Friday, August 21, 2009

Defoe v Hull

Hull Away. Hightlights Here. Write-up below.

The swagger was there for Spurs and you could tell by the opening 10 minutes of play. Spurs controlled the ball, passing was great, and we were pushing up. The Hull backline (lead by Anthony Bambi Gardner himself) had their hands full the entire game. Jermain Defoe scored just 10 minutes in with a beautiful pass from superstar quarterback Tom Huddlestone.

After the first goal Hull tried a few efforts, mostly on the back of Stephen Hunt who did give Vedran Corluka trouble (which was a recurring theme all game). However shortly after that Wilson Palacios scored his first goal of the year. Just 13 minutes in, Spurs are up 2-0. Lovely way to ease that 1 goal pressure off. Unfortunately within a minute Hull would be on the attack and send a ball in the box that Gomes would punch out, but upon coming down to the ground would have to leave the game due to landing odd. To me it seemed that his ankle was rolled pretty hard. Cudicini the Italian Stallion would come in.

Hull would get a goal in the 25th off the dead ball kick by Stephen Hunt. I honestly though Geovanni (Super Sub) got his head to the ball but the goal was awarded to Hunt. 2-1 Spurs. Cuidcini was out of place, but the marking of Hull attackers was horrible. Corluka should have covered one of the runners, while T. Hudds was racing back to try and cover someone.

After Hull's first, I got that feeling in my stomach I always do when Spurs are up by a goal. I could sense that Hull might come back, and in usual Spurs fashion, we'd let them. Fans were alive again and Hull seemed rejuvenated. However Spurs pushed up and Hutton made a great run down the right side only to be stopped by what some thought was a handball in the box, but it wasn't intentional at all.

Much like Defoe, Lennon, Huddlestone, and even Keane were giving Hull nightmares early on, Geovanni and Folan were giving Corluka nightmares. The two paired up a few times and almost capitalized on a Corluka error but Hutton came from behind to make a fantastic tackle to save what could have been an equilizer. The kill sense wasn't there for Spurs nearing the end of the half as the passing tried to be forced instead of going with what was working early on. And then right when I thought we might be sluggish, Defoe puts one in for his second before half. 3-1 Spurs.

Second half went on and nothing really of note happened (at least to me) until the 77th when Robbie "dream move" Keane scored on a header. 4-1 Spurs. Honestly to hear the words Robbie Keane and goal in the same sentence gave me chills. Yes, he scored a few when he came back last year, but that didn't seem like the same Keane. Hopefully Keane is rejuvenated and we get the Robbie of know the one who scored 100 goals for us.

Shortly after Keane's goal, Crouch came on. Had a decent chance from a cross by Lennon but was right at the keeper. Modric was subbed off in the 84th for Bentley. Luka had a decent game. Gave Hull some problems but wasn't able to push into the middle as much. Not sure if Keane dropping deep had anything to do with it. Did have one decent shot from about 24 yards out, but really that's all I can remember from Modric. Actually I take that back, I remember a few of his runs where he was almost bossed off the ball but held onto it and held off defenders nearly twice his size.

Credit: Nick Potts/PA

The star of the show was Jermain Defoe for sure. Lead the team in our offensive charge all game and just gave hell to the Hull defenders, mostly Gardner. You could tell he wanted that third goal. His effort was relentless and his energy was fantastic through the whole match. And right as time was expiring, he did a nice little 1-2 layoff with Lennon and fired a rocket of a shot into the net for his third and final goal. 5-1 Spurs. MOTM.

Positives of the match:
Defoe. Hands down best player on the pitch that day.
Huddlestone. Read the game well and made some brilliant passes to set up goals.
Midfielders. Excellent passing and distribution. Set each other up well and the score showed.
Hutton. Saved Corluka quite a few times and even got up and made some nice runs. Glad to have him back.

Negatives of the match:
Gomes. I hope his injury isn't severe. Not saying Carlo Cudicini isn't a decent keeper, but he's not our number 1 and if he goes down, yikes.
Corluka. I don't know if he is just rusty or unsure of himself at CB, but he cannot play there. I hate to make that rash of a judgement, but if he errored this much against a team that had a bit more quality (sorry Hull), they'd have probably put us out of the game.
Bentley. No real negative here, but there isn't a place for the guy anymore. I hear some Red team up north is having problems with their midfield. Maybe Fergie will want the "next Beckham" in his squad.

2 games, 6 points. If we continue this pace Top 4 will surely be ours, no? No thanks, I'll settle for 6th this year. Not reaching too much and a nice building point for us.

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