Never in doubt
Hola. How's everyone doing? 15 games unbeaten in all competitions and we're hardly even firing on all cylinders. So you're doing good, yeah? I wasn't doing good during our Away day to Crystal Palace on Sunday. I practically gave up in the 87th minute and started to internalise the two dropped points.
Oh ye of little faith.
I should have seen it coming. Even with the Harry Kane sitters and the ominous dominance, I should have guessed that we'd find a way through. It's what we do. We play every minute of the game like it's the first minute. No panic. All the time in the world. Composed and calculated. An abundance of focus. Kane with punishing movement for the breakthrough goal and a vital three points. Happy days. Not really calculated though, was it? Corner swinging, keeper and defenders asleep, best striker in Europe sticks his head on it and wallop...job done.
Harry now with 23 goals in 34 London derbies. Only scores against muck.
Wasn't peak Spurs. Even with all the possession, there was a lack of finesse and sharpness. Our catalysts and galvanisers were off key with their touch and our final third play was at times untidy. We had Serge with a hattrick of foul throws, Dembele had an off day bouncing unceremoniously off Palace players and collectively it was all a bit sloppy. The Eagles were drilled and plucky with their defending. It made for an uncomfortably frustrating early afternoon. But sometimes you just gotta graft. Find that way through no matter what. It's what the big sides do right?
I haven't got that much insight to share. The game wasn't exciting enough to inspire me. I will however say that even though Dele Alli is failing to disguise his gravity drops with any degree of smarts, he's now being overlooked when truly fouled. Lesson learnt here is to avoid going down altogether - no matter what. Wait to be hacked. Of course, if you can find a professional player that attempts to stay on his feet every single time then I'll show you a glitch in the Matrix.
Elsewhere, up and down the country, far more embarrassing attempts to cheat the officials take place with common occurrence but are completely ignored by the media. I guess nobody cares if no marks like Monreal and Wilshere do it. Dele should be far more shrewd with his decision making for sure. I don't like to see our players resort to these pen box tactics. However, can we all (media especially) stop pretending this is anything new and exclusive to Spurs? I can accept Liverpool supporters and their cult of delusion turning a blind eye when remembering the likes of Gerrard diving constantly but it's cheap shots galore when pundits default to tabloid click bait shock and horror.
Dele persists with hard work in-game but his natural, instinctive boot in front of goal has gone AWOL. That's a far more pressing matter as we need more goals from other areas that aren't limbs attached to Kane. Because of his lack of glamour and the less sexy grit being his current narrative - he's scrutinised far more than he would have been if he was flicking goals in with sublime arrogance. It's a hard knock life.
Shout-out to Eric Dier. Be it in midfield or having to cover late in central defence - he was solid, dependable. He's been a stealth hit this season. Like an Assassin, murdering the enemy but you'll never see any blood. Not much else to report on. We scored from a corner which is rare like stepping in rocking horse sh*t. Late winners are best served when you're stood in the away section. You get to see the physical and mental drain of the home fans around you dissipate into the cold winter air. It's a thing of beauty. Fans present would have appreciated the outing more than those sat indoors, bored.
I guess the only other obvious nugget of knowledge I have is that if our front attacking line don't all click together then it becomes a bit of a chore to break down a deep defending team. Nobody really took the game by the scruff in terms of that something extra. Eriksen was quiet. Lamela was productive in terms of ground covered but was hardly the likely outlet for an alternative goal. That next level inventiveness was lacking throughout. It wasn't terrible it just wasn't imperious and was very very average. I guess things are grand when you're winning games but feel cheated you haven't smashed them by four or five.
Rochdale next. Wembley should be a delight in freezing temperatures and potential snow.
(Hopefully the source material will improve over the next few games so I have something interesting to write about)