The "glass is half-empty" group of Tottenham Hotspur supporters would be quick to point out that Spurs will end this season having taken just two points from six from Norwich City, and also remind all that Norwich knocked Tottenham out of the League Cup back at the end of October. The "glass is half-full" crowd, on the other hand, would mention how well Spurs played in the final 20 minutes of today's contest, and also that they were a bit unlucky to not find a winner at the death. Regardless of where you stand in that argument, the fact is that Tottenham still haven't lost in league play since December 16, and they also remain alone in fourth place in the table.
That's good enough for today.
Norwich 1-1 Spurs: Hope for the future
It will be interesting to see what manager Andre Villas-Boas does with his starting lineup moving forward after what went down at Carrow Road. Tottenham were utterly flat and fortunate to only be down a single goal when new signing Lewis Holtby made his Spurs debut in the 71st minute. Holtby immediately injected life into the attack of the visitors, displaying Van der Vaart-esque one-touch ability that caught the Norwich defense, not to mention teammates such as Aaron Lennon, a bit off-guard.
An overall lack of creativity in the midfield has burdened Tottenham since the end of summer. While it would be wise to avoid getting overly excited about 20+ minutes of football, Holtby sure looked like the real deal against Norwich defenders who couldn't handle the 22-year old. Don't be shocked if Holtby gets the start on Sunday at West Brom.
Norwich 1-1 Spurs: His best
The equalizer buried by Gareth Bale nine minutes from time was an example of the winger at his absolute best. Bale accepted the ball in the midfield before crossing over into Norwich territory. The Welshman who has been accused of diving on multiple occasions kept his feet after being clipped, and he eventually cut between two defenders inside the penalty area before depositing a left-footed swirling shot into the far corner of the net. It was a goal that mirrored what was his second tally of the December 2011 meeting between these sides at Carrow Road, and one that also kept Spurs ahead of Everton in the league table until at least the start of the weekend.
Norwich 1-1 Spurs: Story remains the same
What was true for Spurs at the start of the day remains true following the 1-1 draw: This team still needs another quality defensive midfielder and another striker. Scott Parker did well in shutting down several Norwich attacks during Wednesday's contest, but it was again clear that he has a ways to go before he is back at full fitness (there's a worry that he may not get there). Tottenham will find themselves in a bad way if they lose Parker to injury/fatigue for a significant amount of time between now and May.
Jermain Defoe and an out-of-form Emmanuel Adebayor alone are also not going to cut it up top. Clint Dempsey has netted five goals in 2013, but he's also been an invisible man in two games; at QPR on January 12 and today. Defoe's inability to score on any of three golden opportunities at Norwich offered another reminder that the inconsistent front man can be the most frustrating player in the team when he's off his game.
There are, as of the posting of this piece, a little over 24 hours left before the close of the transfer window. All indications are that Spurs will not be big movers on January 31. That could prove to be a major mistake, as I'm not convinced that Tottenham have the depth to earn Champions League football this spring. That same problem cost Spurs dearly last season.
Don't let it happen again, Mr. Levy.
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