Winning when not playing well is one thing

Sanchez starts the new year with a HUGE win! | EXTENDED HIGHLIGHTS | Watford 0-1 Spurs

but we don’t want more of that.

For one thing the majority of Spurs victory over Watford, was something we’ve seen so often in the past, apart from that last gasp winner, as Conte extended his unbeaten league run.

A 95 minute struggle against a flat back ten, with a keeper having a Tim Krul day, inept, ponderous build up play and poor finishing. This ain’t Spurs first rodeo. It did seem to take Conte by surprise. Hopefully he won’t get used to it, his post match comment…

We have to improve the last pass, in the first half it was 29 crosses and 0 goals, it is important for us to improve the quality in the last pass because that gives you the possibility to score.Antonio Conte

…suggests it’s something he won’t put up with for long. Though he did keep the players responsible for most of that stat, for most of the game. Reguilon played 83 minutes, while Emerson played the full 90 plus plus.

It’s funny with the transfer window now open and mention of Traore being available from Wolves for just £20m, so many Spurs fans who moaned about the lack of delivery for 95 minutes are now creaming themselves of getting a player with no delivery. Over the six seasons he’s been in the league he has an assist every 5.5 games, a goal every 14. A but the get all excited by a muscle bound speedster. Yeah, cause in a game like this him being able to run the length of the pitch, very fast, would have been of real benefit, even before he didn’t deliver the cross.

From the look of it Wolves fans wouldn’t be too sad at seeing him leave, much like they weren’t with Doherty and Nuno, and look how that turned out for Spurs.

So it wasn’t just the usual problem of Spurs in this type of game. Yes, there was the usual crowding in the middle trying to get through two banks of five, which never works with the ponderous, multi-touch way they go about it. No triangles, no one touch one-twos, done with pace, it’s the sideways, sideways, go nowhere.

Conte watched this going nowhere for over 60 minutes before making a change, but replacing Skipp with Winks changed nothing, as anyone could have told him – bar the loons lamenting the Winks Sissoko partnership, with the latter playing for the home side, some people are just… mental.

Usually there’s very little width from Spurs in such games, everyone crammed in the middle, getting in each other’s way. In a change here the wingbacks had acres of space, Emerson Royal especially, but the delivery from both was atrocious. If it didn’t hit the first defender, it was a looped back post job that gave no Spurs player a real chance. Where was that cross from a couple of games ago that Moura powered a header from?

When it wasn’t being messed up from the side it was from the front, when a Spurs player actually got into some sort of space to get a shot off. Either their keeper pulled off the save or the target was missed. The worst miss coming from Kane after Skipp had nicked in to get the ball, following a heavy touch by the defender trying to control a pass from his keeper, but from the edge of the box Kane managed to completely miss the target. It was an awful miss, even by this season’s standards.

Coming into the final minutes, I tweeted it was just like the desperate end to the previous game, against Southampton, as it looked like another two points dropped as it petered out to a draw, with Davinson Sanchez up front. And as in that game the ball kept falling to him.

Luckily it did one last time, after Son was stupidly fouled, his free-kick was just perfect, giving the keeper and defence no chance, as Sanchez rose to nod in the winner.

So Conte’s unbeaten start to his league career with Spurs continues, but he wasn’t happy, which is good. Just have to see how happy he is after reviewing what he wants this, now open, transfer window, with Levy. Leaving his first change for so long, when it was obviously not working, looked like he was making a point to his chairman but then it’s felt that previous managers have tried to make the same point… and they all ended up losing out to the man with the chequebook…

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