For the first time in my lifetime, White Hart Lane spent most of the game close to speechless for all the right reasons. Not because they were toying whether to groan or whether to boo, but because they’d almost forgotten what it was like to sit transfixed, occasionally gasping. Or maybe they were just sat on their entitled arses waiting to be thanked in goals for gracing the game with their hallowed presence.
Anyway, to frame this performance, we first need to acknowledge that Norwich aren’t rubbish. Their form against us has been better than respectable. We haven’t actually beaten them for a good while. And that was with Gareth Bale in the team. They were run ragged yesterday. They were left knackered and forlorn because it was us that screwed them up into a ball and threw them onto the floor, it wasn’t self inflicted.
I thought the game raised some interesting points and so the plan is to blog about those points on separate blogs. This one is the player ratings and to borrow from the dreaded vocab of Brendan Rodgers about ‘the group.’ They’ll be another on scoring goals and finally a third one on the midfield. But you comment where you want.
As I was just saying to my wife, this is after all a hotel, and not a borstal.” ~ Basil Fawlty.
Hugo: After his matchriggingesque howlers against Belarus, having not much to do was probably a welcome break. There was that yellow earned of course, but truth be told, it was a pretty brilliant interception. Other than that he close to nothing to do.
Bonzo: Given that running fast isn’t a benefit to anyone unless they are either being chased by something nasty or are trying win a medal, as a footballer our man with the insanely focused look on his face needs to work on two things. #1 making defending his #1 priority and #2 when he does get forward, just get on with it.
There is no point whatsoever sprinting down the wing overtaking player after player, to then only stop and put your foot on the ball as if you’re waiting for a round of applause/ a bus. This allows everyone you whizzed past to catch up and so defeats the object of the exercise.
Also, if you’re going to take on the mantel of delivering the assist into the box, then look up whilst making your run and identify who you’re going to pass to, in advance.
These two top tips, if adhered to, would improve Bonzo’s game a thousand fold.
Dawson: Not much on.
Jan: A cultured footballer. He’s clearly been given instruction not to make forays forward. As far as watching Spurs go, this isn’t something I have a problem with. From fantasy football perspective he’s getting binned for game week 6.
Rose: Danny Roid Rage. He needs to lose the short man syndrome. And he needs to lose it fast. With a less generous ref he would have been sent off for two fouls in quick succession complimented with giving the officials a side serving of verbals. Other than that, he was very effective. I know many of you reading this will tell me he was outstanding. I’d be more impressed if he demonstrated a bit more intelligence and thus achieved more.
Neither Bonzo or Rose managed to land one single ball into the Norwich penalty area. Which kinda suggests that in terms of actually achieving something, they might as well have just given the ball to someone more qualified to do so, like one of our swanky midfielders.
Moussa: Still one of the most significant signings in the André evolution. In a midfield 2, he bosses and more of this on the next blog.
Paulinho: Another really tough, intelligent footballer. Buddy him up with Moussa in a 2 and we’ve one of the most credible, potentially title winning midfields in the league. Such clever buying from Levy & Co.
Eriksen: The Middlefart Maestro. The Lilywhite purists must still be cooing after such an elegant debut. All I can’t understand is how we managed to land him for ‘some beans.’ What a buy. Subtle, incisive, super duper. More please.
Siggy: Crucially this was Sigg just as he ever was, but this time with added Eriksen. Prior to the Dane’s arrival it was Siggy that was relying on scraps, like Soldado still is. Or having to make his own luck – ie take potshots.
Townsend: 9 shots not one hit far enough away from the goal keeper to make a difference. I’ll expand on him in the blog on Soldado.
Soldado: If that back heel thing (it was far more than that, he managed to elevate the ball up to hip height) had gone in, it would have been goal of the season no matter what else was up against it.
Subs: That’s some bench we’ve got.
Andre: This template needs to be logged, saved and replayed again and again. Spot on. Also, a much improved re use of his subs.