West Brom 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur: Match Report

It seems like a very long time since we have played on a Saturday. I’m sure someone is going to correct me and say “it was 3 matches ago” but that was like a month or so ago, with international breaks & all. So when I found out the game was a Saturday morning match at the Hawthorne’s, where we won 3-0 last season, I thought “well this is gonna be a breeze!” I WAS WRONG.

The game was a constant back and forth. So many things happened that I don’t even know where to start, and this is likely to be a shorter match report because of that. Alderweireld, who is forming a bizarre and amazing partnership with Dele Alli, played a hail mary touchdown pass off a regular pass all the way from our own half onto the foot of Dele Alli who volleyed it home to give us the 1-0 lead in a beautiful fashion. Just for a moment, that one sparkling moment, we thought “alright, this is going to be a win” and then the gates of hell opened up & an onslaught of baggies rained down upon us like the fury of Tony Pulis himself. The game went back and forth with breakneck speed, literally sometimes players attempting to break necks. Rash challenges on both sides of the ball, and despite their offensive presence, West Brom really seemed to have a constant presence of five players encircling any Spur’s player who touched the ball in their half. Perhaps it was our lack of movement, we really did kinda pass and then stand still, and Kane’s requirement to drop deeper to get the ball, but West Brom really snubbed out a lot of our chances with just sheer numbers. It looked like when Flash goes up against Mirror Master and he is suddenly just surrounded by 10 of the same exact dude, all circling around him like a scene out of West Side Story? If you know what I mean? No? Okay! Unfortunately for us, in what seemed like a game we could just ride out & take the 1-0, or maybe hope for a few breaks in the second half, West Brom had to do that stupid thing where they actually score a goal on us? Don’t you hate when that happens? It was James McClean a few minutes before halftime and it sucked!!!! 

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The second half was perhaps a faster, more breaknecky brand of football than the first like a weird indie movie titled Mad Mauricio: Fury Pitch (where Harry Kane is Mad Max & Christian Eriksen is Furiosa. I’d pay the $15 to see that in IMAX). Every single time any player on any team got the ball some other player flew in from nowhere with both feet out like a Bruce Lee movie. Every 10 or so minutes someone was screaming at someone, or a ref, or a fan, or themselves, trying to get a foul called. Several yellow cards were given out in the second half, and one horrible challenge by James McClean on Dembele should have shown him a red…but we’re Spurs and we don’t ever get that sort of thing on our side. We continued to allow West Brom to run full speed at us, and they continued to multiply by mitosis every time they saw a Spur’s man with the ball, and eventually the best chance of the second half came down to Salomon Rondon shooting from well within his own half at apparently the Spur’s corner flag cause it was nowhere near our net. I’m kidding Hugo had to make some huge saves like 15 minutes before that. Our biggest issue was this: when one of our players collected the ball in a semi-advantageous position, no one ran toward space. No one gave him the option to make a pass and move, or thread a ball in a way that could open up the Baggie’s backline. Instead, nine times out of ten, he would be closed down by a flash mob of West Brom players because he waited to long to do anything, as there were no real options. I mean, big shout out to West Brom for having a true “smothering” defensive presence and being very very organized at the back. They really brought the game to us, and while it was disappointing not to win what should be “gimme points”, we did end up tying a match we could have easily lost & remained unbeaten in like 3,000 hours of Premier League football. 

Ultimately, our new look Pochettino take on football has been very exciting, and we have really looked the part this year. Unfortunately for us, even ‘the part’ teams have tough draws like this, and that is a reality. West Brom stepped up and probably ousted us on pure intensity alone. The important thing to remember is, we still “look the part” and we still remain undefeated and on a stretch of ten very winnable games in a row. However, to win those games we are going to have to play better than we did today. That spark wasn’t there, and despite very solid performances from everyone, there was no real magic being made, and no movement attempting to make that magic happen. On to the next match which is Monaco in the Europa League, where we should likely see some young guys take the pitch, having clinched a spot in the next round. Following that we play Newcastle, aka the Worst Side In Football 2015 ™ and we better win. COYS! 

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