I'm not one to gloat but Harry could have saved himself a lot of trouble by listening to his Uncle Jimmy. What's the Russian for 'I must not be so stubborn' ? Ask Roman when he finally comes down to Earth. If Harry fans want to claim that this just goes to show his managerial genius then I'm cool with that, he hasn't got a lot wrong since he rescued us last season.
Anyway I'm not one to gloat. He didn't start but he did get 20 minutes and scored twice, much to the evident delight of his team-mates. He oozed effort and class and did more than Crouch has done in six games. He has sat on the bench 15 times this season without getting his boots muddy and has made only 2 starts. But he now has the best goals per minute record of all our current strikers, here or abroad, (1/74) and looks a certainty to start against Bolton on Wednesday; fitness and training ground reports permitting.
This is beginning to approach the outer edges of gloating . We had some luck: Defoe's goal was clearly off-side but 'you win some, you lose some'; we coped well with the pitch which was awful, especially Modric who seems able to float on mud. I can only imagine what he's like on water.
Bale was less adventurous than usual perhaps due to the conditions but he still managed to run 50yds to overlap Kranjcar and supply the assist for Defoe. Fans are saying that Harry will have a problem when Ekotto is fit. It's a problem that's easily solved; 'the kid gets the part'. Defoe was taken off rather than Crouch because he had misread the instructions on his medicine and was in danger of seeing red.
Another clean sheet; back into the top four; whats not to like? I even felt a little sorry for Harry as he smiled his rueful smile when Pavlyuchenko scored his second. It was more 'Roy of the Rovers' than real life. To start two games and score 3 times fits better in a Hollywood bio-pic than on the Tottenham High Rd. He could have refused to come on, sulked, or put on a display of frenetic ineffectiveness.
'I feel gloaty. Oh so gloaty'. But it is Pavlyuchenko who clearly felt like running and dancing for joy.
We are poised precariously on top of the contenders for the Champions' League places and before Everton next week we have Bolton to dispose of in the Cup Replay.
It should be 'routine' at the Lane but that is one of those weasel words. A bit like 'quaint' , 'compact' and 'accessible' in Estate Agent speak which means a rat-hole on the main road in need of complete renovation. 'Routine' in Tottenham speak means decided by a last minute deflected goal for somebody, not necessarily us. Kranjcar is the designated penalty taker and Pavlyuchenko takes them for Russia, but let's hope that we have wrapped it up long before it comes to that.
I'm very much cheered up by the performance against Wigan. Bentley closed down like a man on a mission; the midfield was efficient and the back four largely untroubled. I t doesn't take much to cheer me up where Spurs are concerned: a Modric shimmy and I'm ecstatic. Ledley went off with a strain but hopefully that was just precautionary. You never know with Ledders.
The next two games could well define what sort of season we are going to look back on. Personally I would rather we beat Everton than Bolton but happily in this life we have the opportunity to do both. I forecast earlier in the season that Everton would be more likely to be facing relegation than the Europa placings but in my defence I will say that I was right about Pavlyuchenko.
Is he a lethargic trainer or even a lazy player? Unless some ITK can text us from his perch in the trees outside Spurs lodge we will probably never know the truth. We had all this with Berbatov: was he actually lazy or did he just look lazy? It's strange that these controversies should arise at the one club in the Premiership that has a proud history of cultivating flair under a manager that has a similar reputation.
I can see the problem from Harry's point of view. How do encourage them all to train hard as a squad if you select a poor trainer? Easy to me: you say to Crouchy; 'Look son I like you, you're hardworking, and nice guy but that idle Russian is a better player than you and he gets the gig. But keep trying you never know you might improve'.
I understand that we live in different times now, where you have to pass a fitness test before you can get on the stage and start pulling rabbits out of hats. But we can't all tear about like Tevez or Rooney. I like my players on the laid back side of hyperactive. Pavlyuchenko fits the bill nicely. As Bill Nicholson once said of Jimmy Greaves ' All he's done this afternoon is score four goals'.