Leicester City 0 Spurs 2
Fluffy blog today. No introspective chin scratching required. There's isn't a lot to say in review to be fair. It was a decent cup game (for the most part). This time we got the job done. Scored when on top and punished them a second time to consolidate. Even survived a late scare or two for the clean sheet.
The less said about the woeful Match of the Day commentary the better. Borderline embarrassing through-out. Even the pundits in the studio appeared deflated. Jenas, bless his Tottenham heart, was chained and restrained surrounded by the rest that couldn't disguise their disappointment. How dare Spurs win. This wasn't in the script.
I love that we've finally been able to stick it to Leicester, especially after their stealing of the points in the league game (a result that remains their only win in seven). Seems someone should pass the memo to the media and let them know this is what a bubble looks like when it's bursting. Out of the trilogy of clashes, this one did feel a little stretched. Like an afterthought of the first two games that had to be processed and completed with minimal fuss and hype. Lovely display of professionalism from us.
Sure, I wobbled a little when I saw the line-up because I'm conditioned to always demand the strongest possible team because that makes a proper statement of intent. Then I saw their line-up and realised 'we got this'. The game was a little scrappy to start with but aside from a couple of goal mouth incidents including decent saves from Michel Vorm, we never looked to be in any kind of discomfort. Spurs had the right tempo from the start and kept it going till the end.
Son Heung Min scored an absolute stunner for the first and threaded in a delightful ball for Nacer Chadli to grab the second after some superbly simplistic build-up play. Wallop. City asleep.
Colchester next and dreams of a decent cup run remain alive and well. The not so comforting fact is that if we progress here and in the Europa we could have near enough thirty games to play. Momentum is a powerful weapon but mentally and physically, we might find it all too much meaning something gets sacrificed. All very clichéd in terms of analysis this, but that's the price of ambition. It becomes far clearer why the rotation in the cups happens and why the risk attached is unavoidable.
Hoping Son gets a start at Palace. Really showed off how influential he can be when on point. Seemed far more precise with his responsibilities, sharper on and off the ball. Such a clever player, technical too and one that will improve us and our final third play the more games he gets. We want more goals from midfield and he's the most likely to provide a consistent supply. His link-up work will also blossom over time. Son 2.0 (next season) will be a marvel.
Chadli has that knack to cut in on the diagonal so the goal was a great confidence booster for him. He needs to give us a lot more to be a viable option. Game time required. The same for Nabil Bentaleb. He has to refine his passing and settle into an already settled side when called upon. He's like the bloke that's turned up late to the party with a bottle of Bucks Fizz whilst everyone else is getting destroyed on shots. He's got some catching up to do. He should look over to Tom Carroll who has done exactly what's been asked when selected (although Nabil has been injured so there's plenty of room for patience). The quicker the both of them can get up to 100% the better, thanks to the fixture list.
Shame the likes of Christian Eriksen and Eric Dier can't be rested more often (yes, even though I 'demand' a strong line up for the cups, when a mix and match side wins it gives credence to the coach again and us armchair managers can shut up for not knowing a thing). The positive is our fitness doesn't appear to be flagging and although we've had moments where we've slumped in pace and pressing, we've always got back to the accepted standard in the next game.
It's impossible to know right know if we're conditioned enough to go all the way to the end without burn-out. To tie it all back in, the less games the less stress. The less games the less likelihood of silverware. Leicester can arguably focus on the league now. Whilst we have a triple threat that could give us something and could quite easily give us nothing.
As for our search for a striker. We're going to need someone happy to sit on the bench because Harry Kane will remain our go-to-guy. So the right type of player is not going to be a £25M forward from abroad. A player based in England means it's going to be a youth signing or someone that will see Spurs as a major step and accept that the bench is going to be a caveat to his transfer. Considering our transfer acquisition has changed in the way we pick and choose players to fit the team and squad, perhaps talk from Pochettino about 'the right player' isn't propaganda fed to him via the chairman after-all.
We want the world (again) when so many times in the past this has led to disaster. There's the distinct possibility that Spurs are not knee-jerking this time. We're not going to throw a load of money at a target just because that's the expectancy and because doing so will somehow guarantee what we desire. But we do need to throw some money. How much isn't important as long as the club and coaching team know they've got the right player for the present day and all the days in our future.
Shame there isn't a Berbatov (in terms of ability rather than wanting to use Spurs as a stepping-stone) out there to pluck from a foreign league. If we do bring in someone, it's going to feel underwhelming based on just how much we need this.