May 22 2013 Latest news:
By Daniel Grigg
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Tottenham supporter Daniel Grigg looks back on the weekend’s 1-1 draw with Steve Clarke’s Baggies at White Hart Lane
Tottenham fans were left to feel immensely frustrated against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday as the team narrowly failed to pick up a first ever Premier League victory under Andre Villas-Boas.
Spurs wasted a whole host of opportunities before taking a 74th minute lead through Benoit Assou-Ekotto’s deflected effort but, disappointingly, James Morrison hit a stoppage time equaliser as the visitors threatened towards the end.
Romelu Lukaku – the Chelsea loanee and Baggies’ substitute – was another catalyst to their improved finish and seemed one man desperate to prove that former Blues boss Villas-Boas doesn’t know what he’s talking about when it comes to judging strikers.
And there will be quite a number of Spurs fans questioning their new manager on that front after his midweek comments, where he said: “We (Spurs) are closed with what we are trying to do on the striker situation”.
Before the transfer window closes on Friday, it all but ruled out the idea of pushing for Internacional forward Leandro Damiao, or, presumably, anyone else the club may have had designs on in that position.
Jermain Defoe’s goal against Newcastle aside, the West Brom performance again highlighted the continuing issues of having him in that lone striker role. He still looks so much happier being the out-and-out predator, without having to face in the wrong direction and hold it up for his team-mates.
And while Emmanuel Adebayor’s clearly much better suited to that style of play, major question marks remain as to how good his production and commitment will be, going into a second season at the club.
Tottenham, in the first two games of 2012-13, converted only two of their 30 attempts on goal into actual net-rippling finishes, while the opposition put away barely over half as many efforts (three of just 16).
So far, wastefulness in front of goal has so often has been the killer statistic for Spurs, though the team as a whole delivered a pretty good overall performance until West Brom’s equaliser – at least until they reached the final third of the pitch.
Potential acquisitions like Shakhtar Donetsk’s Willian and Malaga’s Isco would be brilliant in bolstering Spurs’ attacking threat, regardless of whether the club decide to procure another striker, but hat’s assuming Tottenham remain in the hunt for both men, after their clubs’ recent efforts to push their prices up.
There was, however, a first glimpse of new signing Jan Vertonghen. As anyone who watched him either for Ajax or Belgium would certainly have expected, he enjoyed an impressive debut, playing smartly at the back and showing confidence in possession. Even at this early stage he looks ready for the physical and mental contests of Premier League football, just like his former team-mate Thomas Vermaelen, who took to English football like he was born to it.
In midfield Jake Livermore and Sandro were much improved on last week’s performances, while Brad Friedel – who had little else to do at Newcastle other than pick the ball out of his net – proved his worth again with a couple of vital saves.
However, with Norwich at home on Saturday, the pressure will almost certainly start to build, while the boos will sound much louder, if Villas-Boas goes a third game without recording his first win.