Date: 3rd January 2018 at 8:49am
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Swansea 0 Tottenham 2:

As I expected Llorente started and duly did the returning honours which every player returning to their old club seems to do and gets a goal. It may well have been off-side, but that was the officials fault, not Llorente’s. A second late on put a respectable shine on a very difficult game which was once again a test of who was up for it on a cold, wet Tuesday night at a team languishing at the bottom, although not that you would believe it as the second half wore on.
As the state of the pitch deteriorated, and it started to look like a throw-back to the 80’s and not the pristine manicured Premier league pitches of now – that generally put my very expensively looked after lawn to shame.

First half we looked pretty much in control despite the stair-rod rain, and 60-70 mph wind outside the stadium along with the absence of Harry, second half, they came out fighting, our play got sloppy, and we it seemed we got confused with their white shorts and did everything we could to give them the ball, probably not realising they were the opposition.

There were some genuine Positives (thank you poster total spurs) – and I unashamedly nick these points from a posters summing up in the forum;

1. We won

2. Vic back

3. Lamela started and looked ok

4. Llorente can score if we cross to him

5. The officials were a bit, well a lot iffy

6. With 2&3 maybe we won’t need sissjoko again

I’ll expand on that slightly; two things struck me about Lamela, firstly he looks like he is almost too fit and could do with a bit of muscle/fat back on him and secondly you’ll only appreciate this if you’ve followed my comments about him since the day we bought him; it didn’t take me long to point out to all and sundry that Lamela looked to me like a player with serious bio-mechanical issues; I could see it in his in elegant gait and his ‘waddle’ when trying to sprint from a standing start, his balance was also at times very suspect – but last night I watched him carefully and although he will probably never look the most elegant of players, the key critical issues that I saw and that have now been addressed by surgery and rehab, look almost inconsequential. Both for his career and his impact during the rest of this season, these must be seen as huge positives.

And my last BIG positive is Alli’s goal – the lad is almost back in the grove and he’s showing well – his now thrice weekly Spanish lessons must really be coming on now.

The Negatives (my view):

1. Sanchez – unlucky to get such a soft booking after the Swansea player conned the ref, but learn the lesson – keep hands off opposition especially when the ref has an unencumbered close up view! Also, in conditions such as those – rule no.1. for a defender is STAY ON YOUR FEET. Poch used his head and got him off, he could easily have got a second yellow and red.

2. Alli is now being ignored by refs when fouled far too often for my liking – he got a very clear shove in the back when trying to connect with a long looping ball in the area, only to get a fair good push that for me was a penalty all day long – the ref bottled it, which at least had made him consistent as I think Song should have had a nailed on penalty too..

3. We took our feet off their collective necks and allowed them back into the game, when they shouldn’t have laid a glove on us.

4. Hugo – dreadful decision making that could easily have gifted them a penalty – he’s definitely not in top form lately.

5. Harry, fantastic assist, but looked like he had all the energy of an excited sloth – we better hope he’s recovered a bit more for the Spam.

6. Ben Davies – he really looks to struggle against pace and Luciano Narsingh looked like he had the better of him from the moment he came on. If we sell Rose, we will need a wingback that had genuine pace over first 10 yards, where he is skinned again and again.

7. Trippier – ditto above. One day I will watch him run past a player with the ball, but I’m not holding my breath, apparently beating players with the ball at your feet as a wing back is an overrated skill.

Poch said after the game:

‘I’m very pleased to take the three points. The conditions were so, so difficult but we deserved the victory.
‘It was fantastic for Fernando to score. He has been waiting for his time to play and for any player it is good for their confidence when they get a goal.

‘Maybe Fernando was offside for his goal and maybe Swansea have a right to complain, but in football you always need some luck to open up the game.’

All in all, a good nights work, even if we did labour to deal with the conditions and their brief but almost fruitful period of pressing.

Tale of the tape:

We had 67% possession, 5 shots on target, 5 off v 33% for them 5 shots off and 1 on target.We made 654 attempted passes, of which 574 were successful, they made 288 attempted passes of which only 216 were successful.

In short we dominated and should have won by a wider margin.

I was once again impressed by Alfie Mawson and although we were rebuffed in the summer, I suspect we will go back again before he becomes an England CB regular starter, the scuttlebug is/was in the summer that if we got Mawson we might have let Dier go to Man United, I have to say watching him last night, I might well be inclined to think that Mawson has more improvement in him that Dier – we will see.


