There’s a lot of people really happy with the way Spurs played as they lost the League Cup final but in all honesty it looks like the worst type of straw clutching.
But then many seemed to think that if Pochettino put out the same team he did two months previous the same outcome would be guaranteed. Bar Dier for Fazio he did just that but Mourinho, whether you love him or loathe him, is not one to be caught out twice.
So in came the big bus.
Shorn of Matic he lumped a big central defender in the middle of the park, what with Ramires in there it wasn’t so much the back five people were talking about when the team sheets came out as a defensive six. Added to that Spurs just didn’t play with the verve and pace they did on that New Year’s Day encounter.
Hell neither team did.
There certainly wasn’t much flair on show from either side and Jose’s plan was to come away from Wembley with his first piece of silverware in two and half years by hook or by crook. He had no intentions of making it pretty, just win baby.
Wasn’t turgid 2-0 victories the reason he got the sack from Chelsea last time around?
According to Twitter Bentaleb bossed the game and we have to be proud of this great performance and make sure we don’t lose him. Well, much in the way that nobody showed any interest in Jenas once Levy bought him, I doubt that any serious offers will be coming their way for Mr. Sideways. His most constructive contribution was being slapped in the face by Costa. It should have cost the Spanish striker a yellow card, Jose’s pre-match whinging since Matic’s red card made sure it didn’t. You knew the ref would bottle any big decisions against Chelsea.
Other than that bossing the game apparently means sitting on the half way line as the opposition drop back and passing it five to ten yards sideways. The eulogising of this nothing player is beyond belief, I’m thinking if he cost a few quid he wouldn’t be so
With neither Bentaleb and Mason offering anything really through a packed middle, Mason at least tries but is still limited, the only option was width. But then that didn’t exactly work either. On the left Chadli hasn’t been the same since his return from the absence after his father’s death. On the right we have step over, step over, cut inside lose the ball. Townsend can’t even get aimless mile high shots off target off any more.
Add to that both Walker and Rose, nominally down as fullbacks, spend most of the games thinking they are wingers but have barely any ability to deliver a decent cross nine times out of ten. Hell it’s on par with their defensive abilities. Rose who thinks defending is just jumping into needless challenges and Walker who waits and waits and waits until the last second before he’ll kick the ball, usually playing others into trouble in the process.
It was left to Eriksen and Kane, with little or no service to try and do something. Well Eriksen had one of his trademark free-kicks which wasn’t quite on the mark as it hit the woodwork. Kane tried, ran about but didn’t touch the ball anywhere near as much as he did in the league encounter at the Lane. And when he did he just ran into a blue wall and lost possession. Funny when Lamela does exactly the same he’s a giant waste of money.
So Jose stifled it and Spurs couldn’t with two thirds of the possession couldn’t break through, usual story of their struggles against flat back tens.
The two goals were fitting of this instantly forgettable final in that they were both instantly forgettable. Both being lucky deflections. The first just before the break a needless foul by Chadli and the free-kick is swung into the box and a line of seven white shirts across the face of goal can’t stop Terry’s free hit in the middle of the box, after Rose had flicked the ball on into a dangerous area.
Walker was knackered just before the goal, Fazio warmed up during half-time but no change was made, so Walker continued. He’s not much at the best of times but when he can’t even run Walker is less than useless. So when he was one on one with Costa 10 minutes into the second half it didn’t bode well. Costa’s shot going wide until Walker’s leg intervened. As with the first Lloris had no chance.
Subs were introduced, Dembele actually provided some craft and guile but this wasn’t two down to the Spammers, Jose didn’t send them out to play like this to cough up two in the dying minutes. Yes a cross flashed across the face of goal but of course Kane put the cross in so wasn’t there to be on the end of it.
But as throughout the rest of the game Cech had very little if nothing really to do.
So we have all the usual patronising platitudes. What a brave performance from the young players – look at all those academy graduates – yet in reality with a side with those two fullbacks, that pair in the middle, Townsend on any wing the future is certainly isn’t as bright as some would have you believe this morning.
So no more Thursday / Sunday games and now the post League Cup winners decline has been avoided…