met with indifference.
With the first leg score pretty much setting the scene for a nothing game for the return leg at The Lane. And Spurs didn’t disappoint.
As ‘Arry had hinted to when he slagged off the Europa League it was time to stick in some kids and this was real blooding of kids not counting someone with 300 senior appearances including playing in major international championships. This was pukka spotty little 12 year old looking kids, that we’ve all heard about but never seen – Thomas Carroll, Harry Kane, Ryan Fredericks – alongside Townsend and Livermore.
Against a much changed Hearts side they did OK but didn’t set the world alight. Personally I don’t think they were helped by the senior players and some of ‘Arry’s choices. Huddlestone should have bossed that game, made it easier for those around him, even if he’s still getting back to full fitness, but he was slack with his passing. It just looked like a tame training season to try and get him somewhere near fitness.
Talk of Pavlyuchenko and Kane not linking up, again it looked more due to Pav’s indifference, highlighted by the Russian’s one man competition for worst shot of the season. How bad is an attempt when it doesn’t even go for the throw it’s heading for but is collected by the hobbling – usual pace – Corluka.
I don’t think Corluka helped Fredericks who was ahead of him on the right. The kid’s obviously got some pace, pace that’s negated by having to stop for the ball or even worse have to come back for a really under hit pass.
At left-back Townsend wasn’t helped by being all on his lonesome, attacking and defending, with Carroll playing more centrally than he was probably told. Carroll was doing quite well in there but Townsend was permanently surrounded by Hearts defenders. In all honesty at half-time Assou-Ekotto should have come on for Huddlestone, moving Townsend up, Carroll then just staying in the middle.
As said of the three really new boys Carroll probably had the best night, he pinged some good balls about and played in a beaut into the box for Kane who knowingly got there before the ‘keeper and knocked it past to draw the foul for the penalty. It was at this point Kane probably cemented himself as a Spurs striker by missing said penalty. Or more accurately having it saved because as was evident to most watching, including crucially the Hearts ‘keeper, his run up was so straight that he was only gong to go one way, left, which he did.
One thing from the kids that
really grinds my gears came from the two wide men and this trend for wingers to receive the ball in plenty of space out wide, stop and let the defence to get back and then run inside towards a defender, getting closer and closer and then try and flick the ball past him to head for the byline. When what really happens is the old Joe Cole, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Theo Walcott routine, they run into the defender and lose the ball. How can they develop delivery the final ball if it never gets that far. Why are they doing it? Who is teaching them it? Or did they see someone do it and actually succeed – obviously not the three I mentioned earlier – and are desperate to copy it?
Why not get the ball in plenty of space and then just go, with their abundant pace, straight for the byline, then either cut in or cross the damn ball.
So the big talking point on the night was the loan signing of Emmanuel Adebayor. When someone on Twitter asked if it was getting Gallas that has made Spurs more accepting of this, I figure it’s more just the desperation of the situation. We are desperately needing new blood, especially up front, people just sick of the same old faces missing the same old chances week in week out.