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Thoughts on the Tottenham defeat

Peter Crouch wheels away after scoring the winner against Manchester City. (Picture from Getty Images).
Peter Crouch wheels away after scoring the winner against Manchester City. (Picture from Getty Images).

Fine margins.

A cliche perhaps, but it is something I have referred to throughout the second part of the season but in a game that was seemingly headed for a draw and on to the final day set of fixtures, Tottenham got themselves a late winner that for all of the energy and work rate, in truth we never looked like getting.

The press this morning appear unified in the belief that Tottenham were worthy winners last night. I can't say I agree. It wasn't the game I was expecting. Far from a fast paced attacking encounter, the first hour was a more subdued affair. City displaying a degree of control and possession that we have come to expect in recent times, but unable to create much in the way of opportunities. Tottenham on the other hand carved out the best chances, but their ball retention was poor and too often resorted to the option of hitting long to Crouch.

The longer the game went on though, the more Tottenham sensed their chance. When Gareth Barry went off injured the momentum seemed to swing definitely in favour of the visitors - who actually played against City's ten men for a few minutes whilst City dallied over their substitution.  Despite a later injection of pace with the introduction of Shaun Wright-Phillips, it could not provide the spark needed to get the goal that was so desperately needed.

It was concerning that despite the confidence and neat build up play, once again when it truly mattered City were unable to find the penetration required to make the difference. Games previously against Everton, United and Arsenal have been in a similar vein, and yielded similar frustrations. It does appear that Roberto Mancini will be in charge next season (which is a positive step) but this is certainly an area that will need improving.

As the dust begins to settle, it certainly doesn't feel like a defeat in a cup-final that the press built it up to be. Far from it. Disappointing of course, but the overriding feeling is that the club is very much heading in the right direction and with the right additions (one or two in key areas, not a radical overhaul) over the summer, the club is certainly well placed to improve upon this season, which, when you take a step back to look at what has been achieved has seen far more positives than any other season in recent memory.