Stoke City are more defensive than a turkey in the approach to Christmas. Perhaps it was inevitable that the well-drilled Potters backline would neutralise Spurs’ frustrated forward flurries and earn their ninth clean sheet of the season. More surprising, maybe, was that the home side managed a second straight shut-out of their own.
Few can deny that Tony Pulis organises his teams effectively with an almost unrivalled resilience, but if Stoke were playing in your back garden you would probably draw the curtains and hope for a sudden infestation of triffids. It is football, but not as we choose to know it.
I started the morning with every intention of heading to White Hart Lane (despite another impromptu ‘home’ move) yet instead spent the afternoon watching a chick flick at the cinema while gazing at my phone for match updates. The girlfriend had a spot of ‘lady trouble’and I made a late judgment call that I would rather watch a girlie movie in the company of a premenstrual woman than be hypnotized by the windmill-like arms of Ryan Shawcross.
In the post-match, perspective-free climate where hysteria reigns and you are only as good as your last result then this draw was a minor disappointment, but Spurs head into Christmas on equal points with the third place team whose fans were burning replica shirts just 11 days ago.
The intense festive period usually throws up a mixed bag of results yet the Andre Villas-Boas reign is more than keeping pace. Be hopeful, but most of all be patient. And pray for triffids ahead of the next Stoke game.
***May I wish all readers of this blog a very Happy Christmas. Your support and readership is greatly appreciated. Have a memorable time this holiday season, in whatever way you choose to spend it.