Spurs fans came here in numbers, and also butted in at Monsieur Salut!s ESPN pages, to dismiss the result as a function of Sunderland fielding their best side – they haven’t heard the name Steven Fletcher – against a bunch of under-9s. Were they as weakened as the SAFC team that nearly snatched a point at Tottenham’s pleasant little stadium in May? Pete Sixsmith puts them in their place and administers a roasting to Sky’s drearily anti-Sunderland pundit …
What a good start to our pre-season and on TV as well. I am not surprised that Spurs fans have pooh-poohed the result, but they can pooh-pooh all they want; we will take no notice of their pooh-poohing and shall take enormous satisfaction from pooh-poohing them back. So there!!!
For a group of players who have not played together a great deal, I thought we did really well. Star of the show for me was Cabral, who, on this performance, looks less like the new Christian Bassila and more like the new Kevin Ball as he did an excellent box-to-box 80 minutes.
He can tackle and he can finish. He took the equaliser really well, sliding it past Gomes with aplomb. He did not appear to tire in the humidity and could prove to be a very useful acquisition.
Altidore also looked strong, although his finishing was a tad wayward, but he brings some muscle to the front line and formed a good partnership with Sess, who had one of those games where you just want to hide him away afterwards in case any of the big boys were watching.
The new keeper made a couple of good saves and it will be interesting to see how things pan out between him and Westwood. It looks a close call at the moment.
Three of the subs who came on were “newbies” with Ba and Moberg Karlsson getting a fair bit of time. In fact, the Swede set up the second and scored the third. Roberge made a fleeting performance at the end.
There was also a new central defender, who had a passing resemblance to Wes Brown. Whoever he was, he headed the ball like Brown, tackled like Brown and linked up brilliantly with John O’Shea. And yes, it was Wes Brown.
What I liked was the shape that we had (that’ll be the PDC fitness regime working, Pete – ed) and the fact that players knew what they had to do.
For sure, it was not the strongest Spurs team (although all of their starting line-up were established Premier League players) but that should take nothing away from a hugely enjoyable performance and win and something which gives us a degree of optimism for the new season.
My enjoyment of this impressive performance in the former British colony was spoiled by the whining and moaning coming from failed football manager, Trevor Francis. Why are these people employed? He knew nothing about and had no interest in Sunderland and predicted a defeat and a relegation struggle. He had no knowledge of the new players and little more of the established ones. Utterly clueless.
I look forward to reading Goldsmith Major’s next report from Hong Kong and in depth analysis if he ever sobers up!!!
And many thanks to Malcolm Dawson for allowing me to watch it at his house while he went off to do his voluntary stint at the Naturist Reserve (that calls to mind some of the beaches near where I am and may be a slip of Sixer’s finger on keypad. Unless Howden-le-Wear has become racier than I remember, Malcolm may actually have been at a nature reserve – ed).
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