SPURS (A) – THE REVIEW

05/03/20

Another special night delivered by Farke's charges. Ffion Thomas was one of the 9,000 strong army, just so she could review the game for YOU......

Biggest Positive

Getting a positive result out of a losing position for the first time this season is a very, very long-overdue milestone that it would be quite useful to take into league form (understatement).

Midweek moan

Conceding a goal from poor defending at a set-piece blah blah blah, let’s move on.

Moment of the match

OK, Gedson Fernandes’ penalty was so slow that in between the ball being struck and the save being made Tim Krul probably had time to take his gloves off, wash his hands with soap and water while singing “Happy Birthday” twice and put his gloves back on, but make the save he did, and it was all over.

When you win on penalties there’s no wasting time with handshakes and words of consolation for the opposition – you can just cut straight to the celebrations. With a big expanse of pitch between Krul and the 9,000 away fans he set off on a sprint, pursued by a flock of team-mates and coaching staff swerving in all directions like starlings in murmation – and Grant Hanley, who decided to wrestle him to the ground like a bear. Isn’t nature beautiful?

Star Performer

Player of the Season-elect Tim Krul, obviously – both in the shootout and throughout normal time, in which he made some vital interventions – but also Adam Idah, who at 19 years old had the stones to put his name down for a penalty and bury it in the top corner, Ben Godfrey for getting his head on everything all night and somehow making that impossible match-saving block near the end of normal time, and basically every other player as well.

Atmosphere

I was in my seat 20 minutes or so ahead of kick-off and so got to experience Tottenham Hotspur’s very own DJ, highlighted on the big screen from his special booth somewhere in the stands, who was attempting to whip the home fans up into a frenzy of… not a lot, really. Once the lights had gone up on the school disco a poor game meant the atmosphere never really got going anywhere in the stadium, but belief flowed through the away support with the equaliser, and the post-shootout twirling of green and yellow scarves across three tiers was a great scene. To have 9,000 fans travelling to London on a Wednesday night is obviously a hell of a turnout as well. Getting home in the early hours ended up being well worth it.

Farke Watch

Picked a pleasingly strong team and never felt the need to roll the Pukki dice, which could pay off on Saturday if he’s fully recovered from illness by then. The contrast at the end of normal time between Mourinho leaving his players to talk among themselves and Farke leading a rousing huddle spoke volumes – and he was the one making sure every member of the team and staff was part of the post-match victory wave.

Summary

For 75 minutes this was not a great game and I was wondering what I’d actually be able to write about in this review, other than how pissed off I was that we’d wasted a rare chance to reach an FA Cup quarter-final against a very poor Spurs team who didn’t seem that bothered. But Kenny McLean bought a lottery ticket with a speculative shot – something we’d wasted several openings to do throughout the game – and Josip Drmic was awake and ahead of the defender to bundle it in.

With five of the 11 now on the pitch recent academy graduates, they stuck to their task brilliantly as we ground out extra time to get to the shootout, and while Timmy rightly gets the headlines for his meticulous preparation, clever use of a water bottle, two saves and general entirely legal and legitimate shithousery, it feels like we’ve finally fully put to bed the penalty curse that became a frustrating theme of last season, with Todd, Idah and Stiepi all delivering unstoppable efforts.

And now we’re in an FA Cup quarter-final – I was two years old the last time that happened – with a home draw. So let’s have a go.

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