Hola. Back from Barca. You've all processed the West Ham game so I won't go balls deep with a match review. Instead here's an assortment of things that tickled me along with the occasional chin scratch. Also included below is some post-match Champions League hype.
I enjoyed the game immensely. It's about time we turned up and turned them over. The home side with plenty of energy and bite early on, Spurs were reactive to the tempo being set. Apparently this (claret and blue tenacity) is considered to be 'hunger' for the ball whereas the reality is, it's just low level quality. Loads of quick direct balls and runners. Lots of determination. Yes, we didn't really have a rhythm but who cares? Spurs more than capable of slowly building into one. If it's even necessary. We've gone from this all conquering swarming machine to a counter-pressing conduit of destruction.
Part of me is sad that we didn't go on to score five or six. The red card saw to that and even though the Irons did their very best to complete a comeback worthy of club shop merchandise, Spurs never appeared rattled enough to allow them to see it through. Having their best player subbed due to injury early on was ultimately their downfall as their attempt to dictate diminished whilst we stepped up a gear to dismantle.
Yet another away win (5th on the trot). I'm almost grateful for playing with only the ten men in the latter stages, if only to allow the home crowd to spend all of their emotion on a dream. They believed in it long enough to make the defeat taste even worse at its conclusion.
Serge's positioning isn't quite on the money (we've seen this before) and his yellow cards were daft but there you go. It happens and Poch won't let him forget it. He's going to be so good for us once he syncs into the side. What I've found out since (watching the game) is that on the day the commentary team over at Sky Sports decided to run with the 'he's a liability' narrative like he had committed a heinous crime on the pitch. Ah bless, I still remember watching back a Spurs v Utd game and Andy Gray comically crucifying (I think) Zokora for a clumsy tackle whilst losing his tongue and providing us with white noise when Paul Scholes committed a dirty one.
The Magnificent Three
Such a killer moment that first goal. Eriksen punishing wasteful football in the centre with a perfect defence splitting pass. Dele Alli so sharp in mind to brush aside the offside trap and then deliver an utterly deliciously paced ball for the head of Harry Kane. Spurs literally just deciding 'we're gonna score now, deal with it'. Harry also adding a new footnote to his goal scoring exploits by finally scoring a goal at an athletics venue.
Kane's second was deft as f**k. Such a confident controlled finish after more enjoyable flank work with Eriksen dinking the ball over a player for Jan to run onto and then sending Dele onto a one to one with the keeper. The failed nutmeg on Joe Hart falling to the feet of Harry. Jump back up to the start of this paragraph to remain eternally in this gorgeous time loop.
Three - nil should have been a Kane hattrick. A stupendously struck freekick coming off the post and then a touch or two later into the path of Eriksen who finished with precision. Christian now the leading Danish scorer in Premier League history. Great.
As for Dele? Still not at full pelt, hasn't been all season and yet there he is again with the assist(s) and quick thinking and alertness of movement. He even got involved with the celebrations. At times he does appear to lose concentration, especially when attempting to claim the ball, as though his focus is fazed. Perhaps he should play deeper and attack space rather than occupy it in anticipation of others moving the ball towards the pen area. We have no insight into why he's appearing frustrated. He'll get there though. When he does, Spurs will be lost in vibrancy and richness in the final third. Add Son to the mix and we've got the firepower to pressure the Mancunians.
Moussa and Fernando
I enjoyed both performances for different reasons. Sissoko did alright. He's gradually working towards claiming some in-team identity. It goes without say that playing in the middle allows him to get stuck in but also push out of the centre with the ball (or as a runner). He's not Dembele. Let's face it, nobody is. But he's covering well for the moment. Spurs will have so much more flexibility once Victor is back too. Big shout out also to the little and large moment when Sissoko was looking down at local legend Mark Noble. Our man was the personification of 'I've got no time for this, can't even see you down there'.
Llorente was superb in the dying moments of the game, wasting valuable West Ham seconds by making sure there was a scuffle that was long enough to take the sting out of the game and occupy the ref whilst killing hope. Experience. Really looking forward to seeing him score for us.
He loves Kane. We all do. Took the entire squad and coaching staff out for a steak dinner week leading up to the derby. Back in the 1980s we had the Boys from White Hart Lane. Now we have this. A togetherness that is without doubt the most important factor in our progression. That is something Pochettino has birthed and he remains the most vital part to this almost complete Tottenham puzzle.
Unlike the 80s we're far more likely to lose certain players thanks to the agent driven industry that thrives on the money made by record breaking transfers. I still can't help enjoy what we have. It's what we've always wanted right? A team on the up, one capable of contending. So why worry about that future when the present makes you feel proud? Poch is the dad we all want (sorry actual dads, you can't cut it like Mauricio).
Champs League Pocket sized Match Reaction
Ignoring the half chances the Cypriots had and Hugo's dodgy footwork and clearance, this was wonderfully professional from Spurs. 3-0. Harry Kane with a hattrick, six points adrift of Dortmund in the group. Happy days.
Sissoko assisted Harry (clinical finish for the second). A headed goal from a Trip cross for the third which was an absolutely brilliant team demonstration in control, precision and possession. Simplicity for his opening goal with Toby threading a ball through, magnetically to his feet. September has been bare jokes for our leading man.
34 goals in 30 games.
He's going to break records.
Shout out to the other Harry too. Winks had moves like Mousa. Anthony Georgiou even got a cameo for the occasion which was a nice touch.
I'm salivating for Bale and Ronaldo now.