Not the most enthralling match I must say and Spurs did just enough to progress to round 4 of the FA Cup this season. I was quite pleasantly surprised with the strength of the team Pochettino put out with both Toby and Dier in the team. HurriKane had his own match of the day to attend with the birth of his daughter Ivy Jane at 7:30 that morning. The manager opted for three at the back again, so that may be a hint of things to come. Trippier and Davies being the wing backs, so much hinged upon them. Wimmer got another game to impress and Carter-Vickers got another showing. Toby being the glue in the middle in front of the expected Vorm. Neither were unduly tested. Dier was the Capt pairing with Harry Winks in the middle. Son and Sissoko played either side of Janssen. This was an opportunity for CCV, Wimmer, Sissoko and Janssen to impress and push their credentials. Only one didn’t rise to the challenge.
After an initial five minute spar, Villa fell back with a back 4 inside their 18yd box and a semi-circle of six playing not to far in front. They made no pretence of trying to win a game of football at this point or indeed many points yet to come. This made it nigh impossible for the wing backs to get to the by-line and put in crosses. in fact they hardly put in any crosses at all for Janssen to work with. Poor old Victor was basically marked by 3 players, and we didn’t have enough guile, talent, or creativity to get the ball to him in goal scoring opportunities. Once again he either had to go looking for the ball, which only crowded the play where it was already congested, or to play with his back to the goal and hold the ball up for runners to come on to him. Only there were no runners. This is not Janssen’s fault. Unfortunately for him the rare times he did get the ball he inevitably fluffed his lines. He did get in a goodly fizzed ball across the box from the left not too far into the game, and there was a run from him in the box into space in the second half but either Son didn’t see him, picked the wrong option, or didn’t have the faith in him to play the easy ball which would have put him through on goal! He was replaced soon after.
With the way Villa had set-up it was more exciting watching the concrete set on the new stadium build, which i have done on numerous occasions haha! Winks buzzed around and looked tidy, Sissoko played OK but it is not his game to play tight passing a la Eriksen around a box being desperately defended like a reenactment of Rourkes Drift. He had one strong run early doors but Villa then shut the door for the rest of the game, sort of. Son was finding it difficult to find the space to open his long legs and have a go in the crush. Spurs battered away to no avail and one time Janssen did receive the ball he was surrounded by 5 players…give the guy a break. On another occasion running with Winks into the box exchanging close order passes, the final ball from Harry was right to Victor and not a few feet in front and so it bounced off the side of his knee. Bad breaks! He wasnt getting good ball and that is down to those around him and to the good defensive set-up by Villa’s back to the wall approach. Inevitably of course the ball did make the odd foray into the Spurs half, and so there was a period in the first half when Vorm touched the ball more often than Johnstone on his debut in the Villa goal, in spite of Spurs 70+% possession. I thought we needed N’Koudoh to take people on and create a bit of havoc. He was on the bench. So, Half Time and it’s 0-0.
Second half started much in the same way as the first and followed a similar pattern. one Villa sortie did cause consternation as it took a double block from close to our left post with a final saving lunge from Toby. Almost one of those funny undeserved 0-1 scorelines, but we survived. Shortly after, and following a few poor touches from Janssen, he was replaced on 60 mins by Dele, and things immediately changed.
Now many are saying things changed because Janssen went off, I say differently. I say things changed because Son was sent forward into Janssen’s position and suddenly we had greater movement and creativity behind our forward. Something Janssen didn’t have from Son. Suddenly it wasn’t so comfortable for the Villians to defend, they were also tiring by now from their stalwart efforts. Suddenly Son was free on the left in the box on the 6yd line, great chance, better than anything Janssen had – miss kicked.
70 mins N’Koudoh comes on for all people – Toby. Ah, Dier moves back to Cb I initially thought but he remained as CDM and we revert to a 4:2:4 formation with GKN and Sissoko wide, with pace and trickery plus creativity. Just what Janssen needed, but ….Oops! With his first touch GKN put in a decent cross, somewhat slightly behind Davies, who did twist his neck to steer a lovely glancing headed ball into the back of the villa net. A nice wee goal taken well by Ben Davies for his first ever Spurs goal. Well done indeed Ben! Yay 1-0 to Spurs.
Villa had to come out now, and they did try and in doing so they left space behind, something Janssen didn’t have. Bruce made a triple substitution giving them fresh legs and extra forward impetuous. to no avail, Spurs went for it, Sissoko could now come into his own a bit more. He did miss a golden chance on the left at one point, or rather it was a good palm away by the keeper in fact. A lovely cross field ball from GKN, to Trippier and suddenly Sissoko was clear into the box and a nice square pass to Son in the centre of goal aand it’s 2-0 to the Spurs. Game over more or less. It was a chance that once again was never conjured up for Janssen. I felt for him.
Onomah came on for Sissoko and he made a few good runs joining up with GKN. Son broke free, because of the space now being left in behind, and fluffed the one on one with the goalie. It’s not the first time he has shown his ability to fluff one on ones! Spurs over relaxed as per norm and gave away a few free kicks around our box, but Villa didn’t have the talent to capitalise. A better team may have just done so..
Anyway onto the next round, and as I type this we have been drawn at home to Wycombe. Lower league maybe, but they are on a 12 game unbeaten streak at the moment. But hey, the God’s are smiling upon us. Rejoice!
Question: Name the two clubs that have won a major trophy in every calendar decade since and including the 1950s
Answer: Man United and the mighty Tottenham Hotspur.
United have already won in this decade, we haven’t and I am desperate for the record to continue. We only have this and two more years to put it right and the record will continue until at least 2029. I’m in my sixties now and so have never gone a whole calendar decade without Spurs winning a major trophy. Come on Poch, come on lads, dont let me down!
HotspurSam 9th Jan 17
For an all singing all dancing match report, you cant beat Paul Smith’s report on the Spurs Odyssey site. http://www.spursodyssey.com/1617/av080117.html
Photos are in the public domain accessed from the internet and social media