I felt a certain amount of trepidation before this one as soon as it was confirmed that Mike Dean would be in charge of VAR. I was as disappointed with that as my Spurs mate Nicky would have been to see the name Serge Aurier on the teamsheet.
Factor in our woeful record in the Capital this century and, well, is it a real surprise that we lost? Certainly not. But when Jose Mourinho says nice things about you then you know you must be doing something right.
In truth, we could and quite possibly should have headed round the North Circular Road and back up the M11/A11 with a point. By all accounts we acquitted ourselves pretty well, except for a dodgy period just after half time, which prompted my mate Dave to text from inside the ground: “I can’t understand how we’re still in this. We keep giving the bl00dy ball away!”
Of course, it could be said there was an element of good fortune about the Tottenham winner, a header from Heung-Min Son courtesy of a wicked deflection off Christoph Zimmermann.
This sparked a mixture of relief and celebration among the Spurs fans. Nicky informs me that the Son song was sung.
For those readers who aren’t familiar with this slightly dubious ditty, it goes: “He’ll shoot he’ll score, he’ll eat your labrador – Heung-Min Son, Heung-Min Son”.
Even then we could have levelled it with Lukas Rupp [making his first start in place of Emi Buendia] catching an unfortunate if slight deflection off a Tottenham defender that was enough to push his shot wide.
But with no disrespect to Rupp whatsoever, how DO you replace Buendia? Get fit soon, Emi, please – your presence is equally vital to that of Teemu Pukki.
Just as it’s reported that our Jose is looking for a “more robust” right-back that Max Aarons, said Max turns in yet another consistent performance and wins the penalty for Pukki to convert after ages of contemplation by Mr Dean and Co. Audition passed.
In response to Mourinho saying that we deserve a happy ending – I’m guessing he meant to the season – Daniel Farke added in his usual candid way:
“We always play to win points and if we get beat then we are disappointed. We are all disappointed in the dressing room. But I can’t ask my lads for more. They left their heart out on the pitch.
“A fantastic away performance against Tottenham without Ben Godfrey or Emi Buendia. They can bring Dier and Fernandes on in the second half. Then it is difficult for a squad who is not able to bring quality players in for lots of money.
“We can be proud of the spirit of the lads and what they brought on the pitch.”
Farke also pointed out once again that we are the only self-financing club in the PL.
I’m loath to read things that aren’t there into statements such as that but he has said it more than once recently. I really hope he’s not getting so fed up with this situation that he might want to move on to somewhere with a bit more financial clout.
So now it’s on to the changed line-ups of Burnley and City on Saturday in the FA Cup.
Although it’s hardly the be-all and end-all right now, it would be good to have a decent Cup run for once so I hope that whoever is selected gives it a right good go.
Having said that there are one or two who would benefit from a break between now and Newcastle. Todd Cantwell and Grant Hanley for sure and quite possibly a few others.
*As we enter the final week of the transfer window I picked up this little gem the other day from t’internet.
This site [link] claimed that Pukki wasn’t in our top ten earners, and proceeded to present the weekly wages of ten or so of our players.
Apparently their expertise suggests that Sam Byram is on £30k a week while Cantwell gets “only” £1,500 a week. For what it’s worth they rate Pukki at £8k a week.
Now presuming they don’t have a direct line to Stuart Webber, I really wonder how they work this miracle of accuracy. It also would mean that Webber thinks Sam is 20 times more valuable than Todd.
If you should ever bump into Sam make sure you ask him to buy the drinks!