As comfortable as a Sunday morning sleep in
Spurs 3 Bremen 0
Okay, so perhaps asking for some glory glory was slightly over-estimating it in the grand scheme of things. Werder Bremen tidy with their possession but hardly menacing in and around the box. The only worthy constant they achieved was stop-starting play with their persistent fouling. Non-effective passages of play, easily contained by our only at sixty percent boys in Lilywhite. No requirement to shift out of first gear. Hardly any point in even driving. We just parked up and switched the engine off. German boys sent packing back to Germania.
We were hardly fluidity personified ourselves, plenty of stray balls and casualness, but it didn't matter. One up after six minutes with Kaboul scoring with a strikers shot into the turf and into the net after Lennon picked him out (the little man had a decent game, lively and alert and involved with two assists). Two up just before the break, this time Crouch nodding on for Luka to tricksy his way inside of the defender and finish with a touch of supreme class looping the ball in and beyond the keepers reach. That was the first half wrapped up. 2-0 is always going to better than 1-0 because even though they hardly had anything to whisper about (let alone shout) we all know one mistake could let them back in. But with Gallas cool and composed at the back, the stray balls and casualness was never going to be enough to gift the Germans any hope.
In the second half, could have been three had someone not tainted a blade of grass near the penalty spot with Kryptonite. It was three when Crouch smacked it in from six yards out after some good nut-meggy work from Lennon (via another superb cross from Bale - which hit the cross bar and was kept in by Azza before beating his man and assisting). This coming after some decent sustained pressure. Still just about first gear football, key turned, engine humming.
The boy Bale wasn't too shabby either. You know Bale, he's the one with the barnet, plays out on the left. Mortal Bale (you call that a penalty son?), earlier hit the cross bar from a free-kick and came a whisker away with a shot that skinned the far post (the latter laid off by Defoe). Also crossed majestically for Crouch who saw his deft header come off a defender for a corner. Busy thanks to the open invite from the opposition, he played the game like a training pitch exercise, trying out different tricks and movements. Subbed late on to keep him freshly for the weekend.
JD, getting more minutes as he slowly re-adapts to first team football after his return from injury, having a crack at goal and almost being played in a couple of times. Nice run out. He looks up for it and is eager. Just needs a goal to settle himself down.
Other minor (or major if you like) points of discussion?
Jenas going off injured. Pinch me, but I mean it when I say this, I hope he's back soon. Having him play consistently regardless of the debate as to whether he's an average player playing well or a decent player rediscovering form - we can't have yet another central midfielder disappear from the pitch onto the treatment table. With Huddlestone long term, fingers crossed for @jjenas (yes, he's on Twitter now). Palacios came on for him and did the usual Palaciosque stuff, biting at ankles and breaking up play and every so often passing the ball to nobody.
Hutton continues to impress coming forward but for me his positional sense is just not very good. Gallas superb. Kaboul strong as ever but showed a glimpse of naivety with a misplaced ball in an area where a better side would have punished us. BAE untidy. But I'm willing to forget any indiscretions (from the both of them) because of the way the game played out. Crouch loving it continental. Modric king, taking centre-stage and controlling the game via remote whilst sitting feet up on the sofa.
The talismanic van der Vaart rested, if you missed the game.
Special 'wtf' mention for Roman Pav who was offered the penalty but turned it down. A striker turning down a goal from 12 yards? Considering he tends to score from the spot, this is a little strange unless Harry in post-match interviews has taken it out of context and Pav was politely saying to Bale, 'no you take it because you're holding the ball' rather than 'soz, no, I'm brickin it'.
So, nice run out for the team. As comfortable as a Sunday morning sleep in.
In conclusion then. Clean-sheet. Third successive win. Three million quid for our troubles. Momentum has awoken. Welcome back old friend. Be alert, there's another game this Sunday we need you for.
This Champions League lark, bit easy innit? First time of asking, into the knock-out stages. Only the second debutants in the past five years to get through the group stage. That wasn't meant to happen, was it? Meant to be out-classed they said, in the group stages. Whatever happens - we've made our point and opened some eyes that would hardly look our way prior to our arrival. So hold onto your hats when we play Barcelona away and get trounced 7-0.
Before the next stage of our European adventure we have to visit Twente for the final game to claim top spot from the Rafa's devolution at Inter. So there's still one final twist to be had. One thing is for certain, I've got a taste for these games now and not being involved next season isn't something I want to entertain.
We edge ever closer to the January window and there's one word on my mind.