AANP did a Landon Donovan on Sunday and missed the entire ruddy thing altogether. If you want a blow-by-blow, warts-and-all account of Sunday’s magnificence you may be disappointed, as I was keeping tabs on big Martin Jol (blessed be his name) – a not entirely salubrious stag weekend culminating in a trip to the Amsterdam ArenA on Sunday lunchtime, to watch Ajax vs Utrecht (4-0, lest ye be wondering).
I did manage to catch the last ten minutes or so of the win over Everton, and mighty nerve-shredding stuff it looked too. However, for the finer points of the Pav-Defoe partnership; the broader contribution of Pav; the hygiene levels at Spurs’ training ground; and why Bentley was omitted altogether (I’m presuming injury/illness?) I can do no better than shrug. The general gist, as I understand, seems to be one of the Sven Goran Eriksson performances – first half good, second half not so good.
Some Plus-Points, From A Distant Vantage-Point
Without having seen the game there seem to be a handful of positives to take home and nurture lovingly. From this rather detached perspective a win over Everton is splendid news. After the various stumbles of January and February, victory against one of the in-form teams in the division is hugely welcome, and, I must confess, something of a surprise to this observer.
The goal-shy attitude of Jan/Feb has seemingly been addressed, and what had threatened to develop into something of a stigma can now be ignored for a few weeks. Jolly good timing from Pav, whose renaissance is virtually worth a new and rather expensive signing.
An impressive result without either King or Lennon is also cheering news. With Lennon one out for at least six further weeks it looks like we’ll have to make the Champions League without him – a tall order, but wins (and goals) in his absence are encouraging, for there have certainly been times when we seem to lack a little shaven-eyebrowed sparkle to unlock defences.
Ten Games Left
So just when it looked like our lot were wobbling wildly off the top-four road they’ve only gone and strung together back-to-back wins. Outrage and pessimism come so naturally to us Spurs fans that many of us had been writing off our Champions League chances with quite some gusto a couple of weeks back; but such sentiments have hastily had to be shelved, as we somehow find ourselves back in fourth. (Fret not, oh ye mongers of doom – it seems a pretty safe bet that there will be plenty more chances over the next ten games.)
Such have been the peculiarities of this season that a four/five-match winning streak would almost certainly create some daylight between us and one or two of the challengers for fourth – and we now have a chance to do exactly that with Blackburn, Stoke and Pompey up-coming in the League (although this would be far too straightforward, so I am instead bracing myself for another maddening spree of dropped points against that lot. Followed by wins at home to Chelski and l’Arse.)
There may be games in hand to factor in, but with ten matches left we are in fourth place – and which of us would not have taken that last August?
AANP’s first book, Spurs’ Cult Heroes, will be in shops from 6 March – with Gary Mabbutt signing copies that day in the Enfield Waterstones – but is available to pre-order now from Tottenhamhotspur.com, as well as WHSmith, Amazon , Tesco, Waterstones and Play
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 here