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Sep 152010

They haven’t learned anything.

If I could start and finish the article like that, I would. However, website powers-that-be demand that I expand on my point. Therefore, I shall.

During the first half, Tottenham appeared to have put the horrors of Young Boys and their artificial pitch behind them by swarming Bremen from the wings. Van Der Vaart played in the hole behind Crouch in a shiny new 4-5-1 formation. It was working very well. Lennon was causing problems on the right while Bale did his usual Giggs imitation on the left. Bremen

The first goal came within a quarter of an hour as Bale made a surging run and crossed in towards Crouch. The ball actually went in off of Petri Pasanen, the defender who was deputising for Bremen vice-captain Per Mertesacker. Spurs shortly followed up with another goal a few minutes after the first. Another cross was fed in to Crouch who towered above everybody else with a powerful header which arced over into the left side of the net.

Before Bremen could blink, they were 2-0 down within half an hour. One more goal would’ve put the game away in the first half, but we’re talking about Spurs – A team who fall hardest when they’re on a high podium.

Hugo Almeida scored just before half time to put Bremen’s foot back in the door. My prediction of typically letting the lead slip was about to come true. Just minutes into the second half, Marko Marin equalised for Werder Bremen; Credit to Marin who looked sharp throughout and was a major thorn in the sides of Kaboul and King.

Spurs let a well-earnt lead slip away. If it wasn’t for Cudicini making a great save against Aaron Hunt’s mid-range drive, it would’ve been just as embarrassing as losing at home to Wigan.

Already I have seen someone ask on facebook when the first 18 minutes of tonight are coming out on DVD (seriously). This team needs to learn that just because there’s a two goal cushion, it doesn’t mean that it will stay that way. The game lasts for 90 minutes, not 45 minutes; and in a competition like this, such a mantra should be ingrained in the mind for its entire duration!

Harry needs to learn better substitution choices. Van Der Vaart for Keane and then Lennon for Palacios???? In what universe is taking your main source of pace off for a struggling player a wise choice? With Bale and Lennon on the wings, there was pace and more forward motion. With Palacios and Keane on, there was a mix of nervousness and blatent stagnation of play. Palacios did OK this time and set up a chance which Crouch should’ve converted, but Keane slowed down the play by backing himself into a corner and passing backwards rather than trying to cut into the Bremen defence like the first half.

Corluka should’ve been substituted too. He pushed too far up and inwards trying to link with Lennon that he took himself out of the game leaving the left wing [from Bremen’s viewpoint] exposed to counter attack. The link wasn’t present in this match.

What we have seen tonight is ‘Typical Spurs Syndrome’ or ‘ASpurger’s’ for short. It is a very rare condition in which a team controls an entire first half and scores goals in quick succession, but then lets the opposition regain control and draw or worse – steal a win.

Spurs need to learn to keep fit and sharp for 90 minutes WHATEVER the scoreline is. The Champions’ League contains teams who will keep going until the final whistle if it means equalising/winning at the end. Much like any team in the Premier League. Same poop, different

  14 Responses to “So, what have Spurs learnt tonight?”

  1. Getting a bit bored now with all the blah, blah blah whiners on the web. Tottenham played a great half of scintillating football AWAY from home in their first outing in the CL against a team who have been regulars for 6 out of the last 7 years… And all you can do is moan.

    Bremen came back in the second half, as you would expect them to do as the home team with the crowd behind them. Even then, Tottenham showed resolve to keep the score level and could even have got the win at the end as BREMEN FADED.

    I’ve waited 35 years to see Tottenham in this competition and I was proud of them tonight. They looked made for the stage and I look forward to them growing in the competition with the CONTINUED SUPPORT THEY DESERVE… Not a load of back-biting and clever after the fact prattle.

    Inter drew, Man U drew. Run those games through your Championship Manager program & see what it comes up with.

  2. Have to agree with u mes.I thought the boys done really well tonight.We did have some flakey moments on defence,but going forward we caused them problems so all bodes well considering most of the so called pundits have written us off.Also agree with you about Keane,as mentioned he slowed things up,when we looked our most dangerouse when hitting them with pace.Its going to be very interesting to see the team selection for the game against Wolves on the week-end.Lets just hope it is not a replay of last season and that we can get ourselves back on track,especially as we have the visit of the gooners to look forward too.

  3. I agree with comment above. Its been too long a wait for CL football to not enjoy a display like that and a result most anyone would have taken before the game kicked off.

    vdV was injured and had to come off. Keane may not have been the answer, but your article is conveniently short on better ideas. As for Palacios, you admit that he played well, set up what could have been the game winner, but still criticize his inclusion? Seems like you’ve justified Harry’s decision to me.

  4. Come on… You would’ve taken a point before the game. At least you guys SAW the game! Poor old me was airbourne in a 3 hour flight that JUST SO HAPPENED to 100% coincide with our CL debut 🙁 I booked this flight long before the CL draw and qualification, so I had no idea that this would happen…. I wore a Spurs-themed t-shirt on the plane, and got lots of cheers from fellow Spurs fans and well-wishers as I walked along the plane! I hear that we played well – especially 1st half – great.

