A tidy little victory against Fulham leaves us not only with fifth place in the league but also with a warm, rosy glow as we look to the San Siro.
In a pleasant, open game we moved the ball well for extended periods, confident and at a decent tempo. That’s how we like to play, surprising that so often we almost wilfully simply refuse to accommodate our natural instincts, preferring instead to repress them like a psychologically scarred introvert.
Some felt major surgery was the only solution, but liberal doses of Van der Vaart, once a week, twice if symptoms persist, will cure all our ills. His touch and chip that led to the first goal was exquisite, yet another exquisite moment in a short Tottenham career. The ball was banged at him at a tricky height, yet down in a flash and the chutzpah of chipping from 10 yards. I’d compliment him for his daring but there was barely time for any coherent thought process, it was all so sublimely swift.
Playing just off the striker means that he’s out of the game for periods but it’s what he does when he’s on the ball that counts. Make that, what he enables the others to do that really counts. In the first ten or fifteen minutes, he’s buzzing and moving, one touch and move, a muscular active presence setting the tone for his team-mates and always in the forefront of defenders’ concerns.
Pav complemented him well for the most part. His movement, pulling into wide areas, opened up some space in a role where he is more comfortable compared with the lone central striker role he detests.
Don’t know what it is about him, I can’t generate any strong feelings for him. Normally I love the boys as if they are my own flesh and blood. Even if they do not live up to my paternal expectations, they’re still part of the family. I know you are supposed to love your children equally, but with him I just can’t. Sure, I want him to play, give Pav a chance and all that, certainly get the nod ahead of Crouch, but there’s something not quite right about our relationship. Maybe he was adopted.
Fulham worked hard but allowed us enough space to do our thing. Give Hud that half a yard and he’s top class, take away that breathing space and he can fade or remain penned back where he’s less of a danger. On such fractions hinge success or failure, and Tom had a strong game in the centre.
And the goal. You want more debate about the offside law, don’t you? Because there’s not been enough over the weekend. It’s a controversial decision, involving offside – cue howls that no one knows what offside is any more. Everyone knows what the offside is because it’s written down. Look it up – I did. That interweb thingy, it’s a ruddy marvel. Today the government is launching a campaign to get more of us using the net. Let’s hope it reaches Alan Shearer, then he has no excuses.
Gallas was in an offside position. Linesman puts up his flag – correct. But that isn’t offside, there’s a second decision to be made, was he ‘interfering with an opponent’ (missus) by “clearly obstructing the opponent’s line of vision”? The ref was in the best place to judge that, i.e. had a better view of the trajectory of the shot. Ref and linesman confer, share info, make decision. That’s how it should be.
As a footnote to this, a study done a few years ago showed that it is humanly impossible for the linesman to make a conclusive judgement about offside if the ball is played from any depth because he can’t look along the line and simultaneously see the ball at the moment it is passed forward and/or judge if the forward is seeking to gain an advantage.
Oh yeah, my view. A goal – Gallas is not ‘clearly obstructing the line of vision’. Also, it arguably entered a new phase once the ball clipped the defender’s leg. Before reading the law, I would have said that it should have been disallowed, because Gallas was obviously there and thereabouts, but that’s not what the law says.
Can’t believe I’ve spent that much time on offside. Back to the game. Another stormer from Benny, fine full-back play. Again. I feared, or should that be fear, that the VDV effect would be outweighed by common or garden injuries at the back. The disruption will hurt us but only the top two have a better ‘goals against’ tally so we are doing something right. With Benny, Bassong and Hutton we have a bit of spare pace back there, and it feels good having Gomes back.
Sandro I like the look of, once he learns to stay on his feet. Mobile, skilful and a big unit, he is bursting with promise. DM is his natural position. Finally, another quietish one from Luka who is still playing his way back to full fitness and form.
Bit of a gap since my last piece. Where did that time go? Tottenham on my mind, as usual, no idea, frankly. I’ll still here, fear not dear readers. Promise to be as regular as a baboon on all All Bran in future.