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Everton 1-0 Spurs: The Strange Quirks of ‘Arry’s Job Description

I do hope that ‘Arry’s comments to his players behind closed doors differ quite significantly to those offered to the gentlemen of the press. After the draw with Stevenage he piped up that he knew they would play that way – rather begging the question why he, as manager, did not therefore do something to pre-empt it – and now after games against Man Utd and Everton he has professed himself clueless as to how we failed to do any better. All of which strikes me as an easy way to earn a few million pounds per year.

In fairness, one appreciates his point on the basis of a second half as one-sided as a midfield sans Aaron Lennon, during which we had one effort after another, a string of corners and quite possibly became the first team ever to record possession of over 100%.

The first half however was not the prettiest sight. At one point the commentators on the deplorable ESPN (honestly, I switched on to watch the football, not random camera shots of some idiot in a wig and blue clown’s nose. What the deuces? Just show the football, you cretins) noted that ‘Arry was exhorting the troops not to sit so deep. Well, quite. Pick both Parker and Sandro in the centre and the chances are they will indeed err on the defensive side of things. Meanwhile confusion made its masterpiece in midfield, in the absence of any semblance of shape or fluidity. Bale resorted to delivering crosses on the right wing with the outside of his left foot, and Modders forlornly wasted his talents out on the left wing, while my eyes sat me down for a long and honest chat about the legitimacy of forcing them to watch such a shapeless mess.

Kaboul Learns From Last Week’s Mistake. Well, Not Really

The eagle-eyed may have noted that the goal itself came about when Kaboul charged in and sold himself with all the over-eagerness of a first-time lady-of-the-night – a decision presumably prompted by the criticism he received for backing off for United’s second goal last week. Heartening though it is to see Kaboul living by the mantra of the T-800 (“The more I interact with humans, the more I learn”) he is still a few correct decisions away from being the pinnacle of defensive magnificence. But progressing nicely, and on a day of general grumpiness ‘twas mildly cockle-warming to see his reaction to Saha hitting the post (check out a replay if you can), and to see him lying flat out and distraught on the turf at the final whistle. Good to see he cares.

Defoe’s Big Chance

Elsewhere, Jermain Defoe finally got the chance to stray offside for a full 90 minutes. To this amateur observer he did as good a job as anyone else, constantly giving the Everton defenders food for thought, and generally working the goalkeeper whenever the faintest whiff of a chance wafted his way – nobody else in lilywhite offers that. That said, his next tattoo really ought to be Law 11 of Assocation Football, preferably etched backwards across his forehead, so that every time he looks in a mirror he reads precisely what it is to be offside. Heaven help us.

The Aaron Lennon Factor

Ultimately, this latest minor catastrophe appeared to revolve around the lamentably absent Aaron Lennon. Admittedly, yours truly would probably be among the first to chide the young man should he misplace but one cross or choose the wrong final-third option when he returns to the team, but, as is commonly the case, his value increases in his absence. Without him the whole midfield was reshuffled, to ill effect, and we struggled to string three passes together in the first half. ‘Tis a problem that ‘Arry must solve tout de suite, and the issue of right-wing back-up (along with reserve left-back) probably ought to be addressed in the summer.

More generally, there is cause for concern at our heroes’ recent inability to slip back into the groove of lightning quick one- and two-touch passing, accompanied by busy off-the-ball movement. Bale and Modders look a tad jaded, no longer possessed of so many sudden bursts of pace and ingenuity, which may be a consequence of the lack squad rotation earlier in the season. A few consecutive wins would soothe the nerves and dispel the fears, but at present AANP has officially adjusted the state of its brow to “Furrowed”.

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Published in Sunday, March 11th, 2012, at 2:47 pm, and filed under Spurs news.

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70 Responses

  1. MrSpang Says:

    This lack of rotation is IMO what splits us from the top top clubs. When Fergie trots out his team each week, there isn’t a problem when he rests this player or that. Obviously he has a bigger and better squad to pick from, but even the best players will sit out a bit for the good of team and the long season.

    With Harry, he plays them until they drop, or are obviously flagging (or injured), at which point he swaps in a replacement, and plays them until they drop. Why not give Defoe a game every couple of weeks, the same with VDV, swap Parker/Sandro/Livermore. I could pick the team the way he does – which means those millions are going to the arm around the shoulder bit of his job (and damn it he does that well, by all accounts).

    Surely we’re a big enough club to be able to tell VDV, Parker, Saha – listen you won’t play every game, but you’ll get frequent games and have to think of the team/club. Want to play every game? Go play for a bottom half club.

  2. AllActionNoPlot Says:

    Inclined to agree with your every word Monsieur Spang, but alas I suspect even our glorious leader’s hindsight is also 20-20.

  3. ses Says:

    The truth of matter is that, I believe England can have harry !if we do not qualify for the champions league he should sacked on the spot!! any manager worth his salt should not be capitulating the way we have or will have done this and last season, great point made by Brian Woolnough [Daily Star] that Harry is not top dog ! Sometimes you need more than just being a good man manager, and that i believe is failing Harry at spurs at the moment. if you look at the squad on paper between the top six teams, u will see Tottenham have arguably have the second best, and this should not be happening at an alarming rate as it has done, if he deserves praise for getting us there than the same applies when its going wrong, teams like chelsea Arsenal and liverpool Man utd, have brought in new players and they would need time to adjust and it seems they have! yet its starting to seem we have not despite having a great start or half a season, if we fail considering where we were, England please take him !

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  6. Jim Says:

    Gooner fail

  7. nkn Says:

    I went to White Hart Lane yesterday, and noticed how green and lovely their pitch was. So i summoned over the groundsman and asked him what his secret was, his reply was:

    “Well i do nothing, just every Saturday afternoon we put £100m worth of shit over the pitch and it works wonders”

  8. Jim Says:

    Genius, and as old as your mum

  9. SiberiaSpur Says:

    Sorry, but it’s a striker problem again. I’ve watched Rooney, Van Persie and Suarez in the last couple of days and it’s patently obvious that we need a striker who is mobile, has a bit of skill and can score. Ade has it in him on good days but they seem to be few and far between any more. Saha maybe but let’s face it he’s passed his best. The midfielders must look up and think “yes JD I know you’re there but unless you bloody move around a bit I can’t get it to you”. Try and hang on for 4th and then the usual striker search bun-fight in the off-season I say. And win the cup of course!

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