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Bournemouth v Spurs, 09.07.20

PREMIER LEAGUE
THURSDAY 9TH JULY, 2020
(6pm)

BOURNEMOUTH 0(0) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 0(0)

Attendance:- 0

Referee:- Paul Tierney
Assistants:- Marc Perry, Simon Long
Fourth official:- Steve Martin
Replacement official:- Graham Kane
VAR:- Michael Oliver
Assistant VAR:- Sian Massey-Ellis.

Teams:-
Bournemouth (4-4-2):- Ramsdale; Smith (sub Stacey, 63), Ake (Capt.), Kelly, Rico; Stanislas, Lerma, Gosling, Brooks (sub H. Wilson, 66); C. Wilson, King

Subs not used:- Boruc; S. Cook; Surman, L. Cook, Danjuma; Surridge, Solanke

Booked:- Lerma (Unsporting conduct), Gosling (foul on Lamela), H. Wilson (foul on Son)

Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Lloris (Capt.); Aurier (sub Gedson, 90+1), Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Sissoko (sub Lucas Moura, 75) , Winks; Lamela, Lo Celso (sub Ndombele, 46), Bergwijn (sub Son, 46); Kane

Subs not used:- Gazzaniga; Sanchez, White, Sessegnon; Skipp

Booked:- Sissoko (Unsporting conduct), Ndombele (foul on C. Wilson)

Painful to watch

At half-time I tweeted the following comments:-

“After Season Ticket renewal advice this week it would be a good idea if Spurs tried to play football. This was painful to watch. Have Bournemouth played backwards- NO. They are the team with energy and desire. Better take foul machines Sissoko and Lamela off asap”

Mourinho didn't heed my advice, but he did make two changes that gave us a little more energy, but with no shots on target we clearly lacked creative ability and firepower. I think there is a deep confidence issue within the team too, perfectly exemplified by the following second half incident. Adam Smith had been severely winded by a Harry Kane free kick and Spurs were on the attack approaching the Bournemouth area when referee Paul Tierney stopped play for former Spur Smith to receive treatment. When play was re-started with a drop ball, the referee wanted to give Spurs the ball, but Bournemouth protested as they wanted to have the ball and kick it long into the Spurs half. The referee’s decision stood, but after passing the ball to the right flank, Spurs then worked it back Hugo Lloris which is what the “Cherries” wanted anyway. Going backwards was the default for Spurs, particularly in the first half.

Jose made one enforced change at the back with Jan Vertonghen making his first post-lockdown start. The manager also switched his wingmen with Lamela and Bergwijn replacing Son and Lucas Moura. The word is that Jose has signalled to the club that he wants Dennis Cirkin and Harvey White elevated to the first team squad next season. Cirkin was on the bench against Everton. Harvey White (who can play at left back or midfield) was given the slot tonight.

Bournemouth kicked off but Spurs won a corner after Lamela fed the ball to Aurier whose cross was put out of play. Spurs had two corners and from the second, taken on the left, Harry Kane went down having been shoved by Josh king, but the referee and VAR said “No!” regarding our claims of a penalty. Sky pundits agreed that it should have been a penalty.

Spurs were too often slow and pedantic in their decision making whilst Bournemouth got men behind the ball, but also offered danger in the Spurs area at times. They were the team who managed shots on target, and they did have the ball in the net twice, although no goal resulted.

Lamela was slow in giving the ball to Davies who hit a typically poor cross. There were poor short passes by players including Lamela and Aurier. You have to give the hard-working Bournemouth side credit for their application, but Spurs were just showing so little if any imagination and initiative. Lamela was a foul machine and I’m surprised he didn’t see yellow. After one foul just outside the area Stanislas took the kick but Davies managed to clear. After another Bournemouth free kick – this one from the left- Lerma headed across goal and it was Harry Kane who cleared. No Spurs player had an average position in the Bournemouth half in the first half, and Kane hardly got a touch, because of the lack of delivery.

