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Spurs 0-3 West Ham: Dawson’s Final Destination Routine

That whole farce was so preposterous that for nigh on 20 hours since its conclusion I have been gently reclining in a darkened room with nothing but the dulcet tones of Julie London to nurse my hurting brain. If the sign of greatness is how one copes with adversity then our much-vaunted back-four ought to be wheeled out onto the High Road and pelted with rotten fruit and a selection of heavy, blunt metal objects, for their collective display of incompetence that ushered in the second and third goals. (Not that anyone should be particularly exonerated for the first goal either – a naughty push in Vertonghen’s back there may have been, but that West Ham were effectively able to play a one-two on our goal line smacks of somebody somewhere tripping over their own shoelaces.)

The Second Goal

Kyle Walker’s occasional moments of cerebral evacuation were never that entertaining in the first place, but now they are becoming a dashed nuisance make no mistake. I am generally loath to criticise the chap as he typically displays more fight than the rest of them combined, but on this occasion his pace was not enough to right the wrong of being caught near the halfway line when West Ham were bearing down on goal.

The Third Goal

Marvellous to see our brave young captain celebrate a new three-year contract with a typical moment of lumbering clumsiness, dangling a leg as the West Ham blighter skipped past him in a flash. He may exude lashings of gung and ho when winning headers, and think himself Hoddle incarnate as he pings those diagonal 70-yard passes, but Dawson’s bread and butter is to defend, and the chap has the turning speed of a dozy elephant and sprinting technique of one of the slower members of the Corluka clan. I am becoming rather fed up of seeing him discombobulated to within an inch of his life by a straightforward shoulder-dip and sprint routine. Watching a fleet-footed opponent dash towards him is akin to those prescient moments in the Final Destination films when some suspiciously good-looking young American lass envisages a cyclist crashing into a petrol tanker, being flattened by a falling piano and then having their head bitten off by a passing dinosaur. A useful squad member Dawson surely is, but the sooner Kaboul is fit and raring to go the better.

Not that young Vertonghen escapes blame either. To fail to catch a man running half the length of the pitch with the ball at his feet is unforgivable. Someone ought to tousle that immaculately-combed hair of his by way of punishment. That ought to elicit a few howls of anguish.

The First Hour

For all the idiocy that spread like a rash across the back-four in the latter stages it was still a rummy old thing to watch our lot dominate things for the first hour and then waddle off home three down to a team without a striker. In a sense it was fairly typical White Hart Lane fare, for many a time and oft have we hammered away at a defensive opponent and then been caught out at a set-piece. It seems a dashed shame though, because it felt like a goal was coming. Paulinho’s tendency to shoot from everywhere and aim at anything may incorporate as much wild missing as hitting, but his propensity to surge into the area to support the front man is a welcome one, and he seemed to push even further up the pitch after half-time, encapsulating a greater urgency amongst our troops.

Alas, Eriksen was denied much space, Lamela was fairly impotent when eventually introduced, and that whole left-flank business seemed to be quietly erased from our game plan. No particular need to panic, for I can hardly see Liverpool and Southampton challenging come May, but it is about bally time we put these meddling bottom half teams to the sword and tonked them with three or four early goals, rather than beavering away at nil-nil into the final half hour.

121 Responses

  1. Matt Says:

    I’ve been a tad surprised at the hasty conclusions from all and sundry that Spurs are title contenders. Why? Because the same flaws are there from last season: namely we find it hard to score and cannot defend set-pieces. A startling statistic I just read is about our conversion rate being the second-lowest in the league, only Stoke with a worse record. This is absolutely the main issue and one that has been obvious since the first game. As you say, if Spurs had been a bit more ruthless and capable of scoring the West Ham match may well have been over before they started pinballing them in. One reason for our terrible conversion rate is too many speculative shots, another is the lack of wide play. How many times have you seen us play a series of passes in front of the defence without trying to thread a through ball, or get out wide for a cross, before the likes of Townsend (worst offender), Sigurdsson and Paulinho have a crack? And Soldado hasn’t helped the cause either, not really contributing in games and missing some super opportunities – perhaps harsh as he’s still new. So, yes, there is plenty of promise, but we’re certainly not title contenders and the same problems exist for AVB.

