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Spurs 3-0 Man City: Blip Over?

Not quite vintage Spurs, but a hugely creditable performance nonetheless. The 3-0 scoreline makes it easy to forget quite how hard our lot had to work after a testing opening, first in soaking up the early pressure, and then in moving from back-foot to front.Kick-off had heralded what looked like an ominous 10-minute trailer for the Carlos Tevez Show, but to our credit, while City were allowed a little too much time in midfield they were resolutely kept at arm’s length – an arm in this instance being approximately 18 yards long – with the only notable first half save from Gomes coming from a long-range effort.

The last 15 minutes or so were also a little nervier than was entirely necessary, as we dropped mighty deep, the ghost of weeks past seeming to haunt the team. A two-nil lead as the clock ticks over to 80 ought not in theory to be any cause for alarm, but having recently turned implosion in such situations into an art-form, our lot seemed a little confused as to whether they ought just to allow City to score, as a standard procedure. Daws could well have been pulled up for a penalty, which would have made for a horrendous final five minutes, while Adebayor was rather generously granted the freedom of the Tottenham six-yard box. Despite all this, having shown more creativity throughout, and sufficient ruthlessness to convert periods of dominance into goals, I think it’s fair to assert that we ticked enough boxes, and were quite justified in toddling off home in good cheer.

Bargain 

Lennon was something of a coiled spring for the first half hour, itching to have a run at the left-back. And once the penny dropped amongst his team-mates he was off, tearing Silvinho apart, creating a goal and drawing the obligatory booking from the hapless opponent. Would have been nice to see him go for the jugular thereafter, and work a second booking out of the lad, but hey-ho.

’Twas a good job that Lennon and Kranjcar were on form, because Hudd had an off-day. If he can show on Saturday that this was the exception rather than the norm I think we’ll excuse him, but in the first half hour in particular he did little more than puff and pant in the background.

He won’t get many headlines, and indeed his possible handball is likelier to be thrust under the microscope, but Daws was generally outstanding at the back, particularly during the rocky moments in the first half of the first half. If the rest of them showed his attitude by golly we’d have one hell of a team. Such was his Midas touch that as well as countless well-judged tackles and interceptions, even that moment in the second half, when he arrived approximately an hour late for a tackle and sent a City forward flying into touch, was greeted by little more than a shrug from the ref and a goal-kick.

Defoe and Crouch 

As for Crouch, towards the end of the game he suddenly appeared to throw a bit of a strop, bless, and refused to pass to anyone, opting instead to shoot from miles out or try dribbling past the entire City team. The sight of Crouch running with the ball leaves me aghast but unable to tear myself away. It’s a gangly awkward mess, which is destined inevitably to end in a giant ball of limbs, and yet holds a morbid fascination. (As do Corluka’s occasional, painfully slow step-overs.)

Generally however, the attacking duo were sound but unspectacular, combining in uncomplicated fashion for our second (the fact that the move ended in a goal diverting attention from the world’s most mal-coordinated attempt at defending in the history of the game, by Kolo Toure). No reason to change the forward line, Robbie Keane can stay where he is.

While I hesitate to suggest that our blip is over, or can even be correctly labelled a “blip” rather than something more long-term, some winnable games loom, and if we play our cards right we could still be rather handily-placed come that drunken chorus of Auld Lang Syne.

 

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And as ever, all are most welcome to leave memories – and browse those of others – regarding some of the players to be featured in forthcoming book Spurs’ Cult Heroes: Danny Blanchflower here, Dave Mackay here, Cliff Jones here, Martin Chivers here, Alan Gilzean here, Pat Jennings here, Cyril Knowles here, Steve Perryman here, Glenn Hoddle here, Chris Waddle here, Ossie and Ricky here, Gary Mabbutt here, Graham Roberts here, Jimmy Greaves here, Clive Allen here, Jurgen Klinsmann here

9 Responses

  1. TMWNN Says:

    That’s about the gist of it.

  2. name Says:

    Can you blame Crouch when refs keep penalising him for daring to make any contact with opposing players and not vice versa

  3. DSDSPURS Says:

    I was always on the fence with Crouch, but now have decided that he is the worst forward we have had in a while. Yes on paper he offers something different but, in reality he just spends most of match on his ass, whinging at the ref, no ball control, no long / short shoting ability – He was out jumped by johnson countless times at set pieces… By this I am no way touting fot Keane to be re-instated or Pavlova to come back. WE NEED A WORLD CLASS PARTNER FOR DEFOE & PLAC !!! Thats if we are serious about the top four!! COYS..

  4. Alboy Says:

    Lovin’ the style of your prose, Bewildered: found certain phrases extremely amusing…

    In fact, I’d go as far as to say that it ranks second only to Harold “Harry” Hotspur in Spurs-Blog-Web-Land, imho…

    Keep up the jolly good work – looking forward to the next instalment…

    …and, to think, for 90% of his career, Crouchinho was described as being an outstanding footballer on the deck, especially considering his stature: in fact, all the pundits used to bemoan the fact that he rarely headed the ball (and when he did, it was largely hopeless…). How things have changed… (not that he’s now a superstar with his bonce; more, that he seems to have lost his former footballing prowess…)

    How queer!

  5. jonathanhotspur Says:

    You do the man a disservice, Alboy. AANP is the best Spurs blog on the net-by a country mile.

  6. elwehbi@ibleedhotspur Says:

    I thought BAE was fantastic… his first touch was top drawer!

    COYS!

  7. AA Says:

    Harry Hotspur is a tit of the highest order. AANP and DML for me.

    And for all the vitriol aimed at Crouch, I could have sworn he directly contributed to the first two goals. He decided to shoot instead of laying it off deep into the second after two assists in a 2-0 game? Off with his head!

  8. Spang Says:

    Agreed – Crouch’s poor touch makes you sigh, but he’s worth it for the assists, for being a target for long balls, and for the extra defence from set pieces.

    Good to see both him and Corluka keeping the ball and just taking it to the corners in the last 10 minutes too. With our history, taking charge and taking the heat out of the game like that is just what we need to do more.

  9. Locksmith in Charlotte Nc Says:

    great list, there are things on there that I haven’t thought about before

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