and nothing much has changed.
Except it’s quiet. Spurs returned to Premier League “action” after lockdown with a score draw against man united that points to a future not dissimilar to the past.
Same old song and dance… you could say.
It was generally a dull old lifeless meander around White Hart Lane for a bunch of players who looked like they were on a pre or post season friendly.
The first 20 off minutes were largely unforgettable, Sanchez presented them with a chance, Hugo made a decent save with his legs. The last thing the game needed was a drinks break, halfway through the first half. Turned out it might have been exactly what Spurs needed.
Obviously Jose said something as shortly after the resumption Bergwijn ran through them and smacked the ball at De Gea and unlike the previous game against this lot where the keeper saved all those shots hit right at him, here he helped the ball into his own net.
From the big, lumbering Maguire being left by Bergwijn to De Gea’s attempted save this was a Spurs level of omniclusterfuckshambles. Roy Keane’s half-time rant was an all time classic – Keane was Sky’s balance, what with two ex-Man United players as pundits and one as co-commentator and not a single ex-Spurs player in sight. Though did he say anything that wasn’t correct? Maguire is a lump that has been vastly overrated from performances for England, where he’s always on the edge of a fuck up. And De Gea, well he’s made a reputation from saves like the one Roy wasn’t impressed with along with all those kicked right at him that he gets with his feet.
So Spurs one up they see out half time, not really looking like they’re gonna add to that – bar that save from Son’s header.
Now it doesn’t matter if we’re pre or post lockdown, everyone knows Spurs need at least a second, if not more. But the second half sees them sit back, soaking up all the pressure, dropping deeper and deeper, without looking like they’d really do anything on the break.
It’s Spurs. You know what was coming. It’s John Moss. You know what is coming.
Pogba, who’d come on just after the hour, and made a difference for them – though not enough of a difference to justify Martin Tyler’s orgasmic shrieks, every time he touched the ball – ran into the box along the byline, where Dier engaged in a bit of mutual arm holding, whereupon Pogba’s legs gave way, like Bambi on ice.
Of course Moss was going to point at the spot. VAR did not overturn, though you know if Moss hadn’t given it they wouldn’t have overturned it.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 19, 2020
Their Fernandes scored. Shortly after Jose introduced Spurs Fernandes. I don’t know why. With five subs available to the manager, Jose used two, both coming on after 70 minutes. Three of the four players involved were Poch level head scratchers of substitutions.
For some unknown reason, Jose removed Spurs best two performing attackers and brought on only one player than everyone would have introduced. Bergwijn and Lamela departed, with Lo Celso joining Fernandez.
Spurs had nothing in midfield. The pairing of Sissoko and Winks were doing next to nothing, with visitors having all the ball, and Sissoko was doing all of that.
Bring Lo Celso on, oh yes he was desperately required but take of Winks. Bring on Ndembele, get some control in the middle, some sort of platform. Who to bring off? Well, maybe Kane.
Kane spent most of the game being peripheral. Yes everyone was rusty and so it’s not like he was given any service to speak of but he’s coming back from that bad hamstring injury and looked even rustier. And heavier. What I feared again when he got that injury. It’s the same as the last couple of long term injuries he’s had, those ankle turns. He wants to stay fit so hits the gym, bulks up his upper body and it alters is play and not in a good way.
Look at Kane during his purple patch, 2015-2018, his upper body wasn’t as bulked up then. He was quicker, sharper, leaner. He didn’t need to bulk up, it’s not like he was getting muscled off the ball during those years. But when you can’t do the normal training, they hit the gym. Think Dele has also suffered from this.
So Harry slogged his guts out, for no reward, for the full 90 minutes. That’s another thing that won’t help him. Of the 21 games Kane has played in the league this season, he’s played the full 90 minutes in all but two, one when he picked up his hamstring injury, after 74 minutes and another when he came off after 84 minutes. Is he getting run into the ground? Can he last?
So after John Moss had helped Man United equalise he tried his best to help them win it, giving another penalty against Dier – who had an excellent game in central defence – this time it was so bleedingly obviously not a foul that VAR overturned him.
So a point was scraped from a winning position. Three months lockdown doesn’t seem to have changed much for Spurs, all the faults are still there and they still look pretty clueless for the most part.