Sunday, 6 February 2011

Last minute heroes


Returning to the 'Who are those strange men in white shirts?' theme...

And apologies, it's a bit statty, this one. I will try and drop in a few swears just to spice it up.

'Resilience', 'Belief', 'Determination'. Not three words we traditionally associate with our lilly-livered Lillywhites. A depressing management training course in Woking, possibly, but not Spurs.

This season, though, here's what we've done from 85 minutes onwards:

On the Plus Side

Wolves (h)
Turned one point into three
Pav 87; Hutton 90+1

Arsenal (a)
Turned one point into three
Kaboul 85

Liverpool (h)
Turned one point into three
Lennon 90+2

Newcastle (a)
Turned 0 points into one
Lennon 90+1

Bolton (h)
Turned one point into three
Kranjcar 90+2

That's nine points won either in the last five or in injury time.

That's more than 20 per cent of all our points.

Without them we'd be below Sunderland.


On the Negative Side

Astonishingly, nothing. Two negatives that are wholly positive. Haven't dropped a single point from 85 mins onwards.

As far as I can work out, in fact, on six occasions we've gone into the last five minutes leading by one goal. And every time, we've hung on. That sounds so improbable I'm literally going to go and check that right now. Wait there.

Hi, I'm back. Yep, six games. No fails:

Stoke (a)
Villa (h)
Fulham (a)
Villa (a)
Fulham (h)
Blackburn (a)

We did give up leads quite late against Chelsea, Birmingham and Sunderland. But not late late. Not kick the cat late.

The reason must be partly down to having that 'strong bench' people keep talking about. (We'll need it, too, when Thud comes back from injury and eases himself back into action with a couple of stints as sub. He's quite heavy, see. It's a bit like a joke, only not funny.)

But it must also be something to do with that change in psyche we so desperately need.

There are no extra points on offer for drama, for leaving it late. But God those wins and draws feel like they're worth more. In fact, very few things in life feel as good as a last minute winner. Okay, maybe a few, but none that should be done on a cold Saturday afternoon at White Hart Lane in the manly embrace of m'colleague.

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