It was a bad result last night. City looked like world beaters while we looked like lower league opposition. Except had we been lower league then City would not have gone all out to annihilate us.
The opening exchanges were one way traffic, City glided through us with ease with our midfield being totally ineffective against the opposition. Misplaced passes and dallying on the ball being the biggest problems in our midfield along with City players easily finding space. The wide players simply didn’t have a chance to get involved.
The first goal from Aguero was a class finish – you can’t help but think that if Levy had succeeded with his audacious bid for him before City got him we would have somehow ruined him. Some are suggesting that Lloris should not have dashed out to meet him but that is Lloris’ game and probably works more often than fails.
Staying put on his line may have helped but Aguero would have simply smacked it rather than his delicate dink and Aguero has incredible power as his shot that hit the post testifies. Also once he is in that position there is very little defenders can do as they are flat footed and Aguero is sprinting.
After more City pressure and a ludicrous save from Lloris we started to edge more into the game. It was pleasing to see that the players did not let their heads drop and kept at it – even though for this game (or at least that half) they were not very good at ‘it’. Set pieces appeared to be our best bet as City looked suspect from them and a moment of controversy from one.
Dawson put the ball in from an Eriksen free kick but was ruled offside. BT Sport apparently asked the linesman what decision was given and the response was ‘Dawson offside’. What this didn’t address is whether it was directly from Erkisen’s free kick or from a flick from Ade. Now we know from replays that Ade did not touch it and that Dawson was not offside from the kick. It could be argued that Ade was interfering with play given he was directly in front of the keeper but if that was the case then most free kicks would result in an offside – plus the linesman explicitly said Dawson offside.
BT also showed a view from the linesman’s position (after the game) – don’t know how accurate that was but if they were using decent software then it should be pretty accurate. Dawson and Ade completely blocked his view of the City defender playing Dawson onside. We have got to be honest here and say that the linesman can only give based on what he can see. The decision was wrong and clearly a goal back would have changed the prospects of the game but to crucify the linesman for that decision is a little harsh.
Capoue coming on at half time was an obvious choice but perhaps it would have been Bentaleb had Dembele not picked up a niggle. Capoue quickly set about letting the opposition know that he was there the rough them up a bit and should have been booked early on. Spurs looked better and more composed at the beginning of the second half but then the second moment of controversy struck and it clearly had an effect on the game.
Rose tackled Dzeko in the area from behind, clipping the ball and Dzeko. Linesman (same as the offside decision) decided he had seen enough to give a penalty – the ref was unmoved by the challenge which is strange as from his position it would have been harder to see Rose’s touch on the ball. Rose was sent off for his efforts.
Now as a Spurs fan he got the ball therefore it was not a foul. Problem is football is not played that way now, the lino saw it as a tackle from behind (which is pretty much outlawed even if it is not reckless) in which Rose clipped Dzeko and was therefore a foul in his eyes. With my Spurs head on, it was a great challenge. My general football head says it was 50-50 and lady luck was elsewhere last night. What I really take offence with here was the red card, that was overkill and a penalty was punishment enough even though it was a little harsh. The red card decision however was totally the ref’s decision – just because a foul occurs in the area does not mean it was a red card.
After that there was only going to be one result. City got their third and eased off. Capoue, who run around like a nutter for the rest of the game and often the furthest forward, got one back from a corner. Fernandinho looked like he tried to block with his arm but missed, it would probably have made a better game had he blocked it with red card and penalty. However, some people suggest that the intent of an action is just as bad a carrying it out…
City are by far and away the best attacking team in the league and we can only thank Lloris for numerous saves preventing this from being a truly awful result. The players will learn from this (especially the younger ones) as will Sherwood. We just need to hope that they learn quick enough to ensure the rest of the season is a positive one.
The biggest fear is that if we miss out on Champions League football again then some of the players that have been here a few years may well leave, namely Jan and Hugo who both are pretty much irreplaceable. Three points though is nothing with 45 points still up for grabs.
I must also say that I am very surprised that none of the players returning from injury were on the bench last night, I can only assume that Tim is waiting for them to be fully fit and didn’t want to risk them in that game.
So what next
Well there are less than 48 hours left in the transfer window and while many of us predicted a quiet window for Spurs, the rumours are still flying around. Problem I see is if Levy does plan on moving Sherwood on in the summer then how can he possibly back him in the transfer market.
Despite Holtby and Capoue both featuring last night, both are still being linked with moves away. I am not saying they will not happen but I find it strange that Spurs would risk injuring them if they wanted to ship them out.
Berbatov coming in also keeps hanging around. He is not the player we sold and I still don’t see how he would fit in to any system Sherwood has used so far. That being said we do need another striker with Defoe’s departure so the rumour of a straight loan swap with Holtby makes some sense. It would give Holtby the league exposure he may need and gives us another striker.
The most recent rumour, which may have more to do with another club being linked , is Konoplyanka – he scored against England once. He is apparently a left winger predominantly but you would think with Chadli, Townsend and Lamela all trying to make that position their own (I am assuming Lennon is nailed on the right) that another player really is surplus to requirements. It would be very Spurs though to sign another one.
I still personally think that nothing will happen this window…. Don’t bother heading to the stadium/training ground kids, let the Sky Sports News man report nothing in peace.
So what do you think? Linesman was wrong but decisions understandable? Any movements in or out?
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