My first observation when I saw the starting line-up was simply what has changed?! The system/formation looked exactly the same as last season and other than a change in personal in a couple of positions I saw nothing to suggest a new exciting attaching approach to the game.
Now I like Carlton Cole, always have done, fully aware he is a bit of a marmite character with the fans, however, even when I saw Carlton was leading the line on his own I did let out a sigh of disappointment (well maybe a swear word or two!) Carlton, can’t do this job he is not Andy Carroll and never will be and it frustrates the hell out of me that Allardyce chooses to persist with Carlton in this way. After the red card for Spurs it was the perfect opportunity to go with two up top, a system which suits Carlton’s game better. At half-time Allardyce could have dragged of either fans favourite (joke) Kevin Nolan or Ricardo Vaz Te, both who had been pretty ineffective in the 1st half, however, in fairness to Nolan, he did win the penalty. The fact Allardyce did not do this I feel proves that his mentality will never change, basically make sure you don’t lose the game, which is fair enough, but come on! Spurs were down to 10 men and we were causing them problems, throwing on either Mauro Zarate or Enner Valencia at half-time I believe would have seen us win the game, I may be wrong, we will never know, but come on let’s have a go for crying out loud!
Cheikhou Kouyate looked good, an upgrade on Mohamed Diame who I reckon could now be doing the off. Aaron Cresswell really impressed me at left back, comfortable on the ball, showed a bit of skill and he looked good both in defence and going forward. Our fleeting glimpse of Valencia excited me, he looked quick and pretty strong and caused admittedly a tiring spurs defence some problems.
Mark Noble put in a shift and despite the penalty miss you cannot fault him, was also the best I seen Stewart Downing play in a while. Joey O’Brien was solid, why Allardyce took him off it a bit of a mystery, was he injured? I read on another forum that Guy Demel was brought on because of his height and the fact that Spurs were out-numbering us here?! Not sure if I buy that one!
CJames ollins made his usual rash errors and as soon as we went down to 10 men, you could see what was going to happen! 0-0 would have probably been a fair result given the way Allardyce approached the game, however, had he showed more positivity I believe we would have won the game, despite the penalty miss, as on the day Spurs were poor.
So how do I see things going over the next few weeks then? Much the same I would say, however a couple of defeats to Crystal Palace and Southampton will make things most uncomfortable for the two Davids, but they have dug their own hole here and if they showed some bottle at the end of last season then The Boylen Ground would be a much happier place.