Well who’d have thunk it? Six games, five wins, eighteen goals – and last night’s performance owed nothing to luck! It was a cracking performance! With the games coming thick and fast, and goals flying in like they’re going out of fashion, this really is all action and no plot.
Okay, okay, let’s get the smallprint out of the way – it was Liverpool’s reserve team and they were woeful, no shape or fluidity, no passion (at least for the first hour) and no big names bar Torres. However, we were ourselves without the core of our team, in King, Woodgate, Jenas, Bentley, Modric and Bent. Got that?
The midfield in particular was superb – regular all-action-no-plotters will be well aware of Spurs’ inherent uselessness when it comes to working hard off the ball. This isn’t anything to do with individual players, it’s part of the fabric of the club, written into every playing contract as one of the things that defines Tottenham Hotspur FC, and one of the lesser known laws of physics. Pretty in possession, but with a defensive core made of jelly. Last night however, Zokora played like a man possessed! And in the positive sense, rather than foaming at the mouth and speaking in tongues! O’ Hara got stuck in, so I’ll forgive him his woeful first touch, while Lennon scampered about like a 5 year-old who’d had too much Fanta, and Campbell’s work-rate was also impressive. Torres wasn’t given a sniff in the area, consistently hassled by grown men in tight white shirts and hooped stockings. In any other forum he’d have called the polizei.
However, ’twas The Incredible Hudd who really caught my eye, evoking misty-eyed memories of Carrick in his pomp. Delightful, incisive short passes, mixed with the odd, Hollywood 40-yarder. That ability to look up before receiving the ball, and thus knowing to whom he’d pass once he’d received it, without having to pause, control, look up, take a touch, stop, look, listen, think etc. (O’ Hara take note). I shall cherish it, for it shall only happen but once a month, but a good performance from Huddlestone really is a joy to behold for the purist. His passing range is right out of the Spurs manual (as is his allergy to tackling). A true Tottenham boy.
And for a true all-action-no-plot look no further than our all-action attacking performance last night. Fantastic short diagonal passes into space behind defenders on the flanks, as well as good support from the full-backs, excellent movement (admittedly sullied by some pretty poor crossing from Lennon), a shedload of chances and a glut of goals. That’s the Tottenham way. Was particularly impressed by the partnership of Campbell and Pavluychenko, given the common adage that two similar strikers can’t play together.
And Gomes. Blot on the Tottenham escutcheon. Every time he and his huge conk and satellite-sized ears come into shot on tv, I panic. A couple of weeks ago I asked on these pages at what point does a goalkeeper go from inconsistent to a liability? The guy can’t catch a cold. Liverpool barely touched the ball, yet scored twice straight from corners that my one year-old nephew could have plucked out of the sky. Was anyone else secretly pleased when he got lamped and had to be stretchered off? (Relax – he’s fine. The fuss-pot didn’t even go to hospital, the medical verdict was that he got a “blow on the face”. Wuss.)