the man of the match?
Again Spurs find that they morph into the team they’re playing, like champions against Madrid, like relegation fodder against Crystal Palace, still they got the victory.
It’s Palace… bottom of the table Palace… managed by clueless Roy Hodgson… yes that Roy Hodgson…
Well it wasn’t quite full Spursy, that would have seen Palace win only their second league game of the season, it was just a Spursy performance in that it was slow, tedious, error strewn and just so typical of games when the opposition don’t come to play.
So we end up with the third choice goalkeeper being named man of the match. The thing is he might not really have been, yes he made some outstanding saves but the best player on the park was Dier. The best player a defender… against Palace.
That the third ‘keeper was playing and the holding midfielder was in the back three was down to the injuries that all of a sudden have piled up. Hugo and Toby injured during the Madrid game, Vorm injured since while Dele was also missing, apparently carrying an injury from before the Madrid game. Then during this game Kane took an knock and Winks went off at half time, resulting in both of them withdrawing from the England squad.
Can’t say I’m disappointed at their withdrawal. Give the bunch of ’em a rest for this meaningless break.
So while the rest of the Spurs team were going about their business like they were auditioning for a place in the Palace squad, Gazzaniga was showing why they went out and got a third choice keeper this summer and Dier was highlighting that fact Pochettino and his coaching staff may have been right when they told the player he could be the best English centre-back.
Dier has been getting back into stride and this by far his best performance. Running great angles to cut off most of the attacks that were coming on the counter. Attacks helped by some shoddy passing – I’m looking at you Serge. Aurier didn’t have his best game, giving more ammo to his haters and reviving the myth of Walker, even though Aurier’s “Walker moments” were much like Walker on a good day.
So it was the standard stuff from Spurs, without Dele not enough bodies in the box, nobody getting behind the defence, Sissoko bouncing the ball around without a clue, while what width there was, was coming to nothing through crosses that just never seem to find a Spurs foot. Rose was at least just banging them in first time and not dithering but none were really coming off.
It’s the reverse of the Madrid game, Spurs have the ball and do sod all with it while the opposition have the best chances on the breakaway. Or pretty much every game Spurs play against a team that doesn’t want to play but is hopeful they might nick something. Something undeserved.
Don’t let anyone tell you Palace deserved anything out of that. They’re the same people that are shocked that Zaha missed an open goal when he rounded Gazzaniga. The reason he missed such an easy chance is the very reason why he’s still a Palace player.
The winner came after some pinball in the palace area. Sissoko, Harry, Rose, Sissoko, finally to the feet of Son on the edge of the area and he curls it brilliantly inside the post.
It was one of those days from Spurs and from Son. I dunno, the Korean was just poor for the vast majority of the game, well most of it bar the goal really. He worked, never shirked but what he did wasn’t great. He had one on one chances later and ended up Sissokoing them. He does have a tendency to score the hard ones and miss the easy ones.
Well it was a win, a win at Wembley, a win at Wembley after a great Champions League night, while those around were taking points off each other. So it really wasn’t that Spursy after all…