Good morning. Whilst the snow has completely evaporated here in the depths of Epping Forest, the salt mountains in one particular part of the capital are sky high proving beyond a doubt that North London is white.
At Wembley, it was practically a training session. Here's how it works. If we win and we do so without complication then I'm a happy bunny. I'm not going to go seeking for something to critique if there is simply no reason that validates it. Huddersfield tried to play a bit of football. Spurs didn't have to play that much of it. The stuff they did was at times sublime. I'm referring to the two goals scored. The first included a deliciously cutting through ball from Dele Alli to find Son. The Korean dashed towards goal, dodged the keeper and slotted him. The second was just...wow...what a goal. Honestly, it's the type of assist and finish that I didn't mind looping in my head over and over again.
Dele involved, pressuring the visitors into an error that Harry Kane took advantage of. Son drove through the middle whilst Kane, out wide, pushed forward with the ball. He takes a little look up, sees Son and then with devastating exquisiteness delivers an inch perfect ball into his path, head height, and swooooon 2-0. That pass, my word. Out of this world.
We didn't change gears because we didn't have to. Hands up if you think the quality of the opposition is a reason to find fault in how Spurs handled the afternoon? Hands up so I can cut them off you infidel. Honestly, if you're upset it was only two goals or that some of our players didn't try harder then you're the type of person that has sex with his missus then complains it was a little too noisy.
Are we now that good that some of our fans still want to dig up negatives that don't exist because if you ain't moaning it ain't really football? You miss the 1990s that much? We know more than most that football cycles can be short lived and disappointing, more so when one follows another and it's the same as the one before. Enjoy what we have, this persistence to become something greater, because it can easily disappear. Not that it will, not with Poch and the new stadium and this culture, philosophy that has re-birthed our club after 20 odd years of fluctuating misadventures.
Don't fret, I'm not erect because we grabbed three points. I'm erect because I support Tottenham. Wembley ain't even that shabby these-days (at least on the pitch). Again, I can't help but poke at the 'slump' we had earlier in the season. Or the suggesting Poch was clueless. Or that certain players weren't up to scratch. Yet here we are, still going at it. Still growing. Identity is pivotal and we have it in abundance. That finality some reach for after every (rare) low point is so very unnecessary. Shame we drew those games early on in the season in our rented home. Do the math, there's very little keeping us from...er...'putting the pressure on' once again :)
Let's also not pretend the players aren't focused on Wednesday evening as if they shouldn't be. Let's be honest, it's all I can think about. Spurs are professional, we got the job done because the levels we attain fuels the ease of the end product. At least against a plucky side like Huddersfield. 17 games unbeaten? Guess we can credit the book Poch 'wrote' yeah? The same one that cost him the dressing room*. Champs League this week is huge. It really is.
*I wonder if actual silverware winning success will ruin us. Some can hardly handle the chase so f**k knows how they handle expectancy post-cup/title win. Look at post 2011 CL. That didn't work out too well. I guess taking the p*ss out of them lot down the road might be a very scary look into our own future.
I got into a few discussions on Twitter over The Boy Dele. I'm still uneasy as to why he's such a scapegoat for some of our supporters. Is it because they acknowledge he'll probably move on in the future (which player bar Kane won't and even he might?) or is it something more sinister? It can't be anything to do with his football. Unless you know next to nothing about football. I'm coming across a bit prickly here I know. At least I hope I am. Dele is playing a more robust role, he's being tasked to graft deeper and if anything, he's adding new traits to his game. Be it still with an element of raw enthusiasm.
Focusing on failed passes and dispossession stats and then ignoring the impressive tally of assists and how often he gets stuck in is a pathological ill to self-loath. He's 21. He's had two incredible seasons that nobody...NOBODY predicted or expected. Yet some of our core react to his less impressive goal-scoring feats like he's a Lewis Holtby prototype. It's weird. Yes, his edge in front of goal isn't drenched in sexy instinctive glamour like the past couple of years. But then he was free to roam and create in a way that has since changed because of his development and awards and attention. Are we really going to side step the reality that he has to deal with so much more than just running out there and attempting to score wonder goals? He's targeted, he's respected and he has to fight in a way that differs to his breakthrough season(s). Don't even get me started on the exaggerated reactions to his 'diving'. The boy is a man, the type of man we've often lacked down the ages. Now we have it, you're acting like it's not good enough? Behave.
But to dismiss everything else he does is reminiscent of the same thing the likes of Eriksen and Son have been subjected to. Danny Rose too. Ben Davies even. There's a trend here and it usually has to do with the impatient and immaturity of those criticising. Of course, these people do so in isolation and know better not to shout about it on a platform big enough for them to be utterly destroyed on. Take it to Twitter where the power of retweets means people that don't expect to read your opinion will.
Kudos to the brilliant man-management of Poch. You've heard the one about him forgetting more about football than you will ever know? It's true. I think I'm happy to trust Mauricio over any daft **** that proclaims to understand THFC more than him. As a caveat, I'm not saying you can't be critical. Dele's game is hardly perfect. What I'm saying is, it's not going to be perfect. He has to work at it. There is nothing wrong in admitting and accepting this.
Even if he has an off day (something every single player has but I guess 'we' are selective when discussing this) he still manages to play in a killer ball. We should be protective of our players. Son (as mentioned) is another one that often gets dissed but then I guess I'm getting side tracked again, focusing on a tiny minority that carry little influence with their voice. Son is direct and works best when flashing forward. More time on the ball and perhaps the touch isn't quite refined but surely this is one of those negatives only the truly obsessed search for. It's like having a dig at the missus because she only had two orgasms when you only had the one. Again, Poch perhaps knows more than we do (because one question is why Son is the one that gets dropped if he does have a quiet game or two). He has to start on Wednesday. Surely.
There's a meta at play here which involves supporting X player whilst comparing him to another player in the team that you don't rate and then using your evidence as a means to slag off other Spurs fans that support the player you have conflict with. It's a game that is years old now. Erik Lamela is one of the popular choices for both sides to use as a stick to beat each other with. Much like most things in life (politics especially) you pick a side and you refuse to acknowledge the other. I make things simple by not hating anyone that wears our badge and trying to embrace some balance with opinion. What I'm saying is, I'm perfect. I don't have to work at it. Seriously though, why so serious?
Shout out to Liverpool fans still banging on about our players diving. Another prime example of how much our slow brooding ascendancy is hurting rival fans.
Also, absolutely loving Arsenals fans telling me 'they don't care anymore'. They claim they have standards that we will never comprehend. That they want to be winning titles because that's the benchmark. Yet they behave with such extreme petulance that you wonder just how reliant they've been existing as a reflection of Arsene Wenger and his ethos. Whilst the coach has gradually declined and has been consumed by stubbornness, the fanbase has fractured as a consequence of that broken reflection. Their identity is not their own, it belongs to Wenger. That blank canvas that existed before his arrival is now soaked in darkness. Yet they're a club with three FA Cups to their name in the past four seasons. A club with financial clout. A club that can spend millions on one striker then sign another striker for even more money whilst paying out extortionate wages to retain players that would prefer to be elsewhere and then not replacing any of the bang average dross in all other positions.
It's f**king glorious.
Hopefully it will get worse for them. Much worse. Mediocrity is too good for those soulless drones with a fallacy of an identity.
I think there's something to be said about football being a conduit, an escape for real life and some people (including our fans) can't separate the two. Onwards, fighting on all fronts.
Good bloody morning.