in the room.
After the dull, nothing, performance from Spurs against Man United, in their first game since lockdown, they looked a lot better in denying West Ham in their cup final.
Jose sprang a couple of surprises in his starting lineup for the second outing of the quite era, one good one and two, maybe not so.
With a full squad available to pick from it meant either some were gonna be left on the bench or those that featured in the previous game were gonna be benched. Was it a surprise that Jose brought Dele straight back in after his one match ban? Probably not. Moura? Probably. That they both came and at the expense of Spurs two best players from the last match, Bergwijn and Lamela, was maybe a surprise.
Both Bergwijn and Lamela were very unlucky to be dropped, especially after both departed early on Friday and Spurs don’t have another game for over a week.
The good surprise was Winks being replaced by Lo Celso. Jamie Redknapp – Sky’s idea of studio balance – didn’t like Winks dropping out. The epitome of a nothing footballer is a fan of the modern day nothing footballer.
Did the changes work? Well, it was a different team they were player, obviously but the Lo Celso of course did. I mean he’s a huge upgrade on Winks. It was almost the exact mirror image of the previous game, here Spurs had over 60% of the ball against the Spammers, while against United the visitors did. A simple thing like tackles, where they both had one in the full 90 minutes. So in a game where Spurs were being outplayed and overrun in the middle Winks had one tackle, he only attempted two, in one where they had the ball Lo Celso had one tackle, he had 5 attempts, yes a lower success rate but a higher work rate, in a game when the opposition didn’t have the ball.
It was a man of the match performance from the Argentinian. The other two, Dele and Moura, weren’t so successful. There was moments, Moura – in a floating role – played a,lovely ball, through the channel in the box for Aurier to round his defender and put a good cross in from the byline – unfortunately there was no Spurs player getting on the end of it. He had one cracking shot that brought a save and one badly missed shot but you feel either of the other two probably would have been better. Pretty much the same with Dele. It was largely forgettable.
It was a more upbeat performance – again the opposition is noted – but there was more life when Lamela was introduced on the hour, for Dele. By then Spurs had taken the lead through an own goal, from Lo Celso’s corner, flicked on by Sanchez. Did it brush his arm? VAR checked and said no. They also checked just before the break and found Son’s left foot was millimetres offside when he thought he’d opened the scoring.
After some good work holding onto the ball, Lo Celso played it wide to Son, who cut in and curled in a lovely shot. Only for VAR to intervene.
One player who did look livelier than last Friday was Kane. No he’s not back to what he was, don’t think he ever will, as I said last time too bulked up now. But with another 80 minutes in his legs he still had enough to look somewhere close to the Harry of old.
It started with Lamela winning the ball close on the Spurs area, before you knew it Kane was through their defence and heading goalwards, from a Son pass, where he banged it past the keeper from just outside the box.
Again, I know, the opposition. It was a far better performance than last time out, as well as probably being a better one than they put in before the lockdown. Harry scoring is great. Lo Celso again showing he can run the show, also excellent. Jose not bringing on Ndombele when he was using his third of five possible subs was a disappointment. Why bring on Winks and leave your record signing on the bench?
Dier also had another good game at centre-back, he can show leadership skills from there. Just have to wait for them to ban him for his little excursion into the stands pre-lockdown, just as he’s getting a run of games under his belt.
And above all Wet Spam were denied in their Cup Final.