Mind the gaaaa...
Oh well hello Tottenham Hotspur and a joyful welcome back to a swaggering White Hart Lane. QPR were dismantled and boxed away into the easy peasy category as Spurs allowed their quality on paper to make a origami surrender flag out of Harry Redknapp's side out on the pitch.
This was the very definition of home comfort but don't dismiss or devalue the execution of the demolition job by the home team. Emphasis on 'team'. It was a grand old performance which had Maurico Pochettino's men ruthlessly pick up the three points.
Spurs took the lead through Nacer Chadli. Christian Eriksen dispossessed Loic Remy with Nabil Bentaleb bursting forward and finding Emmanuel Adebayor to his right who in turn delivered an acute cross for Chadli to smartly control with upper body before lifting the ball over Rob Green. Nacer alive, alert and with aplomb (Barry Davies would approve).
QPR's Matt Philips should have scored. Didn't and that was QPR's afternoon over.
Christian Eriksen sent a free-kick thundering into the cross-bar but it was prolific Eric Dier scoring his second successive league goal, beating Leroy Fer with a bullet header from a Erik Lamela corner. You just knew this day would belong to the Lilywhites.
I don't care how static QPR's were. If a team isn't going to fight, it's up to their opponents to kill them off. I'd much prefer to enjoy Erik Lamela waltz past players as he continues to suck in the confidence that can fuel him to improve against better opposition.
Lamela at one point resembled volcanic lava turning the players he left behind into stone. His perfect cross finding Chadli to head past Green for a superb brace. This after 48 passes. Olé! Great movement from all eleven players, patient and composed. QPR could only watch. Literally, they just watched. Very apologetic from them but still, a lovely way to end two minutes of holding onto the ball for us. Spurs never believed they'd lose it. Lamela's little slight of body allowing the ball to roll past him to run onto is the moment it turned from possession into an fully fledged assault. I really do think it was a thing of beauty.
Cliché footnote: If it was any other 'top club' pundits would melt away describing it.
The fourth came from the boot of the relentless Emmanuel Adebayor after a bursting run and cross from an inch perfect Danny Rose in a wonderfully sweeping move that was birthed by Chadli with a lovely touch to set the demanding Rose into motion. If the third goal took two minutes to craft, this one felt like two seconds. Back to front in a couple of blinks of the eye. Shame on you if you actually blinked. Assist and goal for Ade.
I said in the lead up to this game that Spurs need to find form at the Lane and stick smiles on the faces of the supporters. QPR offered very little but it's vital that we extinguish potential slip ups and do so by making sure the difference is felt.
Key highlights, aside from the obvious four finishes?
Chadli attacked with intent to damage and his near post arrival was great to see - adding a lost dimension to our penalty area movement. Okay, for the 100th time, it was only QPR, but players need to find their moment in games to be able to build on it. He's a far more robust option than either Lennon and Townsend, if anything because of the way he can connect with others around him. Again, it's about being able to play a bit. Early days but if Pochettino's system is going to work, then the players involved have to bed in. That's bed in, on the pitch, not just off it. Chadli, AMIRITE?
Lennon and Townsend, might find themselves improving/fighting because of the competition. Although three players buzzing around one position might see one pushed off the bench completely.
Adebayor was everywhere, displaying all-round forward play that sees him as spearhead when we push forward - rather than permanently stuck out in the channels. Far better shape to Tottenham these days as it's clear what players are meant to be doing when we attack. No wasting of space or movement. This links in nicely with his (Ade's) work in progress relationship with Erik Lamela.
Lamela and Roberto Soldado together play off each others quick touch and movement and today it was key to see that the Argentine is getting to know the Togo forward that little bit better. Erik also physical against QPR, with a willingness to work hard and chase everything - something that all the Spurs players did well on the day. Actually looked to have purpose and understanding, which was always going to come, with time.
We got to see what happens when there is space to attack and Lamela along with Chadli and the subtly involved Eriksen were able to test and tease to their delight. Eriksen still needs to be accommodated centrally to truly command his kingdom.
Etienne Capoue owning the midfield. Joey Barton failing to 'destroy' ours (granted, he said he could 280 days ago). Nabil Bentaleb now part of the furniture.
Danny Rose continues to impress, knowing full well that Ben Davies is looking on. Competition for places strikes again. As for Dier...pretty much faultless all game long. To think our expectations had him down as 'one for the future'. Bigger challenges ahead but this is a bright start. Looked very good at right-back.
Jan Vertonghen made his first league start. He'll be wondering what centre-back will partner him on a regular occurrence. Mousa Dembele with another appearance as Poch begins to scratch his chin at the options he has. The latter is one to watch as we've still not managed to tap the resources he has available to give. Kaboul also physically in-tune, but there's always the concern he'll break down again. Not being pessimistic. It just tends to play out that way.
Should probably mention the chances Stephen Caulker had. On another day he might have finished them, so best we work on aerial threats and man marking in the box. A better team might have blah blah blah.
Also worth noting Harry Redknapp's wave to Spurs fans on request, when his team was 4-0 down. Banter right Harry? Or rather punters, those pesky punters.
No Michael Dawson on the bench. A Hull City move is imminent. Looks like he'll get the (longer) contract he wants. Do we read anything into Sandro and Vlad Chiriches continued absence? The latter touted for a AS Roma move, even though his agent denied it. But we all know words shared in the public domain are sometimes tools to force other transfer activities.
Andros Townsend also left out of the squad. Subject to a £12M Southampton bid which was duly rejected with 'not for sale' signs. Although this might be the same psychology akin to Spurs continued flirtations with Morgan 'he's not going anywhere' Schneiderlin. Federico Fazio is on his way in (spotted on a standard cheap flight into England). The Musacchio deal appears to be dead and did someone say Danny Welbeck?
As for Daniel Levy accepting Andre Villas-Boas ice bucket challenge and then nominating Real Madrid's president Florentino Perez...glorious in an awkward 'oh look he's human after all' kinda way..."I'm gonna nominate some who definitely owes this club a lot". I guess Levy is still waiting for some special payback from the relationship.
So in conclusion, happy days. Good cohesive football, great application, obvious structure to the formation and some smart individual performances and an excellent, clinical team display. Tougher games on the way. Every game is a test. Add Kyle Walker into the equation, move Dier into a centre-back position and add perhaps another player to the mix and happy days get an extended run.
Too early for 'mind the gap' right?