Date: 5th February 2017 at 6:28am
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If you`re a team trying to win the title, these are the type of games you need to win. You win titles by beating the teams in the lower part of the league, the results against the sides around you are just added bonuses. With Chelsea humiliating ‘TheSameOld` Arsenal, and Liverpool losing to Hull; we had a great chance of consolidating on the 2nd position. But that`s the difference between this side and the Spurs we`ve seen in the previous years. We believe in ourselves, we have the mentality of a top side now. The players are motivated to fight for the title and not just the Top4. We trust our abilities to overtake the above us, we aren`t worried about the pack that stands below. And this is exactly the kind of belief that gets you over the line.
The game started in an expected fashion. Boro sitting deep and Spurs dominating possession. Traore went on a run and played in a cross which was headed over by Negredo. Few minutes later we had the best chance with Alli playing in Son, only for Valdes to make a brilliant save. We huffed and puffed but hardly created anything substantial. Son and Davies were constantly finding space only to mess up the end product. Then Alli was played in by Eriksen only to find the side netting. The only time when Son managed to find the perfect cross, our very own Harry put it over the bar. Suddenly the demons of the Sunderland game were knocking the door again. We ended the half strongly, but nothing on the score line. It started to seem like one of those days, to be honest it was. A resolute organised defence with 10 players behind the ball, with lots of indecisiveness on our part. The good thing about today was the crowd, whenever there were moans and boos from some part, the rest of the crowd started to sing. And the whole stadium started rocking again. It really spurred on the players and the intensity didn`t drop. Again this is what has changed, not just the players but the crowd believes too. There are some who`ll always be pessimistic but then this team is giving them very chances to stay the same. Dembele played in Alli and who found Son in the box, who again didn`t opt for the first time shot/cross and pulled the ball back. Luckily he was caught and we earned a penalty, eventually slotted home by Kane. The rest of the game continued in similar fashion, with our players suddenly decerebrating as soon as they reached the box. We seriously should`ve scored quite a few today. Boro came to life in the final few minutes and almost gave us a scare when De Roon was giving time and space in the box. His shot went wide, and so did our smiles.

Lloris was largely a spectator, and didn`t have a single save to make.
Toby was his usual best, the way he dealt with Traore shows why he is the best defender in the PL. Traore was supposed to be Davies` man but Toby realised he`s Boro`s biggest threat and cleaned him out of the game whenever he entered our half. His pace, his trickery didn`t move a single strand in Toby`s slick hairstyle.
Dier did what was required of him, like he always does. But he needs improve a lot if wants to be first choice. He needs to work on his passing, especially long balls. You cannot keep playing balls out of play or in spaces where none of your team mates are. Also, he still has problems dealing with bouncing balls, once he sorts that out his sheer discipline can make him one of the best defenders in the league.
Walker had an OK game by his standards. We didn`t see a lot of him today going ahead, but that was pretty much down to Downing`s good work. On the other flank Davies tried his best to fill in Rose` shoes and actually had a really good game. Along with Son he was our main threat.
Moussa was the huge wall that glides all over without leaving a trail. Wanyama was the huge monster barraging everything that came his way with his stamp. Nothing new from them, same old scintillating stuff. It`s almost getting boring now.
Eriksen tried his best but he`s almost never been able to do it against a well organised defence, and it showed again today. He tested Valdes a few times but that was all. I`ll give Alli a 10 on 10 just for keeping his calm when Valdes was trying some weird stuff on his nose. As soon as the replay started I was looking forward to a 3 match ban, so relieved that I was wrong. Son had an equivocal performance today, with the positions he got in you could argue he could`ve done better but then he was the one who made the difference. He should`ve been on the score-sheet today, and he`ll be kicking himself for that.
Kane in the post-match interview said we`ll take a 1-0. Just goes to show how concentrated the players are. The way he took the penalty sums him up, when the whole stadium was shaking with nerves, he didn`t feel any of them.

I like one-nils. It shows how efficient you are even when you`re not at your best. It irritates your rivals, it hurts them more than a resounding win. It almost always feels undeserved and then they start blaming luck. Continue winning and we might just start to upset Chelsea. There is nothing more annoying than a team with no chance just staying there hanging by the side. We certainly aren`t letting go of them. When all other managers have stated it`s difficult to catch Chelsea now, Poch has been calm saying we just need to keep winning games. We start with Liverpool next week, beat them and suddenly Chelsea are looking at a tough away trip to Burnley as a must win. But we need to show more than what we did today if we want to win against Liverpool. We need to stay with our belief that we can win title. And that`s just because we really can.


32 Replies to “Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Middlesbrough”

  • Thanks for the article but I actually disagree, much like I said in other threads. As the beginning of the article says, in order to win titles we have to beat teams like Sunderland. We didn’t. Geof’s article on dropped points shows what you have to do to win titles, and Chelsea are doing it. Second would still be an outstanding season and I will be wanting Chelsea to win against all other rivals from now on. I don’t think anyone can catch them, so they might as well help us put space between us and other big teams.

