A bit?? He was on for 15 minutes and did nothing wrong - if it had been Livermore coming on no one would've give a shit. Problem was he was booed coming on. What chance has he got? Bloke behind me shouted ' we're going backwards ' and another arse on the way out moaned about Jenas to me all the way down the high road like it was his fault we didn't win. It's the one thing that puts me off going to football, listening to the fucking idiots who haven't got a clue.Was Jenas seriously booed? That is a bit pathetic.
What was his pre-season like last summer? I'd hazard a guess that it was the same but I'm not sure, and he hit the ground running then. Still, even if he wanted the money he could've done some kind of fitness work, it would've been better than nothing.Totally off the pace. And it's no surprise, really. Has he kicked a ball all summer?...
We desperately need to keep VDV. It wasn't even one of his better games but he was the one player who had some craft and guile to make any use of the pace and directness of Bale/Lennon, he saw the passes that Livermore/Sandro/most players on planet earth don't see - as soon as he went off we struggled to move the ball around with some fizz and intelligence, the spaces that he creates suddenly dried up and our ball retention suffered. We have plenty of huff and puff, and decent huff and puff at that, we have plenty of pace and directness to worry the shit out of defences but with Modric off and the troubling rumblings about VDV going I am concerned about the brains in the team that makes use of the huff and puff, and releases the pacey whizzkids. Keep VDV, get Moutinho in and maybe another player who can play out wide and drift around then I will sleep easy, it will be an interesting few days and I hope we get it right.
I thought first half we were very good, 65% of the ball and had worked some decent enough chances without giving them a sniff - it's always difficult to go through teams with Defoe's pretty unimaginative movement off the ball and lack of involvement in the build up, and when he does get the ball in the final third opting to shoot rather than lay in better placed players. This is Defoe, we know what his game is about and it's very limited, he's always good to smash one in but I can't wait to see Ade fit and ready, because when he came on he wasn't in the correct timezone.
Second half it went all a bit Redknapp for my liking, we surrendered control of the ball when Rafa departed and it got a bit end to end ugly and that is something AVB will have to work on. Our pressing was decent today and you can see the changes he is implementing but it will be a work in progress for a while, and as with all pressing teams that intensity dropped late on and it got a bit ragged and that is when we desperately needed to just knock the ball around, make them work and play them out of the game. Generally though Lennon and Bale are certainly showing a huge improvement off the ball, which is going to be a huge benefit to us, the more we work on this it will become more drilled and coherent and I think we will be better off for it.
Lastly, Friedel is really worrying me, he is utterly terrified of departing his line which is no great surprise for a 40 year old - it makes it so easy to bully us in the area when the greatest weapon you can have in dealing with this is glued to his line like a barnacle. He doesn't drop many clangers but he invites pressure on us, and when we are leaving a lot of space in behind our defensive line you need a keeper who will actively come out and sweep up, Walker was put under unnecessary pressure in one instance today because Brad stayed on his line. He's also not great on the ball which led to him panicking and putting the ball out for a throw a couple of times when a keeper more comfortable on the ball would have spotted a pass, and kept possession.
It was fucking gutting to concede that late on, and also alarming to see how if we let go of VDV we are going to be almost devoid of craft but I still remain very positive about this new era at Spurs. I really do want AVB to succeed so maybe I am guilty of rose tinted vision, but things like our off the ball work which was our worst aspect under Redknapp are already showing a vast improvement, and whilst it wasn't a faultless debut I do like what I saw from Verthongen already, and I expect some excellent new signings to follow. Frustrating how our business is done so late, but hey the money that Levy shaves off those deals will keep Sandro and Kaboul in good wages when they shine this season. It's a defining week for us, but I think we will get it right.
Friedel 6 Great save, but his passivity is costing us goals. The charge against Gomes was he created panicked defences - Those last few minutes were fucking bedlam in our box when a nice firm Gomes punch was exactly what was needed.
Walker 7 Good game, lovely cut back for VDV first half.
Ekotto 6.5 He is a fine footballer but I wish he'd plug his brain in for a full 90 minutes more often.
Gallas 6 Looked a bit ragged today, but not terrible.
Verthongen 7 The moment he glided up the pitch and played a lovely ball for Bale then missed his chance I said to myself, 'this is our man'. Once he's adapted to the rigours of the EPL I think he is going to be great for us. Kaboul can play out from the back well, This guy can really play from the back!
Livermore 6.5 I can't make up my mind. Sometimes he plods around not doing much of note in either direction, but today I thought in spurts he showed that bit more that I've occasionally seen wanting to come out, but never quite had the confidence in himself to do. That was a fine ball he played for Defoe in the second half, and released Lennon with a beautiful pass in the first and a couple of times he drove forward with a bit of purpose that he needs to do more often.
Sandro 7 He's like a wasp at a picnic, would like to see him improve his play when he arrives in the final third though.
Lennon 6.5 After the first half hour I thought he was on the way to having a fine game, but he dropped off a bit after that. Good to see him darting in behind like Lennon at his best did.
Bale 6.5 Like Lennon, threatened to have a fine game but never quite happened in the end.
Defoe 5 Took 150 shots when there were better placed players to lay in, and to only offer up 7/9 passes when we had 60% of the ball is just not what we need leading the line for us.
Jenas Inevitably it was all JJs fault that we threw the game away to most of the punters leaving WHL, I mean it's shocking that a player that came on and actually didn't give the ball away once isn't it!
Especially pissed off this evening as I had a couple of quid on BAE first goal with us to win 2-0. Wasn't far off a nice £300 windfall.
A 'half decent' striker like Fletcher would have taken £12m out of a finite budget. After he'd papered over the cracks, what would we have done with him?We have a few problems at the moment but a half decent striker could have papered over a lot of cracks these last 8 days. Starting the season with JD as our only senior striker has taken the biscuit and fucked us in the arse good and proper, in my opinion.
I think we looked like shite every time Ade was injured or ineligible last season.
he may have kept the ball but he sucked all the momentum out of team as all his passes put us on the back foot- side ways backwards but never forward. this is a result of a lack of confidence, not wanting to mess up. fault partially can be laid on fans who booed.In a situation where we needed to keep the ball and protect the lead, he outrageously managed to complete every pass he attempted, tut tut, keeping possession, whatever next?
I was not at the game. Do you know if the fans were specifically booing JJ himself, or boing his selection to be subbed in? JJ was not considered good enough to be on the team last season and now he's being subbed in under the new manager.... Just curioushe may have kept the ball but he sucked all the momentum out of team as all his passes put us on the back foot- side ways backwards but never forward. this is a result of a lack of confidence, not wanting to mess up. fault partially can be laid on fans who booed.
We didn't lose which could easily of happened and WBA ain't mugs they battered Liverpool by 3, our first home game of the season and the pressure is on I hope people will give AVB a chance his ideas are good. Enough of the Livermore bashing please lets not make him the scapgoat he was equal if not better than Sandro today.
Defoe just popped up on Twitter with this:It's embarrassing that Defoe can play most of a game, and complete 7 passes.