20 Replies to “A Cold Wet Muddy Tuesday Nights Work.”

  • I’m quite happy that Poch rotated Kane out, and although his recklessness dictated it more than anything else, Sanchez coming off early was probably a good thing too (but young players will have bad days and that was one of them – moving on). On my last trip to London, I learned about Hugo Bingo (a great term!). Hugo Bingo was in full effect yesterday. Is it me or is Hugo’s distribution actually regressing? Other than that, Llorente got his goal, which is good and indeed, it goes to show that if we play to his strengths, he can score. I’m still in awe of Kane’s assist. He has that in his locker too. Not the just the execution of the pass, but the vision was amazing. Not many pure strikers can do that. He did look otherwise tired – he illness must have affected him and maybe MP was just trying to get him to “sweat it out”. Overall it wasn’t pretty but the most important was the 3 points, and we got that. Also impressive: Jan has been on 4 bookings for 5 or 6 games and he’s managed that superbly. We can’t afford to lose him now, not with Toby out. If he keeps this up, he’ll wait until Toby’s 1st game back to pick up his suspension!

  • IN fairness, I just don’t believe you can criticise his distribution last night – he was given some appalling back passes to deal with given the conditions and the win and the wet sticky surface made many a pass look over-cooked or too short – not easy.

  • BelgianSpur, correct me if im wrong, but i think yellow cards are reset after the 31st December, so you have to pick up 10 bookings to receive a suspension. ie Jan will now have to pick up 6 more bookings, before he is suspended.

  • Spo we’ll sign mawson and get rid of Dier ? Why is it anyone who isn’t playing for us is automatically rated higher than anyone who is ?

  • How many Premier League yellow cards does a player need to get for a suspension?

    A player is subject to a ban after they receive five yellow cards in all domestic competitions before the cut-off or five after the cut-off.

    They are also subject to a ban when they reach 10 and 15 yellows in the same season.
    How many games is the suspension?

    The player is suspended for one game when they reach the five yellow card limit.

    They are then given two matches for 10 yellow cards and three matches for 15 yellow cards.

    If they reach a total of 20 for the season they are required to attend a special hearing at the FA to discuss their on-field behaviour.

    The cut-off date for yellow cards in the Premier League is December 31.

    It means a player receiving their fifth yellow card of the season on January 1 will not receive a ban.

    However, a player receiving 10 yellows by the end of the season will still be given a ban, so the cards are not completely wiped from a player?s record.

  • jod, they’re not – but ever since Diers flirting with Mourinho he simply hasn’t been the same player – and there was a real possibility that he would be sold, and may yet still be in the summer – if we do, Mawson is my pick, but even if we didn’t, we need one more CB – and Mawson would fit the bill ..

  • If Kane’s cold is anything like mine it’s amazing he could get past walking pace last night. Alli has his chirpy grin back ,so watch out all defenders; maybe Alli is pleased to see Wanyama back so he can play higher up the field where he belongs. New Year’s resolution for Daniel: please don’t sell any of our players [like you usually do at Xmas] & screw up our run-in.

  • Rose has a very convenient knee problem that will keep him out for around 2-3 weeks….cover for ‘we’re selling him?’..

  • Selling our last remaining speedy wing back would be the height of stupidity. Nothing surprises me now with this club .New owners please Santa.

  • Especially to a “rival” Greavesaboveall. If Rose really is injured however, might be time to cash in, preferably abroad. He’s never played 30 league games in his career. Not sure thats entirely down to injuries though.

  • Spursex – I will still criticise Hugo’s distribution because it’s still his choice to try to pick out specific players along the touchline when a back pass is played to him. You’d like to think that an experienced goalkeeper would take the pitch’s condition in consideration when picking out his pass. Especially with Llorente on the pitch for most of the game, there was a perfect target man for long kicks in the game yesterday. Instead he kicked the ball straight out of play about 5 times. For what’s worth, I thought Dier had a very solid game last night, as good as he has ever been. I don’t see any of the aftereffects of a failed transfer. His only few dodgy performances have come when being played as a CB. As for Rose, I agree with It’sME. It would make little sense for Rose to move on now, being 6 months away from the World Cup. Where is he going to go? To a bigger club with bigger competition for places? Luke Shaw has looked great for Man U recently. Chelsea, City, and Arsenal have settled LB’s. Only Liverpool could arguably use help there but I don’t think they’ll spend 50+ million on a LB after spending 75 million on a CB and having to replace Coutinho’s production. Rose would be foolish to go to a foreign league, with so much uncertainty, at this point. Whether he likes it or not, if he wants to go to Russia, his best bet is to play well for 6 months here. In the summer, if he has a solid WC, his value will skyrocket anyways.