  • If Spurs win the title this year then it would be one of the most impressive shows in the PL for many years. To do so chelsea will have to suddenly start dropping a lot of points and we will have to do very well to drop hardly any. I can see Tottenham carrying on as we are but I can’t see Chelsea suddenly failing. I’ll Never give up hope but realistically it’s as much about them losing a few as us winning almost every match and I can’t see us going unbeaten for the rest of the season let alone winning every week. Its not over yet but.

  • The thing is we need to look above and not below us, Chelsea will drop points. It’s a matter of 3 games, but we need to be there when the chance comes. Our chances are bleak, Chelsea obviously have one hand on the title but still we need to believe we can. The players do i think, we should too.

  • I believe. Ive believed it all season. I’m just being realistic about the points gap. Chelsea can of course lose a few but today it doesn’t reallylook like it. That can always change.Now if they had to play spurs every week, id put money on us being champions.

  • It’s difficult, even more so with our cup commitments. But we could be within 3-4 points of them in a space of 2 games. I’m being really optimistic here, but I can’t help it!

  • nik …. The players and manager have to say we can still win the title …. whether they believe it or not!

  • Nikhilavin, this is a really good time to be playing Liverpool,win and I will really fancy our chances but I think MP will be cautious next week and avoid defeat. Sometimes you just have to go for it, 3 pts is a must if we want the title or has MP settled for 2nd, 3rd?

  • Ah well, other teams have sussed out that we are not clever enough and don’t have the guile to be able to unpick a packed defence, happened last game, happened this game, we were lucky tht we got the pen otherwise there is no way we could have scored. Liverpool next, all they will do (if they have any sense at all) is pack the defence and hit us with long high balls, that will do the trick as we are really poor against that tactic as has been shown time and again against the so called “lesser” teams.

  • Oh and as for the poll for MOTM why can’t you get our own player’s name right????? It is NOT Heung-Min Son It IS Son Heung-Min. This just shows the depth of ignorance from the person who wrote the poll.

  • Hey all, hope you’re good. Not too much time these days for in dept analysis but regularly reading along (hmm went on a small splurge here:D). I dunno, I thought it was a v good performance, we’re improving all the time at creating different variations on attacking angles… rose was almost becoming a no10 over the past few weeks, sitting directly behind the front 2, dembele has been drifting left far more when we need a goal, I’ve no bloody idea where CE plays now haha! VM is chipping in crosses to himself!! :D, it’s all f’kn brilliant, the way I see it. BIG thing yesterday is that we didn’t close the game out in any shape or form… I don’t mind looking for another goal, but there were some unnecessary and daft balls across their back line that broke down into predictable counter-attacks. We can make end-game far easier on ourselves I think, we’re so capable, why don’t we just do it!? Son has days like this, I believe, he should have scored 2 (normally would). He was the focal point and I like, again, how Poch alters the tactics with small, simple changes having obvious influence. I don’t see the reason for concern, we’re doing great. Borough also played well and were very fast to recover, looked a very fit team to me, good attitude. They managed good pressure on all our counters, but yeah, we should have done better at testing the goal on prob 3 occasions. Mostly I’m just going ‘WOW!’ at the moves we’re trying. Our player are so tuned in to what they want to do on the pitch, and the bigger picture, it’s just engrossing. For me, i now want the players to win something for themselves, for their effort and commitment, instead of whatever association I’ve got with supporting Spurs. I honestly just respect these players and am happy for the good times they provide. Although…I’d BLOODY LOVE to catch CFC to win the title!

  • The problem yesterday was our finishing. Poch named his only 18 fits players in the squad and picked his best 11. They played well but were just a bit wasteful in front of goal. Otherwise it would have been a 3 or 4 nil game.

    Realistically, Chelsea are going to win the title. They’ve lost 3 games in 24 and there’s little chance they’re going to lose 5 or 6 in the last 14 to let us back in. I don’t see them drawing a load of games either. All we can do is take one game at a time and hope we get the squad fully fit for the run in. Starting next Sat, Poch’s squad will have 5 games in 15 days. It will be interesting to see whether guys like Walker-Peters and Edwards get some game time.

  • Yes he scored again but I personally don’t think that Harry is doing enough to unsettle defences and create space for others. We are relying on defensive errors or through balls against parked busses.

  • chrishove123 I wish we would stop talking about our inability to break down bus parkers. Damn we broke them down, inside out and upside down. We just can’t finish worth a damn. Some had two shots wide into the side netting, Kane headed a foot overbars from 10 feet away on a free header, Kane sent Ali wide right when he could have passed a second earlier, another 3 shots were spectacular saves but should have been placed better. It’s the finishing not the defending. We should have won 4 nil!

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