Well, that was annoying. Tottenham Hotspur played a mostly first-choice side against Panathinaikos with three exceptions: Michael Dawson, Tom Huddlestone and Hugo Lloris all started. Eight first-choice starters and the three established professionals that joined them couldn't get the job done against a poor Panathinaikos side as the two teams drew 1-1.
Dawson opened the scoring in the first half by heading in a Tom Huddlestone free kick, but Spurs didn't show much urgency for the rest of the match, and appeared to assume their 1-0 lead was safe. Toche equalized for the home side in the 77th minute, touching in a cross by Giorgios Seitaridis after making a good run that cut between Steven Caulker and Dawson. Spurs never looked like equalizing.
- I'm never going to truly be upset about a Europa League result unless it's a final, but I am truly annoyed.
- If any of the eight players who started look tired or start slow against Aston Villa this weekend, I'm going to be kind of angry.
- Dawson's header was brilliant. The goal also showed why he's fifth choice now. A younger, faster Dawson might have caught up to that ball, and he was never even that fast. He doesn't suit a team that plays a high line.
- The Panathinaikos goal also shows why Dawson isn't on the Gallas-Vertonghen-Kaboul level quite yet. He's fourth for a reason as well. One of those three probably would have anticipated that ball a bit better.
- Huddlestone looked sharp for most of the game. It looks like he's finally approaching full fitness and that he's capable of playing in real games, at real game speed. However, this match was pretty slow.
- We should have gotten more minutes for Andros Townsend. And maybe a start for Adam Smith, because he's not any worse at defending than Kyle Walker is. But he wasn't in the 18.
- Lazio beat Maribor, so we're looking like the clear No. 2 team in this group, which is embarrassing because Serie A is absolute crap at the moment.