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Wait For the Whole Thing to Blow Over...

Tottenham 2 - 1 Brighton: An exhausted Lilywhite's reaction to the game

By Matthew CurtisPublished about a year ago 4 min read
(Zac Goodwin/PA). — © Zac Goodwin

There are two reasons we have won this game. Son and Kane. Actually, make that three. We must not forget our defender of the season; VAR. Yes, the same VAR that lets us down most weeks, just like the bulk of our actual defence. Wait, make it four reasons; plot-armour.

Those 90 minutes came straight out of Edgar Wright's Cornetto trilogy. The game, much like Shaun of the Dead, featured Tottenham Hotspur's hapless band of heroes, each of the cursed with comical levels of organisation skills, who as a group seem to survive every worsening scenario on dumb-luck alone. Even the protagonist lived to tell the tale with the full-time whistle sounding a 2-1 victory for Spurs. That's the word for it; survival.

Tottenham survived Brighton, who mounted attack after attack and wrestled for every ball. They were strong, almost villainously so. They were an entity I could not see us having the power to overcome. Son was the only weapon we had to bludgeon them with. He looked much more like his old self, playing high up the pitch, roaming from wing to wing, left to right. His goal was incredible and befitting of the ill-fortune that befell Brighton all afternoon. He's hit maybe two of those all season long. Let us hope the old saying has life in it yet - form being temporary, class being permanent. Whatever happens, his goal achieved permanence one way or another. Welcome to the 100 club, what a way to do it.

Son, however effective, was on his own. Deki did well on the ball, but could hardly get a touch. Kane, until his winning moment, suffered the same set-back. Our two-man midfield was overworked and overwhelmed. On numerous instances Skipp found himself pulled out on to the left-wing, such was efficiency of Brighton's fluidity and ball retention. They pulled our peppy youngster wherever they wanted him, and if that happens in a two-man midfield, expect exploitable gaps to emerge.

The less said about Dier's ball-playing ability, the better. He suffers terribly in this current system. It brings out some of the worst in Lloris too. Tottenham's brand of slow-walking the ball out from the final third in the face of four or five sprinting, pressing opponents is a strategy by which even Romero can be made to look the fool. Many of these players rely on their confidence for their competence. When they are put under duress, they crumble. This has been known since 2016. There is no way Tottenham should play to these weaknesses. The less time on the ball our defenders see, as far as I'm concerned, the better. How our defence did not concede more goals is a total mystery. The same was said last week at Goodison Park.

Brighton, in reality, battered us and won the match quite comfortably. But on this day Tottenham were the beneficiaries of VAR's interventions, not the victims. It has been due. The first handball on Mitoma was arguably harsh. It was another of those, 'get the protractor out', situations that I don't like to see. The second disallowed goal was unbelievable and nobody was more relieved than Lloris, who had himself to blame for being beaten more so than the deflection. It struck MacAllister's arm, but his arm was tucked into his torso. I ask the question; do the referees want to encourage players to avoid 'unnatural' positions, or not? It cannot be that no matter where a defender puts his arms, he is punished. The flight of the ball was crossing his body anyway, the deflection was guaranteed. One of the goals, at the very least, should have stood.

VAR had taken our side on so many occasions I began to believe that Brighton were actually being managed remotely by Pep Guardiola, and that the version of Roberto De Zerbi sent to the stadium was actually a rottweiler that had been strategically shaved and plonked into a tracksuit. Whatever fight he had picked with Stellini before kick-off, one thing became certain; he doesn't like us and he doesn't want to manage us.

The only thing that I believe went against us was Stellini's almost inexplicable red card. The angle captured of the brawl on the touchline is as funny as it is depressing. Stellini seemed to be doing everything in his power not to make eye-contact with De Zerbi, who had already told him off twice. His dispassionate, blank stare into vacant space, as the masses behind him do battle, I suspect will be the template for memes for the foreseeable future. However, quietly I do worry whether Stellini simply couldn't muster the spirit to rush to the aid of his staff and players. This whole space has been an apathetic downer for months. Today's win really was sorely needed.

And what a win it was. If Brighton had taken the three points, I'd have backed them to become the latest team to leapfrog us in the table. Brighton are an amazing team to watch, especially when you watch them share the same pitch as Tottenham. They function on another level to us, don't let neither the table nor our double over them fool you, we're playing catch-up here and they are ones to chase. Their style is enviable, their hustle even more so. Their luck... not so much.

We were battered, but we were winners. Give your thanks to our duet of dynamic duos. The stars of the show - Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane. Script writer and editor - Edgar Wright and VAR.

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About the Creator

Matthew Curtis

Queen Margaret University graduate (Theatre and Film studies).

Currently trying to write a book.

Lilywhite, Pokemon master, time-lord, vampire with a soul, Virgo.

Likes space and dinosaurs. And Binturongs. I'm very cool.

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    Matthew CurtisWritten by Matthew Curtis

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