If you want to save yourself time you might as well just cast your mind back to the first round tie away to Doncaster – five more goals, away from home, and despite the occasional early scare the gulf in class eventually told. Deja-vu all over again. It’s not the Tottenham I grew up with I tell ye. Instead of stumbling, slipping and generally making things unnecessarily complicated against lower-league opponents, we turned in a pretty clinical display. Frankly, I’m suspicious.Crouch Makes His Case
And yet… The sentiment persists from over here that he is best deployed as Plan B for us. Hang on, hang on, hear me out. Against weaker opposition – lower league teams and even bottom-half Premiership sides – he will play well, and we will play well, and everyone lives happily ever after. I don’t’ mind him as Plan A on these occasions. But in the big games, against top four teams and also our main rivals for the top six, I’m not convinced he is the right man for the job, and a hat-trick against Preston is not a sufficiently convincing argument. He will still inadvertently encourage too many long balls, and against top teams rarely has same impact when on the pitch from the start as he does when introduced against tiring legs as a late impact-sub. Just an opinion mind, and the floodgates can now be considered officially opened for the plethora of angry voices arguing otherwise.
Elsewhere On The Pitch…
As in the previous round, the emphatic scoreline might have been very different had it not been for some smart goalkeeping in the early stages. It was a return to the good old days for Gomes, with the sublime and the ridiculous merrily co-habiting. If I may be pedantic, a clean-sheet would be nice at some stage, but as long as we outscore the opposition on a regular basis I won’t kick up a fuss.
All told it was a very professional performance. Preston are no mugs, in good from near the top of the Championship, but we quelled them, scored early, and then treated them to a spot of spirit-sapping keep-ball in the second half. That second half mentality really did induce some approving head-nods and even some thigh-slaps from this quarter. It really took the sting out of the game, and was reinforced by the team turning superiority into goals. A third five-goal haul in a season barely six weeks old really is good stuff. These displays may have been against weaker opposition, but Spurs teams of the past have tripped up, and on the back of two defeats a ropey performance would have prompted some murmurs of concern. Job done. Bravo.
Your memories are still welcomed on Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa, the latest to be featured in Spurs’ Cult Heroes, a book looking at White Hart Lane legends, due out next spring. Feel free to leave your memories – or browse those of others – here, while those of others can also be perused/added to: Jimmy Greaves here, Clive Allen here, Jurgen Klinsmann here, Gary Mabbutt here Graham Roberts here