Tottenham Three Up, Three Down (Norwich Match and Football Rant)


An idea pinched from Talksport, three positives on Tottenham from last weekend and three negatives on Spurs with a general comment on another football issue from Saturday’s game.

Christain Erikson [Photo: Jav The_DoC_66]

Three Up:

Christian Eriksen – made a tremendous difference to the Spurs team as an attacking force against Norwich. He looked to play the ball quickly, ran at defenders who were uncertain how to deal with him, linked play with midfield and Roberto Soldado who he supported regularly and was prepared to have a shot at goal. A good all-round performance on his Tottenham debut having had little time to meet up with or train with the other players. That alone would have been an acceptable debut but he was involved in both of the Spurs’ goals – an assist to set up Gylfi Sigurdsson for the opener and it was his pass from central midfield which released Paulinho on the right to deliver the cross for the second.

Danny Rose – an encouraging start to the season [Photo: Jav The_DoC_66]Danny Rose – his performance on Saturday illustrates the progression he has made in the past season. He received good reviews in a difficult season for Sunderland but I was among the doubters when no new left back was signed by Spurs during the summer and Benoit Assou-Ekotto was allowed to leave on loan. Andre Villas-Boas was obviously satisfied that Rose could step up to the mark and in these early games he has certainly done that. As a former winger he is keen to get forward to support midfield but shows tenacity in his defending with one crucial challenge just before half-time when Spurs were a goal up. As I wrote during the summer, this is a vital season for Danny and hopefully, he will be able to build on the good opening to the season.

Entrance to Spurs training ground [Photo: Logan Holmes]Under-18 Team – Taking an early morning flight to Stansted gave me the opportunity to go out to the Tottenham training ground for the Under-18 match against Bolton Wanderers. The facilities at Hotspur Way are exceptional with numerous pitches in immaculate condition. The place was teaming with children and young players of all ages going through their paces on the training pitches.

The Under-18 team impressed in their 2 – 1 success, dominating the game from the start and should have had more goals but for the final pass or cross being wasteful. The Bolton goalkeeper made a number of outstanding saves to frustrate Spurs but the team continued to play their controlled, passing game which kept Bolton in their own half and restricted them to the occasional break. Spurs went ahead late in the first half through Harry Winks but Bolton levelled from a rare attack before half-time. Spurs scored midway through the second half with a goal from Will Miller and then defended stoutly as Bolton tried to snatch a late equaliser.

The Under-18 team are undefeated this season with three wins. They top the South section, after also defeating Middlesbrough and Southampton, and are ahead of Fulham and Aston Villa on goal difference.

Three Down:

Andros Townsend – his enthusiasm and desire is great to see and like Rose has stepped in to fill the breach with Gareth Bale’s departure and Aaron Lennon’s injury problems. He does though need to learn when to pass, when to cross and when to shoot. At present, his number 1 preference is to cut inside and shoot – even when others players are waiting in space for him to deliver the ball. You could see the look of exasperation and frustration on their faces when his shots went into the stands.

Quick Free-kicks – Tottenham persist in taking quick free-kicks, even the Under-18 team do it. They take the kick but often gain little advantage as the opposition are within feet of them so they have little opportunity to see who is in space and free to receive a pass. From such free=kicks, the ball frequently ends up back with the goalkeeper with no advantage other than retaining possession of the ball. I’m not advocating that they pile everyone into the box every time they are awarded a free-kick but with the present system they rarely gain an advantage for the other side’s misdemeanours.

At White Hart Lane – Why do they insist on taking the top off my bottle of coke/water if I buy it in the ground? If I bring it in with me they also confiscate the top. I’m not going to throw it at anyone but I don’t want to drink the whole bottle at once and certainly not on a cold, late October evening when they took the top from the water I had in my bag when I came into the ground for the Carling Cup game against West Ham. I always mean to bring a spare top with me but never remember.

Football Rant

Diving – Ashley Young has been criticised rightly for his ‘dive’ in attempt to win a penalty on Saturday. Some sections of the media in discussing the issue have taken the view that there’s nothing that can be done to stop it and been against the suggestion of a red card. These are the same people who over the past two seasons were highly critical of Gareth Bale for diving even though a number of his bookings were incorrect last year and should have resulted in a Tottenham penalty. Young who has been guilty of diving previously, of course, plays for Manchester United so that all right then seems to be their continuing attitude.