in the end.
Spurs did their usual trick of sinking to the level of the opposition as they came back from being two down to draw with Wet Spam with the last kick of the game.
This was an awful display from Spurs, from those on the pitch to those off. Pochettino and his players were simply not involved until the final 10 minutes when thankfully that resilience formed over the season saw them scrape a draw from a position they wouldn’t have gained a point from previously.
It started brightly with Bentaleb actually playing the ball forward, once an aimless pass that was only saved from being really inept by Kane chasing it down, the ball eventually made it’s way back to Bentaleb who played forward again this time a shot which wasn’t half back. Was saved, so nothing came of it.
Later Kane himself scuffed a ball onto the post and that was that for the rest of the game until the 80th minutes or so.
The rest was just a shambles of a performance. Inept passing, no tackling, no cohesion and a bunch of players that weren’t even going through the motions. Ably assisted by some of the standard officiating we’ve come to expect.
All pretty well summed up with the two goals that put the Spam on their way to a perceived promised land.
Mason Gerrard’d an easy ball, leading to him bundling over the opposition player in desperation from the free-kick the ball is aimlessly humped into the box for Dier to partially clear. Dembele then goes for a little wander with it, all the way into the box before coughing it up without much fight. The ball is played about a bit with West Ham, while Walker dithers around cluelessly, until it’s crossed into the box for Kouyaté, between Dier and Vertonghen to head in the opener.
This is where Pochettino got it wrong. Yes the pairing of Dier and Vertonghen is the one for the future and has it’s merits it’s not the pairing for this game. You know West Ham lump balls into the box – they have something like the most headed goals in the league – this game and the one against those other long ball merchants Man United that coming up are screaming out for Fazio. He might not be the quickest but he can’t half get onto the end of an aerial ball and head it away.
Their second highlighted Spurs other great problem. Fullbacks who can’t defend.
First Rose is caught out by a long ball that Sakho gets onto and crosses across the face of the goal, where Walker is to busy trying to manhandle Valencia than play the ball, god forbid he should actually try and play football – he wouldn’t look out of place at that rugby team Stoke. He then scampers out to Noble who has picked up the ball but doesn’t really close him down, makes a half arsed attempt by sticking his leg out as the cross goes over to the far post where Sakho knocks it in while Rose stands there with his hand up.
Yes Valencia was in an offside position, though these days that means nothing, but he did go for the ball so should have been flagged – another case where the ref gets the blame but it’s his assistants who are at fault. But that’s no excuse for Rose’s Statue of Liberty act.
This is exactly the type of goal Spurs will keep conceding when they pick fullbacks on the basis of how fast they can run. Neither of this pair have a brain between them never mind a footballing one, they can just run. Sometimes that pace gets them out of trouble but more often it doesn’t and because of that pace they will never advance as defenders because they believe that pace will save them.
Inept officiating stepped in again a little later, already booked for a cynical pull back on Townsend’s shirt – to go with more cynical time wasting – Noble should have seen red for going through the back of Bentaleb – my god he did more than one thing all game. The ref bottled it. All honesty it could have been a straight red.
Now we have Mourinho and his media chums saying Vertonghen should have been done for pushing over Noble after. Well if you look at it they come together both running into the same place, Noble goes down like Tom Daley, rather ironic given Big Fat Sam Allardyce’s later comments.
At two nil with the way Spurs were playing it looked done and dusted, even with the introduction of Eriksen for the ineffectual Dembele. It really would have been but for the great saves of Hugo Lloris. You didn’t need to be a lip reader when after a point blank save from Valencia the Frenchman showed he’d grasped some Anglo-Saxon as he spread his arms and uttered
for fuck’s sake.
Then the comeback as the visitors dropped back with the end in sight thinking they’d won their cup final. It could have come earlier but Kane was, correctly, flagged offside after his header was saved and then he knocked in the rebound.
Some good build up play between Lamela and Eriksen saw a corner. A quick one taken between the pair saw Lamela put in a dangerous cross which the ‘keeper punched out for Rose to scuff it into the ground and the ball loop into the net. At least the left-back had the good grace not to celebrate the goal.
Shortly after Soldado could have completed it but it’s running for the fella. Lamela’s ball into the box was stopped by Chadli into Soldado’s path his first time shot was well saved.
No there was only one person who was going to complete the comeback. A very tight one two with Eriksen saw Kane break into the box, there, after he’d probably lost real control of the ball and was covered by a defender, Song decided to foul him with one leg and two hands, Kane went down and the ref rightly pointed to the spot.
Up stepped Kane, proved himself to be a true Spurs player by having the penalty saved but with the last kick of the game he scored the rebound.
Certainly a point gained from a woeful display. That with Allardyce’s post match whining almost made up for the dropped two points.