With all the excitement of Fat Sam Allardyce I completely forgot a completely forgettable Champions League game as Spurs finally got off the mark in Moscow.
A pretty woeful performance against CSKA in Spurs’ second Champions League group game, where everything that hasn’t worked in previous games didn’t work, repeatedly.
Get ball, turn inside, run into blue and red wall, lose ball, get ball back, rinse and repeat.
Seemed to go on most of the night. Son on the left, Lamela on the right both coming inside to cram up a crowded middle even more. While Davies at left-back didn’t get forward enough into the acres of space and Trippier on the right hardly saw the ball, even though he did make many runs overlapping.
Thus the Russians had plenty of players to get in the road of those with the ball, always seemed to be two or three CSKA players around any Spurs player in possession.
When they tried something else, that didn’t come off either. Eye of needle passes were cut out or hit straight at a Moscow player, or just over hot past any Spurs player.
Janssen was cutting a forlorn figure, when the ball did reach him he was generally too anxious, ending up offside. One finish, where he dinked the ball over the ‘keeper was sublime and would have been the perfect way to get off the mark in open play but the flag was up.
Things changed when Pochettino swapped the two “wide” men and then changed for the better with the introduction of Nkoudou. Finally some width and better use of direct running, i.e. into space not other players.
The wingers introduction was at the expense of Janssen, personally I’d have gone for Lamela who was having a dog of a game. But then minutes later after a glorious ball from Toby that cut through the middle of CSKA – one eye of a needle pass that came off – Lamela played Son in with an excellent pass and the Korean squirmed his shot through the Moscow ‘keeper.
Yet another important goal from Son, opener and winner.
It’s a win, it’s back on track but yet again it was a poor performance, it’s going to need a lot better than that in this competition. Pochettino was rocking the AVB coat and things started to turn sexy when he did that last season and we know they can get better than this, a lot better…