As the season draws to a close which Tottenham players deserve credit for their performance in the win at Stoke and so earn their ‘Spurs’?
It was a struggle in the second half against a determined 10-man Stoke City team after Tottenham had been in control with a single goal advantage when it had been 11 v 11. The dismissal of Ryan Shawcross for a second bookable offence energised the crowd and with their backing, the team battled through the last 40 minutes as both did their best to get the game reduced to 10-a-side.
Danny Rose who scored the goal was the target of their abuse for his part in the sending off, that is, he was fouled. The constant barrage from the crowd got to him and he was fortunate to see only yellow when he pushed Cameron after the Stoke player had put in a late challenge after he had cleared the ball. On another day with a different referee he could have been sent off. Clearly displeased at being taken off, Tim Sherwood made the right decision to calm the volatile situation.
Stoke managed to make it 10 v 10 when a challenge on Andros Townsend, minutes after he replaced Aaron Lennon, left him hobbling through the final ten minutes. Credit to the winger for being prepared to stay on the field as Tottenham had used all three substitutes.
Credit again goes to Hugo Lloris who didn’t have a save to make until the 69th minute but managed to keep a clean sheet as the pressure from Stoke increased in those final minutes.Michael Dawson returned in central defence and had a good game, steady in his defensive duties with vital clearances and tackles but also taking a lead when organising the back line and when the referee was dealing with Shawcross, pulling players away to remind them to stay focused on the game.
Younes Kaboul was also solid at the back and totally committed with a great competitive spirit when taking the ball forward on the left late in the game to get into a position to cross.
In midfield, Spurs caused themselves problems, especially in the second half by playing at too slow a tempo and allowing Stoke to dictate the game. Their passing was poor and they gifted the ball to the home side too often which enabled them to counter-attack.
Harry Kane worked hard and had a number of chances to shoot but couldn’t get the power or direction he wanted. Emmanuel Adebayor hadn’t his best game but his one outstanding moment brought the goal as he beat his defender on the right of the penalty area and crossed for Rose to score.
Who Earned their Spurs against Stoke?
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