Each one of the three a savage blow to their campaign to run AVB out of town. Three games to save his career, that went well for them didn’t it. Ah but it was only Reading! Yet you all wanked on about another newly promoted side, who looked even more hapless and hopeless than Spurs’ hosts being thumped by a certain other side.
Yes it was Reading and they were somewhat accommodating but Spurs have a pretty poor record against the new boys in town over the last few years…
9 – Only Sunderland (10) have lost more PL matches to newly-promoted sides in the last five seasons than Spurs. Tripped
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 16, 2012
…you know those seasons when darling of the media ‘Arry Redknapp was in charge and a victory was required just to shut up those friends of ‘Arry. AVB can now get on with the job with the players he now has at his disposal until they try and make up another story.
How long before Adebayor is complaining about being on the bench – actually could see that coming true.
Now bizarrely I don’t know if it was the best performance of the season. The first half was a pretty dominant display but did it match the opening 45 minutes against West Brom, or some of the play against Newcastle? Maybe not. It certainly was a massive improvement from their last outing. The main difference was the absence of one of the holding midfielders for a more attack minded player. Dembele for Livermore. This lead to a more fluid and linked up performance. While not being a direct replacement for Modric the Belgique provided something that had been missing in the first few games.
His head is up, he’s looking to move forward when he receives the ball and he can move past players with ease, much like Modric can. Can be no coincidence that we saw a better performance from Sigurdsson, more involved he looked more like the player we thought we were getting for a snip, not quite fully there but getting there.
It was the Icelander who started things rolling with a great ball through the channel, reading Lennon’s equally good run – as I Tweeted at the time it’s the perfect ball for Lennon, in front of him on the move, there is no point giving him the ball when he’s stationary, especially if he’s facing his own goal or having to jump up right on the sideline. Cut back by the winger and Defoe has the opener. Scuffed or not it went in the best place to score. It was one part of Defoe’s game you love, the good the bad and the ugly would come.
And it would come not long after as Spurs should have closed out the game before the break. A hump up from Naughton was taken down brilliantly by the little striker, second touch was a lucky bounce of his knee and the third touch was an atrocious attempt with the outside of his right foot that went wide. Go with the left and he probably would have scored the way he played it the chance was reduced dramatically.
Shortly after it should really have all been wrapped up. Some great chasing down work by Defoe pressurised the Reading ‘keeper into coughing up the ball. Taking it wide you know the only thought in Defoe’s mind was how to have a shot, this caused him to dither and dither before finally playing he ball to Gylfi who by now had a couple of defenders and the ‘keeper in his way.
Going in just one up after such a dominating display. Now where have I seen that before? It just felt like it could be one of those days and as the second half went on and the second goal didn’t come it also felt, again as I Tweeted at the time, that Howard Webb could do a Howard Webb. Though he did let Walker off with a penalty shout early in the game, you just never know what he’s going to do. When Gallas made a challenge in he box it was heart in mouth time.
With Sandro having a more Sandro like game it left only one of the attacking players not really coming to he party. Bale. Funnily he was the one that sealed it. But it was a nothing display from the Welshman. He never really helped Naughton out in defence, the youngster coming in for the injured Assou-Ekotto – again another Tweet as I said before the game I’d have been tempted to put Bale at left back just to keep him wide and on the left. He had one good bursting lung down the left wing, with a cutback to Defoe it created a chance but was it seen again? No, he went drifting.
Though that drifting did lead to the second as Walker got to the byeline and cut it back for Bale to to finish it off. Almost a carbon copy of the opening goal. The two times they really got to he byeline on the right and two goals come from it. Neither rocket surgery or brain science and yet why do we see it done so little?
For the third we did see the best of both Bale and Defoe – in between the latter’s moans at team mates for not giving him the ball. Got a bit of a nerve. Defoe fighting for and winning the ball up on the halfway line, running diagonally from right to left you knew he only had one thought – he only ever has one thought – as Bale ran left to right he dragged one defender away from Defoe and took the attention of the other to give the striker a better chance which he buried. It was the best of Defoe and the kind of thing that may make him undroppable at the moment. But when the goals dry up as they do because he is a streaky scorer, not a consistent one, we’ll see what happens. After all he might have scored two but he should have had quite a few more.
Of course there was still enough time for the classic oft consolation goal against. Poor defending from a unit that looked pretty solid in the face of not that much really. Vertonghen though really looks the business.
On and up. Europa League on Thursday, maybe we’ll finally see if Lloris deserves the number 1 shirt, while getting some game time into the legs of Dempsey and Adebayor.
And hopefully see the media turn their attentions to other managers…