Premier League reflections: Tottenham awful, Manchester United lazy
Arsenal thrashed an awful Tottenham in a classic game in which neither side were very good. Manchester United did just enough yet again against Norwich. A particularly grim edition of Premier League reflections…
Missed the game? Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham Hotspur as it happened.
Photo courtesy of Well Offside.
* The scoreline and the order of the goals tell a different story to what happened. In reality, Spurs were awful from start to finish, not turning up and not able to elevate their performance one notch in the whole game. That they were two-nil up was nothing short of a miracle.
* Only the most masochistic of Arsenal fans would raise the point, but Wenger’s rabble have cause to be worried too if their defensive incompetence will lead to falling two goals behind against a team playing as badly as Tottenham were. Brian Clough once said of defending a lead “If you have the ball and you are in their half, they cannot score.” Wenger has proved him wrong, continuing to challenge the conventional wisdom of English football. CH
* Spurs still enjoy the infinitely more pleasurable position of being 7 points ahead of Arsenal, but they will now be looking over their shoulders, particularly if they lose against Manchester United. Perhaps predictions of climate change are wrong and we’re just having an Indian St. Totteringham’s Day this year. CH
* Manchester United sneaked under the wire today. While it was impressive that they came back when necessary with such commitment, it begs an obvious question. If you can score when you’re interested, why not be more interested?
Should Manchester United win the league this year then this will be a game remembered as a crucial win, the one that demonstrates the quality of champions. But, when they more likely just fall short, it would be sensible to point to the many instances where Manchester United have dominated from the start, scored, and then retreated.
There is no shame in dropping points to a superior team, but there is shame in giving up a title through what is little more than complacency. It happened in the Champions League. It happened in the Europa League. Without care, it might lose them the Premier League too. AN
* The multiple orgasm of Ryan Giggs’ winner should not deflect attention from the fact that United, after a strong opening ten minutes, took the following seventy off. In most jobs, most people are trying to get by doing as little as possible, but the sports field is one of the few arenas in which that’s impossible to understand. DH
* If Manchester United do somehow win the league, the 90th minute of their game against Norwich could prove to be the one wot won it. Not only for Ryan Giggs’ late winner, but also because hundreds of miles away in London, at exactly the same time, Scott Parker was being sent off and duly suspended for the upcoming game against United at White Hart Lane. CH
* Put simply, Manchester United are not permitted to gloat.
* Stoke might not have beaten Valencia this week, but they are obviously well rested to beat Swansea. I wonder if anyone with a soul thinks it was worth it. I miss the Uefa Cup, I won’t miss Stoke City. AN
Relive the action through a visual medium by having a look at our gallery of Norwich v Manchester United and Arsenal v Tottenham.