Continuing his run of Europa League games, it looks like little Tom is moving up the pecking order. We all know about his ability on the ball, but in the home games against Maribor and Panathinaikos he has had the responsibility of playing in a central two, rather than part of a 3 where less would be expected of him. He needs to add a little more to his game to get into contention in the league, but if we could get in another playmaker then we could see Tom’s performances go to the next level.
A goal and an assist this week, although that comes with a little caveat (see below), Clint appears to have caught up on his missed pre-season and has become an effective attacking option. Bale’s injury, while making sure the American’s place in the starting XI is assured for a little while, has however robbed Dempsey of his preferred position in the team.
Absence makes the heart grow even fonder.
Ripping it up at the Stadium of Light. How ironic he is on loan at exactly the moment he would have a chance in the Spurs starting XI.
Credit for taking the Europa season seriously, and making the right amount of changes (not too many, not too few) given our injury worries at the back, but yet more late goals and three goals conceded from crosses that could have been defended a lot better.
Some ‘interesting’ subs in the Everton also raise a few eyebrows, but I have the feeling that the manager, players, and club as a whole is slowly evolving. Hopefully AVB continues learning and improving, as we were not that far away from a great win on Sunday.
The left side
Our first choice left side is currently injured, thankfully not for too much longer, but Naughton looked pretty poor last Thursday, and Dempsey and Vertonghen were found out defensively. A lot of Everton’s attacks came from their right flank (our left), Dempsey was often caught inside too much, and Vertonghen’s positioning is very suspect at full back. It could also be argued that it wasn’t the best for the Panathinaikos game, but that’s another matter.
When I heard we had let the lead slip so late against Everton I just knew it would be because we stopped working, allowed Everton to put balls into the box with little to no pressure, then failed to deal with the cross. Benny won’t solve all the problems but a proper left back will help our defence massively.
Billy G had great anticipation and read the game so well – that was his strength. He isn’t the biggest centre back, he is not the fastest anymore, but he knows where the ball is going. However for Everton’s second he was caught on his heels and looked a bit of a mug holding his hand up for offside – indicated he never knew where Jelavic was. He has been making more and more errors and it looks like old father time has caught up on the Frenchman.
Only an inch or two from getting his Spurs career really going, if his shot had dipped under the bar we would have won that game (or drawn at least. I hope). By no means writing him off, but there doesn’t seem to be an obvious route into the starting eleven for Siggy.