A hattrick at Villa, could have had a couple of assists on Saturday, and apart from one black spot (more later) it’s been a good week for Bale. He misses out against Reading, and is unlikely to play against Coventry next Saturday, and if anyone deserves a week off its Gareth (or Sandro, but he’d still turn up and do 50 laps of the pitch)
When he scores, we win, literally Jaime. Azza was outstanding on Saturday and pretty impressive on Wednesday too. His form has been impressive all season long and he’s coming off his wing more and more, getting involved directly in goals and assists. When people have doubted him over the years it’s usually coincided with a period shortly before an injury takes him out for six weeks, indicating (as rumours would lead you to believe) that his form has only dipped when Lennon has had to carry an injury, which naturally affects one of his main strengths – his pace.
The winner on Saturday coupled with the Man of the match award, shows he is being recognised for the quality player that he is. With Walcott playing as a striker for Woolwich, that right wing berth for England should be all Lennon’s.
Away day fans
Our away form continues to impress, we’ve scored in every away game this season (save Lazio, where we had a perfectly good goal ruled out), and it’s obvious our counter attacking strength will do damage at any ground apart from our own.
2 wins, a bit of rotation (surprisingly it’s the centre backs getting rotated, maybe related to the concentration issues raised when we let in late goals), can’t complain.
‘Rabbit in the headlights’, that’s how it looked earlier this season with the second Kyle playing out of position on the left, not offering much offensively and culpable defensively.
Then something changed. Perhaps the result of hard work on the training pitch. Perhaps the realisation that he is good enough for the level Spurs need and expect. Kyle looks far more settled, far more accomplished, involves himself in our attacking play a lot more and, importantly, a lot higher up the pitch, and looks a lot tougher defensively, his block/clearance from a dangerous Sunderland cross late on capping a good week which included an assist in midweek.
Bale’s return higher up the pitch but credit to Kyle and possibly the coaching staff for improving his game.
Made his first team return for Norwich after starring in an U21 match. We watch his developments with interest.
Sometimes refs go for the easy option. They don’t give a penalty when the scores are 0-0, they do when it is 4-0. Same incident, different outcomes.
Gareth Bale has gained a reputation as a diver, and while there have been a couple of ‘avoiding action’ dives that were clearly dives, there have also been fouls that have not only been missed, but added the double jeopardy of a yellow for Bale.
He does get fouled, and at pace it doesn’t take much to knock someone off balance. The only issue might be the way he goes down, but that should have little relevance to referees. If he is fouled he is fouled.
Now it is easier for refs to join the list of people who have wrongly booked Bale for diving rather than possibly wrongly give a game changing penalty. At some point its going to cost us, and AVB needs to prepare to attack the refs, even if it gets him fined or banned, because one day it’s going to be the wrong the decision that not only costs us a real goal scoring opportunity but could also see Bale sent off – double jeopardy at a very costly moment.
There were a couple of flashes against Sunderland, especially when Dempsey came on, but in our good run of late Adebayor has stood out as a weak link. He is yet to get firing and he missed two great chances on Saturday that a player of his quality should be finishing.
Call it second season syndrome, or the curse of giving Adebayor a permanent home, or perhaps we are seeing the effects of missing pre-season and not having a proper run of games, but Manu is clearly underperforming and with only two strikers currently at the club, we need Manu to get his scoring boots on sooner rather than later.
Carlo and Heurelho
Hugo has sewn up the number one spot, Brad has sewn up a new contract to see him to his state pension, so what now for the other two number one’s? January offers a route out of here, but Carlo might find Spurs want him to stick around just in case, while Gomes might be priced out of a move. Silly really, but that’s Levy for ya.