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Spurs 2-0 Portsmouth: Boom Boom Boom – Let Me Hear You Say Bale

Never mind the theory that Peter Crouch Can Do Anything – the 2010 product is Gareth Bale. When he sets off on a gallop down the left the world is his oyster. He has within his armoury the capacity to outpace just about any opponent slower than Usain Bolt; play an intelligent, 10-yard diagonal ball infield; or whip in a peach of a cross, as demonstrated for the opener yesterday. Add to that his Delap-style long throws, and a mean free-kick, and Gareth Bale really can do anything. (Although I suppose his defending occasionally remains fallible). At various points yesterday the humble Pompey folk were ganging up on him in their threes, and still struggling to stop him, as he turned in yet another Man of the Match performance. The concern here at AANP Towers is that Man Utd come sniffing in the summer.As noted recently on the top-notch Spurs Show podcast, Bale’s searing pace comes from his bizarrely long stride. Unlike, say Aaron Lennon, whose little legs move so fast they morph into a Scooby-Doo style blur of movement when he sets off, Bale seems to amble along at a reasonable yet unspectacular pace, and despite this goes motoring past every opposing full-back in the British isles, because he covers so much ground in each stride. Which is marvellous.

Entertainingly, a side-effect of Bale’s renaissance has been BAE’s decision to add a spot of attacking urgency to his game as left-back. As a result he can now be spotted pelting forward towards the opposition by-line to deliver a low cross or two of his own, having previously insisted on slamming on the brakes whenever he approached the final third.

Game Of Two Halves

The second half was so subdued as to arouse suspicion. My Spurs-supporting chum Ian is rarely short of a conspiracy theory, and spent our post-match pint peddling the theory that ‘Arry had ordered the players not to score any more because he retained a soft spot for his former club. Tongue may have been firmly in cheek at that juncture, but here at AANP Towers we do wonder whether the drill was to avoid any over-exertion and unnecessary injuries in the second half. If this were indeed the case it is rather a pity, for had we gone at it hammer and tongs in the second period we really could have done a Wigan. Evidently Chelski were not in a forgiving mood at Villa yesterday, racking up seven, and something similar ought not to have been beyond us.

The All-Action Minute

However, if the second half was a little sedate, ample compensation was offered in the first half by possibly the most exhilarating, all-action minute of football I have ever witnessed at the Lane, around the half-hour mark. Hudd almost snapped the woodwork in half; before we had time to catch our breath Crouchy achieved the extraordinary feat of looking elegant as he nailed the exact same spot on the frame of the goal; and from the resulting corner the beanpole’s Van Basten impressions continued with an overhead kick unfortunately straight at David James. Not since Sheringham and Solsjkaer won the Champions League in 1999 has one minute of football been observed with quite such breathless excitement here at AANP Towers.

A Few Words On The Boy Walker

90 minutes is hardly enough time to make or break a career, but young Kyle Walker did a decent job on debut. His was the vital contribution to our second goal, and although sometimes a little naïve going forward his general willingness and ability to go haring down the right gave Bentley the room to whip in a few delicious crosses. Walker will have sterner defensive tests, but he applied himself with gusto and aggression as appropriate. An encouraging start.

In the final analysis it was pretty straightforward fare, as expected. There were a couple of first half concerns, as Pompey sliced us open on one occasion, and we also had Gomes to thank for one vital save that was worth a goal. On balance of play however, we were well worth the three points. There was a gloomy inevitability about another of our number hobbling off, but fingers are crossed that Dawson’s removal was precautionary. Seven games to go, and we remain well-placed.

 

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All are most welcome to leave memories – and browse those of others – regarding the players 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. Also featured in the book are Sandy Brown and the late, great Bill Nicholson. 

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12 Responses

  1. bazmundo Says:

    To finish on 67pts we need to avoid defeat against Sunderland (a) Arsenal (h) and Man City (a)

    Now Sunderland I fancy avoiding defeat… I’m hoping for a victory but I allowing for error. Let’s hope Bent doesn’t payback for the Sandra comment, which I agreed with at the time and still make Harry right for making. If we get 3 points it will be massive.

    Arsenal at home, the North London Derby on St Hotspurs day. If we let them beat us in our on back yard then we are not ready for Champions League football, Simples. I fancy the draw here, it normally is isn’t it. We owe these gits one for that poxy 3-0 defeat earlier this season. We cannot, I repeat cannot lose this.

    The game at Eastlands is a Cup Final pure and simple… flick a coin away from home we should have enough in the tank to force a draw. It will be a war, make no mistake.

    We HAVE to beat Bolton at home which shouldn’t be a problem and we HAVE to get 3 points away from home against relegation battlers Burnley. The Burnley game scares the life out of me. I can see a draw but have a panic attack thinking of us needing to win there last day of the season.

    If we can see through the above the Chelsea and Man Utd games can be looked upon as bonus games to be played without real pressure but with the Champions League in mind. If we can get anything from these two games it will make the remainder of the season a little less pressurised.

    Meanwhile Liverpool have the best run-in fixture wise and if they win every game and draw against Chelsea then they will finish on 70pts. If Chelsea turn them over they have 69pts. We need someone to grab some points off them from somewhere looking at their fixture list I see the biggest chance of this happening against Birmingham (a), West Ham (h), or Hull (a) last day of the season… Maybe Dowie will complete his great escape on the last day with a draw against Liverpool… fingers crossed.

