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Spurs 1-1 Man Utd: The Joys of Fergie-Time, & A Thought On Dembele…

I suspect glasses were raised and chortles sounded across the country at that particular moment of karma, the dying seconds of Fergie time creating quite the poetic moment. By all means do pause a moment, and indulge in another snigger.

Aside from the general national moment of Schadenfreude, and observing through spectacles of a lilywhite hue, it was jolly encouraging to see our heroes plug away in the second half with a bit more cunning and purpose than in previous matches (and the first half) against massed ranks of deep-lying defenders. Where last week we were soporific and desperately short of ideas, this time we did at least fashion some chances, and show a little variety in our attempts to wriggle our way netwards. Glory be, there was movement around the edge of the area, and sneaky diagonal passes, and Lennon as likely to cut infield as go wide – but most eye-catchingly of all from this vantage point was the sight of Dembele jinking his way through a couple of challenges before feeding Dempsey in the area (for that second half chance saved by De Gea). There followed much chin-stroking at AANP Towers, for there in a microcosm was the idea, occasionally mooted but quickly suppressed like some dissident voice in a totalitarian state, that maybe Dembele could play… whisper it… further forward…?Back in the real world ‘tis unlikely ever to happen, for the AVBmeister appears not to roll thus, but having rolled my eyes so forcefully that the dashed things flew from their sockets and landed in the snow as Dempsey dribbled in the wrong direction for the umpteenth time, before turning back the way he came, running into more traffic, circling a single blade of grass and eventually imploding while United emerged with the ball to counter-attack, I did rather wish that Dembele could be shunted upfield to orchestrate matters in the hole. Instead, the onus on tearing forward from midfield fell upon Scott Parker in the first half, and various cul-de-sacs were duly entered.

 

Still, the thing ended cheerily enough, and richly deserved it was too. As noted, a tip of the cap to Lennon, the font of most things good today, and the late introduction of the left-footed Benny at left-back had me wondering why he was not selected from the off, but in general our heroes deserve credit for hammering away so insistently in the second half. Just a single point to add to the pile it may be, but in the grand scheme of things this was quite a noteworthy step.

5 Responses

  1. Martin Sewell Says:

    Puzzled why he left out BAE and Vertonghen who, surely have more class than Naughton Caulker or Dawson. I like those guys a lot but for a top match surely you need your classiest defenders? Benny and Jan would always get the shout from me, and RVP’s goal should never have had that amount of space.

  2. Ashley J. Collie Says:

    Where’s Dave — waiting for him to come here and suggest that Azza’s super season (MOTM today again) has been fueled by top-up drinks and all things illegal, like the northerners Dave claims all do it!

  3. Lodatz Says:

    To be fair, though, it looks as though AVB got the tactics and selection right. Sure, Vert and BAE are our first choices, but, clearly AVB felt that Caulker and Naughton could handle it, and deserved some Big Game experience. And you have to give it to them: they did handle it rather well, only big defensive error coming from poor old Walker (who otherwise set not a foot wrong today).

    All in all, I think it shows how much depth we’re developing, as AVB was able to rest his first choice CB, against the best team in the country, and walk away with only a measly 4 shots (and only 2 on target) mustered against our goal.

    Very impressed. Now, let’s give Chelsea a slap at the Bridge, and get revenge on the Gooners, and we’ll be looking VERY good for the end of the season…

  4. Jamie Says:

    Vertonghen was coming back from an illness and BAE was obviously not quite fit enough to play the 90 mins, which is why he came on in the second half (and looked like a liability at times).

    Great result, an some great performances – especially from Lennon and Parker. If we’d have taken our chances we should’ve won that. Coys.

  5. AllActionNoPlot Says:

    Fair points chaps, on AVB’s tactics and Benny’s lack of match-fitness (and ’tis true, for all his left-footedness he does still retain that capacity for generously sprinkling risk and mistake around the place). Had no idea Vertonghen was in ill-health, poor lamb. Feed him some raw garlic.

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