Tottenham Till Half Time

by The Fighting Cock


The anger and disbelief that swept over me at the end of 45 minutes took me totally by surprise. I had just witnessed mass mediocrity, a gigantic void of intelligence, a cataclysmic lack of faith and the inability of individuals to stand together in moments of difficulty. It had been 45 minutes of pure unadulterated nonsense from those sat in the North Upper. Yes the team was bad, but the few hundred Spurs fans around me had been worse.

The man to my right turned up seven minutes into the first half carrying a hotdog, bottle of coke and a packet of crisps, the two older gentlemen behind me were apparently founders of the Redknapp fan club, and directly below me, a man who obviously seeks comfort in food hurled abuse at Gareth Bale, Sandro, AVB and any Lillywhite player who dared to pause on the ball.

For a nano second the urge to walk out and leave these supporters to their self inflicted misery nearly won, but instead I cheered, clapped my hands and encouraged.

Nothing on the pitch convinced the people around me that they’re beliefs were incorrectly held, and as Bobby Zamora tucked the ball away the vitriol that cascaded down towards the pitch made me flinch. This isn’t Spurs; this isn’t White Hart Lane, what happened to the place that I could take my girlfriend to experience the Spurs vibe we are so proud of?

The team played like strangers, but a large portion of the support around me watched like complete strangers. Instead of suffering together and helping to pull the team out of the tactical quagmire they found themselves in, they bickered and shouted at each other. The Park Lane tried to lift the mood, but gloom was settling quickly at White Hart Lane.

As the half time whistle sounded a chorus of boos broke out around me. I couldn’t bring myself to look at these people; so instead I wandered off to the Ice Bar where I stood for 15 minutes without service. I felt a bit like Jermaine Defoe.

For a nano second the urge to walk out and leave these supporters to their self inflicted misery nearly won, but instead I cheered, clapped my hands and encouraged.

Thankfully the second half was better. The ball was moved quicker and Jan Vertoghen repositioned at left back changed the game.

The Belgian is fast becoming a favourite of mine and with the freedom bestowed on our full backs he blossomed. Vertoghen was a major factor in Defoe’s goal and provided quality from deep on the left, reminiscent to Assou-Ekotto circa 2010. The former Ajax man linked well with Gareth Bale and Mousa Dembele, his quality on the ball for someone deemed a centre back is Gerard Pique-esque.

To claim that AVB’s emergency tactical adjustments solved all our problems, would be like stating Sandro had a 100% pass completion rate, but I take solace from the fact that he has the nous and the ability to change things before the 60th minute mark.

Fundamentally the issue at Spurs is that we still lack a central midfield metronome, a player who can control the tempo, the positioning of the team and from where we attack.

Dembele has many qualities, but in a deeper role his skills and comfort on the ball are wasted. The ease in which he drifts past players needs to be utilised further forward, committing players on the edge of the area, forcing them either to give away a foul or penalty or even better, getting out of the way completely.

Tottenham are also struggling to unleash the quality in Icelandic international Glyfi Sigurdsson. The former Reading man has a deft touch as well as power in his boots, but the first 45 minutes passed him by. He was sacrificed at half time for Steven Caulker and a tactical change, but in all honesty it could have been anyone.

The only option for Spurs to change the worrying lack of creativity in central positions is for AVB to use Tom Huddlestone alongside Sandro. The Thudd may lack the mobility that AVB craves in his central role, but he is the only one of our central midfield contingent that can orchestrate cohesive attacks. His vision and quality on the ball are of far greater use to Spurs than merely another set of legs.

Andre Villas Boas seems determined to continue with his preferred formation of using three central midfielders; therefore I would like to see a trio of Sandro, Huddlestone with Dembele at the point.

However, should AVB decide differently at the next home game against Aston Villa, I won’t castigate his decisions from the Shelf and boo the players (I will never sit in block where I sat on Sunday again.) I am Tottenham till I die, not just to half time.


All views and opinions expressed in this article are the views and opinions of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of The Fighting Cock. We offer a platform for fans to commit their views to text and voice their thoughts. Football is a passionate game and as long as the views stay within the parameters of what is acceptable, we encourage people to write, get involved and share their thoughts on the mighty Tottenham Hotspur.


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