…baffling good management.
Timmy’s had a lucky run of fixtures since back stabbing his way into the job, this certainly didn’t change with an 4-0 away thrashing of Newcastle. But Timmy changed things and for the better.
That fixture list really has been good to Timmy. Newcastle had lost their previous two games 3-0, hadn’t scored in their last four, had only won one of their 7 games in 2014 and hadn’t won at home since Boxing Day last year. And during January lost their best player, a move which added to suspensions and injury has seen the rest look like they’ve thrown in the towel.
There’s always a team that starts heading towards the drop zone during the second half of the season. They might be 9th and 13 points off the relegation zone but Newcastle look like that team.
But Timmy augmented that luck with some decent managerial decisions.
Capoue started. Capoue, a defensive midfielder, Les Ferdinand must have gone apoplectic, was this one of those arguments he has with Timmy where no one agreed?
Timmy backed this up with the inclusion of Kaboul, making only his second league start, of three league appearances, of the season, over Dawson. It was good to see the big fella back. It allowed with Vertonghen there a better high line and more pressing.
But Timmy had looked to play his trump card to bring everything back down to earth. Naughton at left back. But then Timmy did something unexpected, originally met with howls of derision, Eriksen was dropped. With Naughton pretty useless at left back cover is needed, Eriksen doesn’t really provide that security but Lennon does.
Now Lennon had done nothing in the last two games to justify another starting spot and it is somewhat counter productive to play another player out of position to cover for the inabilities of the original player being out of position but Lennon does put in his defensive duties.
Something new also happened when the whistle blew. Spurs looked interested. Unlike the previous game where the opposition had all the ball and all the chances this time it was those in baby blue. Maybe because of the opposition.
Dembele on the right – left on right, righty on let didn’t that help get someone the sack? – set up Adebayor who had a lazy swing, ineptness of which was covered by a deflection.
It wasn’t long before he did open the scoring though. Again Timmy’s luck struck. Bentaleb made a charge down the left, for some reason stopped, almost got himself into trouble but carried on and put a pretty damn decent cross curling across the box from the left, Krul palmed it onto Adebayor’s leg.
Back in November Krul’s 14 saves helped Newcastle nick a 1-0 victory at the Lane. AVB didn’t get any help from the ‘keeper that day he seemed more accommodating in this fixture.
Before that though Spurs’ own ‘keeper had shown his continued class and got Daniel Levy a little moist. With a cracking save from a header in the box from a free-kick, later he would do even better.
Despite having chances, hitting the woodwork, the second goal didn’t come until the second half. In between Necastle also had chances, this wasn’t as one way as some would have you believe.
The second was again ably assisted by Krul. Nice build up brought a lovely flick from Paulinho to Adebayor, his shot was parried out by Krul right into the path of the onrushing Paulinho to tap in.
After that Spurs completely switched off and could barely string two passes together. Again it was Lloris who came to the rescue. A number of saves was topped when he decided to save one while Cossack dancing. Going forward he slipped still managed to stop a goal while almost on his arse.
There genuine fear of Lloris – the best ‘keeper at the club since Big pat – not being round long after the final game of the season. And with each cracking save you can see Daniel Levy looking like a character in a 1950s cartoon with £ signs spinning round in his eyes as the sound of cash tills rings in his ears. Kerching, kerching, kerching.
During this it took Spurs another half an hour to make things really safe. More luck and yet another Krul assist. Krul palmed a shot out, again, straight to Adebayor. Now I read somewhere that he swept the ball home – the same writer also said Naughton put the cross in for the first goal – he didn’t he miss hit the shot and bounced it over the floundering ‘keeper.
The fourth was the least unlucky of the lot. Chadli curled a beaut in from the left after nice build up play from Soldado and Bentaleb.
What Spurs did in attack was all down to having a defensive midfielder. Having someone like Capoue in there isn’t negative, it allows the others to go and do their stuff. It’s no coincidence that Bentaleb looked far better than he has in the last couple of games without that defensive duty.
First win at Sid James park since Santini was in charge, a decade ago, 4-0 away it’s nothing to be sniffed at but regarding the opposition, the luck, the fact they could have easily been in the game while being crap this wasn’t as great as some made out. Again same with Adebayor, two lucky goals amongst doing very little else, doesn’t make him a great striker.
And it doesn’t make Timmy a great manager even though he finally got a couple of things right.
With Norwich and Cardiff coming up next in the league will Timmy’s luck hold out before it’s Chelsea, Arsenal, Southampton then Liverpool?