There’s something reassuring about a solid slice of homemade premiership pie after a serving of rich continental cuisine. Tottenham v Everton is a tasty meal and I’m licking my lips.
I do also like a nice 1245 kick off. The novelty of the day not being over when the game ends is welcome. Unfortunately so is the novelty of being in my own bed and catching up on some shut eye after some san sirious sleep deprivation over the last few days. Oog has been a busy boy at work and had to be up at 4:45am for a flight from Milan to Warsaw on Thursday. Three and a half hours sleep will not do these days, and what’s more it won’t do for a good few days.
To continue with the earlier culinary theme, Oog is playing host at a dinner party in the evening. Lady Oog’s pumpkin soup inconveniently can’t be made without cracking some pumpkins. So after oversleeping and the most unbelievably efficient Sainsbury’s experience I will ever probably have, it’s 11:45 and I’m in deepest Tooting.
I meet Chris on the way, she is still sleep deprived, with an evil hangover to boot. Ah the joys of being a south London based Yid. You can stick your 45 minute walk from Lotto station to the San Siro up your arse. But a mad dash to Seven Sisters over ground means there will be no High Road run this time. We make it with 0 minutes still on the Jumbotron – 1hr on the nose. A personal best.
Here’s a prediction. Moyes for next Spurs manager. I like the sound of that anyway. First of all, I like the guy. He speaks more sense than most premiership managers. I admire what he’s done at Everton, starting with defensive knowhow and adding attacking flair to the basic blueprint (fankyow) of solid and hard to beat. There’s no Arteta today to demonstrate my point but I wouldn’t agree with those who say Moyes’ style is too prosaic to please the whl crowd. The man cuts his cloth accordingly, and accordingly to me he wouldn’t shy away from bringing the best out of vfondefoort and co if they were at his disposal. Anyway, if the bigger big boys don’t come calling I reckon one day we should. Reckon he would, too.
Everton are a bit stronger than us, but a bit less skilful. I was very impressed at how well drilled they were at moving the ball quickly from defence to a midfield break when they broke down our attacks – I think our defenders are still a bit prone on occasion to the instinctive hoof and to handing back possession away unnecessarily.
I’m learning to trust this Tottenham team though. When we get the ball in the opposition’s half, we do things. We have real flair, and there was a point in the first half where a beautiful piece of interplay between Modric (I think) and VDV almost came off that had me licking my lips once more. A taste of things to come, one hopes.
Crouch had a bit of a stinker and it seems to me as though he is becoming a boo boy in lieu of Jenas, who is either quite good or not playing these days. Can this please stop? I am not blind to Crouch’s faults – how can you not be? It is a bit odd that a striker for a top four team can’t actually shoot. On the other hand, I’d love to see the stats on how many assists he has and people are very quick to forget things like the hat-trick against Young Boys and that he scared the life out of Bremen. It would be nice if we could constructively criticise rather than just shouting ‘he’s shit, he’s shit’ the whole time. When the chants of Super Pav went up (an inferior player for me) after another scuff Crouch sarcastically applauded. Quite right too. It’s a stick we Spurs fans are beaten with too often in my view, but today fickle showed its face at the Lane. Shame.
Gallas also had a decent game. I suppose it’s inevitable that he is held up to a higher standard than other players. He is going to get more than his share of criticism but people seem to already have judged him. He isn’t going to be a crowd favourite, and I’m with the crowd on that – but let’s at least give him a chance. He’s clearly not at full fitness and will have a role to play.
In my last post I said Kaboul might have a chance to make right back his own but on today’s showing he looks like he could become a quality centre back. In his second spell he looks twice the player he was and I hope he carries on improving – we’ll have one hell of a player on our hands if he does. And finally, because I’m always on his back, Hutton had a pretty solid defensive game for once.
Ultimately this was an acceptable draw, one that takes us into the top four at the time of writing. Probably not for long but could this be one of those rare times where this wasn’t a must win game? A needn’t-win. A two-pointer. In context it was a decent performance. We swapped goals after 20 minutes or so, but neither keeper actually had very much to do. Balebalebale and a few others looked tired, and whilst we huffed and puffed I didn’t think we were at our best today. An entertaining first 30 minutes tailed off a bit and whilst the game never became tedious, it didn’t compare to the Villa game the other week. A mid week off for the squad is welcome. For me as well to be honest. This Champions League lark is tiring.
But the pumpkin soup was excellent.