Ake defended an Aurier cross after 27 minutes and Spurs had two corners taken by Lo Celso, the second of which was hit straight to Ramsdale’s arms. After a Sissoko foul on Lerma there was a melee with arms raised on both sides. Both the protagonists were booked. Harry Winks took the ball of the advancing Smith, but then hit a poor pass. This too was not untypical of Winks’ efforts and ability tonight. He hit one pass much too far in front of a wingman in the Bournemouth half.

Stanislas fed the ball to Brooks on his right and that shot was deflected for a Bournemouth corner. Aurier won another corner with a cross, but Lo Celso hit it straight to the goalkeeper again. Lamela fouled again. His victim this time was left back Rico. Lamela had a shot after 43 minutes, but it was way too high. A Vertonghen headed clearance fell to Stanislas, whose shot was well saved resulting in a corner.

Those two half-time changes were Ndombele for Lo Celso and Son for Bergwijn. Ndombele did offer energy for the team going forward, if not always 100% execution. It wasn’t long before he looked out of breath too. Son’s confidence levels seem low at the moment, and passes too often failed or were lacking adventure, but you could say that about most of the team. Sissoko hit a good long diagonal ball to Ben Davies. Davies hit a return ball which almost reached Sissoko!

After the incident when Adam Smith was winded there were incidents at either end. Calum Wilson went down in the Spurs area and wanted a penalty (there was a VAR review which was negative) and as Spurs broke forward Harry Kane seemed to be sandwiched, but he got nothing from the referee either.

Smith was down again after a hard body blow from Ben Davies. There had been no malice, but there was concern and lengthy treatment for Smith. I understand he had been knocked out, but was seen moving before being stretchered off. He was replaced by Stacey. We lost 8 minutes here. Brooks then had to go off and was replaced by Harry Wilson who had scored both Bournemouth’s goals in November at White Hart Lane.

In between these substitutions Aurier had hit a cross which was cleared as far as Winks, who got under the ball and skied his attempt on goal. Another Aurier cross was put out by Ake for a corner, which was taken by Lamela and headed over from in front of the near post by Toby Alderweireld. Bournemouth had a corner at the other end and Josh king heded wide at the back post.

After a mistake by Lloyd Kelly, Son tried but failed to get the ball to Kane inside the box. Sissoko was replaced by Lucas Moura after the drinks break. Davies passed to Kane on the left side of the rea and Harry returned for Davies who could not quite get the right contact on the ball. Lamela headed wide from an Aurier cross. Spurs were at least looking more likely to score.

Davies had a shot from outside the area cleared by the defence after a Spurs corner. A Lucas Moura shot was half blocked and went for another corner. Bournemouth broke out of defence and Stanislas was away down the left flank before he crossed the referee had blown his whistle and King headed into the net. The offence was not offside, but the whistle had been blown for Ndombele’s foul in the midfield, for which he was booked. Gosling was fouled for a cynical foul on Lamela who was breaking forward inside the Bournemouth half.

No less than 12 minutes of added time were indicated. Bournemouth had a free kick floated in from the left, and after a little head tennis, Calum Wilson thought he had scored with an overhead kick when he was next to Vertonghen. On its way to the net the ball hit King’s arm and VAR confirmed that it was handball and “No goal”

Gedson was a late replacement for Aurier and operated down that right flank. Harry Wilson was booked at one end for a foul on Son, but at the other end he was in space on the right and he was only prevented from scoring by Hugo Lloris’s advance and great right-handed save.

Goalkeeper Ramsdale also needed treatment but was able to continue. Harry Kane got to the bye-line right of goal and cut the ball back for Lucas Moura who went down under a Gosling challenge which was deemed fair by the referee.

Had Bournemouth won this game (which they deserved more than our lacklustre side), I might have written “Spurs played like tarts. The Cherries were on top”. Hopefully we’ll never see that headline. It’s a precious point for Eddie Howe’s men, who still have not won a Premier League game for 159 days. This was their first point since the restart.

As for Spurs this was their first back to back clean sheet of the season and only their second in 24 away games. They have managed three clean sheets in four games, but it has not been pretty to watch. We remain in ninth place, still with a chance of Europa League football, but who among us is going to back us to beat Arsenal on Sunday? Not me.

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