Liquid football. Honourable mentions to the back-four and ‘keeper, a fourth successive clean-sheet leaving me not so much applauding as looking around suspiciously to wonder what the devil is going on. However, the day belonged to those at the other end. While it made for anxious viewing as the second half wore on, the brand of football purveyed was of the sort I could have watched non-stop for hours, slick little one-touch passes lifted straight from that pre-match six-a-side drill the players undertake up by the halfway line. My two-month old niece has duly been given her Spurs-embroidered bibs, caring uncle that I am, but on this occasion I snatched the bib from her, fastened it around my own neck and drooled.Modders’ Magic Second Touch
Hudd Earns A Mince-Pie, Sergeant Wilson Eyes Up Hollywood
As it turned out, Hudd delivered the textback definition of “Silencing the Critics”. His passing can often have us purring in appreciation, but his decision-making today, in picking the right pass – short or long as necessary – and upper-body strength were particularly impressive, and earn him a mince-pie.
Alongside him Sergeant Wilson looked more like his old self. AANP Towers has been buzzing with excitement in recent weeks at the news that a new sequel to Predator is apparently being made – Predators, which will pointedly ignore the previous, lamentable sequels, and be set on the predators’ home-planet, featuring amongst other creations, predator-dogs if you please. The template for such creatures is presumably Wilson Palacios of 28 December 2009, because if there was an ankle at which to be snapped he was there, every inch a growling, frenzied canine with the DNA of an indestructible alien warrior. Too early to claim we’ve got our Wilson back, but this is the standard he exhibited when he first joined.
Criticism. Sort Of.
The one grumble I suppose is that we ought to be turning such dominance into a bucketload of goals, à la Wigan; but the 70-minute inability to score was not for want of trying. Sometimes we sit back and indulge in fancy tricks ahead of a demented pursuit of the jugular; this time we knocked it around with purpose, always looking for the second goal.
There endeth the pseudo-criticism. Defensive clearances were not hurried, but typically measured, with a view to picking out a team-mate. Lennon’s performance demanded that new and ever more wondrous superlatives be created post-haste. Such was the general verve throughout our ranks that even Sergeant Wilson, BAE and Corluka could be spotted galloping towards goal. Harsh luck on West Ham to lose a couple of men early on to injury, but at times it seemed that they had not bothered to replace them, as we appeared to have an extra player on the pitch, lilywhite movement everywhere. The injuries excuse will only go so far; for our lofty current perch is due in large part to the strength of our reserves. Bassong injured? In comes Ledley. Modders needs a breather? Bring on Kranjcar.
West Ham may not have been the toughest nut to crack, but that should not detract from a performance which oozed wonderfulness from every pore. Happy new year indeed.
And as ever, all are most welcome to leave memories – and browse those of others – regarding some of the players to be featured in forthcoming book Spurs’ Cult Heroes: Danny Blanchflower here, Dave Mackay here, Cliff Jones here, Martin Chivers here, Alan Gilzean here, Pat Jennings here, Cyril Knowles here, Steve Perryman here, Glenn Hoddle here, Chris Waddle here, Ossie and Ricky here, Gary Mabbutt here, Graham Roberts here, Jimmy Greaves here, Clive Allen here, Jürgen Klinsmann here, David Ginola here, Paul Gascoigne here