Delightful weekend. Nothing more pleasant that the depressive yet heart warming sight of Sam Allardyce complaining in the aftermath of defeat. Okay, so we won ugly. It wasn't exactly a convincing victory for total football over anti-football but we managed (once more) to ride out the bumps and accept gleefully any slice of luck that presented itself with open arms. It was a hard working day at the office, no room for slacking. And unlike last season, no sleeping on the job.
We soaked up the tackles and the physicality, showed some strength - mental type too - and won the day. Huddlestone's superb disguised pass to Niko out on the wing (he meant it yeah?) who sent the ball back in for Crouch to climb all over the hapless defender and head the ball in for 1-0 just before the break. I loved this simply for the Blackburn fans behind the goal laughing at Tommy's shot almost (almost but not quite) going out for a goal kick. The second goal (Crouch again) was well taken, Peter beating any chance of an offside flag being raised and smacking it in to guarantee the three points. In between all that there was plenty of low key action. A day for defenders rather than offensive beauty. However, everyone put in a shift. For all the tabloid scandal about the unauthorised Dublin trip, it was great to see Spurs churn out the pints…points.
The game began to go in our favour when Harry made the substitutions. Yes, doubters, Harry made tactical subs that had a positive effect on the game for us. In our favour. Keane and Jenas both impressing when called into action. A Crouchie brace was also something to smile about. Add to it the stern and strong defensive display by the back four and the aforementioned slice of luck (McCarthy's effort hitting the post) and we can tag this one under the 'Spurs have backbone' category. We are not a bad team away from home these days.
Couple of things of note. First up, Gomes and that McCarthy shot. Unlucky? Er, no. Okay, so I keep banging on about slice of luck, but if you take a look at the incident again either the Rovers forward was guilty of a terrible miss or the victim of a more than decent save. The latter. It's the latter. Why can't it be the latter? Seems Gomes is immune to credit even thought he saved the shot (that then came back off the woodwork). So when does a ball hitting the keeper get to be considered a save? When the goalkeeper is English perhaps? Ooh racist.
Also, Match of the Day 2. Gary Speed (talking about Wolves):
"They've had a couple of great results recently with wins against both Spurs and Tottenham...."
The anti-Tottenham agenda goes from strength to strength. If the indignity of losing the once to Wolverhampton was not bad enough, they've now been credited with defeating us twice. The propaganda is never ending.
Anyway, if I was to dish out marks out of ten (I don't own the copyrights for that) I'd split the team into 8's and 7s with perhaps a 6 for Defoe because he was fairly quiet. But no complaints, not really. These types of games are games that can prove to be more than tricky especially with historical expectations people have for us when we travel. We seem to be adapting and evolving. And as this ridiculous season continues to remain so, a Top 4 finish will simply come down to us finding that extra oomph from stepping up a gear. We just need to make sure we don't free-fall or drop too many silly points as we've done already. You can it see now, can't you? End of season, just one or two points in it. Best to avoid another such finale. Have it wrapped up weeks before.
So four points off Utd at Christmas? You'd have taken that at the start of the season. Don't torment yourself by adding the points lost (Stoke, Villa, Everton, Wolves) to our current tally. You'll shit bricks.
Conclusion for Saturday? Flying colours for me.
More blogs on the way (before I disappear for the Christmas weekend).