Part way through Spurs commanding victory over West Brom, Tony Pulis looked lost, this wasn’t meant to happen and how could he get more centre-backs on the pitch.
The last time Spurs stuffed the league leaders 2-0 they faced West Brom straight after drew and went on a run of being unbeaten but not winning. So to face the same side after beating the league leaders 2-0 in a commanding performance, well.
And Tony Pulis came to White Hart Lane with what you’d expect, though I doubt that Nacer Chadli expected when he’d make a return to his old club it would be as a fullback.
Yup, Tony went full defensive. A back six that went to a proper flat back nine, sometimes ten. Oh, great, this bodes well, I mean Spurs are well known for breaking down the massed defences of such sides.
Then, something happened and part way through the game I tweeted that I’d never believ a Pulis flat back 10 could be opened up so easily. Could have added often as well. Pulis looked lost, he didn’t know what was going on.
Plan A of defend and nick a goal from a set piece wasn’t working. Well the fact they only really had two set pieces in the first half, both free-kicks, both from about the same spot, both blocked by the one man wall that was Eriksen.
No corners, no corners at all given up in the whole game. Well that cut the visitors goal scoring opportunities down to gifts and flukes. And well with the game being played in their half and them not really touching the ball and Spurs not really in the giving mood, Pulis didn’t know what to do.
Plan B, more defenders, more centre-backs.
Well, on the form Spurs were showing I doubt it would have worked. Hell if it hadn’t been for Foster in the Baggies’ goal having one of those highlight reel games, it would have been a damn sight worse for Pulis.
Thankfully the opener, from Kane, came reasonably early, so as to ease the nerves of it being one of those days. Eriksen with the second gave that breathing room. The third of the first half would have been an outstanding goal, if Dele hadn’t been offside before his casual finish from Eriksen’s glorious flick over the defence.
It was a flick that Dele himself did with such finesse for Kane’s hat-trick, late in the second half. His second came from the kind of gift that was West Brom’s only hope of a consolation, though they had come close early in the second period but still didn’t produce a shot on goal.
Four nil really flattered the visitors and it came as a bit of a surprise, yes Spurs have been winning and playing a lot better recently but WBA have become one of those bogey teams, frustrating draws and bad losses.
But this was about as fluid and perfect game Spurs have put in this season, yes it’s West Brom but in the last year Spurs are only the third team to put three or more past Pulis’ side.
The only downside was the loss of Vertonghen, for who knows how long, to what looked like a really bad injury. Last time out he knackered Toby, who was out for a bit, this time he did himself and did so trying to save a throw in in the middle of the pitch, i.e. for nothing.
Still, you play like that and well you could almost put anyone in the back three and well Poch has Wimmer, who is a little better than that.