Those inclined to write the team and the manager off after this abrupt end to our fantastic start should back off, calm down and pace yourselves. Get some perspective: its a cross Channel swim and we are just paddling on Dover beach at the moment; its Hannibal Crossing the Alps and the elephants have barely packed their trunks. Forgive me but I think you get the idea.
I'm disappointed but not depressed. No, that was last week. I can't use that again. Its your blog Jimmy, you can do what you like. Good point. Alright then I'm disappointed but not depressed, again.
The scoreline flatters them and we should have been a goal up and it could have been two or three before they had a clear chance. The non- penalty decision on Keane was the turning point though I think that he went down late when he realised he couldn't reach the ball. The injuries to King and Bassong completely disrupted us defensively. The excuses note from my mum mentions all these details.
We played some good football again and have four winnable games before we face Arsenal. We have played three of the top four and are averaging two points per game which would have gained us fourth place last year. Our results against Burnley and Stoke at home and Portsmouth and Bolton away are far more relevant to our season than the last two games against two top class teams who will probably battle it out for all the major prizes this year.
This doesn't mean that I don't want us to be challenging them for the top honours but the Spurs project is on the move and as long as we make progress this year and play some good football I will be content. Most people would have taken 12 points from six games if offered at the start of the season. If the last two games prove anything it is that are not yet ready to win the league but only the most blinkered fans ever thought we were, and they are the only ones depressed today.
For this game I asked Harry to take them on and we did. I would have played Pavlyuchenko instead of Keane but in fact he played better today and he and Defoe were well found by Huddlestone and Jenas in space on several occasions. Defoe should have scored early in the first half from a glorious ball by Palacios and both Jenas and Huddlestone went close.
The midfield with Palacios, Huddlestone and Jenas worked well enough and could have sown up the game before Chelsea got going. It gave a good balance of destructiveness and creativity though Palacios seemed a little distracted and some of his passing was awful. Lennon was floating which didn't quite come off and again experienced defenders forced him across the line and into congested areas. Kranjcar might have given us better balance on the left but for the first half hour we more than matched them as we did against Man. Utd.
The Match of the Day highlights which start from the result made it look one way traffic: they didn't even show the Jenas effort: Jenas haters in the BBC cutting room scandal, and you would not have guessed that we in fact had a greater share of possession. Injury worries are now mounting up and Huddlestone and Corluka may have to continue at centre half for the coming week and give Dawson and Bassong time to recover. Ledley is a more long term casualty I fear.
Harry's apparent determination to play Keane and Crouch at the expense of Giovani or Kranjcar and Pavlyuchenko is worrying though all three should appear against Preston along with Bentley and Naughton.. Gomes will feel that he has a claim to start as although Cudocini has made some good saves six goals in two games is not a glowing testimonial, even against the two best teams in the country.
Our alledgedly 'strong' bench may well be tested this month, hopefully not to destruction.