Obstructed View - Reflections on the Spurs (A) Game
Sorry it’s late, but was away on a short break, plus I found it hard to muster much enthusiasm to write about a game which we never looked like anything other than cannon-fodder. Altogether a feeling of deja-vu from earlier in the season, before the arrival of the alleged Large Messiah, who needs to come up with a magical way of winning games without hitting the the target, let alone actually scoring. This was painful. Think Southampton. Only worse. We should be learning, not regressing.
The temptation after games like this is to blame someone, anyone, else. OK, let’s start with the linesman.
Was Rooney offside? Yes.
Was Kane offside? Yes.
Would it have mattered? No.
Should the linesman been up with play and looking along the line, and not guessing? Yes.
I repeat. Would it have mattered? No.
Bearing in mind we were already losing, and representing as much threat to the Spurs goal as the Swiss Navy represents to the Icelandic Fishing Fleet, it’s academic as to whether through bias or incompetence the Spurs goal was given, because it would probably have only taken a few more minutes for Spurs to slot again, given the combined ineptitude of our own defence (am I the only one who wants to see Keane and Holgate paired as the likely longer term solution rather than young Holgate having to learn alongside either Veteran A or Veteran B.
In fairness, Veteran A, henceforth to be known simply as “Jags” didn’t play too bad a game, although where he and his Junior Sidekick had gone when Aurier suddenly found himself with the freedom of HA9 0WS one can only imagine. They left a bewildered (not for the first time) Martina looking at his left hand berth like a tourist open mouthed at the Grand Canyon, and about as heavily populated. Bizarre.
Calls for a “proper Left Back” have only increased, and they were pretty loud already, but we ain’t got one, and no one seems to be coming any time soon, so it’s Cuco, Baines if and when he’s fit, unless Matty Foulds steps up from the U23s, and I have to admit I know very little about him, indeed I thought he was a CB until I saw him in the line up for the Young Guns yesterday.
It’s a problem. If I were the oppo manager, I’d be rallying my troops to attack down that side every opportunity; not the Jonjoe Kenny on the right had a very auspicious game on Saturday – but at least we’ve seen enough to know he’s a proper player in a proper position with a shed load of passion and a wealth of bite in the tackle. He’ll have learnt from being done like a kipper by the excellent Son, and he won’t be the last to get that lesson this season either.
If we’re grasping at straws, paper ones obviously, you need look no further than the debut of Tosun. A flick here, a header there, runs everywhere, in a team he’s barely met, has to give you optimism for an extended run in the team, and give young DCL a rest. What a player he’s going to be by the way, but he needs the chance to put his feet up for a week or two. No, our new Young Turk (no historical reference here, he’s just Turkish, and young – relatively) looks suited to the Premier League, physical, giving the Spurs backline a bit of something, at least, to think about. Whether he can do it against the Easter Island Statues, or the West Brom backline, time will tell.
The West Brom backline
Anyway, that’s enough writing on this one. Spurs get thee behind me Satan, or words to that effect, let’s just concentrate on getting 3 points against a West Brom side buoyed by their recent win, and no doubt galvanised by the sad and untimely death of a man many of us looked up to when growing up and loving football, but hating elements of racism that habitually went along with it. He was also my age, which is just a wee bit sobering. Cyrille Regis, many of us loved you, we mourn your passing, but that’s the nicest thing I’m going to say about West Brom for the time being.
Had we gone 1-0 up it would have made a big difference. I don't know about Keane. Of all our defenders, Holgate is the only one I'd persevere with. Kenny was turned inside out by Son, and as much as he has a promising career ahead of him, he's not the finished article, nor should anybody expect him to be. Keane has a poor temperament, and his head goes down far too easily. Jags is past it, and Williams is too, neither should form our defence. We all know Martina's weaknesses, so don't need to go there, but yes, if it were me, I'd be be looking at replacing the whole back line as far as discussed.
I think neither Rooney nor Sigurdsson offer what we need in midfield, and so would split them up, and instead of playing 2 or 3 defensive midfielders, I'd use just one, and opt for more attack.
Bolasie doesn't impress me at all, and I'd drop him without hesitation, and play him in the u23's until he finds form.