Saturday’s fourth round FA Cup tie against Leeds was all so familiar of a Spurs game.
Batter the away side for the first 20 minutes, have chance after gilt edged chance, don’t take them, get frustrated miss more and more chances as their ‘keeper makes ave after save, totally dominate and finally score. But the floodgates don’t open, as the would probably do if the goal had gone in earlier than the 42nd minute.
Say for example the early penalty, another missed by Defoe, it would have relaxed the side, Leeds might have played differently in that first period but no another piss weak spot kick. Of course there would have been another gifted chance if the ref hadn’t decided he’d already given one spot kick he therefore couldn’t award Spurs a second. No it took until just before half time for the deserved opener which gave them no real time to build on it but allowed the Leeds manager to give them a lift during the break. Leeds coming out and making it a far more even second half.
A second half that say an exception goal from Pavlyuchenko, from Palacios build up to the big Russian’s finish, a great tackle by Dawson followed by a very slightly not so great one, a last kick of the game equaliser in the 96th minute. Quite where the ref got the indicated 5 minutes of added, who knows never mind 6. Five subs, now that’s 2 and half minutes, there was no injuries, little time wasting, a maximum of 3 minutes was somehow doubled and it wasn’t even Howard Webb.
But ‘Arry brought many of the problems on himself, again like Wednesday’s league defeat with team choices. Now I can understand the wish to rest Palacios, he has played in every single league game so far this season add in a few domestic cup games and then the Honduras World Cup qualifiers, he does need a rest here and there. But if you are going to rest him ‘Arry you can’t replace him with Jenasite, it’s not exactly a like for like replacement.
Now I know ‘Arry does have a direct replacement for Palacios, but there’s one thing he could guarantee about Saturday’s visitors and that is they would fight for the game, a fight Spurs would have to combat. Now if you are going to, finally, start with Modric in the middle you can’t partner him with a coward that runs and hides when the going gets tough. You need some mettle in the middle of the park, exactly the type of stuff very much lacking in Jenasite.
Saturday’s performance was so lacking from that said individual I can’t say I’ve seen or heard anyone actually stand up for him this time round, there’s normally one or two who are happy wallowing in his ineptness. Most are questioning ‘Arry about the… well I was going to say player but it’s not really apt is it, individual staying on the park for the full game. Rose didn’t set the world alight but he wasn’t disappointing either, he won the penalty after all, why bring him off for Palacios when it could have been a straight swap for Jenasite, a move that would have benefited the whole team, especially Modric.
The sooner that bid comes and and is accepted from the east end pikeys the better.
Why not give O’Hara a go ‘Arry? He could have provided the bit of fight required in the middle, he would have provided everything missing from that other person. The Leeds manager, Grayson, out thought his more experienced opponent with the positioning of Snodgrass. Funny Beckford gets all the mentions, and yes he scored both goals but I get a feeling that Snodgrass is the better player. Beckford looks a bit like a lower division scorer, you know the type tons of goals in a promotion run but gets to the top flight and it’s January and he still hasn’t opened his account. Snodgrass even though he’s a Jock looks like he’s got something about him.
Now ‘Arry could make some tough choices for the next game, Fulham in the league, with the amount of chances missed by Defoe could he do with a benching. Just to show him it can happen and that if he doesn’t pull his finger out and actually find the back of the net from all those chances created it means he’s not an automatic choice. Maybe needs reminded that last World Cup year his production dropped off and then he was by Svennis.
Pavlyuchenko took his goal exceptionally well, from the bobbled layoff by Defoe, does he deserve the chance to start, well yes. He’s done more than Defoe and Keane in the last few games, should certainly be seen as the first replacement before Keane, who looks a spent force. But with words spoken by both sides after the game it looks doubtful that he’s played himself into ‘Arrys ‘eart and mind…
He can start games, there’s nothing to stop him from starting…If he comes in every day to work, shows a good attitude and if he plays on Tuesday [against Fulham], then I expect him to run around, work hard for the team. If he does that, he’s got terrific ability, then there’s no reason why he can’t be in the team.
It’s finding the ball. When you haven’t got the ball, you have to work. You can’t have a couple not working for you. It’s finding that blend for you. There are exceptions to the work ethic but you have to put a shift in, and I’m not talking just about Pavlyuchenko. You can’t have two strikers who won’t work for you, who won’t run the channels and track back when they lose the ball.‘Arry Redknapp
…and the feeling is mutual…
I’ve been told many times that I would play, but I continue to sit on the bench.
Now, and at best in the cups, I get on for 15-20 minutes. So I think that goal hasn’t changed anything. Anyway, I hope it doesn’t hurt my ability to leave Tottenham Hotspur. Alas, I still wait in hope Roman Pavlyuchenko