W.B.A 1 Spurs 3
Twenty eight out of a possible thirty points. Five away wins this season already (seven in total last time out). Is this the thing they call consistency? Of course it is. We've been accustomed to it for a while now. Don't pretend otherwise. Spurs have gradually gained said consistency across a season since Martin Jol almost lead us to the promised land. Since then, its been consolidated under Harry Redknapp (we'll ignore the blip that was Ramos). We continue to build up the defences at Fortress Lane. We've only been ransacked on rare occasions by canny thieves and barbarian armies. Away from home we conquer territory, sometimes with sheer perseverance and stubbornness, knowing we have the ability to attack and kill and leave the battlefield victorious.
The uncertainty, it no longer troubles us. It's now a routine. Sometimes expertly choreographed. Sometimes with a smile from the Gods.
A winning mentality, is not possessed over night. We've got one. It's fledgling and its in our hands (and heads and feet) just how well we nurture it.
This is not false hope. This isn't Spurs of old. Win a few games, then resort back to mediocrity. You have to be foolish to think that based on the fact we have some irresistibly slick players in our squad and the team, as a unit, has an organic progression to it. Last season was considered a failure because we finished 5th. That speaks volumes to how far we've come from those dark perpetually transitional periods in the 90s and early 00s.
When we have a full strength team arguably we have one of the best midfield's in the land. Robust, intelligent and exhilarating. Players like Luka, Rafa and Gareth...dream targets for the competition.
When I found out Luka Modric was also out of the game against W.B.A. (along with Rafa van der Vaart) I found myself scratching head contemplating this would go a long way to displaying the fortitude of manager + players. We don't get much at the Hawthorns so to turn up there with two key players missing means you're going to instantly knee-jerk and resort to questioning the depth in squad, or lack of. Then you might start to panic about what would happen if say Adebayor picked up a knock. It's all valid concern and I'd like to see us consolidate in January by signing two more top class players to really push this home and retain a top three placement.
So two players out, Defoe and Sandro in. Further maturity gained for club. What we got was yet another piece of striking evidence that this Spurs side is strong, physically and mentally.
First half, we struggled to adjust and our defending was neither tidy/organised. But at no point did I think here we go again because we've not actually gone there for an absolute age. Even if the side lacked a cohesive flow to it we have such an abundance of quality (see move that led to Lennon being fouled and awarded the penalty) that we can soak up pressure but always retain that potential to hit back. Regarding the penalty, scuffed shot for the kick, but Adebayor followed up to knock it in for the equaliser. Redemption for the team for the manner in which we conceded the easy opening goal W.B.A scored.
Second half was a bit more like it. Parker more aggressive in forward positions, team possession and passing improved (still the odd lapse and loose ball). Was nowhere the perfection we witnessed against Villa but again our quality gives us an edge that clubs like our hosts will always struggle to defend against. The flick to JD and his subsequent run and shot...brilliant. Adebayor scuffed again (Christ only knows what he'll be capable of once he finds himself in sharp form) for a third. Could have had more. Seven goal, six assists for our loan star so far.
W.B.A might argue they created a chance or two. Chances don't equate to points.
No nerves. Plenty of patience. Some luck.
Kaboul might have had the shakes, but there were more positives from the game than negatives. Adebayor continues to prove the virtues of having a complete forward who works relentlessly for his team mates. Lennon's renaissance continues. Even on the left-hand side. Defoe made an impact you can hardly ignore. Sandro, beastly as per usual, even if dangerously close to seeing red.
There's an air of confidence that allows the team to play without finger hovering above the panic button. In fact, where is the panic button? Once upon a time it was big enough for one of our players to simply head butt it to signal a capitulation. It's been a long time coming but it's nice to know that these days its more likely to be pressed by the opposing side.
When we play well, we are unplayable. Sometimes we can do just about enough to get through ninety minutes and secure the three points, almost like it was never in doubt even if there were moments when it was.
That, ladies and gentlemen is the mark of a proper team.
Well done. Again.
Still, early days. Not even Christmas yet. Long may the run continue, but all we've done thus far is set the foundations for what might be a superb season.
We are still growing and adapting to obstacles (of a selection type) that challenge us. If we're still involved at the top come 2012, which I'm sure we will be, then the transfer window will be imperative for us because to make this side even stronger by adding two or three players into the fold could be the difference between Top four or Top two.
Oh look at me getting all giddy and excitable. What do I care, heart on sleeve, I'm enjoying this as much as you. I refuse to be nervous and I refuse to hide behind negative what ifs. As improbable as a title challenge might appear to be, you'll never know just how good you are or just how good you can be if you don't aim high.
So aim high Spurs. Aim high. What will be will be.
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