A one-nil home win tends to evoke images of rock-solid fortresses and lashings of risk-free discipline, but with the nerves jangling so hard they were almost audible pre kick-off, as the first ten minutes unfolded I began to muse whether this might turn into another one of those wretched thrashings we seem to take every month or so.
Midfield Muscle (Or Lack Thereof)
The midfield troupe in particular seemed to take one look at things and make an instant decision to dig furiously at the ground before burying their heads as far as they would go, with the result that Everton snapped and muscled their way to every loose ball in that opening spell.
The approach was typified by young Master Eriksen. While ‘tis pleasing to note that his transition into a Modric-esque string-puller continues to take effect gradually, through the medium of threading balls sweetly this way and that, when it comes to physical combat he demonstrates all the presence of a particularly malnourished waif, and for some reason the rest of our heroes seemed to take their cue from him. I was also rather underwhelmed by the contribution of Paulinho. That’s a lie of sorts actually, as I struggled to locate Paulinho until he was yanked off in the second half.
Wrongs were eventually righted in this area however. To his credit Dembele didn’t shirk the challenge, and seemed to impose himself more as the game wore on, at one point trundling forward with Everton defenders trying to wrap themselves around his legs and haul him down, in a vaguely Six Nations sort of way.
Adebayor – Like A Girl In A Nursery Rhyme
Ultimately, we find ourselves needing to form an orderly queue to extend our thanks to Adebayor once again. Which is a little galling in a way, because the chap can be – and has been – a rotter of the first order. Like a pigtailed girl in a children’s poem, when bad he is horrid, but when good he is as close as we have come to a centre-forward of the Drogba mould, which is pretty much as the poem dictates, verbatim. His goal yesterday was a case in point, and it is certainly difficult to imagine Messrs Soldado, Kane or Defoe scoring thusly. However, if Sherwood can perform that strange alchemy that keeps him galvanised, and Good Adebayor lollops out each week, then presumably the points will keep ticking over. One dreads to think how events might have panned out, particularly in the first half, had Lukaku been present to lead the line for our visitors.
Man-Love For Walker. No? Just Me Then?
At the risk of attracting silence, some tumbleweed and an evil stare or two, before wrapping up I would like to clear my throat and profess a degree of man-love for the boy Walker. He seems to receive a fairly dubious press amongst the Spurs aficionados of my acquaintance, which seems jolly unfair, because few in the team display anything like his wild-eyed passion. Aside from stomping moodily about the place and calling upon his third lung to go tearing up the right every couple of minutes, I am always rather impressed with his ability to shield the ball out for a goal-kick – admittedly this ranks amongst the lowest victories that can be won during a game, but it still always prompts me into a nod of satisfaction. On top of which he effected a rather nifty piece of work in chipping forward the quick free-kick that set up Adebayor’s goal – remarkably quick thinking for a man who has carved out a side-career in on-field mental negligibility.
Somehow then, the bandwagon rolls on. Somehow, we are still but three points behind the all-singing all-dancing Liverpool team. Honestly, if that lot fail to make the Top Four this year, when their principal competition consists of our ragtag bunch and the worst Man Utd team in decades, then their entire playing and coaching staff deserve to be shot. Pardon the digression. This was by no means vintage lilywhite japery, but given the Cup Final feel to the fixture it was a dashed good effort, and keeps things simmering over nicely.
3 replies on “Spurs 1-0 Everton: Musings On A Successful Cup Final”
For all their possession though i didnt once feel they would score, three shots on target, one save that keepers love because it makes them look good, one rolling into the waiting arms of lloris and one deflected and taken comfortably to the chest. They were stuck passing it to Osman and Mirallis to take pot shots which isnt going to beat any team. They didnt actually beat our defensive line where as even in the first half rose put a ball in that was Ade’s big toe away from a goal. Long story short, we made them look a lot better than they were, which is worrying enough. If the result had been the other way we wouldnt be saying we deserved the points so much as saying it was somebodies fault for not buying a locksmith type player or having enough strikers to see out the season.
First Wenger, now Sherwood. Must be something in the water bottles down there.
So, the not-so-Great Lane Robbery. Before kick-off I couldn’t believe Spurs’s goal difference was -1. I was a believer by full-time though.
If we could’ve fielded a proper centre-forward the game would’ve at least been bathed and in its jim-jams by half-time, if not tucked up in bed.
The second-half free-kick which led to the goal – Spur’s first effort on target – should never have been given because a few seconds earlier Osman had been fouled. And that the pass by Walker could so easily have been prevented by Barry standing over the ball just added to the frustration. If only the ref had deemed Pienaar’s challenge worthy of a yellow, he’d have pulled the game back like he did when we tried to take a quick free-kick.
Finally, we should’ve had a penalty.
All in all, a good performance which could also have been a good result but for injuries, a momentary lack of concentration and a couple of big mistakes by the officials.
Read in another of the papers today that after trotting onto the pitch Young Townsend apparently turned around and asked Sherwood which flank he was supposed to be on. Words rather fail me.