Spurs v Benfica: The Report!
Well, I think that well and truly answered my question. Is the League in Portugal really a true benchmark for performance? Yep!.
Not really too sure about the biggest surprise, Harry Kane's starting berth over Soldado, or the fact that Tim called Kane 'Rooneyesque'. Anyway, hopefully not too scathing, but not many positives to follow I'm afraid. Right, let's crack on!.
We started in a 4-4-2 type formation, with Kane supposedly the player to utilise the space in behind Ade and drop deeper to Midfield, whilst I understand he needs minutes, when playing Eriksen Left, I feel Soldado in behind Ade allows for him to play some of those defence splitting passes he has achieved thus far. Strange choice. Add to this because of the lack of space afforded in behind Ade, was Kane the right option, for me it took a wandering type who goes looking for the ball. Something Rooney does well. Kane, with age on his side, maybe in time, but that role takes a lot more than he has as of yet with no space.
Lloris, couple of good saves, couple of day trips out of his box, my, how he likes a trip out. Whilst I can't deny his shot stopping ability, there does always seem to be one or two heart stopping moments per game. Yes he usually gets away with them, but fine lines indeed. Great shot stopper, couple of flaps a game. Gomes springs to mind.
Walker, had a run around, took the worst throw in this season, Kaboul, I'm glad he's back, but what was that all about defending those corners? Vert's, could have been a little more switched on for their opener, did o.k, again Naughton at fault for the opener, two LBs on bench, RB played out of position, Why?. Could Fryers and Rose not share a half each if required?.
Sandro, love your enthusiasm, but we really need to keep 11 players on the pitch. Yes your role is always going to see fouls committed, and yes, you are still getting back up to speed. However, let's try and take the Yellow in the latter stages as opposed to the first 9 minutes, could have easily gone on another day on the totting up process, same as against Chelsea. Paulinho, really, Brazilian flair?, I'd suggest Brazilian Slack. What a load of tosh, could not pass, tackle, shoot. Sorry, it was poor. World cup year mate, it's in your homeland, you interested?.
Well, I've mentioned Kane, but not the fact he had the ball took from him when dropping deep to try and get involved, very deep in fact, one shot later coupled with a fine save from Lloris, corner, goal. He did however link well with Eriksen to win a free kick, a peach of a goal resulted, scored by my MOTM Eriksen. He looks a cut above, yes he's the creative so he should be easy on the eye, but he seems to pick the right options, is always looking to do something, dare I say more composed than the elders?, Maybe the hole reason is his youthfulness, he holds no fear, doesn't over think things nor panics. Shining light in a fading season.
Lennon, like Walker, did some running, he did whip one cross in, and at one point when trying to beat his man, had to stop, the pass back was on, but no, he went at his man again, failed to cross, but avoided the easy option and gave it a go. Fancy that, a winger running at a defender to try and get past him. Ade, long balls hit up to him for us to feed off. Problem being, I think we must have eaten too much at lunchtime, feeding time was definitely over. Always hard for him, their back line was a very well drilled unit. Had one shot that should have at least hit the target but skewed wide, I for one can forgive him that, after all, he's come in and produced well thus far. In fact, of late, he's the reason we have hope to cling onto.
Right, so the long balls didn't really work, but we kept with it. Benfica played the way we have been hoping to witness Spurs play this season. A cohesive unit, not filled with superstars, but attacking at pace as a unit, pressing together, defending as a unit. Confident in one touch passing, quick bursts from back to front. Amazing what can be achieved when playing as a team. We yet again created our demise with mistakes, great pass for their opener, but sloppy passing before and after make no mistake.
Dawson will be gutted, all those long balls he could have punted up to Ade, but the funniest comment of the night has to go to the commentator.'Every time Tottenham have a corner Benfica have all eleven players in their Eighteen yard box, I think they are concerned with Spurs and their corner threat'. Comedy at it's finest, only funny thing, was the fact that I believe if we had put a few balls on their keeper we might have had some joy, appeared a little shaky to me, and he had hardly anything to do. Not sure if we've added to the injury list, we are still in the race for top 4 and the Europa, that said, we're over the edge, fingers clinging on in desperation. Have we the strength to claw our way back up, or like Jesus Jorge, maybe just wave a couple of fingers back and let the downward spiral begin?.
Written by Cider spur