Assessment of the individual Tottenham players’ performances in the game at West Bromwich Albion. Few come out with real credit after a woeful opening thirty minutes but at least they didn’t capitulate as they have done too often this season following a poor start to the game.
Hugo Lloris conceded 3 goals but was not at fault as his defence gave him absolutely no cover. In the first half, he made sure that it was no worse than three with a couple of good saves and a number of catches under pressure. After the interval he was mostly a spectator.
Kyle Naughton was the best of the back four players but that’s faint praise for a player who takes a lot of criticism from fans, as the other three members of Spurs back-line were an accident waiting to happen. Naughton has had an opportunity of a run in the team in his preferred right back position due to Kyle Walker’s injury. He has grown in confidence and apart from the match against Swansea has been a steady influence at the back and while going forward he will never be as effective as Walker, his passing brings others into the game.
Vlad Chiriches was all over the place in the first half. His defending was a liability and his lack of pace was cruelly exposed for the third goal. He was rightly taken off at half-time.
Younes Kaboul has forgotten the good habits of defending that Ledley King instilled in him in 2011-12. King talked about how Kaboul had grown as a defender but at present he wants to be everywhere and his defending is not as reliable as it was then. Totally committed he rampaged forward with Spurs 2 – 0 down and as he made his way back into position it was his back header which brought about the situation which put Chiriches under pressure and led directly to Albion’s third goal. Ledley needs to have a word with him about his role as a defender.
Danny Rose was easily beaten in the build up to the first goal and as he pushed forward was susceptible to the quick break by the opposition. He is still rash in his challenges, conceding free-kicks in dangerous places while when he gets forward to the opposition’s area his delivery is erratic.Aaron Lennon has worked hard defensively throughout the season but it has had an adverse affect on his creative work which has been a loss to the team. On Saturday, he was much more effective and posed a threat to Albion and was instrumental in the build up to the three goals. His cross was deflected in for an own goal and then from two crosses, Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen scored.
Paulinho became more prominent as Spurs started to dominate possession in the second half but had little influence in the early stages when Spurs were in disarray. He was busy around the pitch and made himself available to receive the ball. He brought a good save from Foster in the first half but we’d been expecting more from him when he arrived last summer.
Nacer Chadli had a quiet game and like Paulinho made little impression in the early stages as Albion took control. In the second half he appeared to play a deeper role, distributing the ball from in from of the defence and made a greater contribution.
Christian Eriksen was again the ‘star’ of the Tottenham team. He was the one who pulled the strings, constantly probing to create an opening and with the late winner brought Spurs a point which seemed well beyond them after thirty minutes.
Emmanuel Adebayor had one of those days we’d prefer to forget. He laid the ball back to Rose which brought the penalty. He then squandered the opportunity with the weakest of shots which was easy for Foster to save. Adebayor has only missed 2 Premier League penalties, both saved by Foster against Spurs at the Hawthorns. To his credit he didn’t hide and kept playing and as Spurs pressed late on he was holding the ball up an linking play as we had been looking for him to do in the early stages of the game.Harry Kane scored his second league goal in consecutive games. He worked hard for the team all across the front line, trying to create a chance for himself or lay off a pass to a team mate. He had a couple of chances before scoring with the header and while he missed the earlier chances, at least he was in a position to take them on. He troubles defenders when he runs at then especially around the edge of the penalty area.
Zeki Fryers was composed after coming on for Chiriches at half-time. He kept it simple, held his position and brought some stability to the back four although he was assisted by Albion’s decision to try and hold their advantage. Late in the game he did well when faced with a one-on-one, holding the player up and clearing the danger.
Gylfi Sigurdsson had little opportunity to influence the game having replaced Chaldi for the last 15 minutes.
Andros Townsend came on for Rose in the final minutes but held back when he could have pushed forward, aware of his defensive responsibilities. With Albion having everyone back trying to hold on to their lead, he was crowded out and pushed wide with no room to deliver a cross or to shoot.
After the excitement of the win against a very poor Sunderland team it was back to reality for Tottenham and the players. There is a softness to the team which opponents exploit but at least they managed to show some fight to come back and draw a game which had looked lost with only a third played.
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