Ding dong, Spurs are on song
Smoggie, Tranporter Bridge, James Cook, Paul Daniels, drug dealers, Roy Chubby Brown, youths with no front teeth, town not a city, the Parmo, Chris Rea - can you hear me, Chris Rea! Your boys took one hell of a beating! Your boys took one hell of beating!
Four goals. Clean sheet. Some more than decent passing and movement. Lennon (still) on fire. Modric pulling the strings. Keane off the mark. Pulling away from the drop zone. Three wins from a UEFA Cup spot. Knighthood on the cards for Redknapp. Opus available for £19.99 at the club shop. Bent playing down the middle of the pitch. Daniel Levy retires from football.
Ok, getting a little carried away. Back to reality.
4-0 win. Excellent response from the players. With so many games sandwiched together this past 2 weeks, Boro (much like Sunderland on Saturday) probably fancied their chances against a half-tired Spurs team welcoming back the 'rested' Keane and Palacios (Woody also declared fit for duty). Even though Boro started brightly anytime Lennon got hold of the ball and whizzed forward you sensed we'd be scoring goals and it was simply a case of how many based on how many we would concede in order to come out on top, because we are bound to concede, right? Well no, wrong.
Tuncay had opportunities and a disallowed goal. Downing, very early on, gave it a go to no avail. It was soon apparent that Boro's victory over Liverpool had more to do with Rafas men being outstandingly poor rather than Southgate masterminding a genius result.
We went one up thanks to Keane being left unmarked at the far post and after the disallowed Tuncay let-off, made it two with Modric (ooh that dummy!) laying it on for Pav and then three before half-time with Lennon notching his first after a wonderful passing move that included some great possession football.
Obviously, Boro being shit isn't enough of a guarantee for us to simply show up to claim the points. We're a soft touch at the best of times. In games like this we need to turn up and turn it on. And we did just that. Got lucky at the back a couple of times, but there was confident football on display, and a bit of hunger and desire going forward. Wasn't by any stretch of the imagination a dominating victory but it was a reminder of the quality we do possess and what happens when we knock it around with a little bit of swagger. And yes, it was still Boro and up and coming opposition won't be this easy to pull apart.
But a win was required and a win is what the players and management gave us, so well done to all.
Sunderland away up next (which no doubt will be a bruising encounter) is where we need to show another side to our digging deep ethos. An ethos missing for the best part of the season from one week to the next. Harry, who is much maligned for his soundbites, is probably quietly aiming for us to finish as high as possible, but will continue to downplay it for greater effect. As long as the players know that beating Boro was simply one step in the right direction.
What makes this season a complete mockery is that as mediocre as we've been on so many many occasions, we are still a handful of points adrift of West Ham who have only won 3 more games than us all season. And they're meant to be having a good one. And yet two defeats might see us pulled back into the mire at the bottom. A fully confident swashbuckling Spurs side wouldn't have a single Spurs fan worried about the relegation scrap. Half a swashbuckling side will see us right. We've got more than half at the minute. Harry has to make sure the expectation level is just about right to see us through to the final game.
The fact we didn't disgrace ourselves at Wembley proves we can still muster up the big day occasion too, and even though we have some tricky opposition ahead of us, I'm certain we'll compete and pick up some unexpected points. It was nice to see us compete against the lesser opposition last night. Bread and butter.
Back to the game, Boro came back in the second half with us a just a little on the back foot, but still didn't stop us notching up a 4th. Happy days.
Lennon's burst of pace and his trademark mazy runs. Modric's dummy for the Pav goal. Both stuck smiles back on the faces of the faithful.
BAE continues to impress. Pavyluchenko's work ethic is also under-rated (he'll be twice the player once he's 100% after the summer). Darren Bent however just doesn't do it for me. I'm not the only person to note he's always wondering to wide positions. Jenas was quiet, Palacios good but not great (saving that extra bit of energy for the games ahead) and Keane showing us a glimpse of what we've been missing. All in all, some individuals excelled, whilst others didn't have to bother.
Well done. We needed that. We need it again on Saturday.