The Hoodoo Continues
Let’s get this right our defeat was not Wembley’s fault. We cannot blame Wembley for:
One. Dele’s foul for conceding that free kick.
Two. Alonso’s once-in-a-lifetime free-kick even he admitted that he can’t do in training.
Three. Hugo’s rushed throw out to a marked man.
Four. David Luiz being sharp enough to rob Wanyama off the ball.
Five. Hugo diving over the top of a ball at his near post.
This defeat was not Wembley’s fault. Yes Victor could have done better but Hugo’s poor decision making to throw out to Victor in the first place and his non near post save is at fault for their second goal. Hugo’s reaction confirms this. Nothing to do with Wembley. Got that?
Burnley did us no favours by thrashing Cheat$ki the previous week. The lion was injured, a hurt beast who had a week to lick his wounds and brood, and come out fighting as if in a corner. Conte did a number on us with his employment of the Cattenacho (sp?) defence from days of yore – well the sixties and seventies anyway. Four narrow at the back covering the six yard box line with three defensive midfielders in front of them. Don’t worry about crosses, just head them away and play on the break with nifty speedsters to cause havoc. They did all that brilliantly no doubt about that, but they didn’t cause us that much havoc to be honest. Their win was once again down to our mistakes and a worldy. Nothing new there then when we play Cheat$ki, Grrrrr!
Spurs started with three at the back and deployed Davies and Trippier as wingbacks. For whatever reason they were both reticent to get to the by-line and put in crosses from there or even just to stretch the defence. Not sure if it would have made much of a difference, as going by our mainly ineffectual corners, bar one, Cheat$ki would have just headed them clear anyway. Spurs did play well overall with numerous shots, hitting the post on one occasion, with Courtois once again the busier keeper. For all their stifling, their defence was breached a number of times. The ball however just wouldn’t go in for us.
Cheat$ki did play more open at the start of the game but Spurs absorbed the pressure and started to get on top. Not exactly against the run of play came that needless freekick to concede with the resultant worldly goal. This changed Cheat$ki’s tactics as they went deep into their Cattenacho and threw up an impenetrable defensive wall.
Spurs kept on chipping at the wall and knocking on the door. The forces of light and goodness finally got their just reward with an own goal via the head of Batshuayi in the 82nd minute, proving their wall to be penetrative after all. 1-1. The O.G. came about from one of those enticing balls from a freekick (Eriksen) that defenders hate. If Batshuayi hadn’t got his head to it, Toby was just behind him to score anyway. Yay! Que ecstatic elation across the nation if not Wembley and the world at large.
To arrive at the goal Poch changed tactics to four at the back with the substitution of Dier with Son on 68 min. Then back to a three in 80th when Sissoko replaced Davies. There has been speculation, with hindsight as a guiding hand, in that Wanyama should have been replaced instead of Dier – as he had been injured through pre-season and would have tired as the game went on. As it happened he did, but coach hindsight has never made a mistake you know!
Anyway, Cheat$ki opened up and put us under a bit of pressure, but nothing that we weren’t coping with. To Dare is to Do and all that, Spurs to their credit didn’t settle for the draw but went for the win. Hence Hugo’s ‘rushed’ throw to an unprepared Wanyama and the rest is painful history as they say.
Alas and a lack it wasn’t to be. Two heavyweights going for it with Spurs, the classier boxer falling to a sucker punch at the end. The hoodoo continues!
HotspurSam. 22 Aug 17. #COYS
If you wish to taste the match atmosphere @ChrisCowlin and his FANCAM is a good watch too.