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Ratings: Who failed to support Heurelho Gomes against Spurs?

 

Heurelho Gomes  9
Tottenham fans wouldn’t have recognised this goalkeeper from the one who made his last appearance at White Hart Lane in November 2011. If Gomes regularly put in this sort of performance during his time at Spurs, Brad Friedel and then Hugo Lloris would not have been signed to replace him. Made a number of fine saves, including one from Ben Davies and one with his legs from Son at his near post. Punched, parried and clawed away countless crosses into his six-yard box. Kane demanded a penalty when Gomes caught him from behind but it would have been harsh. Gomes stressed pre and post-match that he did not go back to his old club with a point to prove, but he certainly played like someone with the bit between his teeth.

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Allan Nyom 5
Showed more composure and awareness in defence than in previous games, meaning Quique Sanchez Flores did not, this time, have to coach him through the match. But the right-back is still Watford’s weakest position. The Cameroon international got off to a shaky start when he attempted to usher out a long ball for a goal kick but, under the pressure of Erik Lamela, conceded a corner. Was more successful in his following attempts but was careless in possession and struggled against Ben Davies and then substitute Deli Alli. Got in the way of a Davies shot early on but Tottenham’s goal came from a low Alli cross which Nyom should have blocked. Showed glimpses of his old form going forward but his chances to venture into Tottenham’s final third were limited.

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Craig Cathcart 8
How on earth did Watford pick him up for free? When at his best, as he often is, Cathcart’s positioning, awareness and sense of danger is of the highest order. Used his head, feet and chest to aid Gomes in dealing with Tottenham’s onslaught of balls in the box. Some of his acrobatic efforts to clear the ball, such as the one in which he prevented a Kieran Trippier cross from finding Kane or Mousa Dembele, would be pointed out by every pundit had Vincent Kompany performed them. Was caught out by an Alli pass to Lamela in the second half but quickly recovered and forced the winger into attempting an ambitious lob, which Gomes saved. Celebrating his 27th birthday yesterday, Cathcart is not even at his peak yet.

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Miguel Britos 6
Still feeling the effects from his midweek illness and was not at his best at White Hart Lane. Was beaten too easily by a long ball over his head from Eric Dier, and will have been relieved that Kane fired the effort over the bar. Received a kick to the leg from Lamela and went down injured. Limped off amid unjustified boos from the home fans. The hectic nature of the Premier League, where the games come thick and fast, are catching up with the 30-year-old.

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Nathan Ake 6
Sanchez Flores showed enormous faith in the 20-year-old by recalling him straight to the side in place of Jose Holebas, who performed excellently against Chelsea and deserved to keep his place. Ake had a tough job dealing with Christian Eriksen and then substitute Heung-Min Son and was sucked in for the goal and left space at the far post for Kieran Trippier to arrive late. Gomes prevented the defender from scoring an own goal when he clung onto an inadvertent flick header at the near post. Ake would have enjoyed his nutmeg on Nacer Chadli but, like Nyom, his opportunities to bomb forward were limited.

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Ben Watson 6
Was inches away from scoring direct from a corner in the reverse fixture at Vicarage Road in December, but his deliveries at White Hart Lane were poor. Watford’s attacking threat was limited so they needed their set pieces to be in fine working order. Not only did Watson’s deliveries fail to find a Watford man, but a number fell to Spurs players at the near post and allowed the home side opportunities to counterattack. So unusually out of position in the first half, Sanchez Flores had to urge him to drop much deeper a number of times. He was the hero for Wigan Athletic in his last appearance here, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win in 2012, but he was unable to repeat the trick here.

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Mario Suarez 5
Not exactly the debut Suarez will have hoped for. The midfielder made a good interception on the edge of his box early on and released the ball quickly, but, like Jose Manuel Jurado was at Everton, he seemed surprised by the high intensity of Premier League football and was guilty of losing possession cheaply. Withdrawn at half time. He should get better.

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Etienne Capoue 5.5
His return to White Hart Lane was underwhelming and whether a result of being played in different positions, tiredness or lack of form, he needs to be dropped. He’s not played well for weeks. Everyone will be cooing about his triple nutmeg but Watford didn’t need show ponies here, they needed players to dig in. Showed his class with a perfectly weighted ball over the top of the Spurs defence to find Troy Deeney and another to the overlapping Nyom on the right wing, but unforgivably jogged casually back when Ake has his work cut out against Son. Was already on a yellow when he made a late tackle on Trippier, and was perhaps fortunate to stay on the pitch.

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Almen Abdi 5
Did not shirk his defensive duties early on as he sprinted across the pitch to follow an Eriksen pass and shut down Davies. Was brought in for his technical ability and to keep the ball in the middle and final third of the pitch, but Spurs’ utter dominance meant he had too much defending to do. Attempted an ambitious lob from range, but it landed on the roof of the net. That was about as close as Watford came to score and the last thing Abdi did in the half. He was hauled off at half-time for Deeney.

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Jose Manuel Jurado 6
It was a game of two halves for Jurado, who impressed in the first period but was anonymous going forward after the break. Picked up where he left off against Chelsea, showing a drop of the shoulder and burst of pace to cut inside and and pass to Ighalo, but tailed off badly as Watford were overrun. Never shirked his defensive duties, heading clear a delivery bound for Kane and winning a number of goal-kicks. He’s been at his best in a more advanced role in recent weeks so it was odd to see him moved wider again. Was given stick by the home fans for receiving treatment in injury time but the clear cut on his face after the match showed it was more than time wasting.

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Odion Ighalo 5
Horribly isolated for the majority of the match and it did not improve when Deeney came on to support him. Found himself through on goal at one point in the second half but he was ruled offside. He did manage to produce a scoop turn in the first half but it was on the halfway line and only won his team a less than threatening free-kick. Had Britos not gone down injured surely Nordin Amrabat would have replaced him as the third substitute. Potential summer suitors will have noted how ill-suited he is to the lone striker role against top opposition.

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Substitutes:
Troy Deeney 5.5
Dropped to the bench for the first time in a league match since Watford travelled to Bolton Wanderers in February last year. Deeney came on as a substitute for the final half an hour at Bolton and scored the winner, but was unable to make an impact in 45 minutes at White Hart Lane. Won almost every aerial duel yet the closest he came to scoring was when he lashed a shot well over the bar.

Valon Behrami 6.5
Watford improved in midfield when Behrami charged on to replace Suarez at half-time. He should really have started. Broke up the play well and provided defensive cover for both full-backs. Behrami got back to defend against Dembele but complained that Nyom was not there to deal with the overlapping Alli for the goal. Has to be restored against Crystal Palace.

Sebastien Prödl 6.5
Looked slightly shaky immediately after coming on for the injured Britos but was constantly checking his surroundings so as to not be caught out by Spurs’ fluid attack. Did not risk overplaying in defence and cleared upfield at every opportunity. Solid.