Spurs 3 City 0 - Spare a thought for Noel Gallagher
How should we do this? I'm thinking we dance a merry jig. Okay, so City failed to turn up and make a game of it. Not our problem. When we fail to do the same the opposition get all the credit for the manner of the victory and tags like 'bottled it', 'lack of mental strength' and 'not good enough' are handed out to our wounded troopers. So when we dish out such a comfortable spanking to a side beaten just once in the Prem this season, it should be embraced and enjoyed as much as a 1-0 defeat at home is frowned upon with distain.
Congratulations Harry and the players. You stood up and you asserted yourselves. Even when City had possession, they lacked any sort of cutting edge. Yes, cutting edge, that oh so important element that has let us down in the past couple of games. We had it in swaggering bursts yesterday evening. Love it when we dick this lot. I guess Noel will probably console himself with another radio broadcast with his mate Russell Brand. At least Liam was always game for a laugh. RIP Oasis. RIP City. Well not quite, but definitely maybe over the 94 minutes played out at WHL.
It wasn't quite a dismantling, mainly because of City and their lacklustre effort. But it was professional and determined (from us) and the result never in doubt. Effortless really. The came to attack, failed to do so with any menace, meaning we had the space and time to craft and create. We were by no means slick, sometimes sloppy, but a 3-0 is a 3-0. Comprehensive. We didn't even bother with a sub until the 89th minute.
Oh, go on then, we outclassed them. Happy days.
Krancjar was ridiculously sexy. Had a touch of the Ginolas about him. Movement, passing, finishing. Almost forgot little Luka was sat on the bench looking on. We are being spoilt. All this for £2.5M. And I'm positively salivating at the prospect of perhaps seeing Moddle in the centre with Palacios and Niko retaining his role on the left.
Lennon was unplayable©. Tore City (Sylvinho) to shreds with ample ease. And he wasn't just beating the opposition. His final ball was deliciously accurate. End product that. He is in the form of his life, and there's no argument - England's best 'right-winger'. Sorry Theo, you can keep your pretty girlfriend and bum fluff on chin. It's all about the shaved eyebrows. Substance and style.
Others also impressed. Dawson awesome. Which is becoming a bit of a habit, the show-off. Handball incident (was it/wasn't it on purpose?) but otherwise yet another performance filled with Le Passion. He loves to care and we love to love him. Once upon a time he needed Ledley by his side to guide him through 90 minutes. Nowadays, captains armband strapped on, he leads by example. He's all grown up. About time, considering he's 26. The big daft lad.
BAE was impressive and confident on the ball. The epitome of calm. Bonus nutmeg on Adebayor, delightful. Unconfirmed reports that the fan who abused him last Saturday showered Benny with roses as he left the pitch as they exchanged kisses.
Bassong, steady and strong. Corluka continuing to work well with Lennon. He wasn't perfect on the night. But no big moan. And Gomes, earning his wages when called upon to shot-stop. Didn't really have that much to do other than watch a couple of half chances fly over the bar. Saved well from Petrov's free-kick. Easy evening.
Huddlestone, wasteful with his shooting, but productive in central midfield as far as his defensive duties were concerned. He didn't quite impose himself with Hulkish posturing and quarter-back splitting passing but did what he had to do to make sure City never got a foothold. Quietly decent.
Wilson was efficient with the tackles, in fact he was better than good at times. Did a proper number on the City players. Okay, so his passing remains inconsistent and frustrating, but he had decent enough moments. Better than he has been and fingers crossed he'll continue to improve. Blackburn up next, so expect his 5th yellow card to be dished out in that game - meaning we'll have to live without him in the game that follows.
As for our double-act up front, lovely. Defoe still needs to work on his off-sides (I'm sure half the time he's actually on-side) but his finishing (lashes them) remains superb and his hold up play equally impressive. Crouch was busy. Okay, so he's not scoring but he links up impressively with JD and others. He's involved.
Damn it. There is little to complain about.
This is what we missed against Wolves. Simple confident football from a side playing like a team, complimenting
each others strengths going forward and never panicking or allowing room for complacency once ahead. Patiently waiting to pick off the opposition.
(1-0) Tottenham branded football this. Niko feeds Lennon on the right who ghosts past Sylvinho like Casper on roller-skates and then crosses to the head of Crouch. A second of mess, as the header hits Stephen Ireland, and the ball presents itself to Niko (having started the move) who smacks it into the goal.
(2-0) Second half and game over with a move started by Gomes. Kicked to Crouch (again) who flicks the ball over Toure (having beaten Onuoha to get to it) and JD is there to send it into the top corner from close range. Now that's how to finish.
(3-0) The type of defending to leave Alan Hansen with a nerve-shattering combo of night terrors and sleep paralysis. Three City defenders standing guard whilst we take a short corner. Lennon threads the ball to Niko, leaving the three of them redundant, and then mugs Adebayor off by dancing past him and hitting the ball through the legs of the hapless Given. Brilliant moment, capping off a sublime performance - from player and team.
As for City (our Top 4 rivals)? Didn't really turn up did they? Robinho is laughable away from home. What's meant to be his role? Midfielder, attacking midfielder, forward? One thing he failed to do (no shock) was aid Sylvinho. Tevez, full of energy but little direction. Adebayor was pretty much non-existent which was great. But it's okay, he's bound to re-discover his form again when City next play Arsenal. Ireland and Barry did well with their defensive duties. Excuses I'm hearing is de Jong 'had' swine-flu and Barry was playing with an injury. Riiiight. Ok den.
There appeared to be no fluidity with the way City attacked. The balance in their side isn't quite there yet. Not making that assumption based on this one game. But Harry is right. They will be a threat, simply because they will be able to throw money at anything that moves and most probably replace Hughes with a more special type of manager.
Loved the chanting and baiting. Also loved Robbie Keane (you'd have spotted this if you re-watched the Sky Sports coverage of the game) shaking the hands of the players at the start of the second half and offering encouragement. He's good for moral even if we spend our time questioning his own.
Does it change anything? Are we back in the race for 4th? We were never out of it. This season will continue to surprise and shock. Twists, turns and turnips will grab the headlines with each passing week. We'll be involved, not only because the stronger teams are not so strong anymore but because we do posses the players to challenge the weaker of the strongest. To keep ahead of the likes of Villa, Liverpool and City we'll simply need to make sure we build on these types of results. Win away to Blackburn and that will be another step towards total belief. Lose it and it’s a shrug and a dust off and we'll have to start over. It's that type of season.
Consolidation is the key.
A defensive midfielder and a centre back thank you please. And if either has leadership qualities, that will do to just fine too.