Midfield majesty from magical Modric
Spurs 4 Liverpool 0
What a fantastic performance. I'm of course referring to club chairman Daniel Levy retaining wantaway Luka Modric (who should perhaps take note of Fernando Torres and his diminishing stature) who held firm with his summer transfer stance. If you wanted evidence that the Croatian deep-lying Worzel Gummidge had finally stuck his head on the right way, then our spanking of Kenny's ordinary boys is the perfect illustration of how important it was to say 'no' and laugh off the derisory bids. Attempting to imagine a Spurs side without Modric is admittance of languishing outside a top four challenge. Such is the importance of his forward-thinking industry and inter-play. He remains paramount to us contending for CL qualification, in a season that will perhaps end with defining conclusion in how we set-up to enter the summer period before the 2013 campaign.
Wasn't just Luka who majestically roamed the midfield with supreme confidence. Scott Parker worked to perfection alongside him in the middle to break up play and dig deep doing the less glamorous work required for us to dominate possession and thus create in the final third.
You can cite Liverpool's lack of quality, their inability to place us under any pressure and their implosion as further reasons for the comfortable win but then it was a win that was never in doubt. They lacked shape and ideas and only excelled in petulance and off-field delusion. Work in progress for sure.
In my match preview I asked Spurs to 'Release the Kraken'. Wasn't quite a Kraken. More of a baby Godzilla learning it's trade in the Tokyo suburbs before heading towards the skyscrapers. From the opening exchanges, we placed down a clear marker stating 'we're going to win'. This alone made me gleeful. We looked hungry, we played with urgency and the only frustration (be it one we all clearly lived with without complaint) was that it remained 1-0 for so long. Unlike in other games (oh so many) I had no ominous feeling we'd be dragged back to 1-1 at any given point during proceedings.
When we took the lead early on with the scorching effort from Modric, I lost myself momentarily in his celebration. That wasn't a fake smile or pretend joy from the little man. He looked genuinely happy and wanted to share it with the fans. Stopped short of kissing the badge (thank God). And that's all it takes. A moment. Just a single moment. In this case a superb goal and an equally imperious performance to lay to rest all the disgruntlement in a bed of fickle and apology. We sort of forgot about the Chelsea saga in the seconds that followed the goal and will give him the benefit of the doubt that he will kick on from here and give us the ilk of loyalty that screams 104 passes, 92% pass completion.
As mentioned, never felt Liverpool threatened us. We oozed belief and determination. Bale gave Skrtel a torrid time. Parker (as mentioned) worked his socks off and Adebayor led the line in the manner that was desperately missing so many times last season. Walker was admirable going forward. Kaboul made up for some lacklustre early season disasters. Who was in goal for us? I don't remember him having much to do. As for the four-four-two formation - it won the day heaping embarrassment on the Anfield club. Worth mentioning two on the trot for Ledley, who was impressive. Let's make sure that knee is willing and able for the NLD.
Without wishing to get too carried away, feet firmly on the ground.
Liverpool fans will argue they were woeful. I'd still argue we simply never gave them a chance to get any type of grip on the game. The two red cards (be it claims of inconsistency from the ref) pretty much summed them up. Untidy and frustrating. What's important is we looked up for it, wanted to win and won. It's always strange how we manage to look better when up against eleven men but we persevered in the end to give the score-line a dominant feel to it (and claw back some of that negative goal difference). Ade displaying simplicity in front of goal with great technique and link up play. And a brace. JD with a lovely finish. Can I use my favourite word about the side being galvanised? Confidence really does breed success.
Criticisms? Set-pieces still in desperate need for a re-boot.
It's just one game, just three points. But its testament to the fact that unlike the visitors we are not in the midst of a rebuild. We stagnated last season and now need to reclaim that guile we are capable of and push on from there. It's hardly implausible to aim for 4th or even 3rd. You have to believe, otherwise just call it a day.
Lennon. Huddlestone. Sandro. Gallas...all still to return. Rafa already back (he's always back earlier than he should be). Sandro and Gallas might be available to start against Stoke in the cup. Bit of positivity makes everything looks so much brighter, doesn't it?
Well done Spurs.