Sunday, November 25, 2007

Misery for Defoe

For the third season running our trip to Upton Park was full of drama, energy and controversy. Right from the first whistle we were subject to a frenetic game that see-sawed from end-to-end. We were unfortunate to not pick up all three points, but as I said yesterday, a draw is still a pretty decent result. And if it hadn't been for Mike Riley - who proved to be blind, incompetent and seemed intent on stopping a fast-flowing game as much as he could - Spurs would undoubtedly have won.

I'm sure most Spurs fans felt pretty smug, when a minute into injury time we won a fairly soft penalty. Alas it wasn't to be. I'm sure Defoe was pretty frustrated that Ramos didn't put him on against his old team until less than 15 minutes to go, but all that went out the window when he won a penalty and then stood forward to take it. Unfortunately, Robert Green got the better of him, pushing it wide and ensuring the match ended with honours even.

So Ramos remains unbeaten in his tenure at Spurs. And not only that, but I thought it was positive that we witnessed his desire to react pretty quickly to how the game unfolded and was prepared to tinker with the tactics. With Kaboul enduring a nightmare, and Spurs still trailing the Spammers, Ramos bought on Bent for Kaboul. He then seemed to move Chimbonda to play as the left centre-back, Zokora as the middle one, and then Daws as the right-hand one. We seemed to do away with full-backs, but then used Bale and Lennon as wing-backs who could get forward whenever we got the opportunity. Although the players seemed to take a while to adjust, I think it paid dividend in the end (although once Ashton came on, we did look a little unsteady whenever the Spammers attacked).

Anyway, the interesting point here was that Ramos isn't afraid to juggle things around and I think that will help us in the long run. As a supporter, it is incredibly frustrating to watch your team struggling and even more annoying when the manager doesn't seem to react (something I thought happened a lot when Hoddle was in charge). With Ramos I don't think that will happen and that obviously bodes well for the future.

After this evening's Fulham-Blackburn result we remain in 14th. Although with managerless Birmingham up next in the League, let's home we can rise a few more places next weekend to ensure we're lying in the top half of the table by the season's mid-way point at Christmas.

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