|Pre-season is getting
worse. In the old days, at least sides put on a bit of a show for
those who had stumped up good cash to travel to some lower league
ground. It was an opportunity to run up a few goals to boost
confidence prior to the new campaign. It was a match fitness
exercise. It was fun.
Now, the trawl of minor designer devised
tournaments make the pre-season both expensive and a drag. I
decided to take the Eurosport view of things and I am glad that I did,
as the game was played in first gear by players who could not perform on
a bumpy, sandy and wet pitch or in what looked like humid conditions.
For the life of me, it looked like an
under-par training session. They worked harder on Sunday at the Lane !!
The match itself was as untidy as the
pitch. Passes going astray, petty fouls being given and the
referee happy to be the highlight of the action, by making Bakari leave
the pitch when it was our corner to change his ripped shirt (not leaving
of his own accord, as the "commentary" [and I use that term
loosely] team suggested).
Players were perhaps worried about
injuring themselves on a pitch doused in sand, with ridges in it visible
from 1038 miles away and a downpour had left the centre circle under
water. Added to the news on the Spurs website that they had
trained that morning, perhaps the performance should not have been a
Brown had an early shot over, something
he repeated after we had gone ahead and he burst through the
middle. Spurs were sloppy in defence and failed to close people
down, allowing balls to be crossed into the box and also for one-twos to
be played into the area too. From a foul on the edge of the box, a
free-kick had to be saved by Keller at full stretch (in the absence of
the new keeper Robinson, left at home for personal reasons). Kasey
didn't deal with it comprehensively, as he palmed it right in front of
goal, but it did not result in any drastic consequences.
Spurs had a lot of joy on the right
flank, where Marney was operating, but the final ball in was weak and
that was much the same from either flank in the second period.
With two towering strikers in the first half, we should have been
exploiting that better and only Ricketts' high cross that found Fredi at
the far post, should have ended in a goal, but Kanoute headed high and
the keeper comfortably saved.
Taricco was conceding too many free-kicks for silly fouls and it was only when he moved to right
back after Carr's removal at half-time, that he seemed to clean up his
act. A couple of good moves saw Kanoute set up Bakari for a low
shot that he directed wide from about ten yards out and then Fredi broke
through the middle to drag his effort wide when in a good shooting
position. It was my first sight of Bakari, who looked like a cross
between Emile Heskey and Audley Harrison. His first touch was poor
and he needs to develop a way of preventing the ball bouncing off his
shins, but he did knock a couple of balls on with his head to Spurs
players. Including one to Brown who burst into the area just outside the
penalty box, slip a through pass to Fredi and he slipped it away under
the keeper to give Tottenham the lead.
It was a good period for Spurs, as they
fought for the ball and kept Feyenoord under pressure, but a weak piece
of defending saw the Dutch side equalise. A ball down their left
was knocked inside and Kuyt had space to step up from 25 yards and hit
an unhindered shot at goal. Doherty attempted to beat it down, but
his deflection saw the ball spin up and past Keller and just inside the
post. How many times did we see that last season ? But it
was a result of nobody closing the shooter down.
Kuyt also grabbed the second half goal,
getting in front of Gardner with a diving header to power Castelen's
cross past Kasey. Gardner showed again that his concentration
lapses and although well taken, the goal should never have come
about. The one thing the commentators got right was the lack of
continuity in lay once all the substitutions were made. Mendes
gave the ball away too much and got knocked off it easily. Jackson
had the chance to put in some good crosses, but failed and Defoe got
kicked all over the place (and elbowed in the face). Only Edman
could claim to have been a success, coming on for Carr at half-time,
with the captain's armband passing to Gary Doherty !!
The three plaintive voices singing out
"Come On You Spurs" were heard above the players half-hearted
exhortations and I suppose the same can be expected on Thursday.
If Santini wanted the mistakes made at
Rangers eliminated, he must have had a recurring bad dream watching this
Kappa Cup match. But the errors have to stop soon.
MEHSTG TOP MAN : - ERIK EDMAN