Tottenham Hotspur are still yet to record their first win of the new Premier League season, due to a late James Morrison equaliser for West Brom.
Villas Boas named Vertonghen beside Gallas for his Tottenham debut; van der Vaart also took Gyfli Sigurdsson’s place in the Tottenham First XI, in an all but identical line up from last week’s defeat against Newcastle United. Midweek signing Emmanuel Adebayor started the game on the bench, due to his lack of match fitness. Adebayor has hardly had a pre season this summer, due to the ongoing saga, which finally came to an end on Wednesday. Jermain Defoe was preferred to Adebayor, keeping his place upfront after his goal versus Newcastle last weekend.
Tottenham were set to take the three points from their first home game of the season, through a Benoit Assou Ekotto goal in the 72nd minute, only to be denied in the 90th minute by Scotsman, James Morrison.
Like last weekend’s display vs. the Magpies, Tottenham heavily dominated periods of the game; their biggest outlet was on the flanks. Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon regularly attacked the full backs, drilling crosses and shots against West Brom’s back four, but constantly getting nowhere, there was no poacher on the end of the crosses, and no real conviction from shots from Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon.
The biggest applause and cheers of the first half went to Ledley King and Michael Dawson. In the 26th minute, Spurs fans climbed to their feet and put the hands together for a rapturous applause of their recently retired legendary captain, Ledley King, who will command an ambassadorial role for the club. Spurs fans also chanted to defender Michael Dawson, ‘There’s only one Michael Dawson’. The fans seem reluctant to let the popular defender leave.
West Brom were clinging on for their their lives in the first half, especially after new boy Jan Vertonghen should have made it a debut to remember, however his volley went narrowly wide of the post, much to his displeasure. Vertonghen had a solid debut for the North London side; seamlessly fitting into centre back position beside Gallas, the ex Ajax captain looked very comfortable on the ball.
For all Tottenham’s dominance, they hadn’t forced Ben Foster into a save until the 45th minute when Jermain Defoe struck an effort that forced the former Birmingham ‘keeper into action.
This first half display had elements of Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham, dominating vast periods of the game, but lacking the clinical conviction that they needed to go 1-0 ahead. Baggies boss Steve Clarke would not allow his team to give so much possession away in the second half.
Tottenham came out in the second half like they started the first half, dominating possession but again lacking conviction. As soon as van der Vaart came off for new signing Emmanuel Adebayor, West Brom began to have the upper hand, and Romelu Lukaku had the best chance of the game for the Baggies, forcing veteran keeper Brad Friedel into a low save.
The game looked like it was heading towards a draw, or maybe West Brom nicking it, until Benoit Assou Ekotto smashed a very hopeful 25-yard effort past Ben Foster, sending AVB and Spurs fans alike into raptures.
This goal did nothing to defy Clarke’s men, instead they continued to barrage the Tottenham area, and finally got their just rewards, with James Morrison scoring, making it a deserved point for the Baggies. It leaves West Brom with four from a possible six points, whilst Spurs are yet to register their first win of the new campaign.
Tottenham had 21 attempts on goal, but 13 of them were from outside the area, leaving Tottenham fans to question if they need a few more players in before the end of the transfer window. It will take time for Spurs to adjust to AVB’s new project, and will need Levy to heavily back him in the transfer window, however the faith is in the fact that AVB will get the results sooner, rather than later.