Sunday, February 12, 2012

Tottenhammered

Spurs 5 - 0 Newcastle Utd

If this was Droopy's audition for the England job, then he's a shoo-in. By contrast, if this was the Silver Fox's audition to be his replacement in the Spurs dug-out, then we can probably rest assured that our manager won't be leaving for London any time soon - not least because he conceded his tactics were partly to blame for the thumping we suffered.

It was a perfect storm: effervescent, high-flying opposition playing on home turf; an old boy hungry to impress on his first start for his new club; a bullish manager, relieved at the conclusion of his court case; boisterous support from the stands; the absence of Dreamboat and particularly Mr T from our engine room; unforgivable sloppiness from our players, both with and without the ball; an offensive 4-4-2 formation which a rueful Silver Fox, with hindsight, declared a mistake.

By the sixth minute we were two down, first Benoit Assou-Ekotto and his enormous afro somehow sneaking in unmarked for a far-post tap-in, and then Louis Saha opening his account for Spurs. By the twentieth minute it had got even worse, Saha - who appeared to have rediscovered his sharpness just in time for our visit - finishing off a flowing move. Both full-backs looked completely overawed and overrun, while James Perch's limitations were cruelly exposed by Luka Modric.

In amongst it all we could possibly have had a penalty, when Emmanuel Adebayor - who had set up all three Spurs goals - handled in the area. Referee Andre Marriner suffered temporary blindness again when a curling Demba Ba free-kick was tipped behind by Brad Friedel but a corner not forthcoming. And, as if to prove everything was conspiring against us, Tim Krul made a decent save from Adebayor only for Niko Kranjcar to fire home the rebound.

We'd been 4-0 down at half-time to a team from North London before, of course, but this time the emphasis was very much on damage limitation. Obertan Kenobi was punished for a pathetic performance by being withdrawn for Shane Ferguson with Spidermag switching to the right wing.

In fairness to the players, the second period was much more palatable, helping us to claw back some pride and dignity. We even came close to scoring, when Ba's header was saved by Friedel and substitute Dan Gosling ballooned the follow-up into the stand. But by that point we'd fallen even further behind, Mike Williamson powerless to prevent Adebayor from adding his name to the scoresheet, and the sight of both Jermain Defoe and Aaron Lennon coming on was hardly comforting.

So Papisse Cisse's first full appearance was as awful as his debut was memorable, and the fans - whose splendid vocal support bore no relation to the team's display on the pitch - were left to rue the fact that the game survived the weather.

A temporary aberration? That's what we said about the defeat at Fulham. Still, losses for Chelsea and Liverpool meant we only slipped back one place (albeit with our goal difference completely wiped out), Arsenal climbing above us courtesy of a last-minute Thierry Henry winner at the Dark Place.

With next weekend off, thanks to Gus Poyet's Brighton, we've got a fortnight to pick ourselves up and rally for the visit of Wolves. The result in today's Black Country derby suggests that Mick McCarthy's men will be ideal opposition - though, of course, they too will be keen to right wrongs and banish the memory of a humiliating and painful defeat.

Other reports: BBC, Observer

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9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

let's face it you were totally outplayed
Mike Ashley is a Spurs fan

8:50 p.m.  
Blogger Ben said...

I believe I said as much. You were on form, we were rotten (in the first half, at least). How's about just savouring your victory? And we've all heard the 'Ashley is a Spurs fan' thing before.

Would have been nice to get revenge on Redknapp for touting Ba's price around to all and sundry in the transfer window, but it wasn't to be.

11:33 p.m.  
Anonymous spurs since '58 said...

These sort oF days happen, your lot are playing some good stuff and I hope you pick up again, here's hoping you get 4th and not just because both woolwich wanderers and chelski won't if you do! Also thanks for the fair writing.

3:52 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apologies for the Spurs fan above and his lack of grace. From another Spurs fan, can I say, good article and I hope you guys get 4th...

12:42 p.m.  
Anonymous ClockworkYid said...

I for one was pleased that the spirited Newcastle that I have seen play this season did not appear at WHL-It was a night for Spurs to shine and we did.I like Newcastle and respect the club.The team that came left their get up and go back in the North East.What your team lacks your fans did not and where a credit to the club.Pardew I like and his honesty is refreshing.I think you can still nick 4th and this is one Spurs fan who hopes you do,

2:24 p.m.  
Anonymous Spurspad said...

A terrible defeat for you a good display by us but I think with Tiote and Cabaye back in the middle for your next game and from there on will ensure that this wont happen to you again. For the last ten minutes or so I was amazed and amused by the enthusiasm of the bare chested Toon Army.

As for us a repeat performance against the Gooners would be great.

3:42 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

agree, poster number 1 is a muppet, not a representative of your average lilywhite, good article, bad luck on Sat, the odds were somewhat stacked against you from the start.

5:28 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another Spurs fan here... Agree with the majority of what has been said apart from the first special person comment.

I think not having Cabaye and Tiote in the middle really lowered your chances and consequently you lacked both steel and creativity. I think at this moment in time that's the main difference as although Parker and Modric are massive players for us, we do have players that can slot in. Your CM pairing were weak and I thought you would have played 4-5-1 to be fair.

Anyway, all the best in jumping ahead of the scum before the end of the season.

2:12 p.m.  
Blogger Ben said...

Cheers for all your positive comments - glad I didn't embark on the planned rant about 'Arry trying to flog off our players in the transfer window!

I thought our biggest problems on Saturday were in the full-back positions and defensive midfield - Guthrie was OK again, but Perch had a terrible game after looking surprisingly comfortable against Villa. Clearly we can't get Cabaye and especially Tiote back quick enough - the protection they afford the defence has been critical this season.

We've done extremely well this season, but on this occasion we were off the pace from the first whistle and ruthlessly put to the sword by arguably the most incisive and attractive footballing side in the league (though the Gunners and an on-form Man City might run you close). For what it's worth, I'd love to see you lift the trophy ahead of the two Manchester clubs - it'd be some consolation, knowing we'd helped you claim the prize...

6:28 p.m.  

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