Constantly they just morph into the team they’re playing. Done it for years and they were back again against Panathinaikos in their second group game of the Europa League, getting only a draw.
Newcastle performed well last season, so Spurs played well against them. West Brom and Norwich are seen as a bit dull and lower down the league – even though the Baggies are up the league – so played against them to match that level. ManUre seen as a top side, so Spurs lift themselves.
Panathinaikos have been on a downer this season so far, right down the bottom of their division, hell Greece is one hell of a downer. The empty seats were plentiful, though you don’t know if that was down to the club of the country or indeed both. Spurs did all they could to match them.
Lacklustre from the start Andre Villas-Boas likes this competition, wants to do well it, wants to win something – as the fans do – so he put out a pretty damn strong team just three changes from Saturday’s triumph – all three coming in being internationals. It just doesn’t look like those on the pitch have the manager’s and fan’s enthusiasm.
It looked like Spurs would be lucky though as poorly as they played the hosts were even worse in the first half. The visitors should have put the game to bed in that opening 45 minutes but as per usual they only had one goal to show for it. Captain, for the night, Michael Dawson’s 35 minute flick on from a free-kick.
Everyone was happy that Dawson scored, nice free kick from Huddlestone. But it was as good as it got from either of them. The latter was no substitute for Sandro, in a lazy display. The latter looked like a fifth choice centre-back. Don’t know if it’s just lack of games or the game has just moved on since AVB came in. The aimless humps up the park are out of date and he looked slow on the odd Panathinaikos attack.
As the whistle went for half-time the boos rang out from the, what about quarter filled, Olympic stadium. Those in white must have felt at home.
It looked to have the desired effect on the Greeks as they upped their game while Spurs
enjoyed that usual post break 15 minute lull. The second half carried on much like that period, sloppy and complacent seemingly thinking the job was done while it looked more and more likely Panathinaikos would grab at least an equaliser.
I came 77 minutes in. Real sloppy defending. Dawson too busy trying to play the man without looking like he was playing the man – look ref, my hands are up, I’m not doing anything. Goalkeeper, well I’m pretty sure Friedel would have been handed some blame for not coming out far enough.
All a bit of a shambles. Spurs had relaxed so much hey couldn’t lift themselves to get back into it the only real surprise was Panathinaikos not going on to take he win. Very poor night. Step back from Saturday’s two steps forward.