Stunning Spurs Hunt Glory

I would have written earlier, except after last night I’m awestruck. Still a little stunned, struck dumb by Spurs’ shimmering brilliance. Tottenham tore a resilient Stoke team apart. It was outstanding even for an outstanding season, not merely the best we have played but it bears comparison with the best I have seen in fifty years of watching the club. To come up with that performance under white-hot pressure is beyond all expectations. It is impossible to exaggerate praise.

Spurs scored four, hit the woodwork twice, it could, should have been 6 or 7 and it would not have flattered us. But it’s the manner of the win that captivated. This was football to take your breath away, leaving you gasping in delight and amazement. Open-mouthed gobsmacked chin on the floor point at the screen how did they do that entertainment.  This was football of the highest class whatever your benchmark, whoever your team.

Stoke set up with an enterprising front four that could have unsettled our defence. However, they were not the sort to bust a gut when it comes to tracking back and pressing. Sure enough, after a few early efforts at penning us back near Hugo’s area, it was easy enough to pass our way through or over them. Any defence would have been stretched by the numbers coming at them from all angles. Rose and Walker offered constant width. This was dangerous for Stoke in itself but it also enabled Lamela and Eriksen to come inside. Time and again Stoke were outnumbered centrally as the Spurs players gathered to win the ball then split at all angles like fireworks from a roman candle. The electronic hoardings advertised a future murder mystery evening at the Britannia but the fans didn’t have to wait to see the slaughter. By the end the Stoke back four didn’t know where they were, and wished they were in a warm, dark room with a nice duvet for comfort.

The contrast in the teams illustrated what Pochettino has achieved. It’s not just the press or the movement, it’s how quickly the Spurs players see the opportunities. Kyle Walker, bless him, always popular with me because of his effort but he’s not the sharpest when it comes to positioning. Yet three times he was instrumental in shifting the ball from back to front in seconds because he started his run the absolute split-second a team-mate won the ball. It is only a shame that his final ball was not better but this is not a day for complaints.

Almost churlish to single out any particular player. They were all on top form but the team’s the thing and their understanding was uncanny. Curmudgeonly sceptic I may be but after this I could be convinced that telepathy exists. But – Kane gets better and better. Never take him for granted – he’s curling a shot past four defenders into the far corner, selflessly running along the line to drag defenders out of the way, linking with Alli to form an unstoppable partnership, back in his own half to tackle.

Alli was a constant threat. Some players loiter in between the lines in search of an opportunity. Alli feeds off the unseen energy, bursting into that space, making something happen. He shot over three or four times and missed an open goal but scored two, one the calmest, coolest chip over the keeper, the other a volley from 15 yards. Double figures for the season. He’s just 20 years old.

Praise for Lamela, effective in a central position. One assist but he did the Modric thing of being the man who made the pass to the player who gets the assist. Behind them, Dier provides the security that frees up the movement, Dembele is battling away alongside him and can turn defence into attack.

Eriksen’s sublime first-time lofted through-ball to Alli for the second, how did he see it never mind deliver… again in the move that set up Alli’s miss, that began in Hugo’s 6 yard box….he began the move for Kane’s third…involved twice in the fourth, providing the pass that Alli volleyed in…

Not so long ago, Pochettino was inscrutable on the touchline. Now he’s a dervish, pummelling the ground in frustration that were we ‘only’ two up because missed chances hurt. When Eriksen hit the bar as he was clean through, as the ball thumped against the woodwork I let out a huge groan as if the ball had struck me in the stomach. He feels it as much as the supporters.

Less than 12 months ago, Spurs’ lost 3-0 at Stoke. Centrebacks were Fazio and Chiriches. I’ll leave that thought with you.

I’ll stop now. I’m just not doing them justice. This is unbelievable. Unbelievable not in the sense of far-fetched unreality but because I never for a moment thought this young team, a newish team remember who are only now coming together, that this team could play this well. Pressure has led other sides to wither and wilt, and you can understand that perfectly well. What is harder to fathom, almost beyond our experience, is that pressure inspires Pochettino’s Spurs.

