It was painful and disappointing, but not unexpected. That’s something like 8 or 9 times now, that we’ve conceded a goal in the final seconds of a game. 11 points lost. What a difference that would make to our Prem standing (we would sit pretty, nosebleeding in 8th spot). But you know what, who cares? So Dawson scored an own goal that Tevez claimed. Can’t blame the player. Either of them. Maybe best to be critical of the fact that nobody was guarding the near post. It happens. And I would have have taken the point before the game (cliché) kicked-off so as sickening as it is to lose two with the final fumble of the ball, I’d rather take pride from stopping Man Utd from playing their 1000mph swashbuckling game and then choke on some humble pie.
We were comfortable, with Cerny not being called into action until the final 20 or so (when, if you’re a Red you would use terms like ‘we battered them’) even though we didn’t look like conceding. We held on strong for periods and when in possession we slowed the game down enough to take the pace out of Utd - who just couldn't get a stranglehold on the game. Arguably the best starting eleven in the Prem, apart from maybe Wes Brown who is their weakest link, though still good enough for most other mid-table Prem sides. If you had told me we would be leading 1-0 long into the 90th minute I would have spat out my kebab. Rooney, Scholes, that boy Ronaldo. Terrifying. And yet it was nothing of the sort.
Woodgate repeated his performance from Everton away. Assured, calm and in command (just noticed no blog entry for the drab 0-0 result, I’m sure you wont lose sleep over it). It’s now imperative that he remains constant in our back four. Fucking asking a lot there due to his injury record. And with King’s ‘disappearance’ losing Woodgate will mean Chimbonda and Huddlestone in central defence. Which isn’t ideal. Talking of Hudd, playing him in defence (in prior games) is a shrewd move to improve the player’s defensive qualities. His attacking qualities are pretty much sublime and don't need improving. Just fine-tuning. His range of passing and dinked balls with the precision of a Treadstone agent had him perform a rather perfect quarter-back role on Saturday, picking out Spurs players all over the pitch, as we broke forward. Again, the call for Spurs buying an attacking midfielder may not be necessary if the development of the current batch of players continues. Which brings me onto Jenas. Actually no, we’ll come back to him in a second.
Hutton made a solid debut, looked unfazed. Nothing spectacular, but definitely comfortable considering the occasion. I’m sure the irony of playing against the team he probably rather have signed for wasn’t lost on him. Even Dawson (hand ball in the Cup game, and own goal in this one) was immense at times. Proving that he is a decent player when he has someone of Woodgate or Kings experience by the side of him. Berbatov is outrageously brilliant, but then we all know that. He may have a fraction of the urgency and energy of Tevez but has an infinite amount of brain-lighting, splitting trees in half (trees is a metaphor for the Man Utd defence…just work with me on this one).
Keane should have made it 2-0 after Berbatov Ghosted past several red shirts. Hate the amount of times I have to state 'should'.
And then we have Jenas. A player who has always promised so much but has shown so little, and usually only in spurts against weaker opposition. Yes, his composure can be improved vastly, but his recent box-to-box form has turned him into 18-carrot gold. Energetic, hungry and fucking on fire. Has Poyet had a word, raising his confidence? Ramos worked his magic in training? Capello has noticed for sure. JJ is in the England squad and is probably worth a start. Some players have less talent but an abundance of self belief, which set them apart from the competition due to sheer determination to succeed. Others have the talent and retain the form with their sheer arrogance. Jenas far too often has buckled under the pressure of expectation. But times are changing and Jenas has been performing with zest and a rather compelling end product (though his one-on-one skills are still a tad too Keanesque). Suddenly we have our own lickle Gerrard. Just black and with a rather fruity haircut (or lack of). And now all the wasted performances are (almost) forgotten. Yes, this is Tottenham and it’s not worth getting 'too' excited until Spurs/Jenas replicate this form against both strong and weak opposition over the course of the next 3 months.
We are on the up though (copyrighted to all of Sundays and Mondays tabloids). I’m not worried about league positions at the minute, I’d prefer to look at the teams fitness and organisational sense and managerial tactics and player development. Though a continued improvement will equal a climb up the table. Thus far, Ramos has made a mockery of Jol’s reign.
Levy, using ye olde hindsight, should have sacked Jol in the summer and brought him Ramos then. As if common sense ever prevails with how Spurs manage their business. Then again, no one would have guessed that Jol was on a death march.
Anyways, decent game. Should have won it, didn’t, but enough positives to take into the next game.
Well done Spurs. Next time, make it 2-0 and bag the three points.