Tottenham 2 Everton 2
So what we got?
Squad stretched. 2-2. Cracking game. Good comeback or points dropped? Bale and Lennon missing equates to lack of pace and width. Can we recall Townsend? No, no we can't. Caulker in and Vertonghen pushed back out on the left. Dawson out of sorts. Walker stupendous in offensive positions but ignore that and talk about his haircut. Great touch and run for the build up to the goal. Goals conceded not defended well. Lloris nutmegged but saved us twice. Referee wasn't great. Assistant referee...is it politically correct to be able to criticise? Holtby involved. Sigurdsson equally involved. Dempsey trying desperately to get involved. Parker over involved. Dembele trying to beast it out, pushing forwards before tiring. Adebayor alive and kicking, committed and goal-hungry. Huddlestone exists and so does that almost long forgotten passing ability. Carroll should have come on a little earlier, I say from my armchair.
Continuation of erratic discipline in the centre due to lack of dynamic cohesion. We lost all balance when Sandro got injured. It's got a little messier with each passing week. As for the aforementioned Bale and Lennon. Had they played we might have carved out more opportunities. Our defending a far more influential impact on the final score.
Is this as good as it gets due to the circumstance we find ourselves in?
There was fighting spirit from Spurs. Will this be enough for the remaining fixtures? Spirit of 2010 and all that. Considering how we shaped up, the desire to keep on going is something you can't ignore. We'll have to fight harder to avoid becoming plucky underdogs again as opposed to the more assured contenders. Might be unavoidable until the fixes are put into place. Some of those fixes have been in waiting for several seasons.
We've let it slip not because of a lack of mental fortitude. Not because we've bottled it or choked. The physical constraints forced upon us, that excuse I personally thought would not be discussed, is having to be discussed. It's at this juncture that the voice in my head mocks me for believing we can stay ahead and also win the Europa League. It's yet another screaming example of why our esteemed chairman has to give Andre Villas-Boas everything the coach requires to comfortably compete in two or more competitions. Although we're strong we need a little more
in the tank to sustain it over a complete season and fight off the
weaknesses. We'll need even more to consider competing in the CL and the league at the same time.
Last year we tactically ballsed it up. There was no extra dimension to our play or the necessary inspiration required to pull through. Even with all this missing, it still went to the last weekend. Hardly anything in it. This time round, due to the initial learning curves, we dropped points early on. Costly now, but hindsight isn't a way to gauge expectations. Now we've dropped off the pace. But it's still not done and dusted.
We did well against Everton. It wasn't the best result. Had we beaten Fulham at home the hysteria from some quarters would be a little more quiet. Not having Bale/Lennon and not having like for like cover reminding us of lost transfer windows.
For all the rationalising and reasoning, the fact is, we have the squad we have and nothing more. We've had to make do with it up to this point - injuries included - so the very least the players can do is push on and give it everything and whatever happens...happens. Up to the supporters to the back coach and players till the very end. Or you can sit and fester in misery and either state 'I told you so' or join in after the fact if we're attained our target. Selective supporting the new self-preservation society.
I'm still confident. More then confident. For this season and for next. If all of this proves anything, it's that if we want to be comfortable with our challenge...we're gonna need a bigger squad. Until then, we'll keep having to dig deep.