Toronto FC could use a defender like Ryan Nelsen.
The Rangers central defence, led by Nelsen, Clint Hill and Shaun Derry performed admirably. Nelsen in particular stood out — boosted by the fact that every TFC supporter on twitter was watching him like a hawk. Aside from a strange series of events that saw the Kiwi defender stop playing after he thought Jermain Defoe had scored, Nelsen was terrific — winning man of the match honours in the process.
Gareth Bale and Emmanuel Adebayor were thwarted on multiple occasions as Nelsen and company frustrated them for most of the match. Adebayor’s refusal to take a shot with his left foot in the 67th minute was his biggest impact on this game.
Spurs failed to utilize their pace on the wings, choosing to attack QPR down the middle. Hill, Derry and Nelsen were up to the task. Both sides had terrible records in the final ten minutes — QPR’s awful minus six goal differential was beaten only by Tottenham’s minus eight — but there were no goals to be had at Loftus road.
Plaudits to those of you who woke up early enough (depending where you are in the world right now) to watch the future TFC manager in action. Yes, that still sounds incredibly strange. Sadly, for TFC supporters, performances like these from Nelsen only ensure he’s not crossing the Atlantic anytime soon. QPR’s severe lack of quality up front — frustrating isn’t a strong enough word to describe the Tarrabt-SWP combination — will require more heroic defensive displays like this if Harry Redknapp’s side want to return to the Premiership next season.
Ryan Nelsen is a professional, for lack of a better term. Though he had every reason to be distracted after bizarre week, Nelsen wasn’t. For that he deserves credit, just don’t expect to see him in Toronto anytime soon.