Harry Kane to the rescue but Tottenham held at home by West Brom

A second-half equaliser by Harry Kane rescued a point as Tottenham Hotspur were held to a 1-1 home draw in Gary Megsons first match as West Bromwich Albions caretaker manager

If this, as Gary Megson emphasized repeatedly, did not constitute a task audition then it was at least a happy detonation from the past. To the outsider, West Brom’s caretaker manager works from a similarly dogged playbook to Tony Pulis, the man whose calamity has been his temporary gain; where they differ is that Megson is revered at the Hawthorns and a describe that could have been so much more did nothing to alter his standing.

Had Salomon Rondon, whose early goal was cancelled out 16 minutes from period by an otherwise quiet Harry Kane , not diverted a glorious opportunity broad in stoppage time, Megson’s return to front-line obligation would have been crowned with three points against a torpid Tottenham. Megson took Albion up from the Championship twice in the early 2000 s and they did not play like a team in much danger of returning there now, their speed and alertness perhaps feeding from the positivity of a coach who had assumed days liked this were behind him.

” I chose two and a half, three years ago that if I’m not getting jobs I’ll run travelling, golfing, whatever ,” Megson said.” This has whetted my craving again. I enjoyed being on the touchline, I believe I’m good at it .”

His enthusiasm could be forgiven: Megson’s last match as a No1 had been a Sheffield derby on 29 February 2012. He had apparently been bracketed among yesterday’s men but there was nothing stodgy about West Brom at Wembley. They raced out of the blocks and the difference in sharpness between the teams was emphasised by the opening objective. Dele Alli was too casual in seeking to turn into space and was mugged by Jake Livermore; Davinson Sanchez was similarly lax in allowing Rondon, via a perfectly fair nudge, to reach the through ball first and the Venezuelan striker slotted his finish past a static Hugo Lloris.

That was in the fourth minute and it set the onus on a Tottenham side whose conflicts at home against lesser adversaries are a concern. Mauricio Pochettino leaned upon the stats afterwards: Spurs conceded only two shootings on target and not a single corner, he remarked, while themselves carving out” a lot of chances, situations “. It was one of those occasions where the eyes tell a more accurate tale. Tottenham huffed and puffed throughout, even after Kane squeezed in Alli’s deflected cross to give them what should have been a platform to push for victory. They predominated possession but West Brom, who considered the 19 -year-old midfielder Sam Field reward Megson’s faith with a matured performance, were rarely carved open and seemed brighter in every department than during the unhappy latter days under Pulis.

Salomon
Salomon Rondon scores West Brom’s opener against Tottenham Photograph: Ian Kington/ AFP/ Getty Images

By the hour Pochettino had insured enough sloppy reasoning, bringing on Fernando Llorente and Mousa Dembele for Harry Winks and , notably, the defender Jan Vertonghen. The idea was to bludgeon their style back in but the reward was not enough and, with Manchester City in line to move 13 phases ahead of Spurs if they win at Huddersfield on Sunday, a struggle to remain in the top four now seems far more likely than a title challenge.

” It is massive in the Premier League ,” Pochettino said of the gap.” But now we need to be focused on working to improve and be more consistent here at Wembley .”

His tone was spiky; it was Megson, clearly enjoying himself in rarefied surroundings, who held tribunal more willingly afterwards in the knowledge that he may not be doing so again. West Brom do not expect their hunt for a new administrator to drag on and Alan Pardew has been heavily linked with the position. Megson will probably have to look elsewhere.

” I’m not going to traipse around the country for two dead frogs and a conker every week ,” he said; it was, though, an afternoon to give a club, and one of its old heroes, fresh life.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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