For Tottenham fans, like myself, it’s been an easy past few weeks. Except for the blip against Everton early on in the month, the Christmas period has been wonderful to say the least! The team has slowly stepped up their game in recent weeks being able to brush pat teams a top four team should! At the start of the season, losing the last 10 minutes was a common occurrence, now against modest teams- Sunderland and Swansea, Spurs are able to hold on in slightly less than a dire panic. Having said that the final 5 minutes and injury time is always traumatic for any spurs fan! It’s funny how 5 minutes can so radically change your entire week!
Back to the game this weekend.
Sunderland fielded a strong team, welcoming back O’Shea from injury and playing probably their best front line! Despite this I still had high hopes for AVB’s side, due to Sunderland’s weak performances of late and innate struggle when it comes to closing games off!
Personally I would have Minone, their goalkeeper, as their man of the match. He performed tirelessly throughout the game stopping a one on one shot from Adebayor and a well struck shot from Defoe after a wonderful Bale dribble! Without him Sunderland would have struggled to maintain the close divide between the teams, as personally I felt that the Tottenham midfield was dominate for large periods of the game- controlling possession and dictating the flow of play! You should judge a keeper on his performances over a season an not one game- take Lloris against Arsenal earlier in the season! But there’s no doubt that Minone has grown into a competent goalkeeper that would get into most premier league teams, bar the top 5 pushing for European football. I’d love to see more of him in the coming years but doubt that he’ll flourish unless bought by a cup challenging club (not meaning to disrespect Sunderland, merely a club with European/ cup expectancies each year).
For large parts of the game we saw a mix match of possession, wing play and the occasional hoof! Both managers had set their teams out in similar styles operating with precision down both flanks. My major disappointment was Adebayor failing to find the net. His behaviour on the pitch shows good intent but if we play 2 strikers it needs to be worthwhile. And in recent weeks, although he makes space and holds up the ball, I feel as though giving Dempsey, Dembele or Siggurdson the chance to play in the behind the striker role would not only rotate the squad but also show us how we can play if we need too.
Tottenham’s substitutions all showed promise. Dempsey slotted right into the game and was comfortable from his inception. Parker provided resilience for the end game when everyone’s legs were slowing. And finally Siggy came on for Bale and showed that he can put in a shift whilst also putting a few passes together. Overall, our squad rotation is surely at its best now than it has been in previous years! We had Bentley on the bench against Milan and Madrid! The passed year has added quality and consistency in every position despite the departure of some of our recent greats!
My man of the match for spurs was Lennon, for three main reasons: effort, consistency and purpose. His role was to put balls in the box, he did that almost every time he went down the wing. He was always available and reliable in his actions (not wasting the ball- a stupid cross field ball for example). He was the model winger and even chipped in with the winning goal, his performance was top quality! And it should also be noted that despite his lack of goals he has proved vital to our recent success, keep up the good work Araon!
Overall the match was thoroughly entertaining and even more pleasurable to see Spurs win again!! Some people asked me to comment on the Bale, does he dive? Situation and I’ve got a neat blog planned for later this week! Look forward to that!
I’m planning on doing weekly transfer talk, but can do more if necessary or the market heats up 🙂
Be sure to check out our twitter for constant updates and January transfer news! @11wisemonkeys