Tottenham vs. West Brom: 8 Things We Learned at White Hart Lane
On Saturday afternoon, Tottenham and West Brom played to a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane.
Benoit Assou-Ekotto was the goal scorer for the home side while James Morrison was the hero for the visitors late in the game as he scored the equalizer.
The match was played in two parts, before the substitutes entered the match and after.
The first part of the match was dominated by Spurs, the second half was dominated by the Baggies.
And that is just the start of listing the many things we learned from the match in North London.
Romelu Lukaku Is Capable of Having a Huge Impact on West Brom This Season
After Romelu Lukaku entered the match in the 63rd minute, West Brom looked like a completely different team.
Lukaku replaced Shane Long in a straight swap of forwards in Steve Clarke's lineup, which looked more like a 4-5-1 on Saturday.
Playing as the lone striker up front, Lukaku had no problem getting to the ball and playing physically with the Tottenham defense, mainly his fellow Belgian Jan Vertonghen.
The 19-year-old loan signing from Chelsea was the player who earned most of the Baggies' five corners. All of them came after his introduction into the match. Lukaku will play a huge part in the club's success this season.
Jan Vertonghen Proved Why He Was Highly Sought After This Summer
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The other Belgian player who had a huge impact on the result of this match was Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen.
Vertonghen did not have much to do in the first half while his teammates dominated possession on the other half of the pitch, but he played a big role in the second half.
The 25-year-old defender was all over Lukaku throughout the match; without his defending, Spurs could have lost by a goal or two.
The former Ajax man also showed that he is not afraid to join the attack, as he had a chance in the box halfway through the first half but he did mishit the shot, something every Spurs player was doing in the first half.
Tottenham Need an Aerial Threat at Forward Position at All Times
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Tottenham feature a long list of wingers that are able to cross the ball into the box but Saturday showed that they do not have an aerial threat to finish those crosses.
Of course, there is a very easy answer to that problem: insert Emmanuel Adebayor into the starting 11.
Adebayor is almost a foot higher than Jermain Defoe, who started Saturday's match up front, and could have easily scored two or three goals if he played the full 90 minutes Saturday.
The formation that Andre Villas-Boas has set Tottenham up in has an attacking mindset but it also requires speed on the outside and a physical presence up front.
Now that Adebayor is officially a Spurs player, his transfer from Manchester City was completed last week, he will be a welcome addition to the starting lineup and an upgrade from Defoe.
West Brom Will Not Be a Pushover Against the Top Clubs
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After two matches under Steve Clarke this season, West Brom have shown that they are a rejuvenated side that will put up a fight against anyone.
By going into White Hart Lane on Saturday and playing the match their way, they were almost able to come away with a win.
The Baggies defended for most of the first half; a combination of talent on defense and poor finishing by Spurs kept them in the match.
In the second half. Clarke was able to make substitutions that benefited his club without sacrificing anyone on defense.
If the Baggies keep a somewhat similar game plan in their matches against the other big clubs in the EPL like both Manchester clubs, Chelsea and Newcastle, they will be far from a pushover in any of those matches.
Brad Friedel May Be 41, but He Can Still Play at a High Level
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While the focus of many fans and critics alike was on the younger players out on the pitch like the 19-year-old Lukaku, the oldest man on the pitch proved that he can still hang with the youngsters.
Tottenham's first-choice goalkeeper Brad Friedel, 41, came up with some key saves as West Brom pressured the Spurs' net in the second half.
However, the wily old American veteran did need some help.
Friedel did need the help of his defenders late in the game, as both Benoit Assou-Ekotto and William Gallas had to make clearances off the goal line with their heads.
The former Blackburn and Aston Villa keeper has been an upgrade from Heurelho Gomes since the start of last season.
Spurs will, however, have to go after a replacement for the keeper in the near future because Friedel cannot play forever.
West Brom Should Have a Better Attacking Mindset
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Last week against Liverpool, Steve Clarke started two forwards—Shane Long and Peter Odemwingie—as well as Zoltan Gera up front, and it resulted in three goals.
On Saturday against Tottenham, Clarke only employed Long in his starting 11 as the lone forward.
Instead of putting another forward alongside Long, Marc-Antoine Fortune and Graham Dorrans started as wingers but operated in the midfield instead of alongside the Irishman.
Clarke does have a few options on his bench with Odemwingie, Lukaku and Markus Rosenberg all available.
As the Liverpool match taught us, the Baggies perform better in Clarke's 4-2-1-3 formation if the three players up front are all goal scorers.
Gareth Bale Is Getting Better with Each Season Under His Belt
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Ever since his breakout season during the 2010-11 campaign, Gareth Bale has improved in front of our eyes every season.
His performance on Saturday stood out as the Welsh midfielder carved up the West Brom defense time after time.
Tottenham followed a simple strategy in the first half, let Bale run down the left side and after he gets past all the defenders, have him cross it into the box.
Unfortunately for Bale, there was either no one there to finish off his cross or the player who got on the end of the cross failed to make a decent attempt on goal.
If his showing on Saturday is a sign of things to come this season, Bale may just be the player of the year in the Premier League, especially if someone decides to start scoring off of his crosses.
It Is Still Too Early to Make Any Judgements on Andre Villas-Boas
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Andre Villas-Boas came into the 2012-13 season as the manager who was scrutinized the most by the media because of his failure at Chelsea last season.
In his first two EPL games with his new club, Villas-Boas has seen his club lose to a strong Newcastle side on the road and draw with a spirited West Brom club at home.
Some people are already criticizing Villas-Boas and if he is going to last a full season.
After two games, there is no way you can tell how the season will be going once May comes around.
The next three matches for Spurs are against clubs that are not as strong as their first two opponents.
If Spurs fail to get at least seven points out of their upcoming matches with Norwich, Reading and QPR, then it will be time for concern and panic at White Hart Lane about their new manager.