the Tottenham way.
It’s become a recurring theme from Spurs this season, get ahead but end up having to hang on at the end, through own errors, thankfully unlike other games they saw it out against Wolves.
I was conflicted on how I thought this game would go. On the one hand I think Wolves are a decent side, who will cause most teams trouble, they’ve hit a bit of poor patch but started the season well enough, for a promoted side. On the other hand, they are newly promoted and Spurs under Pochettino have a pretty damn good record against such teams, also Wolves like to play a bit of football, especially at home and you feel that’s the type of team Spurs used to like to play. Not the flat back ten mob, but one that plays and leaves space, see Huddersfield last season.
The main problem with this occurred a little over five minutes in when Davies went through Costa, who in turn went through Dembele. The Belgian, trudged off onto a stretcher a little later. Wolves have struggled against teams with a solid centre… Sissoko and Winks don’t offer a solid centre. With no Dier or Wanyama, both injured, Son came on for Dembele. This initially worked for Spurs attack but as soon as Wolves came back into the game they just wandered through the centre of the park, facing no resistance. Pochettino took far too long to try and rectify this, Wolves had two back before he brought on Sanchez.
It all looked so much better when Kane scored Spurs’ third just after the hour. It came though when Wolves were on the up and it came from a punt up the pitch. A Hugo punt up the park. No messing about, get the ball away from the danger area and get it away quickly. If you’re two nil, then three nil up does anyone really want to see you fannying about at the back, giving the opposition chances?
Kane won it from the punt, there’s a good chance he will most of the time, onto Lamela, some step overs and drag backs later, he’d made it to the byline and cut the ball back for Kane. Kane’s first attempt was saved, the rebound wasn’t.
The previous two goals had come in a three minute spell, just before half an hour had passed. The first from more Lamela trickery, first outside the box, a one-two with Son saw Lamela into the box and putting the ball through the keeper’s legs. The second again started with Lamela, fighting for the ball, his tenacity gained possession, though a strange choice of back pass looked like it might have killed the move, Spurs kept the ball, some nice interplay eventually saw Son play the ball out to Trippier, his pinpoint cross found the head of Moura six yards out. The little Brazilian thought of jumping but decided against it and headed the ball into the net.
Of course that two goal could have been halved before the break. Wolves incorrectly having a goal chalked off. In the second half they could have quite easily turned it around. The hosts had a number of chances, that they thankfully didn’t take. In the end they needed the help of Spurs, who again seemed so willing to oblige.
Trippier, just kicking the ball straight at the Wolves player, whose pass found Jimenez in the box, who was also found by Foyth’s tackle. Penalty. Another ball up the wing and Spurs were exposed again. Foyth on his own this time stumbled into the attacker for his second penalty give away of the game.
The young Argentinian had had a good game up until this couple of incidents, following up his good midweek performance. Here he was sold short by Trippier both times, along with his manager who should have made a substitution earlier, when it was blatantly obvious they were struggling.
They got lucky. Wolves had enough chances, enough good chances to get something out of this game, as I said, they’ll cause plenty of teams trouble playing like this… if they finish off good chances.
Winks and Sissoko in the middle of the park is no way to go through life. I’ve laughingly seen an article today, from someone being paid probably to write it, saying Sissoko has added steel to the midfield. God knows what they were looking at during this game. Can’t have been the dithering dolt.
Who knows who’ll be playing in the middle for the must win Champions League game on Tuesday, never mind the next league games, against Palace. But they won’t get away with it for too long, like they did here. It’s another three points, they did hang on and see it out, they’re back into the top four, still unbeaten against newly promoted teams under Poch, only lost twice in their last 17 away games. And it’s still not the same Spurs…