Vying for top spot in the THFC assist tables is Artur Boruc, the 35 year old Bournemouth keeper who looks like a throwback to bygone years when goalies who were getting on a bit usually carried a surplus pound or two. He’s the gift that keeps on giving, neatly wrapping three of the five goals in an act of boundless generosity that led to a thumping Spurs away win yesterday.
It all started so badly. A cross from the left, Vertonghen and Rose apparently mesmerised and drawn underneath it, Eriksen failed to pick up his man and Bournemouth were ahead after 47 seconds.
Past Tottenham sides would have dug an even deeper hole for themselves. This one picked itself up, dusted itself down and got down to business. On the attack since the restart, 10 minutes later Kane was in the box but drifting to a tight angle. However, Boruc’s mind was made up. He hurtled from his line and clattered into the centre-forward who picked himself up and put the penalty away. Then he dropped a straightforward cross at Lamela’s feet 6 yards out – good to see that Erik was in the right place for the ball regardless of any error.
In between, nothing he could do about our second, Dembele seized on a loose ball quicker than a mass of defenders and drove powerfully into the box before tucking in a low shot from the edge of the box. More please Moose.
So after conceding a soft goal in the first minute, after 30 Spurs were 3 up with a decisive grip on the game. Despite this superiority, we never coasted, keeping up the high pressing and effortless counter-attacking that gave our opponents no respite. Eriksen’s pass from the left to set Kane up was pitch-perfect. Other chances were made by pressure on defenders high up the field.
Bournemouth’s attacking intent is admirable but they leave themselves very open in the centre and Spurs took full advantage. Given that extra space, Eriksen was rampant and irrepressible. The forward three of Dembele, Eriksen and Lamela had the freedom to circulate. The Dane was at his best cutting in from the left where it’s harder for defenders to pick him up. If he comes inside it leaves the flank exposed but the Cherries could not take advantage, although other, better teams will. His inswinging cross for our fourth was simply perfect, curling away from the centrebacks and onto Kane’s boot. As I’ve said before about Eriksen, not everything he does comes off but any doubts are outweighed by his vision and ability to create that no one else in the side possesses.
Boruc coaxed Alderweireld’s header from a corner, two-handed, gently, precisely, right at Kane’s feet for our fifth and ‘arry’s ‘at-trick, and got away with a blatant tug at Harry’s foot to deprive him of a second penalty. A delight to see Kane back in the goals and happy again. He has never stopped working, never hidden for a moment and his play outside the box is several notches higher than last season’s. To take the chances, however straightforward, he had to be there. All the great strikers, right place right time. In a football world full of cynicism and jealousy, is there anyone anywhere who truly begrudges Kane his success? If ever there was a player that you want to do well, it’s Harry Kane.
We now know Dembele wasn’t injured but has spent 3 weeks in some sort of cryogenic regeneration tank, emerging transformed as a whirling midfield colossus. My goodness me he wants to play, doesn’t he. Finally. Carry on like this and we’ll give him a pass on all the ineffectual performances, the wasted talent. I heard this week that Martin Jol described him as the hardest to shake off the ball that he’s ever seen. Many times this blog has lamented his wasteful ways, plaintively pleading for someone in the club to be able to do something with that talent. I had almost given up: Pochettino didn’t and look at what we now have.
Alli and Dier good in the middle, Alli learning so fast, when to move up and when to hold back. Mason back as sub. Rose at fault for the first goal, later, after Kane’s second, Bournemouth lumped in a similar ball to the far post but Danny got there first. Wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice.
Unbeaten since the first game of the season, three points after a lacklustre defeat in Belgium and I read we’ve taken 7 points from 9 in the games following Thursday nights in the EL. In truth it’s unlikely that we will have an easier time in the league this season but the progress continues.