Spurs 2 Newcastle 0
The year 2010. It just never stops giving, even in its final days we still have something to smile about and focus ahead into the next year, the one which ends in a one. Well two ones actually. We just keep on getting spoilt.
In recent blogs I’ve cited momentum, the need for it. And Spurs are delivering it like Santa on speed. All our wishes coming true.
Can’t play with two wingers they said. Yes we can when we shape up with vdV in the hole, with one up front and two in midfield, one doing the defensive work the other crafting. Lennon, out of form, is now in form. And having two avenues of intent down either flank is giving us the type of options that allows us to ask the questions to the opposition, whilst they struggle to find a definitive answer.
All this talk of 442, 451, 4231, 4411 etc and who’d have thought just having nine outfield players would result in controlled possession football with devastating counter attacks. Not that I fancy too many more red cards from here on, but once more we show character and belief, roll up our sleeves, then roll down our socks as we swagger the game out to the tune of three points humming sweet music in our ears.
Tottenham and their massive pair of grapefruit's between their legs.
Prem D 1-1 Sunderland
Prem W 4-2 Blackburn
Prem W 3-2 Arsenal
CL W 3-0 Werder Bremen
Prem W 2-1 Liverpool
Prem D 1-1 Birmingham
CL D 3-3 Twente
Prem D 1-1 Chelsea
Prem W 2-1 Aston Villa
Prem W 2-0 Newcastle
Sure, our goal difference is nowhere near as strong as the other teams up top around us. And there is no questioning the very same teams are considered by pundits and most fans as being more favourable in challenging for top spot and the top four placements. But that’s fine. Much like last season, I’m happy with the underdog tag. Even though we do get talked up by many, nobody would scoff if we failed on account of how we’ve accounted for ourselves. We entertain. We never say die. We have treasures scattered across the pitch in defence, midfield and up fron...erm...in the hole.
We’re a unit, one that plays for each other and in complete unity with the fans and the Tottenham philosophy, with added extra features like grit. With each passing month, and in the past year, I guess it’s time to stop being surprised at how we’ve evolved and simply look ahead at how quickly and effectively we can better ourselves further.
More on this conundrum in the next blog.
As for the highlights of the 2-0 win against Newcastle.
I don’t want to bang on about the ref but I’m left confused (once more) with regards to the logistics of when and how exactly a ref decides on yellow cards and warnings (second and third chances) when at any other point (or any other player) the ref would have waved a card rather than letting it be – something he privileged Tiote with. Which left him on the field of play to allow Kaboul to sensually rub his head against the forehead of Tiote.
Yes, it was a red card. It was the most stupid of red cards. Hardly the occasion for such a sacrifice. Good thing to come out of this, if there is such a thing as losing yet another centre-back, is that Bassong will get his chance. And deservedly so as he’s impressed in them minutes he’s graced us with as our backup.
Harry on the money again. The team duly shaped itself to continue to contain any Newcastle thread by playing good possession football after the red card, and earlier on, at half-time subbing Wilson (yellow card) for the energetic Jenas. Our other much maligned defender (Peter Crouch) also called upon as per usual to aid late on. Much like the Villa game, we just didn’t think about crumbling. Never even considered the consequences of nine outfield players out than it meaning we would have to work twice as hard. The team – they know the importance of a win.
Just too damn good for words. But I’ll try anyway. van der Vaart might get all the headlines but the little Croatian is the true heartbeat of the side. The lightweight boy with the haircut the 1980’s are asking back is bullying oppositions with ample ease. Since his return from injury, take note how slowly and subtly he’s regained form – and see just how imperative and dominant he is, deep lying and dictating. Check the chalkboards if you don’t believe it (which I doubt you don’t) – his passing completion is simply fantastic. In defence and offensive. This is on the back of this season rather than just this one game. If you’re thinking I’m being overly giddy.
In the hole
Pav unlucky not to score. But arguably still doesn’t give us the type of movement you’d want to see in a player that plays just up ahead of vdV. Both were relatively quiet, but the one up top and the one man behind him (call it two up front if you want or one forward and one attacking midfielder) – no matter, this is the way to go. Wasn’t too fruitful in the way of clear cut chances against the Toon but I once more refer you to the forward conundrum. Again, more later on this.
Was more or less comfortably dealt with by Dawson and Kaboul. I’m still not seeing the appeal of him running out in Lilywhite. A battering ram with a decent touch – is that really the answer?
Another plaudit please for our left-back.
Okay, so Bale had more work in defence than he did marauding forward but he took his goal brilliantly. You need that. Match-winners. Lennon has been outstanding and continues to show the right type of appetite. It’s like signing a new player when someone comes back in from the cold and warms the place up with their smile and shaved eyebrows.
Dirty and annoying.
Rub your eyes, it’s true. They came close but it was the type of game where keepers hardly had shots upon shots to save. Couple of efforts late on, could have crept in. Didn’t. Nicely done.
This festive season, this Christmas fixture list. One more game to go, again at the Lane. Another three points would start 2011 in the style we’ve finished it in. Big grin, looking up, snowing points.
Spooky recommends...All-conquering Englishman spurs his way across Europe
Having blagged his way into a Barcelona FC press conference...
"My fantasy interview was cut short by someone entering the room talking on a mobile phone. I turned to see who it was and couldn’t believe my eyes. Xavi, all 5’7” of him (he’s a littl’un) was standing beside me having a chat to someone, probably his girlfriend, telling her he would be home for dinner soon and could she make sure there were a few San Miguels in the fridge. He glanced at me with a look that said,
“Who the **** are you?” and I nodded a greeting his way. He then looked down at the cockerel on my chest and sighed the kind of sigh that I knew meant, “If only they would put in a bid for me. I would love to play for Spurs one day.”
He finished his conversation and left me alone once again."