So Tottenham ended up on the wrong side of another 5-2 thrashing at the hands of the Gooners. It was a hard result to take as Spurs fan last season and it will no doubt be a struggle again. However the score-line certainly doesn’t tell the full story of the game and I’m sure most spurs fans will feel better than they did after their last trip to the Emirates Stadium.
Despite going one goal up early on Tottenham were undone by a moment of madness from Adebayor. Howard Webb certainly made the correct decision in sending the Togolese International off, but you can’t help but wonder what kind of game we would have seen if the referee decided to let him off with a yellow. However there is no point dwelling over ‘What if’s’, what’s happened has happened, as a Spurs fan all we can do now is take the positives from it, which are actually not too hard to find.
Tottenham fans learnt new things about their club and manager today, I’ve noted 3 big things I myself learned as a Spurs fan.
1. Never say die attitude –At half time it all looked very bleak for Tottenham, 3-1 down and one man down against a team like Arsenal is not a situation you want to find yourself in. However when despite there looking to be no hope, the Tottenham players came out for the second half with their heads well and truly up. Playing in a new 3-4-2 formation, AVB was brave and set-up to try and do the impossible and even managed to outplay the 11 men of Arsenal for the first 10 to 15 minutes. Then even when it looked like Cazorla had crushed all of the Spurs player’s hopes in the 60th minute, the Tottenham players still never gave up and made it 4-2 with a sublime goal from Bale around 10 minutes later. Spurs tried to make the impossible possiblebut the task became too hard later on when the penalty of having one less man really showed and the players looked exhausted as Walcott scored late on to add to their misery. Despite this, Spurs had a second half performance to be proud off, they went at Arsenal when most teams would have shut up shop to prevent even more embarrassment, but Tottenham and AVB gained some respect by matching and maybe even bettering Arsenal with one less man. AVB said that he was proud of his players and I am sure that most Spurs fans are too.
2. A good young improving squad that still needs investment –Tottenham have been suffering from many injuries so far this season, They’ve lost key players including their player of last season Scott Parker, their star signing and arguably their best player Moussa Dembele, as well as two members of their defence Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Younes Kaboul. Losing all three of these players has been a huge loss to Tottenham, especially considering there is an argument that all of them could have and probably would have started today if they were fit. Despite this, all the players that wore the shirt today, with the exception of one, wore it with pride and put in a performance that merited their place in the team. One player that has looked particularly good in a Spurs shirt of recent times is young Tom Carroll, he gave us an outlet today, was always popping up in areas looking for the ball, he has a bright future ahead of him, a future that hopefully has him wearing a Spurs shirt.
However even though we have young talents such as Carroll coming through, it is clear to every Spurs fan that if Spurs want to challenge with the big boys then our squad is in need of major investment. People may argue that Mr Levy did spend big in the summer, which is true, however with the players that left the club we still managed to make a nice little profit. Tottenham tried and failed to sign AVB’s top target Moutinho on transfer deadline day and the money we ended up saving from that deal needs to be invested into the squad this coming January. If AVB gets some players in that he has scouted himself then I fully believe Tottenham will have a very good chance of finishing in the top four for a second season running.
3. AVB – It’s fair to say that this man has his critics; many people in the media did not believe he deserved the chance he got from Daniel Levy so quickly after his failure with Chelsea. Many people have suggested (myself included) there has been a ‘Media agenda’ against him and In the past many people have questioned Villas-Boas’ man-management skills and even the way he sets up for games tactically, yes Andre has made some mistakes so far this season, what manager wouldn’t, having only been at the club for a few months. However it would be hard for anyone to criticise AVB on today’s North London derby, His tactical approach to the game was almost perfect, Tottenham dominated the first 20 minutes, controlled the possession and created a good few chances taking one of them, in fact the only thing you could criticise AVB for not doing was giving Adebayor a kick up the back side as he walked off the pitch. The moment of madness from the striker destroyed all of the plans the Portuguese manager had set for his players. Because of this, the already questioned man-management skills of the manager were in need at half time to stop the game becoming a humiliation for Tottenham, and this time AVB succeeded in motivating his players for a task that I’m sure most of the players knew was near-end impossible, because although Spurs still went on to lose they went down fighting and earned dignity in there defeat when it would’ve been easier to roll over.
Today all spurs fans will be hurting, just like we did last season. But unlike Harry, AVB will be hurting with the fans; he’s falling in love with the club. He cares and he wants this, that’s why he has my full backing and I am sure he is the right man to bring my club forward.
Written by Tom Cox