Huddersfield 0 Harry Kane Team 3
What an absolute walk in the park this was. The first half was a dominant machine like jog brushing aside pedestrians, the second a casual dreamy stroll through fallen leaves. This was peak professionalism from Spurs and a savage slap to the mouth of Huddersfield Town, leaving them a bloody and bullied mess quicker than you can say 'Spurs gonna challenge for the title again'. David Wagner's men receiving a welcoming package to the Prem that the promoted team will learn harsh lessons from, perhaps containing their bravery next time round.
It took us nine minutes to silence the noise and twenty-three minutes to claim all three points. An additional bonus being the Champions League bounce. No hangover, whereas last season - arguably - the title was lost because of our below par post-European performances. The home team started quite well. They're a tidy outfit for sure, but their naivety was punished thanks to seasoned intensity and clinical finishing. The big bad wolf ate Red Riding Hood. They had only conceded three goals all season and Tottenham doubled that tally, then softened a touch in the second half until the death before a fourth was bundled in.
I like days that play out in this fashion. This has nothing to do with Huddersfield and I'm in no way wishing to sit here and patronise them and their fans. Considering how I'm permanently scarred from our torrid, turgid away form in the 1990s, I can't help but bask in the simplicity of our product in the modern age. Six away wins on the trot, four of them this season. It illustrates how pathetically weak and inconsistent this club was for decades whilst travelling away from the heartland.
As for the game highlights?
Goal 1. Counter attack from a corner punishing slow paced defending with a ruthlessly confident finish from Kane.
Goal 2. Five one-touch passes with a slice of luck shifting the ball into the path of Ben Davies who beautifully dinked the ball past the keeper.
Goal 3. Kane played in with nothing around him but the comfort of space, turned with no real pressure from the three players that chased, then curled a stunning shot into the net.
Goal 4. Davies crossing in for Moussa Sissoko who got enough on it to deflect into the goal for a much deserved moment (thankfully, Poch doesn't read Twitter).
Sure, Sanchez got lucky with a push inside the box that could have easily been given, but I'll take that as the universe balancing sh*t out. Shout outs to Eric Dier and Harry Winks and Ben is no longer deputising for Rose. Shots fired. Danny gonna have to fight to get his place back (although a fully committed Danny is undroppable IMO).
The home side hit the bar and looked quite plucky in patches but were ultimately schooled by the gulf in class. 63 clean sheets by the way for Hugo Lloris, which is more than any other Spurs keeper (I think since football was created in 1992). The only downside to all of this and the 12 goals we've scored away this season is the 2 goals we've scored at Wembley. Oh to be Spurs. We would have won the league but the footballing Gods gave us Leicester City. Then Chelsea skipped to the title thanks to no European football. This season we're in rented accommodation having been unbeatable in Fortress Lane. Imagine us at WHL right now. Imagine! Oh ffs, why am I torturing myself? The stars man, when are the stars gonna align?
Dele Alli, again showed the occasional lack of concentration (his body language isn't peak) but was still involved with key passes and runs. He played alright, one of his better games. We need to be protecting him - gaffer and supporters alike. Here's the thing about players like Dele. They are capable of producing a little bit of something extra, be it with a flick or visionary movement. When they do, they win games. Regardless of whether he's sticking the ball in the net himself or helping the likes of Kane to do just that. Some struggle with the concept that you don't always have to be involved for the full ninety to still be influential by its conclusion. Of course the fallacy is that he does little else.
It takes seconds to score and win a game. Surely that's the whole point? But alas, 'Dele is anonymous if he's not on the score-sheet'. Sigh. Let's ignore that Kane and others have the fortune of time and space thanks to that lad from MK running off at diagonals pulling defences aside. Oh what? Is that considered a default trait for any given forward? Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't.
Dele on form is a luxury we can't do without.
His yellow for simulation was deserved and a little bit embarrassing in attempting to deceive the officials (had he escaped, he'd have been duly punished further post-match). He'll get spoken to for that. Positionally, he isn't anywhere near full pomp, attacking with aggression and arriving late into the pen box to damage the opposition.
Still, he should perhaps cool down on the nutmegs and those flicks until he syncs back into the synergy of his team mates around him. He can be so much more influential, we know that. Take the Chelsea home game last season when he forcefully made himself the centre-point for our victory. That all encompassing maturity, that magnificent arrogance and presence is lacking at the moment. When it returns it will be undeniable. Just remember, he doesn't need to be fighting us when every opposing player is seeking to fight him.
Unlike Harry, Dele exploded onto the scene almost with instant success. If he's believing his hype or suffering from the weight on his shoulders, it's hardly end of days. It's a test of character. I get the feeling the minority that hate on him would fail that test time and time again.
I'll keep preaching this sermon. Don't care. @ me.
When Dele does rediscover his groove, our front-line is going to be phenomenal. We still have Danny Rose, Victor Wanyama and Mousa GOAT Dembele to return. We might even get treated to Erik Lamela. Add to it, perhaps Ross Barkley in January.
Harry Kane is going to reach levels that don't even exist. 13 goals in the month of September for club and country. 36 goals in all competitions in the calendar year of 2017 (only Lionel is ahead of him in the top 5 European Leagues. Woof).
He's a juggernaut, a monster. He might not appear to be the fastest or the most skillful and yet there he is, time and time again, scoring every type of goal imaginable. Left foot, right foot, header. Inside the box, outside the box. Finishing from a delivery or creating something out of the space around him. Add to it the fact that he grafts. He works constantly for the team and for himself, whether he's sticking 'em in or trying to craft an opening. He's the personification of the perfect player, the complete forward. What stands out more than anything is the reality he is owning, is one he forged from believing he could improve and evolve. What has me salivating is that at this moment in time, he wants to keep going and break records and become a player that will be synonymous with this football club. A legend.
Okay, look, don't abuse me of getting over excited because he scored a brace against a newly promoted top tier team. This transcends back to his debut and across his entire journey to the here and now. Rejoice. Celebrate. Adore. We have one of the best in the world spearheading our side. All of this, Kane and the rest, is down to Mauricio 'Dad' Pochettino. The one that quietly gets on with it whilst completely immersing himself into what it means to be Tottenham.