and a battling 3 points.
It’s raising the hopes and we all know “it’s the hope I can’t cope with”.
With Defoe going down midweek, I was hoping ‘Arry would start Pavlyuchenko and Gudjohnsen up front, even though I said the previous game against Fulham was too small a sample to say that the big Russian doesn’t link up with Crouch that well, I still wanted the change. Both are probably better as the furthest forward…forward. Gudjohnsen dropping deep would link up better with Pav.
Of course this didn’t figure into the equation Crouch’s presence in the Spurs’ box and the great defensive work he put in to combat all the balls from corners, free-kicks and it almost goes without saying throw ins, Delap throw-ins. So no it wasn’t the selection eye opener ‘Arry sprung on us, no that was the replacement of Palcios in the middle with Kaboul. My didn’t that go down well. Eh? Away to Stoke, a fighter is required to stiffen that midfield, that’s the man from Honduras not by-back from Pompey. But with Wilson sitting on 9 yellows and therefore one booking away from a two match suspension ‘Arry wanted to save him for the cup replay against Fulham.
It was a game of one half really as the first passed without anyone noticing. On an ‘orrible pitch as Spurs seemed to fall into that mode of playing as bad as the opposition that seems to come over them against certain “big lumper” sides. The only things anyone witnessed were Bale getting kicked, Gomes flapping but ultimately keeping out a number of high balls, Whitehead’s first booking for taking out Modric and Gudjohnsen introduction. The latter happening due to Pav picking up a hamstring injury. Just what we needed.
Well in a way maybe it was as Pav and Crouch weren’t working but 20 seconds into the second half Crouch and Gudjohnsen did. Nice ball through by the Englishman and the Icelander, holding off Abdoulaye Faye which takes some doing, banged in a nice first goal for the club. Just under three minutes later and it had the look of a good day about it as Whitehead went through Luka again to receive his second yellow.
His manager, Tony Pulis, wasn’t happy, Mike Dean had sent off yet another one of his players. Yet he was quite happy for Dean to penalise Assou-Ekotto and award Stoke a penalty for a challenge that was pretty much like the one Robert Huth did on Bale some moments earlier without anything given. Stoke back in it, totally undeserved, hope receding.
Thankfully they had their top scorer on and he didn’t add to his one league goal this season. No one knows how he didn’t but he didn’t And then Assou-Ekotto decided he try and impersonate Bale – rather than his attempt to portray Graham “Tiny Tears” Le Saux to Corluka’s David “Quickly, Kevin – will he score?” Batty – bombs on, takes the pass from Bale, finds a Spurs player with the cross but that player, Gudjohnsen, decides there’s bugger all I can really do with this so I’ll let it run between my legs for the onrushing Kranjcar to bang into the back of the net. Two one, thank you.
They go on to miss more chances but in the end Spurs come away from the Britannia with all 3 points, which many teams don’t, and that 4th spot held onto, throughout which the much vaunted home support is completely drowned out by the travelling lillywhite yid army.