Last night Spurs cruised to an easy win against Villa in the League Cup. Four goals, all of them good but the first was a peach, Defoe delicately heading in Holtby’s delightful chip, delivered with the touch of a major-winning golfer that took out the entire defence in a single moment.
One theme of the blog this season has been the club’s development in the safe hands of Villas-Boas, now that he has the unequivocal backing of his chairman. Our Andre is rightly keen to have a go at all competitions and play a strong team in the early rounds of the EL and League Cup. I agree but it was clear to both of us that players tired towards the end of last season. He’s put that right by improving the quality and depth of the squad. Now we have genuine choices and the players are ambitious to play regularly.
Just take a look at the team sheets from last night – Villa fielded a reserve side, we put out an alternative first team. Not only that, he has players who suit his preferred basic system, so they slot in and are comfortable together. Different players, same set-up. When changes are made, they all slot in smoothly, rather than fitting together like an Ikea cupboard in the hands of yours truly. They know their manager wants them to do. There remains uncertainty – we weren’t as fluent as we can be for much of the time – but it works very well.
Contrast with a couple of years ago. We played a home Europa League tie, PAOK I think but can’t recall (sums up the EL but there you go), brought in decent players to the back four but they had not played together as a unit. Result – chaos and defeat. You sense that won’t happen under Our Andre. Three matches in six days, all won and rather than being tired, Spurs have created a winning momentum to take into Saturday and beyond.
Unfortunately there’s a limit to the value of games like these in judging the true merit of our players, because they get more space than is the case in the Premier League. However, Holtby stood out like a beacon, all effort and he’s got that left foot working a treat. As on Sunday, he found the channels and willing runners. He’s clearly desperate to become a first choice.
Sandro and Paulinho have the air of a long-term partnership that is going to be so good, and another goal from Paulinho, this one from a near post corner. Defoe took his chances well, scoring a second by taking the ball calmly round the keeper. He also had a hand in the build up for Chadli’s effort, our third, and began the move that led to his opener. Kane did well enough too, showing that he’s best not as an out and striker but when he can move around up front.
Having said all of this, Villa could have come back into the game when Tottenham were a goal up, after an incident which some are calling one of the best moments in football they have ever seen. Helenius ran through on goal, Vertonghen in hot pursuit. Superjan fell over and as he tumbled, grabbed the nearest point of stability, which happened to be the Villa player’s shorts. They came down but Helenius stayed upright, valiantly shooting with his shorts around his ankles, exposing his jockstrap to the watching millions. It’s what the game needs to remain popular.
No complaints if that had been a penalty and if so, Jan would have been sent-off. However, the referee allowed play to continue, I guess because he judged that Helenius did not seem to be impeded greatly. We can laugh about it now, suspect Paul Lambert isn’t amused. For Spurs, another four goals, none conceded, plus a feeling that things are going our way. Can’t complain about that.
I can’t claim to have seen every second of this one due to a combination of a flickering stream and domestic chores. Tottenham On My Mind – the Spurs blog that’s HONEST about housework. Ask yourselves this – do other blogs have an explicit position on hoovering?
Also a slight disruption to the routine at home this season, hence a couple of missed matches. I won’t dupe you into believing I have seen a match when in fact I haven’t so I would rather not write a report. But I’m still around, as a few regulars have asked, and no plans to change what the blog covers.
Yesterday’s launch of the Stop Stubhub campaign led by Spurs writers and the Supporters Trust generated a real buzz. Register your support by signing the petition here: www.change.org/stopstubhub More info, including our statement in yesterday’s article
5 thoughts on “Spurs Catch Villa With Their Pants Down”
I agree with it all and have nothing to add. 🙂
We all missed out on full viewing but Radio 5 extra had the whole match on but i still have my old fears from last season about scoring and conceding. Its true we have had the rub of the green and better teams will punish our high line i feel Jan suffers playing in the center because he plays left back for Belgium. My preferred defense would be Lloris Walker Dawson Kaboul Vert Kaboul is the fastest along with Walker to many times Daws Jan gets caught out high up the field its only a matter of time before these mistakes cost funny ones or serious like Lloris made. Going forward we have a dilemma any Manager would love but ours is getting harder by the week. Last night we seen some first team players mixed with ex first team players who find themselves unable to get in the premiership 11. We seen Defoe Holtby linking up like identical twins telepathic at times both in Europe and last night and in Holtbys case Sundays impressive cameo in the Cardiff game. So who does AVB pick against Chelsea inform Defoe 6 goals and assist to is name Holtby who has made most of Defoes 6 or Erickson who younger shoulders by 2 years has been a revelation since is introduction. This i am glad to say is AVB job and if he installs Lennon Capoue and Ady off the injury list and Ady of the Naughty step he will have an even harder job. One thing i hope is AVB picks players inform not new names still getting used to the pace of the Premiership and packed penalty areas Defoe Holtby Paulino Siggy Townsend are all in rich form Looking like real winners all seven of our signings over to you AVB god bless your judgment at the moment he is.
Holtby embodies the camaraderie of this squad. He knows he’s got it tough with so many midfielders in front of him, but he’s certainly taking his chance, each time it comes, and he’s improving all the time. AVB has both a dilemma and godsend re his system(s) and player choice, because to date all squad players have performed tremendously, and done more than what’s required of them. But when it comes to the big games (against teams like Arsenal, City, Utd., and Chelsea …who now raise their own game even more, to play US) what will work best, and who will play more effectively against a tremendously creative Chelsea? I’m confident, yet nervous, about Saturday ..and I just hope that AVB goes with the right selection for the occasion.
I’ve no idea, as there’s pros and cons for each player ..but on one point, I’d start with Defoe and tell him to work his socks off for 45 mins with the objective of replacing him with Soldado at half time. WE all know Defoe blows hot and cold ..but right now he’s hot, so has to start, or at least come on with more than 30 mins to go if we’re no better than one up.
Great post as always Alan.
Have signed the petition. Already seen couple of mates put their tickets on stub hub for the Chelsea game. In all honesty, all though wrong, I can’t blame them when the club itself allows legalised touting.
Chelsea game will be the big test for us Alan, beat them then 4th is ours for sure.
COY MIGHTY SPURS
I am going to start with my explicit position on hoovering !! It’s on my hands and knees, no matter the make I canott get hoovers to pick up all the dirt with out the little nose like tool and rubbing the carpet left to right, right to left, and i’m 62 for crying out loud!! I prefer the flat pack stuff every time, I’ve even taken to reading the instructions, but still find hrs of fun looking for the one screw/bolt thats missing or collecting the hundreds of extras that are scattered on the carpet and sometimes both!!
As for Spurs, AVB et al. I am very happy about our progress however tis only five games in, I expect us to have a dip in form at sometime and it’s how AVB ( players) deals with it that i am interested in at the moment. Of course we may of already had it 1-0 to the woolwich and no goals scored from open play for the first three games, but I doubt it!! hahaha
As for Saturday, I think the reaction we have to it whether we Win Lose or Draw is the most important, sounds like I’m repeating myself, However I would not for a minute start with Jermaine, Keep him hungry!! The team is beginning to create chances and if we manage to do that for Soldado, then he will score many more that Defoe. Also Jan has made it very clear that he does not want to play left back except in an emergency. He is a natural centreback.
As for the rest of the team it’s very difficult for those of us not at training everyday to have any idea of the best partnerships throughout the park, not least because they all seem to work!! I’m just happy that it’s AVB and not Harry who is doing the tactical decisions.
Finally Alan keep up the good work… on the blog as well!!