Sunday, January 09, 2011

Some Pride Restored

This afternoon's FA Cup tie was an odd one.

It threatened to develop into a fascinating encounter, but a devastating ten minute spell rendered the final third of the game flat and meaningless.

Despite the surprisingly upbeat performance by the Addicks, it is easy to get carried away.

Spurs played an extremely weakened side. Indeed their starting midfield comprised two holding midfielders (Palacios and Sandro), a debutant right winger playing on the 'wrong' side (Townsend), and the lumbering Kranjcar (who gave Simon Francis a relatively straightforward afternoon).

The damage dealt by the brilliant Modric after half-time highlighted the difference in class, whilst Defoe's first goal (Tottenham's second) was in truth rather embarrassing.

Charlton played in fifth gear throughout just to keep in touch, whilst the home side used it only briefly, before reverting back to second gear with the game safely won.

We did play a refereshingly expansive game however, the full-backs encouraged to get forward wherever possible (it was a rare sight indeed to see both Fry and Francis reach the byline within the first fifteen minutes).

Our passing was better too, the midfield and defence willing to take calculated risks to keep quality possession, instead of resorting to the long punt forward.

It certainly helped that the 4-5-1 preferred by Keith Peacock was spearheaded by Joe Anyinsah, a proper target man unlike Paul Benson.

This is not a criticism of the ex-Dagenham man (who is a goal poacher only), but an acknowledgment that Anyinsah's energetic running of the channels provided a genuine outlet when needed.

One wonders whether Peacock and Damian Matthew really did try to change things in the few days they've been in charge, or whether Parky would have produced a similar performance.

It's a difficult comparison because whilst one rightly criticises Parky for lacking imagination and stale tactics, this was a fixture in which even he surely would have relaxed a little and allowed his team to play.

Either way, it was a fun day out and a better performance than most of us dared hope for.

It brought back pleasant memories of the Premiership years, and credit to Spurs for filling the stadium, more than can be said for several of their poxy Northern peers this weekend.


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