Forget the trip to A&E

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Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United - Premier League

Head a bit sore, pride slightly damaged but the vital organs: well and truly intact.

Whether you think we are on the cusp of calamity or glory it doesn’t matter, Sunday stung and rightly so. A game against the mob from the East is always so much more than a case of three points, we belittle them because it is their cup final but as a Spurs fan it is still an important game.

Dembele described West Ham as lesser opposition and in some respect he is exactly right. A second string Spurs side should have had the necessary firepower to roll over what is a mediocre West Ham outfit, but maybe that is exactly where we are going wrong.

We appear both a team and a set of supporters all too caught up in ourselves, too blinded by our own apparent rise to prominence that we have lost track of any semblance of perspective.

I am as excited as the next guy about where we are and where we are going under AVB’s glorious revolution, but Sunday was the reality check we all needed.

We are a work in progress, nothing more than a project with promise. Of course there will be the brutal bumps and scrapes like the ones we experienced last weekend, but this is only natural and certainly nothing to be alarmed about.

Onto the game itself.

A few have been quick to credit Allardicinio with the tactical masterplan that blew us out of the water. The employment of a false 9 was more out of necessity than design and the bus parking technique with a bit of subtle counter attack is something which we have seen before at the Lane. Hardly revolutionary.

The issue wasn’t the menace of a Ravel Morrison or Stewart Downing; it was a self-inflicted defeat, something that hurts so much more.

On paper this was a mis-match, but through sheer graft and admirable application the Hammers took us apart. Too often we were content to play at a Sunday League pace, caught in possession and distributionally timid we were a shadow of our usual selves. A performance devoid of fight and determination, we just looked like a team expecting to turn up and roll the opposition over. Something that we all know just doesn’t happen in the Premier League.

A lot has been made of the striking situation and what some have labelled a shambolic decision to start Defoe. He may well have missed a golden chance to open the scoring but really he was as much a passenger as Soldado has been all season, the issues lie behind the frontman and not with him.

That brings me onto one of the few positives.

Andros Townsend continues to impress, not just because he is the flavour of the month but because he genuinely seems to get it. He was dangerous as ever, continuing to fight when others seemed disinterested. His post match tweet that many of you have probably seen summed up the sort of character we have on our hands, someone who understands the magnitude of the loss to us the fans, a rarity in modern football.

We move on with a few cuts and bruises, nothing more. The wake up call that we all needed to burst the bubble of optimism that a few had prematurely floated off into.

International break next, sigh.

Onwards and upwards.


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