Pochettino said things would get better after the European transfer window closed and after having a bit of a team meeting to sort stuff out we finally got to see the real Spurs this season… well, this year in the league.
I know, it was only Palace. I know, it’s only Palace managed by deadly dull Roy “I really don’t know what I’m doing here” Hodgson.
But it’s a Palace who have recently turned up at top 6 teams and done them over, who before this game had the best defensive record in the league.
Recently you know what you’re going to get from Spurs pretty much from the kick off. Recently, 2019 in the league, it’s been slow ponderous, sideways passing, uninspired, rubbish. Here they were at it from the off. It was pace, it was looking and going forward, it was minimal touches and first time balls. It was bypassing the middle who would slow it all down.
The band is almost back together. Toby and Jan at the back were quarterbacking the game, while the two actual real fullbacks were high up acting like wingers. Toby was the real instigator, he long, accurate ball to Son, saw the Korean take the ball on the run, cut into the box, get the ball on his left and fire in the opener after 10 minutes.
This. Where has this been?
It was the blueprint for the rest of the half. From a quick free-kick inside the Spurs half the ball went forward, through Sissoko to Son – instead of tediously sideways – Son played a lovely ball through the channel for the advancing Aurier – finally back in the team. Aurier put a cross in that was dangerous, anyone getting a touch and it could be a goal. The Palace player did and it was.
It was only a couple of minutes later for the goal of the game. With one of the greatest shocks… who knew Winks was playing? Who knew Winks could pass the ball forward? From a Hugo scuffed clarence, Aurier nodded on to Lamela, his cross field ball to Eriksen was played one touch to Winks – who had to of course pirouette and look like he was slowing it all down – he then played it out wide to Aurier who put in a glorious cross to the back post where Son met it with a stunning volley.
We’ve got our Tottenham back.
had to wait a little longer for the fourth. Just before the break and it was wash, rinse, repeat. To great surprise as normally when they find a way to break down teams and score against them, then Spurs never seem to try and do it again.
Sissoko won the ball in the Spurs’ half, ran forward, passed onto Son, who turned and was off up the pitch, eye of a needle ball found Kane, wide right and his first time cross was met by Lamela to put it through the keeper.
Again, everything was forward, with a purpose and intent. No fannying about.
The best half in the league for quite some time, best of the year. You kind of knew the second half wouldn’t live up to it. Son had a cheeky attempt at his hat-trick, trying to nick in from a tight angle, it just curled into the side netting, probably would have curled too much to go in if it had missed the front post.
They had a few weak attempts in the second half, mainly straight at Hugo. Which led to them having nearly the same amount of attempts as Spurs, while having more on target in a game they weren’t in. Damn lies and statistics. They tried a falling over in the area to win a penalty but it came to nothing and Zaha was generally felled before he reached the area so he couldn’t fall over and test the ref and VAR.
Please play like this more often. Play fast. Play with pace. Play forward. Play one touch.