Well, that was truly embarrassing, the worst I have seen Spurs play for a long time. A game Norwich deserved to win, we were second to every ball, we had no intensity and the players looked run into the ground due to the lack of the right kind of squad rotation. We did not deserve anything from this game; our tactics were wrong and never flexible to change at any point in the game. Our usually solid defence looked shaky every time Norwich got near our box, especially Ledley who had his worst game ever in a Spurs shirt. Only a couple of players actually looked like they wanted to get anything from the match, in Livermore, Benny and Lennon.
The Saha and Defoe partnership did nothing and I would rather have had Adebayor start than rest him for the FA Cup on Sunday. A few penalties should also have been given against us, so the margin at the end of the game could have been a lot more very easily. In such a disappointing game Norwich went ahead in the 13th minute when there was confusion in the Spurs box and the ball bounced off a few players and fell nicely for Pilkington to side foot home. It was looking very ominous at this point as every time they attacked it looked as if the ball would find the back of the net. Luckily in the 33rd minute, and still in the match Jake Livermore played a ball that sliced the Norwich defence in half.
The ball was taken on by the marauding Jermain Defoe, who managed to coolly chip it over Ruddy bearing down on him from the Norwich goal. This was a massive relief around the ground as we knew we hadn't played well enough to be level, but if we went in 1 - 1 at half time there would be a chance to rejig the tactics. Into the second half, and guess what? No change in tactics (will get onto that later). Little long term improvement in our play, although for the first 10 to 15 minutes of the second half we had a couple of really good chances, including a shot by Bale which was blocked by Russell Martin. The second when Assou-Ekotto exchanged passes with Adebayor and burst deep into the Norwich box but Ruddy tipped over with an outstanding save.
There were chances for both teams after that but Lambert fumed at Oliver's refereeing again on the hour mark when Adebayor pushed Wilbraham in the Tottenham box but no penalty was given. Soon after Luka Modric found Bale, who drifted in from the flank and struck a sweet shot that hit the bar and unluckily bounced out. The game was won when Elliott Bennett attacked the Spurs defence in the 66th minute, we must have been expecting him to pass to the more dangerous Holt or Pilkington because we let him continue towards goal. He then unleashed a scorching shot across Brad Friedel into the far corner sending the away fans crazy and into a 2 - 1 lead which would not change for the rest of the game. A man can be forgiven for making mistakes, but when those mistakes are made again that person is a fool. That fool actually admitted the system he chose to play was wrong, and was not insightful enough to change.
“I thought we’d go with four forwards, play 4-4-2 and on paper it looks a really exciting, attacking team, but we looked too open playing that way." "It’s alright playing a 4-4-2 if it’s a tight 4-4-2 and when you lose possession, you get back into a four (in midfield)." "We play 4-4-2 and we’re very open because we’ve got players who want to go forward and want to attack. That was a problem for us."
The words above are from the manager of our team, admitting he got it wrong. He is right, but why not change the tactics to try and improve the team whilst the game is still being played and there is a chance to get something from the match. Harry is getting seriously found out in terms of tactics at the back end of this season, and if we're not careful England won't want him at the end of it and we might be stuck with him for another season.
The run we are on at the moment is really not helping Harry, as it's almost exactly the same as last seasons last ten games. Playing lower table teams, being in a great position to obtain Champions League qualification then going on a run where we barely won a game and missed out on that fourth spot. I am scared the same will happen again as Harry has shown he hasn't learnt from his tactical mistakes so therefore I do not believe he can learn from the mentality mistakes he made last season and so far this season.
MOM - John Ruddy, splendid performance in the Norwich goal pulling off a number of important saves to deny us. One of which was when Benny was put through by Adebayor and simply tried to lift the ball over him. Unfortunately for us, his hand was there to stop the ball at a very important time in the game as that would have given us the lead.