Sunday, September 16, 2007

How finicky football can really be

At one point, 60+ minutes into the game, Tottenham were a goal up and soaking up a lot of Arsenal pressure on their way to a win that would begin the correction to their season. Less than 30 minutes later Arsenal netted a hat-trick of goals which sent the White Hart Lane stands streaking for the exists.

Either Tottenham are super unlucky, their manager is weak under pressure, their players aren’t playing, or all of them. At times it’s been all of them. Underneath these problems are the main culprits: the players aren’t taking their chances and the manager is tactically naiive.

For all the good he's done, it looks like curtains for Martin Jol.

His players made a lot of effort but their soft center couldn’t stop Arsenal from playing. They scored an early goal from a wonderful Gareth Bale free kick curled around the left side of the wall. Leading 10 minutes in it just became too much to ask from a North London derby to end with that score line.

That’s where the players come in. Soft center aside, the Tottenham strikers wasted the chance to close the game on at least 3 occasions, the most obvious one being Berbatov one on one versus Kolo Toure after Almunia was rounded. What is with Berbatov? Does he look disinterested or what? He sure doesn’t look like the player that started his England career last season.

To Arsenal’s credit, they weren’t playing a weak team. They fought, created great chances and finally equalized with an Emanuel Adebayor header. With the game drawn Arsenal did what Tottenham couldn’t and in 15 minutes took the lead with a Cesc Fabregas smash from outside the area and killed the game with a 3rd in the last minutes.

Tottenham shouldn’t have been in that position. They did enough to get their second and take the air out of Arsenal’s balloon.

The worst moment of the entire match came just minutes after Arsenal took the lead when Darren Bent was clean thru and took a school boy shot which driveled wide.

To the neutral this was a cracking game. End to end entertainment and tons of talent on display. We saw two great sides on the ball but defense was weak for both teams. It was almost too easy at times to move the ball thru midfield. Neither team closed down quickly enough and the game could have really gone either way. It didn’t.

Arsenal are unbeaten and Spurs, with a shocking 4 points from 18, are in freefall.

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Anonymous ParkLane67 said...

A fair assessment - but I don't understand how the headline relates to your article. Is this just an attempt at a provocative headline to get more hits from Newsnow? - How cynical fottball writers can be!!!

9/16/2007 1:18 PM  
Anonymous plop said...

Spurs + Jol = Shit

Spurs + Half Decent manager = Top 4 above Arsenal.

Jol must go. for the good of Spurs.

9/16/2007 3:25 PM  
Anonymous shooy said...

I'm sure it was cracking game for the neutral; something you clearly cannot claim to be. On the other hand, for Arsenal fans it was what weekends are made for, and stuff the Spurs and their myriad deficiencies.

9/16/2007 3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spurs need to finally learn how to be solid. They should watch a video of their performance away at Man Utd over and over again. Spurs played from a very solid base that day -- they need to learn to do that week in week out.

9/16/2007 4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah! what's with Berbo?

he's got personnal problems and unless he solves them... no can do...

9/16/2007 7:17 PM  

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