Another edition of Mechanick's column looking at what went right and what went wrong in Tottenham Hotspur's previous match.
Fourth place is all Tottenham's. For the first time all season, Spurs find themselves squarely in Champions League position. All it took was a blazing first half, followed by a not total collapse in the second half to give Spurs the key three points.
So to break it all down we have another edition "That's That Spurs I Do/Don't Like." So let's get started:
That's That Spurs I Do Like
Sandro- Beast. First, he put in one of the braver blocks I've ever seen:
But this is indicative of his tremendous defensive instincts he is showing this season. This is the most decisive Sandro we've seen, keeping tactical discipline and distributing intelligently. Combining this with his already phenomenal athleticism and skill in a tackle, and you might just be seeing the best pure defensive midfielder in the Premiership today.
William Gallas- William Gallas was awful against Chelsea, that's a fact. But the veteran defender bounced back in a strong way against Southampton. Sitting deep, Gallas did a good job of shutting down the dangerous Rickie Lambert. I still think that Gallas should play less, especially when the likes of Benoit Assou-Ekotto return. But you can't knock his hustle.
Gareth Bale- Goals like that are why I'm ok occasionally seeing Gareth Bale pop up centrally more. What an absolutely brilliant header against his former team. Strong game for the new father, coming off a two game absence. Now if only he had a target for his crosses...
Clint Dempsey- Pure. Poacher. That was about as much of a Deuce game you'll ever see. Dempsey was quiet for much of the game, dropping deep and trying to bring other players into play. But when it came time for someone to be in to position to follow up Defoe's shot, Dempsey as always was in the right spot. That's a skill.
Aaron Lennon- A great performance from Azza. Not only did Lennon create the chaos that led to Tottenham's second goal, but he was disciplined in his tracking back, staying with the advancing Daniel Fox. Lennon's work rate has never been higher, and any doubts of his quality seem to have been erased.
Kyle Walker- Better distribution and positioning yesterday. I think his error against Chelsea may ultimately end up being a positive, helping the young right back focus on the little things instead of an attacking nightmare.
That's That Spurs I Don't Like
Jermain Defoe- Yeah, he got an assist. But the inability of Defoe to bring anyone else into the run of play was extremely frustrating. Defoe neither holds up play nor tracks back, so that 90% of what he's doing during the game is without use. Defoe's a weapon, but Adebayor is surely the man who fits this system better.
Brad Friedel- Hey Brad, your center forward is 5'5" on a good day. Hoofing the ball up the pitch to him is probably not the best idea. Distribution is truly becoming the limiting factor with Friedel. Brad was hardly at fault otherwise, but with more daunting competition coming you have to wonder if Hugo Lloris will yet again get a league shot.
Foot off the Gas- It always seem that when Spurs have a dominant first half, they come back for the second scared to make a mistake. We yet again saw Spurs start to soak up pressure and lose their dominant counter-attacks in the second half. AVB has to emphasize that the team has to stay aggressive no matter the score.
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