Leicester deserve the plaudits for taking on the vested interests in the Premier League. There never was a fairytale but that’s the media’s fault, not theirs. Recently I’ve expressed my disappointment that Spurs’ achievements would get lost as the media cling on to their precious narrative. After last night, not any more. The whole of football sat up and took notice. And Leicester, we’re coming for you.

19 thoughts on “Stunning Spurs Hunt Glory

  1. Lovely piece, how could it not be? You may have to change your header to “The Spurs blog about glory and style”! I found it interesting, encouraging and impressive that for the 20-25 minutes that Stoke had some control in the first half I thought our three behind Kane were poor. But they totally turned their form round later in the game with all three instrumental in the goals and victory. Dream time indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, as always, beautiful piece. Man of the match, the whole team, the 11, 12, 13 on the pitch, Poch and his staff, the fans, oh the fans. Pochettino’s Blue and White Army, indeed. We are together as one, team, management and fans, heck even Levy too. What a time to be A Spurs fan.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We are living through the kind of times which only used to be memories at the Lane. We are playing breathlessly beautiful football. I just wish this season didn’t have to end.

    I really do think we will win all our remaining games, possibly without conceding a goal. All Leicester have to do is draw a couple more, or lose one and then the pressure will be on. I’m so happy I need to lie down.

    An Ar*en*l supporting friend was trying to diminish our achievements the other day by saying there is no glory in coming second. As I explained to him, my happiness with Spurs right now is solely down to how much I love this team and love watching them play. Anything we win is the cherry on top.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks Alan.
    We are getting better and better.
    Ours Spurs side are going so good and playing such breathtaking football we could play anybody and win.
    Let’s finish with wins against all.
    I am sure The foxes will drop more points before the end!!

    Like

  5. We may not catch Leicester, Alan, but the glory in trying is something to behold.
    We have a ‘team’ ..and I really can’t remember the last time we had a TEAM (perhaps
    for a brief 4 or 5 months in the 2011/12 season …although this one is better)! A team of young
    unafraid players, with a few experienced ones, all playing as one unit …from defense to midfield to flanks to attack.
    No independent ‘glory’ ..this is the mantra of all for one and one for all!
    If we can hold on to Pochettino, he could prove the Fergie of Spurs over the next 5 or 6 years.
    This is the cusp of something wonderful for Tottenham, and although the neutrals wouldn’t
    deny Leicester their Premiership dream, they saw the dark & cornered side of the Foxes in their draw
    against Wham. The ugly bitter snarling of their players and fans because they suffered (for
    the first time in many many matches) an adverse decision …as though it had been their ‘right’ to continue with all the good luck they’d had, and finish their casual stroll on the red carpet of ultimate success (unopposed by any opposition, match officials and the FA itself etc., indeed, ‘escorted’ by them to the title).
    Well, for a moment, they were shocked they’d found themselves ‘betrayed’ in this procession to the title ..but then the authorities succumbed and gave them salvation in the last few seconds (talk about a referee looking for any opportunity to get out of Leicester alive). But now let’s see what the FA are made of, and what happens to Vardy after his snarling ‘accusations’ at the referee. Just think if this were any other player in any other PL team!
    But …forget them, this is about Tottenham and what we can achieve from now on. This is about a side
    that the neutrals may not support, when it comes to us or Leicester, but a side that is at least recognised by most neutrals and pundits now as the best in the Premiership. We have to hang on to that, continue to take every game as it comes, and build on all this for the 2016/17 season. Like the guy who discovered TutanKhamun’s tomb said ..I see wonderful things. .

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thanks Alan,

    We played so well, mesmerising Stoke in that second half, creating chance after chance and giving so little away at the other end. If it was a boxing match Stoke were the battered, bruised (body and soul) bewildered boxer quitting on his stool.

