No Caley Graphic for the EFL Cup. Surprise!
Thankfully, my job comes with multiple monitors. So, I usually get to have Tottenham games on in the background at work. However, it is also football season, so I do miss weekend games from time to time. I also have numerous other job-responsibilities that take time/energy, etc. Regardless, I did get to mostly view this game, though not in great detail. No recap. Just some bullets.
- Lineup. Gazzaniga; Aurier-Toby-Sanchez-Davies; Winks-Wanyama; Sissoko-Dele-Lamela; Moura. This was the perfect game for Winks and Wanyama to come back and start. They are clearly the 2nd team pivot, but getting them a start in the EFL Cup is a good use of opportunity. I’ve sorta been on the Lamela train for a while, now. Pairing him with Captain Dele and Moura was of great interest to me. Sissoko is the soccer version of an “Innings Eater” at this point. I was hoping for a few offensive fireworks.
- Lamela. Someone on Twitter made an interesting point that Lamela is usually only effective once the game is stretched. It seemed hottaek-y, but I do wonder if there is something there. Regardless, I do still love what he brings to the table. He made a delightful pass to Dele to draw the penalty. He also won the ball that started the break in which he coolly finished the second goal before Gomes could get to him. His intensity has never been lacking, either. And finally- finally -he might just be starting to finish goals with consistency. Three goals and two assists in five appearances this year. Small sample size, obviously, but that’s pretty darn exciting.
- FBs. From what I could tell, Aurier played well. He broke up a should-have-been goal with a wonderful tackle from the side. He also got forward enough, though, I didn’t think any of his crosses stood out. Trippier obviously still the starter via consistency, but this was a good game for Serge to get. He did hobble down the tunnel late, forcing Spurs to finish with only ten men. Davies… did not have a great game, from what I could tell. He was sloppy in possession, touches weren’t consistent enough, crosses were meh. My thoughts are that we’ve seen the highest of his performances and I’m not expecting him to get a lot better. However, he has dropped from that a bit. Spurs will need him to at least regain that form, but in the attempt to transition from a great to elite club, left back is starting to become a bit of a worry.
- Subs. Aside from foreseeing Serge’s injury, Poch got it right. It was good to give Wanyama and Sissoko some run, but bringing on Dembele and Son to reinforce the attack was the correct move. Sonny had a couple of chances and Dembele had the assist on Lamela’s goal. As weird as it sounds, bringing in Llorente was also the right move. He did get his head on a ball but it went over the bar. The real issue is that the starters could not generate enough offense. Plan B had to be playing the players that you would have preferred to rest (Dembele). I do think this is the best bench Spurs have consistently had since I have followed the team. There are a number of crucial role players who can definitely start at times. However, I do understand that it is hard to get up for a Third Round EFL Cup tie when there are bigger fish to fry.
- Location. Tottenham finally fulfill their commitment to playing one home match at MK Dons as part of the too good to be true deal when purchasing Dele several years ago.*
- Dele. How is that for a return home? Draws the equalizing PK and was there ever any question who was going to take it? Not the greatest, albeit. He did look in control during field play, as well. This was a great match for him to come back to as his first start after an injury. He topped off the night with the game-clinching PK, as well. Wonderful for the boy from MK Dons.
- Penalties. I hate them. The end. Well, almost. Spurs order of Son-Lamela-Llorente-Dele was not surprising given their top two choices didn’t dress. Gazzaniga saved TWO, despite both being awful attempts. And Llorente’s hit the ROOF. Talk about heart in your throat. Dele: For. The. Win.
- Watford So, they look legit. The
HornetsMeese have played Spurs well twice, now. Their aptly named forward, Isaac Success, is just that. He’s looked menacing in both games. I doubt the Meese will contend for Top 4 because, like, look at the league, but I think they can have a shot at playing into Europe and perhaps taking down another Sky Sixer or two. Also, when you can do that after selling a player for 50 mil, that’s quite the accomplishment!