So what's all the fuss about. Three games unbeaten; a clean sheet; Lennon makes an excellent cross; Pavlyuchenko scores a good header and we are on our way. To where I'm not yet sure. If a week is a long time in politics then its even longer in football taking midweek fixtures into account.
At Newcastle ,who were more tentative and gave the ball away even more than us, we played well in the second half,speeded up the play and kept the ball better. You can work out from this what was wrong in the first half. A bonus was the combative edge of O'Hara who showed good anticipation and composure for his goal which made the match almost safe . Gomes continues to impress, Woodgate was imperious and Ledley though struggling a bit looked a little more composed. Giovani and Lennon looked sharp and caused panic in the Newcastle defence although panic seems to be their default setting. I liked the look of Nzogbia who is rumoured to be on our radar. But then who isn't.
The team played nervously in the first half: Zokora misplaced passes; Jenas was caught in possession a few times; Lennon ran so quickly he forgot the ball or fell over but overall we did the job and should be able to build on this performance. People keep asking whether Ramos knows his best team or his best formation. The answer to this is obviously 'no' . But the team have put themselves under pressure by their poor start and very few players are performing consistently, if at all, at their best and this makes it difficult to get a settled team and into a settled rhythm or style of play.
The negativity in the team is matched by similar feelings in the supporters and they seems to feed of each other. Who has the responsibility of breaking this deadlock?
Bentley has been hugely disappointing but it does seem to have inspired Lennon. The welcome return of Modric is balanced by the loss of Bale with another foot injury. Dawson has gone back to his old habits, all heart and little brain. Huddleston hasn't really been given a chance yet but has not looked comfortable. Perhaps he needs to start a game.
The game at Portsmouth will have a more competitive edge: they have just conceded ten goals in two games and will want to make amends and they could have at least five ex-Spurs players on display who will want to make a point. A win will announce that we are getting back on track and set us up for the return game at Wisla Kracow and for a run of winnable Premiership fixtures. But that would be too easy wouldn't it.
Yes folks it would be, and the answer to my question, 'Crisis,what crisis?' Is 'This crisis'. Not so much for the result at Portsmouth but for the lethargic and uninspired way in which we played. We are still playing like strangers which to a certain extent we are, and eleven individuals are not a team. The build up is too slow and the long ball ineffective unless there is quicker backup for the lone forward. Individual performances were not bad but the game hinged on the two penalties,the first needlessly conceded by Jenas and the second not given to us by the referee.
Team selection was again a mystery. Lennon and Giovani, two bright sparks from Wednesday were on the bench. Gilberto was preferred to Modric one of the best midfielders in Europe. Substitutions even more so. Zokora and Pavlyuchenko ,who were playing well, were substituted. Gunter again sat out the match when Corluka could have been paired with Woodgate rather than Dawson, who incidently I felt played quite well,but I seem to be on my own in that.
Now we've got the added distraction of the 'super-rich Asian billionaire represented by the 'super agent Pini Zahavi' in Spurs takeover talks. His main reason for buying Spurs according to the 'Observer' is the 'fact that they are in London. This point is very important'
We are obviously talking land,property and development here and not football.
So don't hold your breath people and remember that for every Randy Lerner there are ten Thaksins out there. The crisis we have on our doorstep is a football crisis and can only be solved on the pitch by the manager and the team,not in the boardroom by super rich billionaires. Its too late for that this season,though I still assert that Levy's efforts to balance the books have resulted in an unbalanced team.