It seems the only way to get any life out of the striker.
With a Russian side in town and the game being shown back in his homeland and the repeated rumours of him wanting away in the January window, especially to one of those nice rich Ruskie teams, you knew he’d be shooting on sight and chances are he’d score a screamer.
His free kick, just after the half hour, was pretty much the highlight of a game that was lacking any kind of cutting edge. That was more down to sloppy play throughout the rest of the players. Pav may have done better on the night but just didn’t really have much decent service.
Some of that again was down to ‘Arry’s tactics. His hands were tied with who was available, two fit centrebacks for this and at least Sunday’s away trip to Blackburn. So ‘Arry goes with Livermore next to Bassong. Now with his pick of Sandro in the middle, maybe he could have swapped those two. Then with Kazan packing the midfield, ‘Arry left Spurs light in there with just Carroll and Sandro.
Then there’s that great tactical genius at work with Lennon on the left and dos Santos on the right.
It doesn’t work ‘Arry. It hasn’t worked with Bale it certainly doesn’t work with Lennon. He just runs inside and into trouble and lost possession. Lennon had one good moment in the match, just after 70 minutes when he finally found himself on the right and finally did what he should do on most occasions, knock the ball past the defender on the outside and run after it then bang it across the box. It was the one moment it worked out wide. A few seconds later Lennon came off for Modric.
Someone needs to get Lennon doing this eight times out of ten, those other two times are there to keep defenders on their toes. He has the pace to beat anyone, create space, earn free kicks and get opponents sent off.
It was one thing that ‘Arry did get right through the night his substitutions. One especially, though of course it could have been a bit of a disaster. Kaboul. A beast. Things were shaky at the back, Bassong was looking more and more like no one will stand in his way if he wants to move. Livermore just isn’t a centreback. Kaboul came in and shored everything up. Blocking, clearing up, generally bossing things, looking like a real leader and a great buy-back.
Tom Carroll was getting many plaudits on the night, man-of-the-match for many. I’m happy he’s getting games, he’s certainly one for the future but didn’t think he was at his best last night. As I said he was being out numbered in the middle and those around him weren’t exactly setting the world alight, too many facing the Spurs goal than forward. Carroll gave away too much possession, bit of dithering, playing others into trouble and back-passing. But he is a talent and it’s good he’s getting a run out in this competition.
Gomes was back in goal, all waiting for some comedy gold weren’t we. Well on a couple of occasions he tried but didn’t quite pull it off, he did pull off some saves though. Not a bad second or third choice.
Well it’s not the Rubin Kazan that took four points off Barcelona in the Champions League a couple of seasons back, beating them at the Camp Nou to go with a draw at home, they are meant to be more offensive minded these days, though were toothless in this game but it’s the toughest team in the group, away game should be tougher and there won’t be the experienced players available as ‘Arry doesn’t want them travelling all the way to Kazan.
Anyway, hell of a strike from Pav…