Inside Lane: A Spurs fan’s view of the victory against Southampton
10:58 24 March 2014
Tottenham blogger George Lacey looks back on yesterday’s 3-2 home win over Southampton at White Hart Lane.
Tim Sherwood has received bad press from all corners recently and, having lost 4-0 against Chelsea in the same week that Benfica came to the Lane and stuffed us 3-1, it could be argued that the criticism aimed his way was justified.
The attention on his touchline demeanours hasn’t helped the club but, with his back against the wall, Sherwood has rallied a side short of confidence after a poor spell of form and we seem to have a bit of bite back in the side.
Solid displays at home against Arsenal and then away at Benfica in the second leg of our Europa League tie showed there was still some fight in the dog, which Sherwood had questioned.
The response his players have shown has been much improved, and Tottenham’s latest display - coming from 2-0 down to win 3-2 in dramatic fashion against Southampton yesterday - shows signs of a steadier ship at least.
The concern, however, is that even in our biggest game of the season last weekend in the north London derby, our performance wasn’t credited with the vital three points - and likewise, because of our defeat against Benfica at home, we left ourselves with a huge task in the return leg in Portugal.
Starting slowly yesterday and going two goals behind brought back the gloom and frustration that has been permanent at White Hart Lane this season.
And, as much as I enjoy writing about the strong second-half showing, which eventually led to Gylfi Sigurdsson’s great winner, the performance still leaves you with cause for concern.
There is constant tinkering with Spurs’ starting XI and it is obvious that Sherwood is yet to identify his strongest team.
Therefore, every week it is becoming increasingly difficult to analyse our performances fairly, with so much pressure on the players that are being thrown into the mix after time off the field. Roberto Soldado is one example.
I thought the Spaniard had his best game in a Spurs shirt yesterday, and all that was missing from his display was a place on the score sheet - although he turned provider for Christian Eriksen’s equaliser.
Again, though, for all the quality Soldado showed, these performances have been few and far between and Sherwood’s decision to keep him benched doesn’t help the £26million striker to find his rhythm. Sadly, this has been the case for many of our summer signings.
Unfortunately, we play a very good Liverpool team at Anfield on Sunday. A few weeks ago we were fighting them for fourth place, but they are now looking at challenging for the title and we find ourselves lingering like a bad smell in fifth.
After they embarrassed us 5-0 at the Lane, Sherwood shouldn’t need to be questioning his side’s heart this time around. To dare is to do.
Follow me on Twitter @GeorgeLacey_