or at least the common cold.
After all they have now achieved everything they could in the sport of football, taking it to a new level that has never been seen before.
A quick browse through Twitter and you’d think Spurs played their home games at St. James Park, with the eulogising of the interim manager and the player he brought in from the cold, after the 3-2 away victory at Southampton. The second coming of both Bill Nicholson and Jimmy Greaves.
This was the best football the faithful had seen all season, it was all out attack, it was
to dare is to do.
The only problem being what actually happened didn’t quite match what they thought happened or had happened previously. Previously Spurs had won 10 of their 13 away fixtures, so winning away wasn’t something new. Previously Southampton’s form had dropped off, not recording a victory in their last five league fixtures.
And previous in that run of five games they lost 3-2 at home to Aston Villa the away side amassing a whole three shots on target in the process. That being exactly the same number Sherwood’s all out attacking, two strikers up front, side managed against the struggling hosts who were missing a number of their stand-out defensive players. Villa managed those three shots with 22% of possession, Spurs had twice that.
Hadn’t seen such attacking all season?
I seem to recall a home game where the visiting goalkeeper had to make 14 saves, from the 31 attempts. Hell in the thrashing at Citeh they had more attempts and more on target.
Yes I wanted AVB to play a more attacking game, especially at home but I also understand why he didn’t go 4-4-2 with all attacking players. Thirteen minutes into the game expertly highlighted that as Adam Lallana found himself in the middle of the pitch in acres of space before he shot past Lloris. A Sandro or Capoue might have been there to stop that. Dembele and Eriksen weren’t.
Before hand it looked like Sherwood had gone the good old Spurs’ route of you score 5 we’ll score 6. That now looked very, very optimistic.
Ten minutes later it looked to be back on track. Everyone in the Spurs half when Adebayor picked the ball up and started lumbering. It wasn’t a sprint, he didn’t seem to have a clue and his pass out to the left was pretty lucky that Soldado chased it down before it went out of play. From their the striker put in one hell of a cross right between the two defenders Adebayor had place himself for a cracking finish.
Back from being frozen out. Sherwood vindicated, AVB castigated.
Post match Adebayor said the club had
disrespected him. Well, he disrespected the club the whole of last season. If he played like he did in this game he would have been playing all season. But you can’t trust him to do it, as once he’s proved his point you get the mincing about doing sod all performances of last season. That’s why AVB froze him out and that’s why he’s moved on from every club he’s been at.
Who knows maybe Sherwood can massage his ego enough to get that out of Adebayor week in week out but would you bet your life on it? Would you bet even a tenner on it?
Again though enough can’t be said about that cross from Soldado. Now if he’d have had that type of service all season we wouldn’t be talking about Adebayor or some of us lamenting the departure of AVB.
Just after the break Sherwood made a big call when Dembele had to be replaced and instead of the senior players available on the bench, Holtby or Capoue, he went with Nabil Bentaleb, giving the 19 his first senior appearance for the club.
Big call and it came off – but does it mean that Holtby and Capoue are being frozen out? The lad didn’t look out of placed and played his part in Spurs taking the lead, shortly after coming on. They got a bit of luck in the final part of the build up but the own-goal wasn’t luck. get to the byline, as Rose did, cut back or get a cross in and it’s always dangerous.
The Southampton equaliser five minutes later was again far too easy, even before Lloris made his dash out to Lallana, leaving the England player an easy but still excellent ball through to Lambert. Yes Lloris came out when maybe he shouldn’t but nobody complains when it comes off as it does so often and they conveniently forget the role the midfield and defence played in letting the two Ls have all that time and space.
The winner, again five minutes later, sealed Adebayor’s status as the new god. He actually made a bit of a move to get the thrown from Walker got a bit of luck to get it back and finished expertly. Again the highly frustrating point of when he can be arsed he does it. But what chance he can be arsed.
It could have been all wrapped up and Sherwood’s god status completely cemented by Soldado. What was that I said about getting the service and providing the finish. He had three good chances in the space of a few minutes and could have had a hat-trick. Scored the first and he would have buried the next two with the confidence. In the end he didn’t get the chance as he was brought of for Defoe. One thing Sherwood did get right, not starting that player.
Good result, some decent play but it wasn’t that great, lot of miss passes and disjointed passages, too open defensively and two games in with two strikers and it’s brought a whole four shots on target. But it might just make some decent manager out there stick their hand up and say “yes, I want the job”.
Because, no matter what happened in this game, Tim Sherwood isn’t. If nothing else a glowing endorsement from Jamie Redknapp proved that.