Spurs took three points from their visit to the Liberty Stadium and showed a cutting edge that has been missing much of the season.
Swansea started well, dominating possession and creating several chances. Our defense looked vulnerable to through balls, as it has all season. However it was a corner that nearly proved our undoing. Dawson clearly pushed Bony – it looked a definite penalty but the referee gave nothing.
Dawson is starting to look a liability. I have been complaining all season about his lack of pace, which has been met by other supporters pointing out how good he is in the air. Well here he was beaten to a cross and it nearly cost us. Fortunately Chiriches is looking better and better. He cleaned up a lot of Dawson’s mistakes and showed some nice skill going forward, especially his pass that nearly set up Adebayor.
Football is a confidence game and this was evident in the change in mood after the first goal. Swansea had been on top but there had been signs they were vulnerable to the counter attack. Eriksen and Adebayor exploited this weakness to perfection. After the goal Swansea’s players, so composed until that point, appeared nervous. Now they looked like a team who hadn’t won in seven games.
Spurs on the other hand were unrecognisable, confidence oozed from every player. Now they were regularly winning the ball in midfield and cutting through the Swansea backline. Eriksen was showing fantastic invention (he reminds me of Paul Scholes) but Adebayor was the star. When he has his mojo he is unplayable, as good as Drogba in his prime. Before the game I had wanted Sherwood to play Soldado, but I was proved wrong as the Togo forward put in a man of the match display. I still think that this can’t last, it’s not time to ditch Soldado just yet.
I was also very sceptical of our inexperienced manager but you have to hand it to Sherwood. He has 16 points from a possible 18 in the league. Again, it’s early days, but he has the team playing with a lot more freedom and fluidity. Part of this is down to the fact that he has played a relatively unchanged side in the last few games, so the new players have finally got used to playing with each other.
Most of all he has proved himself willing to adapt. I worried he was married to a 4-4-2 but here he played five in midfield. Away at the best passing team in the league this was an obvious move, but he proved he isn’t stubborn or dogmatic.
Swansea must be very worried now with no win in eight in the league. It proves that possession is not all that matters in football. Swansea have had the most possession and passes of any team in the Premier League yet they are hovering just three points above the relegation zone. Here they had 56% of the ball but were convincingly beaten. Copying Barcelona does not make you Barcelona.
There are still big questions about this Spurs side. Away against a team vulnerable to counter attacks was never our problem, at home against an obdurate defense has been our weakness. But with Vertonghen, Sandro, Townsend and Paulinho back soon and the untapped potential of Erik Lamela the future is looking much brighter.
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