They had little bite in midfield and no edge up front. It allowed Palacios and Huddlestone the time to play well. So the choice seems to be between excitement and thrills ending with a loss or a draw or a routine, competent, possibly boring win. I think I know which most Spur's fans would go for, at the moment anyway.
Following the surprise appearance of Pavlyuchenko we had the even more surprising appearance of Bentley who knuckled down and curbed his more flamboyant side and was all the better for it. Modric reacted with style to Schwartzer's flap to set up Crouch and Bentley got a deflection off the wall to wrong foot the keeper again for the second. A little bit of luck going our way at last. Thankfully we didn't overdo the long ball.
Only Defoe struggled to influence the game and could perhaps do with a rest. He made little of his partnership with Crouch and the same when paired with Keane. Only he and Pavlyuchenko have shown any signs of an understanding. Ledley looked sound and mentored both Dawson and Bale. He kept his eye on the shop when Gareth popped out for one of his little trips.
If we are going to reap the benefits of having one the best young attacking fullbacks in the country then we need to provide cover for him and allow him to do his thing. We don't need to keep complaining that he makes the odd defensive error or hasn't mastered the black arts of defensive positional play. He's 20 for God's sake. Hoodoo sorted now let's relax and give the boy room to play.
Against Birmingham away we will have to step up. This is important in the same way that the Liverpool game was important. Anyone remember what happened there? We can promote our own cause and deal a potential rival a severe blow. Once again results are going our way, Wolves drawing with Liverpool; Aston Villa dropping points at home to Arsenal, Birmingham's unbeaten run ending at Chelsea. The great result fixer in the sky is certainly trying to give us a hand.. Now its up to us to help ourselves.
Birmingham have scored a measly 9 goals in their 11 home games and with our tight defensive record it looks like a low scoring game. With Chelsea putting paid to their 12 match unbeaten run in midweek it might be a good time to play them. They have a good record at home this season and against us. King won't be available after his appearance against Fulham. Doubts over the fitness of Gomes are a worry. If Kranjcar is still ill we might see the same midfield with Bentley preferred to Rose and Modric on the left. Up front probably Defoe and Crouch unless Pavlyuchenko has recovered
We seem to have players back or running into form, Modric, Palacios, Huddlestone and Bale so the result will depend on our ability to take our chances. I don't think they will score so a 2-0 win is my forecast.
An interesting sidelight against Fulham was that we played the game with 11 British players in the squad of 17 and had 6 English players on the pitch for most of the game. (Defoe,Couch, Dawson, Huddlestone, King and Bentley) and under an English manager. Is this a recent record? Does it signify anything? Does it matter? I don't know but in curious way I am pleased but not sure why.
With a Lithuanian grandfather; a mother who was half Irish; a stepfather from an Italian family; daughters who live and work abroad and grandchildren who are bi-lingual I don't think it is for racial or nationalistic reasons.
It is probably a futile nostalgia for the old days of one club players and a mutual loyalty between fans and players; not having to worry whether a richer or more successful club will seduce your best players; of bringing up your players in the traditions of the club; of having to succeed by recruiting, coaching and nurturing home grown talent and not just buying them from the ' Mercenary Force Catalogue of Overseas Players' who just want trophies and money and who will desert you if a better offer comes along.
Oh dear Jimmy you are really showing your age now. 'Time to go to bed now Jim. I said, TIME TO GO TO BED NOW JIM'. Goodness knows what he'd have been like if his team had lost to Fulham. Bless him.