Good grief, what’s come over them? The stylish win at home to Liverpool was in keeping with the glory-glory Tottenham tradition, the demolition of Hull an all-action romp – but getting bogged down in a scrap and emerging victorious? I plan to catch this, pop it in a jar and charge a tenner for people to come marvel at it.While never abandoning the principle of playing football that’s pretty to watch whenever we broke into their half, we also did the necessary dirty work, matching our hosts crunch for crunch, and niggle for niggle.
Countless times in years gone by we have grumbled about – and indeed resigned ourselves to – the fact that for all our flair and élan we have traditionally shown as much fight as an anaesthetised kitten. As a wide-eyed nipper with a mildly sadistic streak, I would flick woodlice onto their backs and inflict needless pain upon them in the general vicinity of the soft underbelly. Back then those woodlice might as well have been wearing Spurs shirts, but the multi-legged critters will now need to dress themselves in something other than the puma number with yellow flashes, circa 2009-10. Whisper it, but the early indications are that we are a soft-touch no longer.
Ledley and Bassong
I’ll half include Keane in this, as he did his usual thing of scuttling hither and thither around the centre-circle. And a decent enough job he did too, encouraging all round him to keep the round thing on the green stuff, while also adding strength in numbers, countering West Ham’s five-man midfield.
Sergeant Wilson did what sergeant Wilson does, and showed sufficient discipline to avoid the temptation to go flying forward too frequently. Against Hull he had rather enjoyed himself in the final third; today wise counsels prevailed and he kept it defensive.
The Hudd debate continues, but AANP gives the big fella a third consecutive nod of approval. Just a nod mind, rather than a thumping backslap, for he did not boss the game in the manner we all hope he eventually will. Nevertheless, it was a smart, positionally-aware performance, protecting the back-line. He also distributed the ball thoughtfully, rather than a prima donna after a Hollywood ball every time.
Elsewhere On The Pitch…
And on the subject of the little moments, a toast to Carlton Cole for his defence-splitting assist. Telepathic understanding with the boy Defoe. Awfully good of you, old bean.
No-nonsense from Assou-Ekotto. The occasional moment of nonsense from Corluka (although nothing too damaging). Defoe on fire. The whole lot of them digging in, rather than capitulating, at one-nil down. And what do you know – Tottenham Hotspur FC remain top of the table. Ruddy marvellous.