  • Thanks for the info Guyver. Jan did well to manage the situation up until Dec 31 then ;-). He’s free to go through the back of players’ legs again then, I suppose!

  • Spursex – You would seem to be watching a different player to me. Since Toby’s injury he’s been my best defender in a lot of games. I really get fed up with all this fake news on transfers. If and when United make an official bid we might actually have something to talk about.

  • I thought Dier would develop into a good CB, however, he makes too many mistakes, yesterday he got done and the Swans should have equalized. Dier is not the best Dm at the club Wanyama is. Dier is not good enough to get into the best 11 when all are fit so is basically a utility squad player.
    Lamela needs to be played in midfield, instead of the wing attack position, he has some deadly passes and he’s skill set looks better suited to a CAM role rather than the wide areas, a bit like when spurs play CE out there. I hope spurs buy a goal scoring wide attacker with pace as spurs look unbalanced when they play 4 in attack with the current options.

  • Verts has been a rock no spurs defender comes close on this seasons performance. Yesterday Verts and Ali were the stand out performers for spurs.

  • I agree Lloris distribution and sometimes punching and not catching are his weaknesses. Sometimes his decision to play it out to the wingbacks and not put his boot through it is also suspect which often sees the ball go over the head of the wingback out for a throwing, back under pressure. sometimes he just needs to put his foot through it and kick it towards the forwards to relief pressure not try and place it out wide to wingbacks and find he can’t do it accurately. On the other hand sometimes our defence over play it and get caught and pressed, decision making needs to be improved by all of them at times.

    sell Dier for mawson, I don’t think so, can Mawson play three positions, no, Dier is our important utility player, every team needs one just as Poch says, Son is similar up top, play as a striker, behind a striker or as a winger offensive player. Dier, Cb, DM, Rb, you need these players, they want be specialist at any one position but they will be good enough to do a job, may be that is Diers fate unless he demands to concentrate on one posiiton. If that was DM or CB I am not sure he would be automatic choice as wanyama is back and when Toby is back, although I do think wanyama and Dier in the centre also works at times.

    I think first choice players seem to be lloris, Toby, verts, probably now Sanchez if we play a three, Wanyama if he gets back to form, Eriksen, Dele, and Kane, the rest is rotation and Dier is the utility.

  • I agree IM.

    Dier is not only a great “utility” player to have in the squad but he is a very good, talented and reliable player that is always calm, strong and never phased, wherever he is on the pitch. Why he is so often slated and/or underrated by Spurs supporters is beyond me.

    Who should we have had in his place, covering for Toby and for Wanyama and for Dembele. And often all within the one match, as he did against the Swans, moving back in place of Sanchez.

    As for Hugo, he does have his iffy moments as do all goalkeepers, including the very best. And he is one of the very best. He also saves us time and time again. (It’s his job). I thought he played very well on Tuesday and kept a clean sheet in the kind of weather conditions that are a nightmare to play in for goalies, probably more so than in any other position on the pitch. As for his passing out to wing-backs etc, as opposed to hoofing it more often, it’s a team tactic that has worked very well for us these past seasons under Poch. Hence our extremely good defensive stats. Yes, sometimes he should hoof it and yet, playing out wide to the wings is mostly where a ‘keeper should play it, whether hoofing it or passing. It is mostly a safer option than knocking it central up through the pitch, whereby it can come straight back at you, through the middle and be an instant attacking threat, leaving the goalkeeper and defenders very vulnerable to the quick counter. Playing out wide means that if it doesn’t find it’s target then the ball will more often than not go out for a throw, which is the lesser threat to a defence that will then usually have more time to set itself up and reshape.

  • As for later. Let’s blast those East London bubble-boys into oblivion… Failing that, 1-0 will do. But, I’m going for………

    Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 Wet Hammers!

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