We were hardly at our exciting swashbuckling best
Bit of a snoozefest to be honest (we are spoilt far too often these days)
Looked more than a tad tired, which is no great surprise considering the festive fixture fun and the detrimental effect the two successive red cards have had on the legs
But you can’t argue with a return of nine from nine available points
Proving that a quality side doesn’t have to be at full pelt to win
And two clean sheets on the trot, a Christmas cracker with no joke
Fulham probably deserved more out of the game but then you make your own luck
Talking of which, nice flick onwards from Bale from vdV’s free-kick – accidentally in the right place to flick it towards goal but hardly rehearsed
That’s eleven goals from Bale which isn’t too shabby
Blatant tapping up by Real Madrid
Back to Fulham, no cutting edge, but enough to have us biting nails with their pockets of patient pressure
Well done to Dawson and Gallas who take the afternoon’s plaudits
Also well done to Corluka, a player who lacks the pulsating rampant runs of Hutton but knows how to weight a pass and did so well – even though we missed the more direct methods of the Scotsman and his crosses you can't argue against the controlled partnership he has with Azza
We need a world class striker, right? But he can hardly do anything if Bale, Dawson and Lennon get into decent positions and scuff their shots
Not a lot to say on Palacios and Roman other than a sigh so long that it would have the ghosts of Norris McWhirter and Roy Castle dancing around me
Actually that’s unfair and overly harsh and I’m willing to ignore most of the lethargic performances based on the festive season taking its toll - soz for the cheap shot
‘Off-key’ seemed to be the trend but it says plenty about the determination of the players to still find something to half-grind out the result on aforementioned shattered legs
However, a general and obvious observation, Pav does not possess the movement, physicality or intelligence to lead the front-line and thus it served as further evidence for the need for a WC forward
If we do play one up top with vdV behind in the hole then said WC player is required - Pav (bless him) does work decently in a more traditional formation although so would a WC player who could easily adapt, but let’s not get side-tracked with tactical dynamics for now
Dawson continues to stabilise our back four and massive applause for his goal-line clearance
What’s that now, eight games unbeaten in the league?
Once more, guile and grit on display with that sprinkling of luck – all ingredients required to challenge rather than pretend
But feet still firmly on ground
This was hardly vintage, it was hardly Tottenhamesque, but how can anyone possibly be critical of three wins out of three?
Dug deep running on empty
Nice little gap opening up just below 5th spot – so the top five clubs are currently the expected top five. It’s tasty. Looks even better if we win our game in hand. The initiative has to be taken and the resulting pressure on the rest will be applied and someone will buckle and choke. Someone will end up as Pete Best whilst the Fab Four go on a magical mystery tour.
Beckham musings when I next get a spare five minutes.
Spooky recommends...All-conquering Englishman spurs his way across Europe
Having blagged his way into a Barcelona FC press conference...
"My fantasy interview was cut short by someone entering the room talking on a mobile phone. I turned to see who it was and couldn’t believe my eyes. Xavi, all 5’7” of him (he’s a littl’un) was standing beside me having a chat to someone, probably his girlfriend, telling her he would be home for dinner soon and could she make sure there were a few San Miguels in the fridge. He glanced at me with a look that said,
“Who the **** are you?” and I nodded a greeting his way. He then looked down at the cockerel on my chest and sighed the kind of sigh that I knew meant, “If only they would put in a bid for me. I would love to play for Spurs one day.”
He finished his conversation and left me alone once again."