A Tweet went out last night shortly after Spurs had lost 4-1 in the second leg of their last 16 Europa League tie away at Inter Milan, to draw 4-4 on aggregate and go through on away goals…
Only spurs could lose, draw and win at the same time…
— seb (@S_Woollard) March 14, 2013
It’s the Spurs way. Well probably not. To lose, draw and go out on away goals or penalties is probably more the Spurs way after handing the opposition a hammering in the first leg. And, well, they weren’t the first to do it this week, Bayern managed it on Wednesday.
But it just encapsulates what life is like as a Spurs supporter.
Don’t know about the rest of ’em but I wonder how many said
they’ll score here on the 75th minute when Cassano lined up a free-kick from yet another stupid foul given away.
Bar a couple of players this was a collective shambles from the top down.
Now I support AVB, as posted many times here wanted him at the club but he got it all wrong last night. Formation, personnel and tactics. 4-4-2 looked a wrong ‘un from the off. Defoe and Adebayor don’t work together – well quite frankly they don’t work apart either – it leaves a midfield that can be quite easily overrun, especially one that is void of any creativity and that’s quite the case when Parker is the forward, attacking one of the duo. While Dembele is shunted out where he has very little influence and isn’t the type to track back to cover overlapping fullbacks – which contributed to Inter’s opening goal.
Three quarters of a back four that’s flaky – one of whom is not a left-back though constantly finds himself there and last night was constantly found wanting defensively – trying to deal with a high line that has just a reluctant pensioner behind it. Sorry Andre but wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.
As for the tactics, you don’t know who was at fault here really. AVB can tell ’em what to do, it doesn’t mean they’ll actually do it though. AVB said it’s not in the club to go and hold on with that three goal lead and that’s the way it looked, like they would go for it and get that necessary away goal that should have killed off the game.
The fullbacks bombed forward the ball was being passed about with ease, until they just stopped and started passing sideways and back until just either going back to Friedel for a hump forward to lose possession. Or they just gave it away or had it taken off them.
Time and again they got into good advanced positions to try and score but as soon as they did all ambition was lost. I suppose it didn’t help that when they looked up all there was in front of them was Adebayor and Defoe.
I’ve seen people praise the latter for his work rate and because he scored that all important goal. But by christ if I never see him in a Spurs shirt ever again. The old joke about his second touch being a tackle doesn’t work with Adebayor. His first touch is so bloody awful the ball is so far away that he wouldn’t run that far to even try and attempt a second touch. Can only remember him winning one header.
The goal was a great surprise. For once he was in the right place at the right time and did the right thing. Miracles do happen. Previously he was constantly running the wrong way, never anticipating where a ball would go. He can’t read a game. The goal was luck. His earlier miss wasn’t the sign of lack of confidence but a sign of a poor player who has got his pay day. He was also lucky, while Spurs unlucky, that he only received a yellow card for a wild kick at an Inter player late on. Should probably have been red.
But then would it have matter who was up front with Parker as the main provider? It’s another black mark against AVB that he seems to think Parker can play the creative role. No. He can barely do the holding role, this is way beyond his very, very limited capabilities. All last night when he wasn’t passing back, or passing others into trouble he was mincing forward, running into a crowd, losing the ball and then falling over.
You hear cries of derision about the inclusion of Livermore and yes he wasn’t particularly good but when the same people praise Parker it makes no sense. They both gave the ball away and while Livermore made tackles Parker didn’t make a single one. Again mincing back and floating off players who were part of the goals.
The TV camera panned in on Parker for a while during the match for no apparent reason – unsurprisingly he hadn’t done anything – and I can just image the foreign commentators laughing at the English and their love of the useless clodhoppers who are treated as greats because they “run around a bit”.
The ref wasn’t giving anything near the Inter box. Fouls that were quite rightly penalised on the halfway line were waived on further up the pitch. So much so that Walker was ridiculously carded for a dive when he was clearly taken out.
They needed that early goal, to kill it all off, what little Inter support there was in the crowd would have probably gone home and things would have been different. But from the moment they scored it seemed like only one outcome. Even when they hit the post you didn’t feel it wasn’t not going to be their night.
Inter could have been out of sight, Friedel making a few saves, but then Spurs could have clinched it more emphatically if Vertonghen’s header hadn’t been straight at the ‘keeper’s leg and Gallas hadn’t emphatically missed with a free header. Gallas a player someone said to me last night
looks like he’s going through the motions. Lost track of the times he and Walker let Cassano come back inside on his right to put a dangerous cross in. Wasn’t until Lennon came on that there was some semblance of defensive work on the right.
Not many covered themselves in glory, Dembele slightly for his shot for the goal, Sigurdsson for his work, Lennon as a cameo, Vertonghen with some of his stuff and Friedel with a few saves. That’s it.
It had Spurs catastrophe written all over it. Capitulation here after it happened on Sunday and seriously I don’t know what would have happened to the season. But they “won” in the end and in the end that’s technically all that matters, on to the quarter finals and a trip to Switzerland for a game against FC Basle.
But from being installed favourites for the Europa League after the first leg stuffing of Inter they don’t quite look like that now.