    Manchester City our lottery winning nemesis this season. Spurs have been knocking on the door of the big four for a lot longer but a cash injection has seen them evolve a lot quicker than they deserve. Let’s strike a blow for the working men out there. I can see them finishing on 71pts but to do that they need to draw against us, Man Utd and Arsenal surely that is beyond them. On top of that they then need to then win their remaining games. Now I can see them losing against the 3 teams already mentioned but I’m preparing for the worst with this lot. Other games of interest where they could drop points are Villa (h) and West Ham (a). I hate the fact that I’ve mentioned West Ham again but they will be fighting for their lives and maybe just maybe they could force a draw?

    Anyway we still have a bucket load to do but this is the best, toughest team I’ve seen in ages at the lane and now it’s over to Harry to show why he deserves his chance at the helm of a true sleeping giant… a giant that is stirring and could wake any second now.

  2. DAVSPURS Says:

    AANP. I find your article a bit puzzling like one of my long missing punctuation blogs .You missed the point we played Fulham in a commpetative Cup game not a strolling 5-0 defeat like Pompy had .Hudds and Bentley are not match fit yet Pompy leff a full Squad nearly at Home so why go at it like Liverpool and have the Rumourman on our case. We have our work cut out playing a desperate team on Death Row with Jamie the traitor Ohara trying to black male us into letting him score the winning penalty well i have seen the ending of our epic season and it will be a D Sos WORK THIS OUT AND DAVSPURS HAS GIVEN YOU THE ANSWER.COYS

  3. spud Says:

    We looked like we were missing Wilson in the early stages. Vanden Borre had the freedom to roam with nobody tracking him as Moddle and Hudd didn’t seem to know who should pick him up. He should have put Pompey ahead which could have changed the complexion of the match.

    Pompey looked defeated after the second and we meandered to win. Bale, Crouch and Walker were the only players who showed any willingness to create anything.

    I was especially impressed with the latter. He seems to have good attacking instincts and a burst of pace which is the polar opposite to Charlie. I hope he gets a few more opportunities before the end of the season as he offers something different from right back.

  4. Mes Says:

    Funniest thing was seeing Bentley looking slightly confused as this energetic little blur went flying past him on an overlap… He kept looking at Walker with an expression that kind of said… ‘Do you want me to cover that hole while you go ‘a-wandering?’ Priceless.

    We’re running the serious risk of having the paciest flanks since Naomi Campbell.

  5. dean Says:

    Spud you mug. Tottenham have one of the best defensive records in the Prem and you want to replace Charlie with a novice like Walker because he looks have decent on the break against Portsmouth? Get a life pal.

  6. dRb Says:

    Number 1 is Gareth Bale,
    Number 2 is Gareth Bale.
    Number 3 is Gareth Bale,
    Number 4 is Gareth Bale.
    Number 5 is Gareth Bale,
    Number 6 is Gareth Bale.
    Number 7 is Gareth Bale,
    Number 8 is Gareth Bale.
    Number 9 is Gareth Bale,
    Number 10 is Gareth Bale.
    Number 11 is Gareth Bale,
    And all the subs,
    Are Gareth Bale.

    All I want is a team of Gareth Bales,
    A team of Gareth Bales,
    A team of Gareth Bales.
    All I want is a team of Gareth Bales,
    A team of Gareth Bales,
    A team of Gareth Bales.

    🙂

  7. Foggy Says:

    DRB,leave some room for a few Aaron Lennons mate.

  8. Spang Says:

    I’m with the conspiracy theory on the second half. Arry doesn’t knacker out his players, Avram walks away 2-0 rather than x-0.

    Lets hope Bale doesn’t get injured, otherwise we’d have no chance of holding onto 4th. Just like we hoped Modric wouldn’t get injured… but still held onto 4th. And then we hoped Lennon wouldn’t get injured, but we still held on when he did. Then we lost The Hud, and we were screwed… except we weren’t. And of course King – without him we’d have no chance… oh hang on.

    Time to face up to it – we’ve got a squad of quality now.

    Mind you, watching Liverpool today makes me think they’ll still overtake us. ;(

  9. spud Says:

    Dean – I’m unsure, where I am saying that we should replace Charlie with Walker? I merely mentioned I hope he gets more opportunities to play. And name calling over the internet…a wee bit childish fella

    I think Corluka does a good job for us and links brilliantly with Azza however when he plays with either Bentley or Krank we look very one paced down the right. Walker offers an alternative to that if it’s needed with the ability to overlap at pace and hit the byline which is something that Charlie is never going to do for us.

  10. dean Says:

    Hey Spud, I didn’t call you a name, I called you a mug!

  11. Park Laner Says:

    Can Liverpool overturn a 4/7 point defecit having played a game more?
    I think City are the main threat now –
    Agree with Spud Corluka works well with Lennon as he’ll sit and let lennon attack – Different with Walker as he looks to get forward and with Lennon it would leave us light. Looked very good with Bentley though, always good to havce options.

  12. DAVSPURS Says:

    Spud your spot on our fans need to calm there fast beating hearts and leave the nasties to the Bunnies and if Liverpool impressed you then you couldnt have watched Blunderland stuck in first gear. Liverpool where in Duracell mode the reason is clear lose and it would be seven behind with a game less . Leave Liverpool to me i will slow them down and Sundeland will be also in Duracell speed but we will have to slow them down by scoring first or its all uphill and this is our most important clash of the remaining games win this and i will put the blue and white ribbon on our mini double i predicted when we started our campaign remember if you disagrre dont be sarcastic be sensible because we are fighting the same battle with different words and we all want the same thing a season to be proud of and fitting for our exciting squad, coyswin the cupandfourthspot.

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