Draws! Spurs don’t need no stinkin’

Fulham 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League - January 20th, 2019

draws.

I suppose it is Spursy to one week batter Man United and lost and follow it up by being inept against Fulham but win.

Poch was more than happy with the second half performance against Man United, in which they peppered the visitor’s goal. He can’t have been that enthused about either half against Fulham in which they peppered each other with sideways passes.

It’s not a new story. Spurs are faced with a flat back nine and decide that the best way to go about it is to go sideways, sideways, sideways and then thread needle eyes through the middle.

The two goals they scored were both headers that came from crosses, so why for 95 minutes did we see so few of them? Why did they repeatedly do something that wasn’t working? Insanity?

One thing that wasn’t working was the players picked. Llorente the prime example. He had a particularly awful game, summed up by him opening the scoring for Fulham. Stood there looking like he didn’t know where he was as the ball bounced off his shin into the net. That was his game, looking clueless as the ball bounced off him. His first touch was Sissokoesque of old. It was beyond bad. Stop playing it to his feet, put a cross in and when they did that he butchered that as well. Pulling out of headers, completely missing headers.

He wasn’t the only one who had a bad game, he was just the focal point of everything that was going wrong. Eriksen wasn’t that good, while Lamela infuriated, running into positions where he was on his right foot and then not using his right. Or running sideways across the pitch for no seeming purpose.

Winks was getting all the praise, I do wonder if the last second winner clouded that. He was the chief sideways passer. Yes he did defensive work well, but when you need that cutting edge, that guile his two yard sideways pass wasn’t cutting anything. One goal, no assists, one second assist – apparently – very few chances created, less than 25% of his passes forward. Some people seem awfully overjoyed at that. Hell, at least Sissoko runs forward with the ball… tries to.

George saved the day a cracking cross and yes Winks got on the end of it. He did something right.

The big downer of the day was with Kane out for a while, Son on international duty, Dele the man who stands up when they’re missing went down. He scored his usual goal when Harry doesn’t play and he has scored a number of goals when Harry hasn’t played but this looks a bad one. He clutched his thigh quickly and looked distraught on the side of the pitch and on the bench after he was substituted. The irony of it being his departure brought on N’Koudou.

Along with the injury gods, Spurs could do with some help from officials. Pawson was particularly inept and was taking his cues from the crowd. Danny rose being booked for diving when he was fouled and Davinson also getting a yellow for being slammed into the ground in some wrestling move and having the temerity to stand up after it.

And after it all Spurs still have more points than they’ve ever had at this stage of a season since the double, while are still in all four competitions. The two domestic cups up next, can they ride this out and survive…

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