This season just keeps on getting better and better for Nabil. In the space of a week he can add a win at Old Trafford and a first professional start at Ashburton Grove to his CV.
The best thing you can say about Bentaleb is that he does not look out of place in the Premier League. He looks fairly strong, will put in a tackle, good if straightforward passer, and the hope is he will progress and he grows in confidence and stature.
Controversial inclusion, perhaps, but the gaffer won a big victory at Old Trafford as his attacking line-up and intent secured three points to continue our little revival. It was a big call to go with two upfront but Sherwood got his reward as Soldado picked up two “assist for the assist” and Adebayor scored with a well taken header.
Onto Saturday and the derby which, while disappointing, was hardly the doom and gloom some supporters made it out to be. Yes, Woolwich deserved the win but their goals were easily preventable. We did not really test their keeper but those who blame the notional 4-4-2 should a) remember we won at Old Trafford, b) focus on the lacklustre displays from some of our players which were inevitable after a hectic festive period, c) consider our injury list, and d) remember the powerful effect of hindsight.
While the result was not what we wanted, I like the thinking behind it, specifically that we should go out and try beat the opposition, not try to grind out a win. After our big losses to City and Liverpool (not sure the three man midfield worked in these games, what about four central midfielders?) I wondered when was the last time we dished out a hammering to a top team in the league....answers on a postcard please. We don’t because we never try to out play the opponent, we try to grind out a win. Sure, Sherwood’s thinking might need a little refinement, but it is nice to see him set the bar high, so high in fact that even failure will have an echo of glory.
Goal and an assist against United, popping on in the middle of the box and on the right wing respectively, putting the cosh on the notion that formations are as definable as people may think.
Just no Danny, no. You cannot do a Cruyff turn when you are the last man. But you’re young (and probably not reading this), you’ll learn.
Now, I’m not overly concerned about Hugo, and it is nice to have a keeper who doesn’t have a massive flaw in his game, but he walked a tightrope against United with his coverage of his box, and for both Welbeck and Rosicky’s goals there was a feeling he went down a little early and helped make the attacker’s mind up for him. Although I can understand why Hugo doesn’t want to hurt his beautiful Gallic face.
Those who chucked coins and whatever else at Theo Walcott, get a grip. We fans give out plenty of abuse, and its fine shouting at the little twit as he gestures, but throwing projectiles at him tarnishes the Spurs name.
Erik Lamela, Jermain Defoe (possibly), Lewis Holtby, Etienne Capoue, Gylfi Sigurdsson...
...In fact anyone who is not an automatic starter in the first XI, the cup exits over the last few weeks have reduced their chances of getting a game and forcing their way into the team. The Europa League offers a good few games (hopefully) and of course it would help if any of them were fit, but 25 into 11 will not go.
Yeah, um, to put it simply, what is he? That’s not meant to be rude or snide, simply...what is he? His cameos this week brought us no closer to solving the Chadli conundrum.