All hail the Roman emperor!
Okay, it's getting ridiculous now. At the final whistle, the surrounding area of White Hart Lane resembled Woodstock circa 1969. Grown men hugging and kissing, declaration of (man) love (for a certain Russian teddy bear) and plenty of skipping naked up the High Road singing and weeping tears of joy. And crying too. Rainbows lit up the dark night sky and the singing continued well into the early hours of Thursday.
Yes. Roman Pavlyuchenko is better than sliced bread. His goal celebration was one of absolute unbridled happiness, laying on the ground whilst one team-mate after another mounted him (ooh err), his legs up in the air shaking uncontrollably. It was yet another release of pent up frustration, following on from his brace away to Wigan. He probably never thought he'd be playing a part and now suddenly he's the darling of the Lane. The purest of our goal-scorers, slotting/passing the ball into the net rather than lashing it towards goal.
His first was coolly taken. His second (after two Bolton own goals) was made to seem as easy as they come, with all the time in the world to pick a spot and beat the keeper. There's a bug going around at the moment which has apparently hit several of our players (Defoe, Palacios, Bentley, Corluka). Jenas is locked in my basement where he will remain for the foreseeable future. Not sure if Crouch is injured or struggling with illness but I'm certain he'll have a headache looking on as Roman has more or less cemented his place for the Everton clash. No bug with this lad. Just a buzz.
Harry was his usual deflective self post-match. Dropping in a comment about how Pav is a good lad, nice lad, can't speak a word of English. Beautifully navigated there Harry. He could have sold him ya know, could of but didn't. Quality man-management right there. Makes you wonder at what level the Russian would be had he played a part from the start of the season, but hindsight and theorising aside, the fact is - he's in form NOW and that's fine by me. Long may he continue to prove me wrong and the other doubters. Whether it's enough for him to want to stay, we'll see soon enough. He's increasing his potential value for a move away if that's what Harry ends up wanting, because Peter Plan B great control for a someone so tall Crouch is the perfect foil for young Defoe. Harry knows best.
As for the game, thank you to Bolton for not turning up. They hardly had any true sustained pressure with their mish-mash line-up in that oh so typical 'the league is more important for us' guise they were wearing. Although there were moments when we sat back (lackadaisically is what the BBC called it - pretty much perfect description) we were more than comfortable in possession and never really tested to the point where nails were bitten. It was easy. Never vintage, but not boring either. Pav giving us the deserved lead, one own goal to settle the nerves further and at the birth of the second half, another to kill the game off. Pav's second (from a Danny Rose inch perfect pass…yeah, you heard me, a pass!) was an unnecessary footnote on the game other than for Roman to gleefully continue to smile and punch the air as his renaissance continues.
Massive test for him and the rest of the side when we play the Toffeemen in what is going to be a vital 6 pointer clash. As for the FA Cup, Fulham away next. We don't like playing them there mainly because we don't tend to win when visiting their quaint ground. Better memories in the Cup though. More of the same again. Won't be easy, end to end no doubt. Will be happy to bring them back to the Lane in yet another replay. The hard way is better than no way.