  2. Louie Says:

    The stats show we’ve had more shots in the Prem than any other club. what the stats don’t say however is that 90% of those shots have been so ridiculously inept that fans sitting in the upper tier & on the wings have been in danger of getting hit.

    AVB needs to tell Townsend his role as a winger is to CROSS THE BALL! Not cut in and try and hit the corner flag with his shooting!

    Everyone was crying out for Soldado on Saturday, but seriously, hand-on-heart, does this player – all £27m of him – even remotely look like scoring 10 goals this season? Talk about a give-it-to-me-on-a-plate-&-I’ll-score player! He needs to pull his finger out and start breaking into a sweat. If you look at the work rate and goals of far inferior strikers to him (apparently) like Michu, Giroud, etc., Soldado has been piss-poor!

    And finally, on this depressingly reflective day, if AVB doesn’t get spurs into the Top 4 with an outlay of over £100m – does he really deserve the job?

  3. 4chambers Says:

    Louie,
    Does AVB deserve his job after this season if he fails top 4? I think he will meet the same outcome as he did at Chelsea if we are not in the top 4 in Feb.
    Seemed like a team without a leader Sunday. On the pitch or off. A few lads stuck to a game plan– Paulinho, Ericksen, and Townsend, but Siggy lost it in the first half and the team came unhinged at half time. The team always looks considerably worse in the second half… I can only question AVB’s reorganization at the break.

  4. John Allen Says:

    4chambers:

    “but Siggy lost it in the first half and the team came unhinged at half time. ”

    What exactly did Siggy loose in first half?

    You know it was 0:0 when he wen’t off, so if you are going to pass the blame there are other players who were terrible against West Ham. And when the middle – Paulinho/Dembele decides to get every ball out to the right, there isn’t so much the left flank can do then. Naughton cannot work as a LB in this inverted wingers system. When Rose is back, Sigurdsson and him can continue where they left off against Norwich.

    There sure are players that can be blamed for yesterday’s result. But Sigurdsson is not that player, with all due respect. Lamela got 30 minutes in Sigurdsson’s position.

    What changed with that? Yes.. after 15 minutes it was 0:3 … i guess Sigurdsson was not the problem… yes?

    But we don’t have to point fingers, we can stand behind the team, the players and the manager. We play Aston Villa in next game. Let’s win that game. COYS!!!

  5. 4chambers Says:

    1st half: Siggy muddled the middle and was absent on a number of crosses. Dembele, Townsend, and Eriksen were visibly annoyed by it.
    2nd half: AVB is still learning. He has been outcoached at least twice in the second half this season. Learn, lead and motivate AVB. You aren’t here to be friends with the players, they will love you if coach them!
    COYS!

  6. John Allen Says:

    I understand 4chambers. Not Gylfi’s best game, nobody saying that. But given that he was subbed off when it was still 0:0 i don’t think he should be singled out. Eriksen had a bad game. I really don’t know about Paulinho and Dembele partnership. We should use Sandro with eather of them who can hold back while the other one takes part in the attack. Walker was terrible.. same with Naughton (who is a RB by the way) and can’t work this inv. winger tactic on the left. Many things went wrong and that needs to be fixed.

    Could be the trip to Russia that had the team a little jet lagged.. i don’t know. But we shouldn’t use excuses though. AVB is a smart manager and he will find solutions, that i am sure of. We are 3 points from the top, with all those new players who most of them had no time to gel with the team.. but even so we were getting results. A bad game against West Ham should not fu** that up and we will continue scoring and winning games.

    The team will improve and get the points against Villa. That i am sure of.

  7. chazza36 Says:

    We can go round in circles blaming this player and that for the very obvious lack of penetration – hence goals – but the issue is a coaching problem.
    Speed. If we can’t move the ball around faster – MUCH faster – than we have shown thus far this season, the high line (in itself a debatable structure) is bound to fail.
    Right now, watching Spurs playing between boxes is akin to waiting for the test pattern to change.
    Spare a thought for Soldado who spends 90 minutes a week with his back to goal watching it.
    At least we have the option of turning it off or going home.

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