Curiouser and curiouser. You think you’ve seen it all at the Lane, you brace yourself for the worst – and are then treated to a completely serene, straightforward, almost routine home win, as far removed from the All-Action-No-Plot mentality as is possible.It Was The Midfield What Won It
Seasoned AANP followers will be aware that while happy to offer the guy polite applause, I have yet to become a fully paid-up member of the Tommy Hudd Fan Club, and I was a tad dubious on hearing his name read out yesterday. Need not have worried however. For a start, he took to the pitch sporting a haircut vaguely akin to Mr T, which is always a good move in my book. He then began the game with a confidence and willingness to take charge which he has occasionally lacked in home games this season (Man Utd and Hull, off the top of my head). From the off he constantly demanded the ball, kept things ticking over briskly and stung the ‘keeper’s palms. We like that around these parts. He could also be seen to hassle and harry – not exactly in a bone-crunching Sergeant Wilson sort of way, but showing enough willing and energy to hurry along the opposition. AANP happily awards him a doughnut by way of reward.
His actual distribution of the little orb bordered on woeful, but the snarl and bite was commendable. Still not at the standard of last season, but this was one of his better days of the current campaign.
Much-maligned, and unlikely to play for us again if ‘Arry can possibly get away with it, but he is really not a bad player. Crossing with both feet he produced some that were delicious and some that went awry, but on the whole it was a decent shift. Equally pleasing was his attitude, the brylcreemed one showing a good wholesome work-rate. And while it does not count for much, we at AANP Towers rather approved of the fact that on a night as cold as yesterday he did not pitch up with gloves and tights, but played in short sleeves. Good lad.
He still not been given a stern defensive test, but this was another welcome attacking performance from the lad, and with Modders cutting infield Bale’s presence bombing up the flank has gone down swimmingly. I think we had all forgotten what it was like to have an over-lapping full-back merrily tearing forward at every opportunity, but he augments attack so well that I rather conveniently include him in this little parade of honour, even though I am supposedly lauding the midfielders. Bale may not be the finished article, but he’s still a whipper-snapper and got bundles of potential – so hopefully he will live long and prosper at the Lane, even if BAE does swan straight back into the starting line-up when fit.
All that may have read like a rather over-enthusiastic canticle of praise; not so. There were moments of needless sloppiness; we still desperately miss Lennon; and a more incisive team might have given us more problems than Fulham. However, after some of the horrors we have witnessed at the Lane this season, a nice straightforward victory without hitting top gear – aided by a healthy dose of luck in front of goal – were more than welcome. I’ll happily settle for at least one more of those before I start lambasting the players for lack of entertainment.
And as ever, all are most welcome to leave memories – and browse those of others – regarding some of the players to be featured in 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 hereAnd as ever, all are most welcome to leave memories – and browse those of others – regarding some of the players to be featured in 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