Tottenham 2 Aston Villa 0: Anti-football yields what it deserves

Written by Dan on November 21, 2011

Emmanuel Adebayor helped himself to a first half brace, but should have had at least a hat-trick during a game that Tottenham barely had to break a sweat to dominate. In fairness, such was the gulf in quality, we should consider ourselves fortunate to have left with the score only 2-0.

There were rumours before kick off that Alex McLeish intended to field Alan Hutton as a right midfielder and Carlos Cuellar behind him at right back to deal with the threat of Gareth Bale and that’s what he did. Unfortunately, Spurs have one or two other decent players and that defensive set up achieved very little.

That’s about all I have to say right now, the only one to come out with much credit is Chris Herd. It was a shockingly poor performance all round; McLeish’s Birmingham side had a greater say in this same fixture on the final day of the season; the game that sealed their fate.

I’m not making that up. Last season, Birmingham had 32% possession and attempted 285 passes with a completion rate of 69%. Tonight, we enjoyed just 30% possession and attempted 252 passes with a 70% completion rate. We did at least resort to the long ball less frequently than Birmingham in the same game last season: 18% to their 21%.

According to Opta, and they kinda know these things, our three efforts on goal tonight (only one of them on target by the way) was our lowest in a Premier League game during the last six seasons. That’s some achievement.

Anti-football. Defeatist. It got exactly what it deserved: nothing.


Timeline: Key Events

90′ SUBSTITUTION Luka Modric off / Sandro on.
87′ SUBSTITUTION Chris Herd off / Fabian Delph on.
85′ YELLOW CARD Stiliyan Petrov.
70′ SUBSTITUTION Rafael Van der Vaart off / Jermaine Defoe on.
64′ SUBSTITUTION Carlos Cuellar off / Barry Bannan on.
44′ YELLOW CARD Chris Herd.
40′ GOAL Adebayor. Bale got the beating of Cuellar without too much trouble, crossed to the near post where James Collins dived in to clear, but missed only for the ball to loop over Given to the waiting Adebayor to tap into an empty net.
14′ GOAL Adebayor. It was coming too. Unmarked with a bicycle kick if you please. Where was James Collins at the time? You tell me.

Tottenham: Friedel, Walker, King, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Modric, Parker, Bale, Van der Vaart, Adebayor. Subs: Cudicini, Bassong, Gallas, Sandro, dos Santos, Pienaar, Defoe.

Aston Villa: Given, Cuellar, Dunne, Collins, Warnock, Hutton, Petrov, Herd, Heskey, Agbonlahor, Bent. Subs: Guzan, Clark, Delph, Ireland, Bannan, N’Zogbia, Weimann.