Well, that certainly wasn't dull! Once again, Tottenham Hotspur have not brought their best performance. Once again, they have turned an entirely average performance into a 3-1 road win, this time over West Bromwich Albion. No, we didn't do anything nearly as bad as that second half against Fulham, but for long portions of this game I was going into cardiac arrest. We pulled it out, and we made it hard. Then, we made the score look good at the end. All thanks to Manny being Manny.
I refer, of course, to Emmanuel Adebayor, who is now the footballing version of future Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Manny Ramirez. Throughout his time in the bigs, Manny hit home runs on a very consistent basis while also looking like he was not trying at times, striking out at random, and generally acting like a dickhead. When someone asked Mike Hargrove about Manny's antics, he stated that it was just a case of "Manny being Manny." And thus, the phrase was born.
For much of this match, Manny looked like he didn't care and acted like a dickhead. He drifted out to the left for no reason. He gave the ball away a few times. He missed sitters. Surely, if Manny were on his game and focused, he would have scored six times. The purists (read: those who despise fun) will call his performance lazy and attack his character. I don't care, because he scored twice. Manny. Being. Manny.
Before we recap, an admission: Lee Probert was a bit shaky today. He did not make any obviously egregious errors - missing the kind of stuff a blind man could see - but his calls were favorable for Tottenham Hotspur. Every single 50-50 call went our way. He could have avoided giving us a penalty. He could have given WBA a couple. He could have sent off Sandro. All of these were iffy calls that could have gone either way. We got all of them. The referee did not cost WBA the game, but he did them no favors.
Anyway, we were crap in the first half! Only some good luck, Brad Friedel and poor finishing kept WBA from going up by more than one goal after 45 minutes. Their one goal came in the 10th minute, and it was not Younes Kaboul's finest hour. After losing a challenge with Shane Long to allow WBA to start the move, Kaboul failed to pick up a run from Youssef Mulumbu into the box, allowing him to score with a fantastic finish, assisted by a great Steven Reid cross.
WBA continued to control the possession and push forward, but Probert granted Spurs a penalty in the 25th minute. With Aaron Lennon running at goal, the painfully slow Nicky Shorey couldn't do any better than pushing him down, which Probert spotted. Ben Foster saved Adebayor's terrible penalty attempt, but he pounced on the rebound and finished to tie up the match.
We needed changes at halftime...and we didn't really make any. We looked slightly better, but were still second best for long periods of the second half. We created considerably more chances, all of which we missed. Ben Foster made a couple of spectacular saves. Honestly, most of the half was a blur. I was too much of a nervous mess to take notes. Sorry!
Jermain Defoe found the winner in the 81st minute with a stunning strike. After dribbling through what seemed like the entire WBA defense, Defoe unloaded an absolute scorcher into the back of the net from 20 yards out. Following his five-goal reserve performance, it was no more than we should have expected from Defoe.
Manny added another one in stoppage time, "assisted" by Gareth Bale and a deflection. It was as if he planned it that way the whole time. Miss five sitters, score the garbage goal.
Troll so hard, that shit cray.