Watford 0 (0)
Sunday 5th August 2012
Venue : Vicarage Road
Tottenham Hotspur 1 (0)
Kick off 15:00
|Crowd : 9,218||Weather : -|
|Referee : Mr. T. Kettle (-)||Assistant Referees : -|
|Fourth Official : -||-|
|Watford kicked off and played towards the Vicarage Road end in the first half.|
|Watford :||kit||Tottenham Hotspur :||kit|
(c) (Hodson 75)
Livermore ( -
18 Defoe ( - Kane 66)
|Manager : Gianfranco Zola||Manager : Andre Villas-Boas|
|Sponsor : None||Shirt sponsor : Aurasma|
|Kit Supplier : Burrada||Kit Supplier : Under Armour|
Tottenham didn't have to do much to beat Watford in Lloyd Doyley's Testimonial match and the 1-0 win might well have ended Watford's season. With Giancarlo Zola putting together a new squad under new owners, there is still some work to do and if he keeps pulling shaven headed fat blokes out of pubs to play at centre half and left back there might not be much hope for him.
Although the score was the same as the FA Cup tie earlier in the year, the match itself was nothing like as compelling. Watford looked unable to hold onto the ball for long and only had three real chances in the whole game. When it is customary to give the person who is having the testimonial a penalty to score, even that wasn't on the cards, as the Hornets rarely got in the box.
Spurs started with a strong first team line up with Jenas in the two of the 4-2-3-1 and Tom Carroll in the three. In the first half the high line seemed to work a bit better, with Watford caught offside a number of times and the home team found it difficult to exploit the space between the back line and the keeper. As for Spurs, they failed to retain possession that well, with the last pass being too late allowing it to be picked off or often it was over-hit when it was a longer pass.
Naughton and Lennon did link well on the right, with Kyle threading balls inside the full back and there was also a good amount of work put in on behalf of the two in front of the back four, making space ot receive the ball and to close down the opposition when they had the ball.
There were few chances in the opening 45 minutes, with Gallas heading over when allowed a free header from a corner and Mark Yeates, the former Spurs midfielder, tested Brad Friedel with a stinging shot that the American pushed aside with strong hands. Other than that it was pretty dull stuff.
I did learn things in the first half and maybe that was more than AVB did about the side. I learned we had signed some new players ... namely O'Jenas (as that was what the woman behind me said every time it went near him) and a forward called Chermane. This continued into the second period, when new players too to the pitch - Andrios Townsend and Hell Bentley !!
With half-time and a rash of substitutions there seemed to be a little more hope for the second half. Spurs replaced Jenas with Sigurdsson, Friedel with Cudicini and Gallas with Vertonghen. It was the first time I had seen our new signings in the flesh, having been on holiday for the Stevenage match.
Both were working hard and both demonstrated what they will offer the team. Sicgurdsson was busy and showed a fine turn on the edge of the box to leave his marker, but the ball got stuck under his feet and the chance was gone. The Belgian centre half broke up Watford attacks and strode out with the ball, taking it deep into Watford territory. Once he had a shot clocked and on another occasion, he played it wide to Townsend. The lively winger proved a handful for the full back and put in a couple of decent crosses and cut inside to force Alumnia in the Watford goal to dive full length to save. The former Arsenal keeper was the pantomime villain as he was booed throughout by the Spurs fans.
But this was after Tottenham had gone ahead. Lennon slipped the ball wide to Kyle Walker and he breezed past the dumpy full back who had come on in the eighth minute to replace new signing Pudil, who did a hamstring very early on, collapsing to the ground away from the action. Unfortunately, he was no match for Kyle who put in a fine cross that missed out Gylfi at the near post and left Jermain Defoe a free header in the centre of the goal and standing on the six yard line. He thumped his header past Almunia to put Tottenham into the lead ten minutes into the second half.
While Defoe got a little greedy after this and ignored players in better positions, as he tried to shoot nearly every time he got the ball, Yeates was still a thorn in our side, operating down the Watford left. He tricked his way past two Spurs men to cross over the heads of the Watford player sin the box and then picked the ball off Kaboul to shoot on the angle fro the left, taking the ball wide of the far post with a curling effort.
Sigurdsson tried his luck a couple of times, but the ball went over the bar, while Bale suffered the same fate before he was substituted.
The game was a little more pacy than some of the US matches, but not a lot and it was as physical as some of the tour friendlies, although Watford were more up for that side of the game than Spurs.
So, it was a good run-out with 19 players getting some time on the pitch. Valencia are next as the difficulty of opponent steps up for the start of the season. It might be a relatively representative first XI, but Sandro will still be missing, Modric (or A. N. Other) has to be fitted in and a new striker still remains a priority. The game in Spain might spell out what we need quite plain.
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