Spurs actually managed to win a game, doing so without much undue hassle, admittedly it was just Fulham but now they’re just two wins from a cup final.
And one of those is against Millwall, thanks to a hat-trick from Harry Kane and seemingly an attitude from Pochettino and the players that they might actually bother about this game.
After two feckless performances, leading to two losses, you wondered what the manager would do with this game. Add in the previous round when they were almost dumped out of the Cup by a lower league side, in another embarrassing performance and would he try it again, fielding a weakened team and would it be that weakened compared to those other two teams?
He went fairly full strength, in fact in some areas you could say he strengthened it. Certainly getting Vertonghen back next to Toby added a lot. Trippier on the right to me is a better option than the clueless Walker. This expertly highlighted by the opening goal.
When have you seen Walker not dither over taking a throw? More chance of it not being a foul throw – hand behind ball, apply a bit of spin. Over the top of the Fulham player, that Trippier caused problems for until the former was taken off – then a first time cross from Eriksen and Kane stuck out his leg to guide the ball home.
Fast, first time stuff, no dithering no sideways or backwards passes, everything that was missing from the Gent and Liverpool games. It was all there with the same players in the second, well with Dele to start it with a good ball over to Trippier, quick to cut the ball back to Eriksen – no Walker style dithering, no running his foot over the ball, immediate cutback. Eriksen took one touch and then found Kane again with a perfect cross.
Spurs could have been ahead before taking the lead, a couple of fluffed chances, they could have been level before the second when Vorm saved himself after gifting the ball away. Do wish they’d cut down on that fannying about at the back when defenders have a man on. It only really works if you want to bring the opposition on and then hit the over the top with a quick counter. To me, to you passing and then trying to play through them just invites trouble.
It was pretty open stuff, Fulham had chances just weren’t good enough to finish them off so Vorm had little to actually do. There was just more life to Spurs than of late, especially Eriksen, who was all over the field. It was only his set plays that sucked, think when he took a short corner late on it was the first time he found a Spurs player with one. His free-kicks repeatedly found the wall.
It was one touch stuff for Spurs’ and Kane’s third. Eriksen controlled then onto Dele, his first time pass and Kane is through to finish sweetly.
Kane’s number was just about up, he was replaced shortly after, replaced by Sissoko. Well, if that isn’t the death knell of Janssen’s Spurs career, the fact he din’t make it on at all probably is. It was another head scratching sub from Pochettino, you wonder why he picked the striker on the bench. As it was without him on the park there was no focal point, so the game pretty much petered out in the last 15 minutes.
Still say, especially with the return of Vertonghen they need to revert to the back three, the team is better balanced and far more in touch with each other. Do that and play one touch, less dithering stuff and they can get the season back on track.
Beat Millwall, then another team and you’re in a Cup final, beat Gent and you’ve finally won a game at the home of the Cup final…
It was funny hearing Fulham fan Richard Osman saying he wished Spurs had disrespected the Cup more by fielding a weakened team on the BBC. I mean what disrespects the Cup more than a Match Of The Day on Saturday, on the BBC, with Trevor Sinclair and John Hartson as pundits…