After 34 minutes against Bournemouth, Spurs season was over, they were losing, playing poorly and the star man was just hobbling down the tunnel.
A little over an hour later and the end of season party had been cancelled.
Spurs needed a response after the midweek disappointment, so the media kept banging on, you know in the same manner they keep banging on about they need to win something. As Bournemouth took the lead less than ten minutes into the game, and really should have been two up at that point, the media were getting the response they were wishing for.
They really didn’t want Spurs to come out all guns blazing and win the game, they were getting the flat, given up on the season response the media craved.
After the Juve game how many articles did you read, or pundits did you hear stating Danny Rose would have been the better option at left-back. You could only think this if you hadn’t actually watched Rose and his struggles since he returned to the first team. Here he was struggling against Bournemouth and they don’t exactly have a Douglas Costa playing for them.
It’s almost as if Rose has decided against leaving in the summer and is putting prospective clubs off.
That first half hour was as poor, slow, dithery and uninterested as Spurs have looked this season. Then just after the half hour, Kane, lurking offside put the ball in the back of the next, it was rightly chalked off as the striker sat on the ground, following his collision with the goalkeeper, holding his ankle and not looking too happy.
Yes, that ankle. Again. For the third time. His foot was trapped under the advancing Begovic and he had rolled over on it. It did not look good. Though he stood and looked like he was thinking of coming back on, he eventually made his way to the tunnel, down which he exited.
Now Poch was criticised for his substitutions midweek, well he had no option but to make one here, just a case of which one. The easy option would have been go with Llorente, see it as a like for like and carry on. But what you would be carrying on wasn’t working anyway. So no, he went with Lamela and a shift in formation. Moving to a mid three and a front three with Eriksen dropping back a bit and Dele and Lamela supporting Son as the main striker.
Who says he hasn’t got a plan B? And Plan B worked. The home defence went from knowing what they were doing in marking Kane to not knowing who to be on as Son, Dele and Lamela floated around. All three were shortly to be involved in the equaliser.
Lamela’s flick of the ball from left to right foot created that little bit of space to find Son, who had dropped deep, he immediately played the ball on to Aurier, charging down the wing and his first time, pin perfect, cross was knocked in by Dele.
Bournemouth had a little action at the beginning of the second half but just after the hour Son scored the go ahead goal, which turned out to be the winner – as pointed out many times, Son scores important goals, openers, equalisers, go ahead and winners. Someone else may have got that goal a little earlier in the half, don’t know who would be the penalty taker once Harry went off. But for some reason Mike Dean decided that Son being kicked and then hooked off his feet in the area wasn’t a foul – amazingly in his post match whinge about decisions, Eddie Howe never mentioned this stonewall penalty.
Spurs were dominating now. Eriksen was enjoying the space from his deeper role and was orchestrating most things, he received the ball from Son, on to Rose and then Dele and his cross was scuffed into the net. Son, the King of the Scuffers. It being his second of the week.
Son sealed the win a little later with his second, which he expertly started by standing over a Bournemouth free-kick, stopping the ball being played early and forward. Howe was moaning that the score should have been level by then but his player pushed Sanchez when the defender was in the air, if it had been given at the other end I’m guessing Howe wouldn’t have been too happy either.
Anyway after messing up their free-kick, Eriksen won the ball and straight away played it into the path of Son. The Korean, onside due to be in his own half, was then off all on his own but there was Lamela distracting both the defence and the keeper, who Son calmly rounded before getting his second and that was really game over.
Just time in the dying seconds for the two fullbacks to be the furthest up the pitch, somehow Sissoko found Trippier with the bizarrest of passes – the Frenchman played Son in for what should have been his hat-trick earlier – the right back floated a cross in that was curling goalwards, Begovic flapped at it and flapped the ball onto the head of Aurier – now at left-back for his second goal of the season. That’s two more than Kyle Walker by the way.
Didn’t play well to begin with, then played with a nice swagger as they controlled the game and turned things around from what would have been the type of game they crumbled in previously, a game that saw the season peter out. Never mind what Howe said, this didn’t flatter Spurs, the better team won, without their star man, after the manager changed things around. Hopefully he now trusts he can do that when he needs to and it’s crying out for a big change in future.
That end of season party is on hold…