Irresponsible uncle that I am I cannot quite recall how the fairytale pans out, but I presume that in the end Beauty slays the Beast, and thus it transpired yesterday, life imitating art at the Lane.My north-east spies tell me that Messrs Tiote, Barton and Smith are normally the very models of chivalry, but the other day (Saturday? Sunday? This post-Christmas period is dashed confusing) they cunningly disguised themselves as the most vulgar types of hoodlum, all aggression and faces contorted with rage, as the barcode mob sought to stop us playing. And for the best part of an hour they succeeded, turning our trademarked beautiful game into a fairly forgettable procession of long-balls, intercepted passes and tumbling bodies, albeit punctuated by Pav’s physics-defying dalliance with the woodwork.
With Newcastle seemingly content to kick people and snarl at the ref, safe in the knowledge that none of them would be sent off, the game very much needed a Tottenham goal, just to open things up and force the other lot onto the front-foot. As such I am quite sure that even our vanquished opponents were secretly pleased that we did eventually break the deadlock, for it was a triumph for football. Lovely opening goal it was too, Lennon’s impertinence in just doing the whole bally thing himself screamed “What ho! Over here! It’s me, Aaron Lennon, shaven eyebrow and all, and I’m back on form – huzzah!” while Bale’s was yet another in our ever-growing catalogue of textbook counter-attack goals executed from start to finish in the twitch of a managerial head.
It cannot be too often that the ever-wonderful Modders is cast as “Beauty”, and he would no doubt greet such news as he greets every piece of news he ever hears, good or bad – by nervously pushing his hair behind his ears. The man is a vertically-challenged genius, and he was at it again on that indefinable day earlier this week, at the hub of everything, and with the most able ally nearby in the form of a similarly-wavelengthed VDV. The Beauty-Beast analogy may be a little over-stretched but you get the gist, and yet again Modders did not really care who was snapping at his heels, he just shoulder-dipped his way past them and picked out a pass. Lovely stuff.
I Love It When A Plan Comes Together
Rather like the A-Team getting locked in a shed before bursting out in a home-made tank to round up the bad guys and save the day, our heroes have seemed determined all season to embed themselves knee-deep in adversity before shimmying away with victory. Ten men is evidently the new two-goal deficit, but I suppose it matters not, as the current Tottenham vintage seem quite capable of passing their way out of any given situation. This latest, surprisingly serene ten-man victory can be added to that at Villa Park a couple of days earlier, and indeed to against Twente several months back, after VDV’s sending off. Evidently then, red cards do little to impede us in the course of a match, but Monsieur Kaboul deserves nevertheless to be labelled “Buffoon” and pelted with rotten fruit, for his three-game suspension drags us ever closer to the ghastly doomsday scenario that is Vedran Corluka at centre-back.
Still, this remains wonderful fun. Successive Christmas wins, some unfamiliar specimen known as “a clean sheet”, an unbeaten run as long as a Peter Crouch limb and the added bonus of staying up all night to see the Ashes retained have made the return to office-work eminently bearable. Sooner or later the bubble will burst I suppose, but as we shimmy off into 2011 the Spurs just keep marching on. Happy new year one and all.