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QPR 0 – 0 Spurs: The Disappearance of First-Time Passing & Off-The-Ball Movement

We probably ought to pour ourselves a stiff drink and get used to this. Those of us who like a dash of rip-snort with our morning Weetabix and Brahms took to banging our heads against the nearest wall yesterday, as not for the first time this season there were embarrassed coughs all round as our heroes raided the ideas cabinet and finding it bare. (Before all hell breaks loose on keyboards throughout the land this would probably be a good juncture at which to ring a loud bell with some gusto and hire Brian Blessed to holler “Context good folk, what?” Our brave lilywhites are pootling along at a healthy rate of knots, ripple the net just about every week and are even quietly doing a healthy trade in clean sheets these days. Top Four seems likelier than not, and in the grand scheme of things, AVB and chums are fulfilling their side of their bargain.)

However… the one-touch, pulse-racing stuff of yesteryear ‘tis not, and it bothers the dickens out of me to see them labour so against these defensive opponents. Anyone who has scuttled to their White Hart Lane seat pre kick-off on matchday will have seen that just before they disappear down the tunnel to don their kits our heroes bound around like particularly exuberant lambs playing 5/6-a-side, one-touch stuff – how dashed maddening then that come the game itself they played as if their lives depended upon taking at least two touches, giving opponents time to reorganise and avoiding off-the-ball movement at all costs. Curiously enough, the only moment of first-time ingenuity I can really recall was from Scott Parker of all people, prodding a second half pass into the path of Bale in the area.

QPR understandably enough stuck just about everyone in the west London area behind the ball and inside their area, and also took the depressingly effective step of dropping their full-backs so deep that neither Bale nor Lennon had a bally inch of space into which to run down the flanks. Alas, faced with a hoopy wall as far as the eye could see, our heroes simply did not have the zip or ingenuity to carve out an opening. Oh for a cunning diagonal ten-yard pass in the final third (dare I mention VDV?) or a mischievous scally with dribble-dust in his boots (dare I mention even Taaraabt, or someone of his ilk, to be hauled from the bench for bothersome afternoons such as these?)

And breathe… There ends the rant.

(Actually that’s a lie, for one further target of AANP ire is presumably boarding a plane for the African Cup of Nations. He may not have been overwhelmed by quality service, but Adebayor did not have the air of a man dashing hither and thither as if the need to score for his employers bordered upon obsession.)

The good fight for fourth is being fought pretty well, but the lack of off-the-ball movement and first-time passing will remain a bête noire in this corner of the interweb for many an inebriated evening. Still, AVB presumably does not just wile away his hours mixing cigarettes and alcohol in the wee small hours in order to makes his voice disappear beneath the realms of human detection, but does actually give some thought to such things. It will probably look a jolly sight more attractive next week against United, such are the quirks of the game.

3 Responses

  1. DAVSPURS Says:

    Firstly Naughton is not a left back and secondly Dembele runs with the ball and is not a passer we lack a fit Huddster. All harry did was put work Horses in the middle and stop Dembele running and stifle supply to Bale Lennon. Thank God Wright Philips had two left feet when shooting. What AVB needs to do if its not working change it Liverpool won because they got the early goal. This early goal is vital at this time of the year when every point counts. This is the problem now A.V.B was sacked and he has not experienced this time of the year where work rate doubles and teams have new signings who are a mystery. The desperation in teams doubles the war of words gets worse by the week and injury’s are a worry with less weeks to get fit. We suffered from all these last season and we nearly finished 5th but Harry steadied the ship and Chelsea went for broke with winning champs league. We all think our problem was Harry but there was more going on Levey had fell out with Harry after he refused to sign a new four year deal he later would regret. We loaned all our experience players and then our great captain knee gave in after a knock in training and he had no speed. Along came Norwich energized and after the magic 40 points came and shocked us Caulker was on Loan we had to limp home and we finished 4th. The England job only paid a small part in our collapse from third Levey bought old players Saha Nelson keeping the money for the new Manager he wanted to install at the end a shrewd Chairman. But the biggest damage Harry did by courting the English job was letting Modric now if we finished in 3rd he would be staying at Spurs is form was geared to leaving. The FA could have changed all this by letting Harry no they had a cheaper option in Roy but what our fans don’t no was David Bernstien was City Chairman 1998 we was threatening City for the title with a player on loan Ady stopped scoring and the FA sacked a man the could not afford to sack. This was because Roy cost nothing he was out of contract Harry had 12 month left and lived seven hours away from the new Burton complex Roy lived there so why the secret . The reason given was they never wanted to ruin West Broms season fuck Spurs. Why have i told this story because the last thing that whittled our ten points away was Arsenal and others fast new tempo what AVB needs to learn about fast the hidden scandal no exist and gets worse by the week and Utd are the top dogs at it along with other N W teams where i live. This is why we struggled to gain any space two Utd players where key trust me the only player who can beat this with his array of passing is a fully fit Tom Huddlestone and he is being sold by our fans and Avb. When RVP scored the winner against Newcastle it was Giggs 50 yard pass beat the defending in numbers and the same with Gerrard Sunderland. We have Sandro cant pass great tackler of balls we have lost Dembelle great from back to penalty area cant shoot and passes sideways Duce great passes but needs to be edge penalty area Hudds can pass from anywhere on the field except from the bench and its a shame our quarter back now has loads of hair no goals and on his way out he has been here since 17 and out 14 months with his ankle ruined by Harry playing him with needles and i for one will tell all our fans we will miss him even with Holtby his size shooting and passing are needed more now because all these energy drinks legal and not are limiting space for the Dembele and Dempsey to run into. Our strikers Defoe and Ady where starved of Hudds type passes the same opportunity our ex Taarabt gave Phillips or we would won 3-0

  2. Steve Says:

    What a let off! None of our competitors could take advantage of our slip-up. And slip-up it was: not having the guile or the craftsmanship or tactics to beat the bottom team. I expect better things of Spurs now that that Berbatov wjthout his skills Adebayor has left, he contributes nothing but sitting on the pitch pouting.
    Defoe isn’t much better, so overrated. The only menace we have is Bale and underachievers that we are, we’re gonna sell him!
    From an exciting, attacking team we’ve become one of predictable’s that any tuppenny-ha’penny team can figure out.
    Dream on, we’re going nowhere.

  3. bob Says:

    Tottenham were regimented and vanilla on saturday morning. Plan A did not work but they stuck with it despite the subs.

    But Spurs are still a top4 side with great players and cover in every position which is enough to get a place in the Champions League.

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