  5. If vdV had played the second half we would have won that game. He looks like a real player, and some of his passes are breathtaking. Can’t wait for he and Modric to develop an understanding, they’ll be amazing.

  6. Nothing you can do about a player being hurt. They tried to let VDV run it off, he couldn’t, he had to be pulled. I agree, though, that that substitution really ended the good play from Spurs. I don’t understand why Niko wasn’t put on, though. We desperately needed creativity in midfield, and we sure as hell weren’t getting it from Jenas. Keane kept drifting to the left and filling up Bale’s space, which effectively put Bale out of the game. As for the Palacios sub, it was purely defensive. We were playing for a draw at that point. Marin had been killing us down the right hand side all game. Lennon isn’t exactly good cover for Corluka. So Palacios comes on, shadows Marin, makes life more difficult for him. Not a bad move, when you’ve decided to play for the draw. The subs bench as a whole was strange, though. Pavs was never going to play. Why bring him and not Dos Santos? Has Dos Santos gone back to the doghouse? He looked to be a real contributor in the first game or two. It was a pity to see him excluded.

  7. That said, I was ok with an away draw, especially with the other game in our group ending in a draw.

  8. What have we learnt?

    Both full backs are liabilities.

  9. What an utter bullsh!t article from a complete numpty. Spurs played their socks off and got a memorable away draw in their first game in the top competition in football for the last 50 years – and you’re moaning!

    Your analysis is utter crap. We shouldn’t have brought Palacios on for Lennon (although Wilson you admit played well) when the substitution was made after Bremen had come back to 2-2 ?? The only lesson there was to be learned from this match is that, at 2-0 up, Harry should have gone more conservative and made that substitution much earlier – after the 2nd goal. I do agree that he should have swapped Charlie for Bassong as the poor guy was getting taken apart by Marin in the 2nd half. Keane for VDV was inevitable once VDV was injured, although Nico could have stregthened the midfield to stop the fightback a bit better.

  10. agree with all of the above. Its about time that our whinging minority shut up for 5 minutes. The only way they’ll be happy is if we have won the premier, champions league, fa cup treble, even then they’ll still moan we didnt do this or that.
    Pride was bursting out of me last night now that the whole of europe can see how exciting the games are that we play. The first half was an utter joy, then yes, ok we had a wobble for a bit but then we held firm and could of won it at the end. Well played tottenham on a great draw !!! COYS
    ps. although i do agree with the above that i am concerned about both our full backs.

  11. I agree with most of what has been writtern. Spurs played well and yes Cudichini made a few saves but equally we could have won the game 3 times in the last 10 minutes finnishing the stronger of the two teams.
    I thought the whole team played well, Both full backs were unlucky that the mistakes made led to goals and the right wing was slightly isolated at times but we were playing one of the most drilled teams in the champions league….
    I noticed another knocker putting down Jenas, please guys leave him alone. He had a brief from Harry and i thought he stuck to it and on about 40 mins he covered back and made a tackle in the box that eclipsed the late Bobby Moore.
    all in all a good game and one we should and probably will build on.
    The Numpty that does write this column gets his facts from Sky I think as they like to knock us as well.

    Champions league 1st ever game – away from home – 1 point – never lost a champions league match.

    I shall bask in that today.

  12. At least I’ve managed to take the rose-tinted speccies off for five minutes!

    The article aimed to see if Spurs LEARNT anything from the experience (e.g. learnt to play-to-win for the full 90mins). And I’m afraid that despite taking the game by the scruff of the neck in the first half, they evidently hadn’t learnt due to the outcome of the second half! They let it slip like usual!!! One more goal in the first half and we would’ve put the game to bed, but no; same as always.

    THAT is what I’m ‘whining’ about. The laurel-resting needs to stop if we’re going to make a decent campaign of this. Brutal honesty combined with an underlying wish for Spurs to win games that they deserve isn’t bullshit. I fully support the team, but their mentality still needs shaping!

  13. Daveyid, How can you possibly learn from an experience when you’re in the middle of it? We could, for example, have learnt from the WBA game as it is in the past, but it is a complete impossibility for anyone to learn from something and put it into subsequent action when they are in the middle of participating in that something. It is OK to say that we haven’t learnt from the Bremen game if we repeat similar mistakes in future – but it is impossible to say that right now.

    That is the main reason that your analysis is bullsh!t and why your whining is misplaced (apart from the fact that we played bloody well and your criticisms are unfounded).

    This is the top table of European football and we haven’t dined there before. How can we be expected to learn from something in the first outing and put it into practice before we’ve even got to the second outing?

  14. I aggree with your article,but think you are being too kind about the performance of Keane.Time after time he lost the ball and he consistantly passed the ball to the opponents.Look at the replay and count how many times this happenned.
    O.K. I am one of those who believes that keane no longer fits into the Spurs side,
    but the facts will bear me out.I beg Harry not to play this shot shy,slow moving
    and lousy passer of the ball in matches that are as important as this one.

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