Tottenham: Tromso Game Boring But Sandro's Return Is Massive
Jesus Christ that was boring. The trouble with adding seven of the world’s best players to your already very good squad is that when teams like Tromso come to town you end up toying with them like a fat cat tormenting a half dead canary. And it's not nearly so compelling to watch.
Just six things happened of note, three of them goals, all good ones. Until very recently the chief grouse at White Hart Lane was that since the departure of Modric and Van Der Vaart there’d been nobody with the guile to open up the more obdurate defences. Now, all of a sudden, cleverness abounds. Lamela weighted a pass of subtle loveliness into Defoe for his first emphatic strike and Holtby repeated the trick for his second. Manifest on the England man’s face was the realisation that, if he could only get in the team, he could be filling his dayglo boots twice a week playing in front of this midfield.
The third goal was scored by late substitute Christian Eriksen who'd already given the perfect audition for the number ten role on his Saturday debut against Norwich. This time, rather then teeing up team mates, he popped a pinpoint 20 yard curler into the top corner himself.
The remaining three notable events were injuries. The excellent Rose, Dembele and Kaboul all failed to finish the game, but, with the equally first class Vertonghen, Paulinho and Chiriches ready to step in at the weekend, no one was overly alarmed.
In fact the crowd was generally lethargic save for a few rounds of ‘yid army!’ and ‘we’re Tottenham Hotspur, we sing what we want’ which served to give the musical finger to the FA and the confused comedian David Baddiel. (For an interesting slant on the whole y-word issue read this open letter to Baddiel from a Jewish Spurs supporter)
Man of the match was the mighty Sandro who completed an imperious 90 minutes for the first time since last winter. His performance was a reminder of how remarkable an achievement Andre Villas Boas' record points total was last season given that not only was he shorn of his playmakers, but also the spine of the team - the injured Sandro and Kaboul and the effectively, if not physically absent Adebayor.
The hope will be that Kaboul’s new problem is a minor one because the return of him and Sandro is just as significant as the arrival of the magnificent seven new boys. If this squad stays largely fit and healthy, AVB could start to win things. Then what are we going to moan about?
@theodelaney is a writer and film director with @hotspur_argyle, a director of @fantasistaart and a regular contributor to the @spursshow.