I think that I think we are going to be ok, I think. After getting carried away with my predictions for pre-season and too depressed after our first game I decided not to post too soon after matches and leave it until after the Chelsea game and the end of the transfer window to gather my thoughts.
Berbatov has gone and we are a little short on proven quality in the Premiership on the striking side until the January window when it all starts again. But Bent scored on Saturday and we played well defensively and tried to play football. We also had more than a little luck but we deserved it. Still ticking off my pre-season predictions: Zokora celebrated his new contract with an excellent performance; Gomes made one top class save and several competent catches; Modric was increasingly effective,and finally Ramos read my comments and altered the team in line with my suggestions.
I admit that Berbatov leaving blows another hole in my predictions but I did say it was a fervent hope rather then a real belief.The situation had gone past the point of no return thanks largely to the papers.Why Berbatov gets more hate mail than Robbie Keane I'm not quite sure. Levy's posturing on his high horse was hard to take and but for late bids by Man.City the whole thing would have been an embarrasing disaster.We were prepared to take Arshavin whose attitude towards his club was exactly the same as Berbatov's .But then I am an innocent in the ways of big business and all the better for it
On Sunday the team was better balanced and players started in their most effective positions. Gunter was played at full back and apart from a couple of aimless punts down the line to no one was sound . This enabled Zokora to play in front of the back four and though he too misplaced the odd pass had one of his best games for Spurs. Bale seemed up to speed and made up a tight back four in which Ledley King made two consecutive appearances and played a lot better than last week. Bentley and Lennon were played consecutively rather than together making us more effective in midfield. Jenas though played as if the responsibility of being vice captain was a burden rather than an inspiration but I think he was under very restrictive orders for an away game against the probable champions. He was a little too anxious in wanting to move the ball forward at times.Woodgate was his usual vigorous and reliable self.
Now I explained to Ramos after the first game that he had got it all wrong over selection and placement of players but he took no notice and duly lost the second game which I only heard on a radio commentary in the car and cannot comment on in detail.But he showed himself to be a big enough man to admit his errors and against Chelsea put things right. Although the pre-match talk was of attacking at The Bridge we played one up front and at times had six across the mid-field. We rode our luck and Bent was alert enough to fasten onto a ricochet to score an equaliser in the moments before half time..Shut up shop, park the bus, job done.Well more or less.
Between defending well, in depth and in numbers we played some good football and didn't allow Chelsea to dominate too much for too long, Bent was a willing front man and though he won a number of flick ons he was the only man available to profit from them.Whoever comes in I hope that Bent gets further starting opportunities as with support he is an effective goalscorer as he showed in pre-season. Ah! Pre-season, but I must not go there again. Move on,move on. Ramos must take the accolades for good tactics and substitutions. The squad worked hard, Jenas like Zokora before him was effective at full back and Huddleston, Lennon and Ohara slotted easily into the formation.This is a sign to me of a well coached team. Everyone seemed to know what was required of them and to be fair I think we had limited ambitions for this crucial game.
So I am not down after tha transfer window. Keane was a shock but Berbatov was always on the cards.We have back up for King in Corluka; we are sorted at goalkeeper and back four generally; we have plenty of left side options; Zokoro played well enough on Sunday to suggest that with Huddleston we can cover the defensive midfield. Modric and Bentley are quality signings, Pavlyuchenko and Campbell remain to be seen. We are building a team which won't come to fruition this season but I prefer that to a cheque book side of International All Stars who happen to play at White Hart Lane. I want something to identify with, something thats ours. Signing a contract does make you a True Spur in any real sense.At least even on Sunday we look as if we might play some good football which is my first requirement.
So back to what I think At the beginning I only thought that I thought that we were ok. Having written this I'm pretty sure I certainly think we are back on track. That comes with the usual Spurs supporters' caveat that the next game will tell.