Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Some sort of perspective

I've had to wait a day before writing about the Wolves game. If I hadn't, you'd probably just be reading a four-letter diatribe of 'Why?' this and 'Why?' that.

Now that the nerves have settled and my blood has stopped boiling, I can take a proper look at the situation - how Harry Redknapp manages to immediately compose himself and do a post-match interview is beyond me.

The man's got nerves of steel, and he has an uncanny ability to put the whole thing in some sort of perspective. We're all sat there, head in hands, concerned that our wonderful journey is at an end, and 'Arry comes out and says "That's football", then points out that Wolves have beaten Man United, Chelsea and Man City at Molineux and suddenly we all feel that little bit better about things.

Make no mistake, our last two results have made a Top 4 finish an uphill struggle, but Spurs have never made things easy for themselves and, the result aside, there were a lot of encouraging signs to come from yesterday.

Obviously, the sight of Gareth Bale careering down the flank is a timely boost as we look towards another difficult run-in. And, never mind Kolo Toure, I want some of whatever Jermain Defoe's been having, as both those goals were not only out of the top drawer, but completely out of nothing - and that surprise element is something we've been badly missing.

Defoe is famed for slamming the ball home from 18 yards with no regard for the keeper's positioning, but both strikes yesterday were placed carefully out of Wayne Hennessey's reach. Now, if he can just learn to take it round the keeper in a one-on-one situation… one step at a time.

It was nice to see Roman Pavlyuchenko on the scoresheet, you have to go back to November for the last time two of our strikers scored in the same game. But for me, he puts very little into his off-the-ball game. Countless times yesterday he gave up the moment he was dispossessed, in stark contrast, Jermain Defoe harried and chased down every ball, highlighting the lack of effort from the man alongside him, and maybe that's the reason Redknapp is hesitant to give Pav a run in the side.

Sandro had a much better game on Sunday and is starting to look like he's getting to grips with the Premier League. He's got a good awareness, he seems to know when to get stuck in or pile forward and when to hold off, protect the space behind. Even if his development isn't as meteroic as Bale's last season, in future seasons he could prove to be the solid general midfielder we've been craving for so long.

Chelsea may have beaten Blackpool last night but then their following Premier League game is against Man City, so someone is guaranteed to drop points. Our next three games are West Ham, Wigan and Stoke so finger crossed we can make up some ground.

If all that's not enough, then we still have to play both Chelsea and Man City so, whilst recent results have not been what we'd hoped for, the situation is still very much in our hands.

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