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Spurs 9 (Nine) – 1 Wigan: How Defoe Compares to Greaves and Other Cloud Nine Musings

Good grief.Tongue was firmly in cheek last night when I idly typed.

…the modest wish-list from AANP Towers is simply that three points are garnered, by a healthy margin and in exhilarating, easy-on-the eye style. 

However, someone somewhere at the Lane took this far too literally and as a result poor old Chris Kirkland is going to need counselling.It’s only one game, but for now I think we have every right to strut. Back in the day, the old Grandstand vidi-printer on the BBC would churn out results with a comforting robotic facelessness on a Saturday afternoon. Every now and then, amidst the run-of-mill 0-0’s and 2-1’s, a team would score so many that the vidi-printer would have to spell it out as a word in brackets, just to assure disbelieving eyes that it hadn’t gone into meltdown, but that one team really had gone crazy and racked up a rugby scoreline. And today that team is us.

 

 

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 9 (NINE) WIGAN ATHLETIC 1 

Kranjcar and Lennon 

Presumably, the little chap in attack will grab most headlines, but from the outset the presence of Kranjcar and Lennon provided a balance, width and shape that was lacking against Sunderland last week. With these two in fine fettle we also had enough inventiveness to avoid any resort to that obscene long-ball nonsense sighted in recent weeks.Kranjcar mixed plenty of classy touches with laudable commitment in chasing and harrying, while Lennon crucially matched the quality of his dribbling with diamond-encrusted end-product. Once upon a time we flung our hands up in despair as a wonderful Lennon run culminated in a woefully misguided cross; today the Midas bug bit him and after repeatedly tearing Wigan to shreds he laid on a selection of final balls from which it would have been plain rude to miss. Good to have you back lad.

The early goal might have heralded a first half barrage, but we eased off the throttle after about 20-25 minutes, and there was a degree of unease in the half-time natterings in some parts of the ground. As it happened though, apart from those slightly wayward 25 first half minutes, the whole midfield purred like an immaculately-maintained Rolls Royce, sometimes just toying with Wigan, other times slicing them apart. It was particularly good to see Sergeant Wilson look once more like his old self, after a slight dip in form.

On other days, when we’re struggling to break down a stubborn defence in a tight game, the shots will bounce off rather than just inside the post (Exhibit A – Kranjcar vs Stoke a few weeks back). Such was the way of things today however, that even a long-range Bentley free-kick squeezed into a gap seemingly no larger than a 10 pence coin.

How Does Defoe Compare to Greaves? 

As one who has never been slow to sing the praises of the club’s all-time leading goalscorer, one James Peter Greaves, I asked Dad at full-time how Defoe compared. “Greaves was trickier with his feet… but Defoe is just as good a goalscorer,” was the considered reply, and although delivered immediately after the final whistle, at a time when euphoria was getting the better of all of us, that’s high praise indeed.

Defoe has some way to go to match a record of 266 goals in 379 games, but by golly he is going about things in the right way. He was an absolute machine today, three of his goals virtually identical, and all absolutely clinical. No messing around with fancy chips and the like, he just stalked the Wigan defence and pounced ruthlessly upon the half-chances.

Criticisms

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A Penny For Robbie Keane’s Thoughts 

Not as straightforward as that of course, although those with spleen to vent will probably consider that a case can now be made against the inclusion of these two ever again. However, with no-one having to jump through flaming hoops to accommodate Keane we were able to adopt a shape with which everyone appeared comfortable, while the Crouch-Defoe partnership seemed to work well enough from this vantage point.

Keane, it seems, was “rested” rather than dropped, following his midweek 120 minute stint for Ireland. Nine goals suggests it ain’t broke, but ‘Arry may nevertheless be tempted to reinstate Keane for the visit to Villa Park next week.

Our Vanquished Opponents

A handball it may have been for their goal from Paul “Thierry” Scharner, but I doubt there will be too many calls to replay this game. Wigan’s half dozen supporters probably felt relatively perky going into half-time with just the one goal deficit. Bless. Their curious away strip was an affront to the eyes, and as they miskicked and stumbled their way through the second half in ghastly luminous orange, suspicion grew that the fellas out on the pitch were not a professional football team but a hastily-assembled bunch of stewards. If we were all action, they were no plot.

The Warm, Fuzzy Nine-Goal Glow 

Every dog has his day, and even the most barbed rival supporters will simply have to hold up their hands and accept a hitherto unknown level of smugness from us over the next few days. Enjoy.

 

 

You can become a Facebook fan of Spurs’ Cult Heroes and AANP here, or follow on Twitter here 

As ever, all are most welcome to leave memories – and browse those of others – regarding some of the other players to be featured in forthcoming book Spurs’ Cult Heroes: Danny Blanchflower here, Dave Mackay here, Cliff Jones here, Martin Chivers here, Pat Jennings here, Cyril Knowles here, Glenn Hoddle here, Chris Waddle here, Ossie and Ricky here, Gary Mabbutt here, Graham Roberts here, Jimmy Greaves here, Clive Allen here, Jurgen Klinsmann here

8 Responses

  1. Dani J Says:

    Well done. Another concise and good humoured post. I do, however, think it only fair that we accept the replay.

  2. TMWNN Says:

    ‘a case can now be made against the inclusion of these two ever again’

    Damn right.

    Spleen vented.

  3. Ashley J. Collie Says:

    9-1 looks marvelous way over here in California! Beyond our obvious attacking prowess today, the steadiness of Daws & capt. Woody, with Hud & Sgt. in front of them kept the opponents at bay and set everything up. What a memorable game for us lads and for the neutrals who love the glory game! COYS!

  4. spursman1961 Says:

    Defoe is a very good striker, who has, in my opinion some way to go before he can be considered as good as Greavsie. The main difference for me is that if Jimmy found himself free with just the keeper to beat, you could bet your mortgage that he would do just that, beat the keeper and find the net. One on one with the keeper I have never seen anyone better, and it is one of the hardest skills in the game to master.

  5. TMWNN Says:

    It was a master class in finishing yesterday and not just from Defoe. Not to take anything away from his brilliant performance, but there is a reason why Defoe hasn’t been snapped up by a CL club (there’s been ample opportunity). In the past he has failed to score consistently against the big clubs or in the big games, partly due to his tiny frame being bullied out of it.
    This season he looks to be a lot stronger and is already (thanks to his haul yesterday) only two goals shy off his best top flight league goal tally of 13. I know you or your old man are not saying he is, but he’s no where near as good as Greaves and never will be.

  6. TOMM Says:

    I used the teleprinter too – only just read this, sorry, honest guv!!

    Lovely report, lovely performance. JD has a way to go before comparisons with Greaves are valid, mind.

    I’m still laughing, what a great day.

  7. elwehbi@ibleedhotspur Says:

    I still can’t believe it! Speechless!

  8. AllActionNoPlot Says:

    My old man’s opinion should probably come with the disclaimer that he only sees one or two games a season now, in his advancing years – and and as the only game he has seen this season so far, he was understandably impressed with Defoe. Can’t imagine he’d place Defoe (or anyone else) on the same pedestal as Greaves if he watched regularly though…

    And TOMM – pas de probleme, I think that was a natural reaction for all who remember the old vidiprinter days on Grandstand.

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