After somewhat of a rocky start, things are just fine over at White Hart Lane.
Tottenham Hotspur supporters have plenty of reasons to feel at least a little optimistic about the Andre Villas-Boas era following consecutive league victories. Spurs were far from perfect in their comeback win against QPR this past Sunday, and they technically found the back of the net just once. They also played their first truly solid second half of the season, and they were undeniably the better overall side during the game's final 30 minutes. Spurs beating the likes of Reading and QPR may not provide visions of a team capable of finishing in the top four in the league table, but Tottenham had to start somewhere.
Winning games you're supposed to win is just as important as beating top-tier sides.
3 final thoughts on Spurs 2-1 QPR: Rocky beginning
Spurs acquired US international Clint Dempsey on deadline day to bolster an attack that had floundered throughout the opening stages of the campaign, but he has yet to play a part in a goal since joining the club. Part of that is bad luck, as one (very) questionable offside call during the team's Europa League showdown against Lazio took a goal off the scoreboard, and he was also robbed of an assist on Sunday when Jermain Defoe couldn't remain onside before Dempsey played the front man into the box.
The US Soccer star has looked a bit anxious in his first matches with his new club, firing off multiple shots from long distances and poor angles. To his credit, Dempsey seemed to get much more comfortable as Sunday's match went on, thanks in part to AVB switching things up at halftime. It seems very clear just a couple of games into his Tottenham career that Dempsey will be an asset moving forward when it comes to creating space for teammates such as Gareth Bale and the previously mentioned Defoe. Opening his Spurs account would also do wonders in the "I need to impress my new manager" department.
3 final thoughts on Spurs 2-1 QPR: Hard to drop
One could easily make an argument that the Tottenham attack is better off with Emmanuel Adebayor and not the previously mentioned Defoe in the team's starting lineup. Starting Ade over Defoe could prove to be easier said than done for Villas-Boas. The red hot Defoe found his fourth goal in five league matches on Sunday, tapping in a rebound that put Spurs up 2-1 with about a half-hour to play. Including international duty, Defoe has now scored six goals in his last nine games.
Defoe is a frustrating player with his shoot first, pass never mentality, a striker who consistently struggles to remain onside at the worst possible times. Still, It's hard to complain too much about a guy who is one solid afternoon away from averaging a goal per league match. With Adebayor likely to not be at match fitness when Spurs are away to Manchester United this coming Saturday, Defoe should get the start for that contest. I don't see how Villas-Boas could drop the England front man anytime soon if he scores a goal that helps Spurs earn a positive result at Old Trafford.
3 final thoughts on Spurs 2-1 QPR: A problem?
Veteran goalkeeper Brad Friedel had himself another great outing, proving to any and all doubters that the starting gig at Tottenham remains his to lose. The issue of Friedel not coming off of his line to defend against set pieces hasn't gone anywhere, however, and it nearly cost Tottenham a goal a few times during the second half of Sunday's game. While this proved to be a "no big deal" matter since QPR never found an equalizer, and Friedel can't be blamed for the first goal surrendered by Spurs on Sunday, it is at least a little concerning. Every set piece Tottenham defend is, just as it was last spring, an adventure. That's never a good feeling to have. Discussions about age and athleticism aside, Friedel must excel at all aspects, not just making great 1-v-1 saves, if Spurs are going to flirt with a top four finish next spring.
If he can't, then Hugo Lloris should get more and more starts as time goes on.