    We made Stoke lose the will to live (with us). Win lose or draw how many times has that happened to Stoke in the last few years. They tried and it annoys that me people want to say oh Stoke were crap or on the beach. They were, as ever, were up for it, but we drained the life from them with our class last night. Our support was loud and relentless up there too, dominating the airwaves, That doesn’t happen to Stoke much up there either.

    A special performance and special night, Win it or come second, we know we are as good, nay better, than any other team this season.

    We can win all four (and it might still not be enough) but so much can happen in a game, a refereeing decision, a bounce of the ball here or there, a crazy lapse by someone, etc etc. So we might not win all 4, but as has been the case all season, we’ll get a performance from the team, once driven by class and heart and I’m happy enough with that … if still hoping for more.

    Glory Glory Hallelujah indeed!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Like Shakespeare with matters universal, no-one has the pulse of Spurs like Bill Nick, though Our Alan is sometimes close!!. The world and football has almost beyond all recognition yet their insight is timeless:

    “It is better to fail aiming high than to succeed aiming low. And we at Spurs have set our sights very high, so high in fact that even failure will have in it an echo of glory.”

    “Any player coming to Spurs whether he’s a big signing or just a ground staff boy must be dedicated to the game and to the club. He must be prepared to work at his game. He must never be satisfied with his last performance, and he must hate losing.”

    “It’s no use just winning, we’ve got to win well.”

    “Doubt that the sun doth move, doubt truth to be a liar, but never doubt this manager, these players, these fans love Spurs”

    “Cry “Havoc,” and let slip the dogs of Spurs”.

    This is [one of] the noblest Spurs teams of them all”

    Liked by 2 people

  8. The reason you do the writing and I do the reading is because I haven’t the ability to be as articulate, so I’m not going to try. Suffice to say that was as near as perfect a performance as I recall.
    Tottenham’s title tilt is dominating nearly my every waking moment. I’m loving it. And a Newcastle mate has said he can probably get me a ticket if their fate is sealed either way and we’re in with a shout of the title on the last day.Though how would I (or any Spurs fan) keep emotions under wraps if we did the business but I was sat among the home fans?! Success maybe breeds it’s own problems!!!
    Sleep is cancelled until Monday night.
    Thanks for the read.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. A great win and performance after enduring a somewhat difficult opening 20 minutes,but as you say 6 or 7 would not have flattered us.
    Does anyone know the reason behind Lamela taking more set pieces?And they’re not bad.
    I have mentioned in the past my frustration at Eriksen failing to clear the first defender with his corners and last night his free kicks weren’t great.However he was very involved in the goals so I am inclined to forgive him.
    I honestly think we can do it and looking at the remaining matches I would say we have the easier games.Let’s see Leicester react to real pressure.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Alan

    Great read as usual.

    So so proud of the team as a whole, such mesmerising football to watch and the fighting spirit we have is great to watch.

    I walk around like a proud Fighting Cock amongst the jealous Arses. Only today they started saying we will still mess it up. I just said I let my team do the talking for me and have nothing else to say to you except I’m proud f my team .

    Keep up the good work Alan and hope the Mrs is bearing up well 😉

    Like

  11. I absolutely loved reading this. Perfect. For me it’s always about the moment and I’ve had plenty of them this season. Wonderful. I am happy!! We’re in with a chance aren’t we…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tony, we’re with LA Spurs, had 176 at our local Greyhound vs ManUre, over 200 for NLD – the great USA Spurs community is growing by the week, I am stunned by how many Qs I get from interested fans at my Hollywood gym. I always tell them about the glory and style… COYS!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ashley, that’s an impressive turn out. I listen regularly to the Hotspur America podcast put out by three members of the Dallas Spurs club. They are very passionate (two Americans and an English fella living in the US) and it is a good listen. Great to hear Spurs are getting everywhere and in growing numbers in the US.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. My only team for 56 years. And they’ve kept me waiting for a little while. What a night. – Another to come next Monday. At the present trajectory that could mean five!

    Just like Danny Boy said earlier, Alan: you write and we’ll all read. Thanks for your time and insight.

    Come on, you lilywhites!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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