Spurs 1 WBA 0
Lack of tempo and direction after decent early pressure. No width. Bit sluggish. Festive period finally bites back at us. Struggled to work around the congested midfield area, tippy-tappy passing epic failure. Too much free-roaming from Bale when the left flank was yelling out his name. The right flank equally lonesome. Players looking tired with movement and touch. Passing was very very average. More than a few were anonymous out there. On top of that we had every other player dropping dead and some dubious substitutions and reshaping as a consequence (Niko in the middle as a CM? Really?). Gallas injured (calf). Sandro injured (calf). Livermore injured having replaced Sandro and injuring Kaboul (who survived it because he's well 'ard). Adebayor playing like he's injured but still managing to beat JD's best mid-season offside tally but is still some way off from equalling the Monsters Inc scare record. Defoe rubbish until he scored. Cue 1000 Spurs fans on Twitter desperately attempting to delete their anti-JD 'get him off' comments. Then he's rubbish again.
There were positives in there. Plenty of effort. Half-Jenas Livermore did quite well, retaining the ball. The experience, leadership and class of van der Vaart included a solid work ethic. Defoe's blonde hair making it ever easier for assistant ref's to wave their flag for offside (positive for them rather than us). That's all I've got. Well that and 68% possession even if our patient play was untidy. Some flaky decisions made on and off the pitch. But we survived any genuine scares.
WBA, decent effort. What with all the hacking and fouling. Made it more so tricky with their 19 centre-backs. But that's just respect for us. Can't expect lesser quality sides to turn up and try and play open football. They'll get murdered, even if we're at half-pelt. So don't try to play WBA and co, just hoof and time waste.
In addition: We still suck at set pieces. Countless attempts at goal without really carving out clear 'ooh it's going in' cut chances. No creative spark. No coat hanger to unlock the bus door and joyride the bulky annoyance away.
Regardless, we won. Ugly. But we won. Professional without being polished. More of a grind. Bit like pulling a bird you don't fancy at the end of a night out. But you still end up scoring and surely that was the objective at the start of the night?
Three points. Winning convincingly is just as important as winning unconvincingly. As long as the latter doesn't turn into a week to week trend then it's no different to other clubs who mix and match and get the points on the table.
I'll leave the rest for the actual match report/after-thoughts (probably not until Thursday if I get the chance as I'm recording the podcast Wed evening) but I'm sure 'squad rotation' along with 'the necessity to rest our players' will be two key talking points. FA Cup weekend, got to be intelligent with selection there. And please no more injuries.
Oh yeah, and 42 points. We can't get relegated now. Open bus parade. Have that Facebook Tottenham Relegation Party. Don't think I've forgotten your zany existence.
The cockerel might have been removed from the roof due to the extreme weather conditions but be sure it can be found crowing in the club bar sharing a drink with Chirpy and his white powdered nasal hairs.
COYS. Mind the gap.
Love the shirt.
RIP to the elderly Spurs fan that passed away during the game.