Marvellous stuff. That certainly elbows its way into the handful of most emphatic performances I’ve seen from our lot, a 90-minute game of keep-ball. Even when 11 against 11 we seemed to have a one man advantage. Bravo chaps.Our Central Midfield: Awesome
Scott Parker will presumably have bad days in a Tottenham shirt, but in a potentially tricky encounter against Adam and Henderson he played like a man possessed (albeit, with shirt neatly tucked in and side parting, the most benign-looking possessed chap you’ll ever clap eyes upon. Superman disguised as Clark Kent). Every time a Liverpool player’s eye lit up at the mere smell of the ball, Parker was all over him like a particularly nasty rash, the speed at which he devoured loose balls helping to entice the foul from Charlie Adam that earned him a trip to the naughty step. Thanks largely to the protection he offered, Liverpool barely crept within shooting distance of Friedel’s goal. Moreover, whenever we were in possession – which admittedly was most of the time – Parker always seemed to be available, within six yards of the man on the ball.
Modders was the most obvious beneficiary of Parker’s noble work, and between the pair of them they tore Liverpool to shreds, which was jolly good fun to behold, and also had the useful side-effect of drawing yellow cards all over the place. I must confess that should Modders ever wander inadvertently into AANP Towers he will be still be met with a slightly frosty stare, sat down in a darkened, rat-infested room and asked to explain himself – but nevertheless, his on-pitch class remains indisputable. It was classic Modric, in terms of his pottering around the centre and doing whatever he pleased with the ball. In a curious chronological quirk he delivered his pièce de résistance in the opening exchanges of the game, but ignoring the linguistic and syntactical problems of that particular suggestion it was a rip-roaring finish, of which only a rare breed are capable.
Gareth Bale deserves a tip of the hat too, perhaps not quite delivering the masterful cutting edge of the last season and a half, but still causing general havoc down the left, including the engineering of Skrtel’s dismissal.
An Early Instalment In What Is Likely To Be The Long-Running Adebayor Debate
Smug looks all round from all those who have spent the last 18 months ranting about our need for a new centre-forward – which is just about every Tottenham fan around – as Adebayor delivered a mightily impressive home debut. Worth bearing in mind when he has us all tearing our hair out with lackadaisical folly a few months down the line. Whether holding up the ball, drifting into deeper positions or dinking little diagonals, he ticked boxes left, right and centre. Two cracking goals too – miles apart in style, but both meeting the requisite official criteria for “cracking”.
In this particular neck of the woods we were also thrilled to bits to see an old-fashioned two-man strike force. It might not necessarily work week in, week out, but after a season’s worth of crosses sailing over the head of one isolated striker, the 4-4-2 worked splendidly today (credit again to Parker, for putting in a shift that enabled us to work a two-man central midfield, and hence a two-man attack).
The only quibble with our first half performance was the inability to turn such a rampant performance into goals, but this wrong was eventually righted, four-nil a perfectly fair reflection of proceedings. So swimmingly did it all pan out that we were even afforded the luxury of chauffeuring off Ledley with five minutes to spare, and giving his creaking knees some early down-time. A grand afternoon’s work. Fourth place is as good as sown up now.