Match Report: Spurs 3 Vitesse 2 (wow! What happened?)
Son Heung-Min (14’minutes), Lucas Moura (22’minutes), Rasmussen (28’minutes og), Romero (Dismissed at59’minutes)
FT HT 3-2
Rasmussen (32’minutes), Bero (39’minutes), Doekhi (Dismissed at80’minutes), Schubert (Dismissed at84’minutes)
Assists for Spurs: Kane (22’minutes)
Assists for Vitesse
Wittek (32’minutes), Gboho (39’minutes)
Yes, wow! What happened?
I had no enthusiasm for this game before the Conte era began when hapless Nuno was in charge… in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if we had lost this match, drawn, or God knows what! But the same players went on to the field that represented Nuno. Then along comes the Lone Ranger (Conte) with Tonto(Levy) by his side and tries to plot a new landscape.
Most fans got to their seats well early (before the actual kick-off) and waited for the Messiah to come out and see his baying audience… and nobody was disappointed. As soon as Conte tread on our hallow turf and the announcer announced God had finally descended on our Tottenham Stadium (ok, a bit of an exaggeration, but why not!), the crowd let rip! He stood bemused, waved, smiled and settled down. We – the supporters – then collectively sat down and waited for the show to begin… or was that for the drama to begin.?
As soon as the whistle went, you could see a change in the players… they had enthusiasm, a spark, a collective intelligence focused on one goal… to give their best.
But before all that… I left home at 1.30 and smoothly arrived in Tottenham at 3.30 and went to Sainsbury’s, from there to the Spurs shop and bought some stuff, then made my way to a café to buy a Cappuccino and back to my car.
Parked up, walked to the stadium’s Premium doors and waited for the sea of glass to part. In the meantime, we spoke with those around us, security friends came up to me for a chat and finally, 5pm arrived, and the doors swung open, and we entered. I got my programme, up two flights of escalators – along with Steve, who I met at the doors – and we made our way to our seats.
As promised, I bought a bottle of Malbec and got six glasses (ended up needing a lot more glasses, plus more bottles), which was to celebrate our new manager. Chatted about… well, you can guess… and then…
[Dave in our group had bought a young lady with him (they worked together), and I chaperoned her around (she was sitting next to me), lovely lady]
A “bit of patience” were the words used by our new manager to describe what happened on the pitch… still, we won, but I am jumping the gun here. Conte was introduced to a highly eventful life at Tottenham in our Europa Conference League victory over Vitesse.
This was a game that had everything; we were reduced to 10 men and the Dutch side to nine. We also nearly threw away an early three-goal lead before eventually scrambling over the line to breathe again.
After the game, Conte said, “In my opinion and my mind, there is a lot of space for improvement for this team, in every single player. We need to have a bit of patience because we need to work on many aspects – tactically and physically, and also, the players have to understand what I want. I’m not afraid about the work, and I know only through the work you can reach important targets.”
As I said, Conte received a passionate welcome after following the sacked and dejected Nuno Espirito Santo. For the first 30 or so minutes, we looked to be giving our new manager the perfect start as we went three goals up inside the first half-hour. “God, what was going on,” some yelled in excitement.
Our Sony boy (nice one!) drove home the first goal in our new era after 14 minutes, with Lucas Moura racing clear to add a second eight minutes later. Jacob Rasmussen looked to have put Spurs out of sight when he bundled into his own net under pressure from our ‘Arry.
But the excellent start looked like it was going to change as we started to look frail as their Rasmussen rose to head home from a corner before Matus Bero’s superb finish reduced the deficit further before half-time.
The second half for Vitesse was totally different, as they were a danger throughout the second half, with Hugo Lloris saving superbly from their substitutes Lois Openda and Riechedly Bazoer.
Then tragedy struck – as we saw it – when Cristian Romero was sent off for a challenge on Openda. But our fears turned to relief when their captain Danilho was shown a second red card for hauling down Kane. The crowd yelled “off” as the lonely Danilho walked off the pitch to loud cheers from our fans. But the drama wasn’t over yet, oh, no, their keeper Markus Schubert quickly followed for handling outside his area as he ran out to clear from Emerson Royal. Oh, things can (and did) change in a heartbeat.
The final whistle saw our team give Conte the win he wanted to move us into second place behind Rennes in Group G. And we’ve still got Rennes to play at home.
Our new manager will have a lot contemplate after watching his new team in action. We started off well (for the first 30 minutes) where the goals were. Then came Vitesse fight back, and at the same time, we eased off the peddle; the players probably thought that they were suddenly back under Nuno’s command.
Yes, patchy performance by us that started in thrilling style before we ran out of energy in the face of a spirited Vitesse response as they threatened to overturn our early advantage.
Conte will have been pleased by the energy and invention shown in those early stages but concerned about how vulnerable Spurs looked when pressure was applied.
For me, Son was a stand-out performer as we looked likely to run amock, but the latter part of the first half and after the break suggested our manager will need to focus on fitness and confidence before Sunday’s visit to Everton.
Conte selected three at the back, employing Romero, Eric Dier and Ben Davies, but were troubled by the pace of Vitesse.
Unlike Nuno (who just watched like a statue), Conte observed attentively from the touchline, urging his players on and rejoicing goals with the enthusiasm that ingratiated him to the Ruskie fans during his highly successful spell at Chelsea.
Conte finally got his win – just – but our performance left a lot of questions for him to sort out. He got a good reception at Spurs, and I am sure fans will give him time to settle down (as they can see the task he has in front of him), but there is only so much goodwill gesture one can give.
Now that is over, we move on to Sunday and face Everton at Goodison Park, and the fun and trepidation starts all over again.
See you at the Everton game.
My name is Glenn Renshaw.
I am currently a Premium Season Ticket holder (West Stand) in the new stadium. Before that – at White Hart Lane – a season ticket holder in various parts of the ground (mainly in the North stand).
Before becoming a season ticket holder, I stood on the shelf and various other parts of the ground since the 1960s (the season of the double). In 1987 I became one of the first to hold a Spurs Membership card. I was also a life long member of the Spurs supporters club (now defunct).
I go to all home, away and abroad matches.
I was born in 1955, Edgware, London. I currently live in Berkshire.
I also collect all Spurs books, Spurs handbooks, Spurs programmes etc.
Previously, I wrote for Spurs Fanzines: The Spur, Spur of the Moment, My Eyes have seen the Glory and various other Spurs fanzines’. I also wrote for the SpursWeb app & its website.
I currently write and work for spursnetwork.com and its website. I write its Reviews & Match reports and a lot more.
My other interests are; reading, history, social history, Politics, going to the gym, wine, going out for a meal, music (all sorts), writing, theatre, concerts, going on holidays, socialising etc.
I have been writing blogs/ articles since 1989
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