Make mine a treble JD
Jermain Defoe wasn't the only treble of note yesterday evening. Lovely to see Spurs swagger their way through an away game with quality movement, passing and pace. A frolicsome performance full of confidence and belief. Before anyone shouts me down about it 'only being Hull', let's not banish the memories of countless years of away day blues where we've been bullied and beaten comfortably by teams costing a fraction in comparison. We don't travel well. The history books prove this. Perhaps times are changing, and if so, it's a good thing to look back and compare. It's only one game, but Spurs have a zest about them which suggests it will prove to be a fruitful season away from home.
Even when we conceded a goal, we just brushed it off and persisted in dominating the game. Working our socks off to pressure Hull when they had the ball and playing it with ruthless execution when we were in possession.
Many positives to be had out of this.
- Defoe looking strong and confident, netting a hat-trick for the first time in a few years. More importantly (for us in the long run) he's holding up the ball and laying it off with maturity that lacked from his game a season or two ago.
- Robbie Keane, much maligned (no Bent at Spurs anymore so we have to have at least one scapegoat) was bloody great. Assisting (twice), scoring and generally rediscovering that Orish spark. Excellent work ethic, which is inspiring to the rest of the team and looked playing alongside JD. This is captain material.
- Wilson, powering forward once more (as seen at WHL v Liverpool) and also getting on the score-sheet.
- Modric, strong on the ball, quiet in the more obvious creative way, but proved he can stick in a shift without the rest relying on him to be the conductor.
- Cudicini replaced Gomes (who seemed to land uncomfortably after a textbook punch), and although he was at fault for their goal, he looked assured and faultless for the reminder of the game.
- Corluka isn't a centre-back, so hurry back Woody. Not really a positive there.
I'm happy. And why not? Again, I know Hull are in poor form, but if the likes of Utd or Chelsea visited them yesterday and won by the same score line you'd hear shouts of 'professional performance', so for us to go there and dismantle them with relative ease should have us smiling.
I don't mind taking one game at a time. We played football at the KC. Didn't sit back and allow them to stick us under pressure. When they had their moments, we held strong and got through it. The belief was simply: We are good enough to play them off the park, so we will.
We will have disappoints no doubt - be ready for them. What will matter is how we react. Remember the Blackburn defeat last year and the way we collapsed? Granted, man sent off, but we felt sorry for ourselves and lost our way. Keep feet firmly on the ground, the players should take the 5-1 win as a good result, but nothing more - and look to continue to work hard for each other. We've been guilty far too many times in the past, getting carried away with the hype. But you get the feeling the team spirit and attitude is a little more understated and professional (there's that word again). Probably because of the amount of times we've been burnt in the past.
Quietly, quietly does it.
There will be games when we will be under the cosh, and its these games, a cheeky 1-0 or 2-1 win, which will be as important than any free-flowing goal-fest display.
I'm happy with our lot, thus far.
Two successive wins from the start of the season, makes this the best start since 2006. Hedonistic times. 22 wins now for Harry in 44 games. Unbeaten at the Lane since November. Looking great away. Good solid signings that are proving to have a positive effect on the teams balance. And Keane and Defoe actually looking like a partnership up-front.
And not a single Facebook relegation party in sight*.
*34 points to go before we're safe.