Chelsea 0 Spurs 0
From the match preview:
On our current form:
It's like a really crappy ground-hog day where you get stuck in the lift alone for hours on end with no means of escape rather than being stuck in the lift for hours on end with a flirty Mila Kunis.
What we seek:
The one repeated necessity that I've cited on a number of occasions during this spell of misery is that we need to somehow rediscover our fluency, our mojo. Be it from individualistic magic or a collective tenacity to dig out the result. Or alternatively, luck. Just a lucky break. Anything. It's not happened in the two games where we expected it to happen.
Sort of on the right track? Not exactly flirty seductive Mila Kunis. More Mila Kunis with a paper bag over her head. She's there, you know she's there you can see her and she can still do the type of things Mila can do but, well, the paper bag is getting in the way, masking her beauty. There needs to be more bite. Imagine seeing her bite her lips. Bite Mila, bite! If anything just bite your way through the paper bag. In conclusion, the paper bag needs to go.
We haven't quite recaptured our mojo but there was fluency, structure and some restored pride which are all welcomed returning ingredients that have ever so subtlety spiced up Spurs again. I'm pretty sure I also caught a glimpse of ye olde leadership.
A first half of containment and patience, although from a personal standpoint it felt a little risky even if Chelsea had no clear cut chances. There was still an element of uncertainty at the back for us. Going forward, we played to the smart counter but with no hefty impact. Until that is we were all left staggered on the brink of half time wondering how we failed to score and go in at the break a goal up.
A full pelt uber-confident Spurs side would have pulled this Chelsea side apart but then that particular Spurs side is MIA. The current one dug deep and in the second half we added that extra bit of zest and urgency to our play. We had more possession and crafted more chances on goal. We even had a couple of half decent set-pieces. Towards the end of the game we not only looked more likely to score, we looked certain. That lucky break still deserting us for the moment meant it finished goalless.
I'm happy. I'm content with it. First half I was concerned about the ominous nature of the game, heavily congested midfield with not much down either flank. It was ugly, stuttery summed up with Redknapp barking orders to Sandro to sit rather than chase. Our set-up there to frustrate and stop Chelsea from functioning, so sure the game was unspectacular for the most part but who cares about Sky Sports and the neutral viewer? Credit to Harry because in the second half the tempo was far better and also aided by the way the game slowly started to open up, which was an expected eventually after such a non-eventful start.
The manner in which our players grew with confidence was more than evident in the way we kept pushing forward. Adebayor worked hard, holding up the ball, doing everything a team player does and proving that he is of the ilk of forward that works in this system and works in a team that includes so many attack-minded players. Shame he scuffs his shots more often than not. When he rounded Cech, that should have been the 1-0. Second time I celebrated prematurely in the game (the first being when van der Vaart struck it with his opposite good peg in the first half). Story of our day along with the header from Bale striking the woodwork and the Gallas header from a decent set-piece (I didn't make that last bit up - a decent set-piece). Bale even had the audacity to get a dead ball kick on target, forcing a save.
Talking of Bale, this kid has not turned into a massive egotistical nutjob that thinks he's 'made it' and swans around disinterested and not bothering to do anything other than take on the world on his own. Thanks to our lack of depth on the flanks we can hardly rest him or attempt to rejuvenate which means he continues to play and perform on a half empty (not half full) tank. Probably not 100% physically either. When confident, you tend to be far more instinctive. He appears to not only spend too much time over-thinking but he's also making the mistake of over-compensating by doing too much when the simple ball is sometimes the best option. Get behind him, support him because he's not going to get dropped any time soon.
Having said all that, even a 60% Bale can be influential, and he was. Along with Modric who got better and more effective as the game got on. Gallas also a highlight (although one or two moments reminded me of the requirement to bolster the centre-pairing options for next season).
One step at a time and this is as good as any foundation to build on. Even if 0-0 doesn't look it and even though we shouldn't quite celebrate our full return to form just yet (remember, paper bag needs removing). Chelsea lucky on the day relying more on half-arsed penalty claims than anything else although Brad was beaten for the Mata free-kick (was that us getting lucky?).
There's life left in us for sure. But the games are now fast running out. We'd have taken fourth place at the start of the season. That is looking good what with further complacency unlikely after our three successive defeats/blip. No more margin for error. Been there done that, we now have to make sure we start winning at home (win all home games) and work as hard as we did today away. Third should still remain the target.
We're beginning to wake up from our slumber just in time for the up and coming frolics and twisty banter that will no doubt consume us up until May.