There maybe a new man in charge but a number of things haven’t changed over the summer for Spurs, though in the end a victory over Wet Spam was a refreshingly new end to things.
As the team was announced some seemed perturbed by the inclusion of a kid they hadn’t heard of a few weeks back, Eric Dier, honestly no matter what he did he was going to be the least of the problems.
It was the rest of the defence that should have caused the consternation. If any Spurs fan tells you their heart didn’t sink when they saw Kyle Naughton and Danny Rose on that sheet then you can call them liars to their face.
There always seems to be a hangover from last season, a hangover hanging on, from Jenas to Parker. Some limpet that needed removed in the summer but hung about and somehow is still in the first XI. Pochettino may be a good manager, may turn out a great one but there’s no manager alive or dead who could turn Naughton and Rose into Premier League defenders in a summer. Quite frankly I doubt anyone will do it in their whole career.
You’re not even working with a sow’s ear here.
Then when you get past the disappointment of those two you look a little further down the team sheet and there’s the other tumour that should have been removed from the club by now. Adebayor. Honestly with this cancer and the two fullbacks it’s almost as if this was a shop window game before the transfer window closes. A plan that will have spectacularly misfired with one performance.
Things started well enough, Spurs enjoying much possession, some half decent link up play and Lamela wanting the ball from the newly thatched Eriksen, all pointed to Pochettino trusting the talent. The only problems being the link between the back and the creative pair and then on from the creative pair.
Capoue started this season the way he started last with a pretty commanding defensive midfielder performance, unfortunate with Bentaleb beside him there’s no go forward craft to go with the graft. It all fell apart once the Spam got into the game. Then when the creators are looking for the finisher Adebayor is poncing about with that first touch that would struggle to trap a bag of sand.
Roberto Soldado sat on the bench all afternoon doesn’t bode well.
When the Spam did get into the game it was all them and while Spurs created no real chances when they were on top it was only their ineptness in front of goal that stopped them taking their chances. Throughout Spurs should an amazing inability to stop crosses getting into the box. Naughton, useless on the right while on the left Downing was running rings around Rose. Yes Downing, one of the dullest dullards in football was made to look like the best winger you’ve ever seen by Danny.
Things changed for the better on the half hour when Naughton decided to play at being the ‘keeper. What followed was the usual howls, especially after said player received a straight red card. Happened at the other end what would they have been shouting for I wonder. Naughton deliberately put his arm up to stop a goalward shot, doesn’t matter how inept the ref is he’s got no real option.
You did feel
here we go again, then a player who hadn’t missed a penalty in three years stood up and rolled a meek one past the post. Maybe Poch isn’t going to be as unlucky as the others.
Plaudits to Poch after this as he didn’t immediately remove a creative forward player for a defensive replacement, shifting Capoue back into the centre of defence moving Dier to right-back.
Spurs held out until the next incident just after the hour when Adebayor did the only decent thing he’d done all afternoon when running straight he conned Collins to take him down and get his second yellow card to even things up.
By now Lamela and Lennon had been replaced by Townsend and Holtby. Holtby showed why when he plays so should Soldado, a player on his wavelength, not this long streak of dolt. Townsend somehow managed to stay wide a couple of times and get crosses in with his right. But then started drifting further and further inside. He had one good shot that actually had the ‘keeper have to make a save but on a few occasions everyone was cramped in an area the width of the D, as someone looked for an out ball wide to the empty space on the right, there was Townsend stood right next to them.
Screaming for Soldado, Poch bizarrely replaced the inept with Kane. No, me neither. Roberto just sat there on the bench. Is he gone?
Downing could have won it but Hugo was being Hugo and made yet another great game saving save. Kaboul came out and was all over the place – as he was most of the match – lost possession very easily, possession Spam kept when Bentaleb made a pathetic airy fairy attempt to nick the ball, which could have resulted in a winner. This was overlooked by his and Timmy’s fanboys because he had a shot later.
Then with it looking like petering out to a draw – one point better than last season – Bentaleb managed to find Kane who passed it on to the charging right-back, furthest forward, Dier rounded the ‘keeper and slotted home the winner in the 93rd minute.
Never mind the quality feel the points. Already Pochettino has three more points against the Spam than either manager got last season. Pissed on their cup final. But that’s all you could really take from the game.
Yes it is only the first game of the season but that starting XI isn’t going to be challenging for much. OK there’ll be some changes made, World Cup players returning, but new blood is needed and old blood offloaded. Rose and Naughton will cost the club more if they stay than if they were just released, worrying the former was given a new 5 year deal.
Adebayor usually plays up for the new guy, saw nothing of that here, is he still playing for Togo, if so and they qualify he’ll be off to the African Cup of Nations come the new year, followed by his usual post tournament disappearing act. So that’s a few weeks with Kane as the only option if no one is bought and Soldado is off.
So Poch, you didn’t wear the gilet, there was no stupid salutes but there’s a lot of work needing done, you ain’t gonna be up against the likes of this lot of useless lumpers that’ll allow you to get away with it.