This time last year we played Spurs on the opening day and, although the result today was the same (another defeat) the two performances were poles apart. There were plenty positives to take.
We were camped in our own half when we played them a year ago, we barely had an effort on goal and didn’t really lay a glove on them. Yes Shelvey’s red card changed the game back in August 2017, but we went toe to toe to them today and showed once again that we’re more than capable of competing at this level.
Unfortunately, we’ve come away pointless once again today, but it was a performance that will give plenty people hope for the 37 games of the season that now remain.
Kenedy was absolutely brilliant. Strong, skilful and the one player who was constantly driving us forward. Comfortably our best player on the pitch, although Ritchie also impressed – with his cross for Joselu’s goal being one of the best deliveries you’re likely to see all season.
Kenedy destroying Spurs' midfield, one of our own. pic.twitter.com/34Hk0L3hm0
— Mod (@CFCMod) August 11, 2018
On the subject of Joselu, it was great to see him get an early confidence boost. He actually put in a decent shift and wasn’t that bad, but we’ll only get better once Rondon and Muto find their feet.
Rondon looks a handful (albeit not yet match fit) and Muto made some really intelligent runs, with both playing a part in the last half an hour – although the game seemed to fizzle out really. Spurs tired and we did too.
Ritchie was fuming to be replaced and you can see why when you look at how little Atsu offered when he came on. He looked half asleep and offered absolutely nothing.
On another day we’d have got a point. Kenedy’s one-on-one, Rondon hit the woodwork and Diame smashed the post – all chances that we weren’t creating when we played them this time last season.
Spurs are a quality side – and they fielded a much stronger side than most were expecting – but we’ll be frustrated by the two goals we’ve conceded. One set piece and another where we’ve just switched off at the back post – although the cross from Aurier was outstanding.
The one big worry is the injury Yedlin seems to have picked up. It doesn’t look good. He landed awkwardly on his knee and could barely even make his way up the steps as he headed down the tunnel for treatment.
He was poor today, but that’s not the point. Our lack of cover in that area is bad enough without him facing a long spell on the sidelines. I wonder why Rafa was asking for full-back cover on deadline day..
Cardiff away next weekend. Play like that again and we won’t be pointless for long.