My son is nine and supports Manchester United. He’s never actually watched a Premier League match live because down here in Australia matches are played pretty much throughout our night time. However, for this match, we’d decided he’d get up at 3am with me and we’d watch out first Spurs versus United clash together. After all, if we were to create history and actually beat Manchester twice in the same season, I wanted someone there to bear witness - and preferably a United fan I could deride and lampoon.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking. What type of father am I to wish for the opportunity to tease my nine-year old spawn. It’s all part of the toughening up process, I say. He plays centre back for his junior team so you need to be a little bruised and battered, don’t you? Anyway, that’s my rationale and I’m sticking to it.
For most of the match after the United goal, he laid on our lounge, with his head on my lap and struggling to keep his eyes open. He’d snap him to attention each time I yelled out as Tottenham blew another opportunity whereby I would invariably follow with a consistent refrain of: "You do realise, we’re playing all over you. You don’t deserve to be leading, you know". As the minutes wore on, I resigned myself to a undeserved loss and could only manage to cheer myself by reminding myself that at least my sprogg would get to see in his team win in his first EPL game.
Then Dempsey finally converted. I leapt into the air, and did two laps around the living room in celebration before piling on top of my boy for a victory rumble. Welcome to Premier League football, son.
Anyways, what did we learn from this match.
Who is this new Aaron Lennon? If we signed Willian, he’d have to play in the hole because nobody could dislodge Lennon right now. I don’t know what AVB has done with Azza, but the difference in his final delivery and his confidence to inject himself into a game, is a stunning improvement on years gone by.
Defoe needs a goal. Speaking of holes, Jermain is in one. Maybe it will take just one goal to regain his mojo, but that fabulous form he displayed earlier in the year is just not there right now and we’re struggling because of it. I think the prosecution laid its case to rest today, as to why we need a striker.
The Moose is world class. I’ve previously lamented, that Dembele has sometimes not taken it upon himself to try and more heavily influence a game, but he was terrific against United. He consistently attacked the penalty box with the ball at his feet and caused all sorts of trouble for the United defenders. Based on that performance, you could see him playing a more forward role mid-field role, were it not for the fact that he looks a 100-1 to event score a goal. I seriously have a hard-time believing he ever played as a striker.
Thudd has to stay for the rest of this campaign at least. Huddleston provided some necessary variety to our attack when he came on. When we’re chasing, he’s a valuable player to have on the park and it’s not the first time this year, that we’ve scored after he’s come off the bench.
Spurs proved again that they are just a couple of signings away from being genuine contenders. A midfield with Bale, Lennon, Dembele and either of our quality DMs rivals any in the Premier League and if only we were more clinical with our finishing then Champions League would be assured.
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