Spurs, I should Coco

West Ham United 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League - October 20th, 2018

a continuing series.

Spurs have their highest points tally after nine games of a Premier Season and yet they haven’t got out of first gear, the latest victory, in West Ham’s cup final, was another grind out result.

It wasn’t pretty, it was never going to be I mean Sissoko started. The injuries certainly haven’t helped Spurs, there’s been no continuity in selection or formation, the newest look was a 4-3-2-1 kind of 4-3-3, with a first start for Erik Lamela in the league.

And this has been the bright spot for Spurs so far, bar the actual points on the board record. The season started with Moura being like a new signing, now while he’s dropped off a bit in final production he’s kept his place and has been a presence in the game, Lamela has taken over the production duty.

His third goal of the season means he’s only two off his previous league best of 5 and he’s done this in a stop start campaign, where he only featured for 17 minutes in the first four games and has in total played less than two whole games.

He along with some excellent saves from Hugo was the bright spots for Spurs in this game. A game where they had the ball and yet again did nothing with it. A game where yet again the wide forwards had good games but Harry wasn’t given a sniff of a chance.

That is something they’re going to have to sort out soon. The return of Eriksen may help, if he returns like the Eriksen of previous seasons not the one before his injury. Also Dele’s link up play with Harry is missing. But with those two back who would miss out. Well the Dane can drop into the starting XI in place of the player he was substituted in to replace with a minute to go in this game. Sissoko.

The amount of tweets claiming Sissoko had “another good game” was amazing. The commentators “Novel bit of control from Sissoko” was better summary. The ball bounces around his legs, never under control. Yes he did provide the assist for the only goal of the game, but does anyone really, truly, honestly believe the ball went where he intended it to go.

Lamela went where he intended to, staying back to stay clear of any defender, once he saw Sissoko turn Anderson – who was probably the worst player on the park all afternoon – he put the spurt on to be in the middle of the goal completely unmarked. Perfect flicked header into the far corner of the net, unsaveable. He was full of confidence before the goal, after he was flying, a cracking curling attempt took Fabianski by surprise, he did well to save it and the follow up by Sanchez.

Hugo though was needed to save the day, three times in the second half, as Spurs dropped deep and allowed them to have the ball and crate chances. After the first one I noticed there wasn’t too many comments about Sissoko’s part in it. Doing an even worse job of defending Anderson than the West Ham Ham man had of defending him, Sissoko just watched him run into the box, then when Sanchez blocked Anderson, Sissoko minced about and coughed up the ball that led to the cross, from which Hugo made a flying, top corner, save.

The second save came from the same player, Arnautovic, this time low down to his left to get a shot coming through a forest of legs. Then in the dying seconds the same duo did it again, this time Hugo coming out to block the shot and take one for the team.

It might have been all different of the ref had done his job correctly. In the first half Snodgrass went studs in over the ball, right onto Moura’s ankle. It’s a straight red, no argument. Atkinson didn’t even give a foul, never mind a card of lesser value.

Another three points, another derby win – fifth on the trot, which they haven’t managed since the double winning season – a fighting victory. More grit and no real swagger. Now with a record points haul, if they could get that swagger back and maybe get Harry scoring…

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