The Good, the Bad and the Ugly from the Tottenham Spurs' Draw with West Brom
Two matches, one point. Not the start to the season Spurs were looking for.
For new manager Andre Villas-Boas, it's yet another set-back as he tries to prove his managing abilities on the Premier League stage.
On the bright side, it's the first point Spurs have earned in the month of August since 2010.
So what went right and wrong today to cost Tottenham the full points?
Let's break down the match Clint Eastwood-style.
For the second straight week, Tottenham got the better of play in a non-winning result. Their 59 percent of possession was nice and their nearly double the figure in scoring was even better. Especially in the first portion of the match when the Spurs were dominant.
Gareth Bale played much better today than he did last week, a great sign for the Spurs going forward.
Further, Benoit Assou-Ekotto's long-range efforts were very effective. A free-kick from the Cameroonian nearly produced a goal before his deflected effort actually went in.
The ageless Brad Friedel also played quite well, making a few awesome saves to hold off the opening goal.
But probably the best part for the Spurs was the play of Jan Vertonghen. The new signing looked like he will need no time to adjust to the Premier League as he proved solid in defense. On one occasion, his tackle vitally saved the Spurs from a Romelu Lukaku goal.
For the second straight week, Tottenham had a great deal of trouble putting the ball in the back of the net despite dominating play and taking a good deal more shots. The finishing has been a bit off, but the real problem lies in the final ball, which has been lacking thus far.
Also, the Spurs' defense had a fair bit of trouble handling the big young striker Romelu Lukaku when he came on in the second half. The fact that they were able to stop the young Belgian from producing a goal as long as they did was great, but the amount of bending (yet not breaking) they did was a tad concerning.
The ugly definitely has to be the Spurs' inability to kill the game with their one goal cushion.
Should they have built a more sizable cushion to hold? Yes, but Tottenham still should have won from the position in which they found themselves.
The substitution of Sandro right before the goal was unfortunate, but with Jake Livermore and Jermaine Jenas in the centre of midfield, one would hope that Spurs could have held onto the ball a bit more in the final fifteen minutes and ride the match out.
Instead, they looked shaky at best, always in clear danger of conceding the equalizer.
The return of Scott Parker will hopefully be a bit of a boost in this area, but it is something Tottenham will have to improve upon if they have any hope of making a run this season.
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