it’s a disaster.
How could he lose his first competitive game in charge away to a team that were fighting for a top 4 position last season and kept all their major players from that campaign, including actually having two strikers who’ve played at this level.
In reality a mixed first game of the new Premier League season, some good, some bad and some ugly. Though after defeat it was a surprise there wasn’t the anti-AVB vitriol from certain sections of the media I was expecting.
The good. Well there was more of a game plan than just
fucking’ run around a bit, the high line and the pressing game worked for the most part. Newcastle were restricted, looking at times more like the away side. A couple of times it didn’t quite click as one pass got through, negating a number of Spurs players. One thing is it meant restrictions on players available. They need to be fit, really fit.
Feel maybe that’s why van der Vaart wasn’t picked to start. Without him and Modric on the park there was a certain amount of craft and guile, highlighted by the lift in things when the Dutchman came on for the one debutant, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Spurs played. Can understand why AVB went with two season Premier League players at centre-back, Gallas and Kaboul, on a tough away day rather than throw in Vertonghen. Though WBA at home next up doesn’t look so easy after their opening stuffing of Liverpool.
So the lack of the x-factor was the bad. With Sandro and Livermore in the middle there wasn’t much coming from there, craft wise, though each did the job asked in closing down the home midfield. Livermore doesn’t half come in for some unwarranted abuse from Spurs fans. If Parker had played like that it would have been glowing reviews. But Parker doesn’t play like that, he’s worse and gets all the plaudits. Livermore outplayed him in his few appearances in the latter part of last season.
More bad came from Bale who didn’t do what he should be doing. Running with the ball. He only did it a couple of times, both times created problems for the defence. He got the Newcastle fullback Simpson on an early red card but didn’t really attack him again to test the ref’s resolve. On the other side Lennon had a far better outing, for one who many seemed to think would be on the periphery he looks like he’s bought into the new regime. Though perhaps not surprising as Redknapp never seemed to trust the little winger, while the new guy looks to. Simpson did indulge in a number of challenges later that would have seen him carded if he hadn’t already had a yellow. He wasn’t the only one in black and white stripes who should have seen red for numerous offences, especially when you consider what their manager was dismissed for.
The service to Defoe was also bad, unlike the player himself who put in the kind of shift you really didn’t expect. Took his goal well, couple of yards out you’d expect him to score much like you expect him to hit the woodwork when finding a nice bit of space for himself as he did earlier in proceedings. Still at least one more striker is desperately required, Llorente would do nicely, please.
The ugly cost Spurs the game. Two moments where they dropped off and Newcastle scored two goals from their two shots on target. First up Walker made a mess of heading a cross, ball dropping to Ba who wasn’t closed down quickly enough by Gallas, as he curled it past Friedel.
Second ugly bit was the dropping off when Newcastle had a corner, allowing Ben Arfa to take it short, taking it back he ran into the area with only Lennon and van de Vaart to challenge him. It didn’t work out well as both did enough to give away a spot kick, latter from the front, former from the back.
So while not a truly inspiring performance it was only small individual errors that cost Spurs, errors that can be easily eradicated. Then add that touch of style missing and things should turn around.
And at least in the post match gloom we didn’t have to put up with ‘Arry’s bullshit.