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That's That Spurs I Do Like: Tottenham vs. Manchester United

Mechanick's new column looking at what went right and what went wrong in Tottenham Hotspur's previous match.

Shaun Botterill - Getty Images

Well, that was crazy. Tottenham Hotspur two days ago won against Manchester United in Old Trafford for the first time since before I was born (284 days, to be specific). That's a solid 23 years end of hurt, while at the same time launching Tottenham up the table. This Tottenham Hotspur now can call itself among the league's elite despite a slow start, as three straight wins have pushed the team into 5th place.

So in honor of my love of hip-hop, Tottenham Hotspur, and consistent writing topics I've decided to launch a new post-game column, "That's That Spurs I Do/Don't Like", with the penultimate word determined by whether there was more to like or dislike from the previous game. So let's get started:

That's That Spurs I Do Like

William Gallas- Look, I've probably slacked off Gallas as much as anyone around here. Gallas can be incredibly frustrating in certain games throughout the season, trying in vain to make the same plays at age 35 he could make a decade ago. However, then Gallas will have games like this where we marshalls a Spurs defense facing a blitz and look glorious doing so. I'm not sure Gallas is the guy you will want out there every once the defense gets healthier, but damn if he isn't a big game player.

Jan Vertonghen- There's not much more plaudits we can give our new Belgian superstar. An audacious 1-2 pass and run saw Vertonghen scoring the opener within the first minute in Old Trafford. Vertonghen did well to hold Nani and had some massive clearances to hold the lead. Quite frankly, I don't think we have seen a defender of this class for the Lilywhites since a young Ledley King was afoot. Vertonghen is that good.

Gareth Bale- Gareth Bale has now scored right-footed goals in two games in a row. I think the Mayan Apocalypse is definitely on deck. This is not to mention his assist on the opening goal and blazing shot that set up Dempsey's winner. Weezus back, Weezus back, there's all these Yiddos screaming that Weezus back.

Clint Dempsey- Speaking of Dempsey, 90% of what he did on Saturday would have him falling into the latter camp of Spurs we don't like. But then of course he popped up and had the game-winning goal. I'd caution all Spurs supporters that Deuce can be endlessly frustrating, but his high work rate and penchant for popping up with moments of brilliance far outweighs his negatives.

Sandro and Moussa Dembele- That was about as disciplined a Sandro performance as I can remember, and he has to be commended for largely doing well in checking the deep drops of Wayne Rooney and Shinji Kagawa. Dembele, on the other hand proved once and for all that he is a real center midfielder, not just an attacking midfielder dropped deep. Fine defense from the new addition.

Steven Caulker- First Premier League start with Spurs? Oh how, about Manchester United today. Caulker wasn't perfect, but damn if he wasn't impressive on his Spurs league debut.

That's That Spurs I Don't Like

Kyle Walker- Well, this has been coming for Walker. He is a defender in name only, since defending is pretty much the only thing he wasn't doing on the pitch Saturday. Walker's horrendous marking left Shinji Kagawa wide open for United's second goal. At this point Walker needs to drastically improve or be replaced. With Kyle Naughton's health looming, it might just be time to give a shot to the player who proved so much on loan with Norwich last season.

Brad Friedel- This is perhaps a bit harsh on Friedel. Neither goal could be determined as his fault at all. Yet you never felt that Friedel anticipated either, getting in the right places or barking orders to his defenders on who to mark. Friedel needs to be commended for some of the big saves he had, but you cannot help but wonder if Hugo Lloris could do the job better.

Jermain Defoe- No fault of Defoe's really, but Tottenham's hold-up play was largely non-existent. Defoe is an amazing presence in the counter-attack and when Tottenham need goals. But it seems on paper that Emmanuel Adebayor should fit much better into AVB's system once healthy.


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