Jan Vertonghen and Michael Dawson
Both were outstanding on Sunday. They dealt well with the aerial threat of Giroud, even though they didn’t dominate the Frenchman. Woolwich played a surprising amount of balls in the air, which suited our centre backs down to the ground.
They also made plenty of interceptions, blocks, tackles, and showed immense concentration and composure as we defended our lead. Credit should also go to Walker and Benny, and Hugo for a stellar defensive performance.
I think it’s fair to say Scottie has not been at his best since his return from injury, but each game he has progressed and it goes to show that even with all the modern facilities, medical developments and treatments, after a long absence players need competitive game time to get back to their best.
Parker has made several bursts forward, obviously given license by the manager to make breaks when he can, and he picked up an assist at the weekend and could have picked up another one if Defoe’s shot had not gone wide.
He still turns back into trouble a little too often than we’d like, but he is no longer a liability and the partnership with Dembele appears to be coming along.
Hot off his first Premier League goal for Spurs, we had a disciplined, team performance from the Icelander, and he could and probably should have had a goal to go with his lovely slide rule pass.
A timely return from injury, JD held the ball up well, made some intelligent runs, and with Adebayor picking up his own injury he can expect plenty of games to add to his goal tally.
Big decision to play Sigurdsson instead of Holtby, and it paid off. AVB also made a good tactical switch, after Arsenal had enjoyed exploiting our left flank in the second half, he switched Bale and Sigurdsson round, giving us a greater left side presence.
What’s also encouraging is how players, partnerships, and the team unit as a whole is continually improving. Remember when we were conceding late goals? Manager changes up training and the problem is resolved, in fact we have become the team that scores late goals.
While we were under a fair bit of pressure after the goal in the second half, we never looked fraught or desperate, and there can be no doubt the coach has had a direct influence on that. In fact the only area AVB has not succeeded with has been the curious case of Emmanuel Adebayor. Still, that leaves him something to work on for next season. Maybe.
No one from the Spurs side of things. Even if someone played poorly, didn’t touch the ball, or didn’t make the squad, they all contributed to a derby win.