And great was the tumult along the High Road of the King at the sign of the White Hart.
Young Sir Daniel of the Rose and Sir Gareth, 'The Baler', carried aloft by the jubilant crowd.
The Infidel Flying Dragon 'The Emirate' mortally wounded and its hired foreign mercenaries laid waste by the young knights after many years of sore plague.
Sometimes the world just comes right: occasionally the sun shines when you want it to and the rain falls when you need it; from time to time something happens that renews your faith in whatever it is you believe in. Wednesday night was just such an occasion. After ten years of league struggle we beat the Arsenal in a game crucial for both our aspirations.
After the Portsmouth fiasco and facing the three top teams in the league, without Lennon, Corluka, Kranjcar and Palacios we dug in and without assistance from the pitch or the ref. beat our closest rivals to upset their Premiership hopes and enhance our own assault on the Top Four. That their team included Sol Campbell was an added joyful twist to the plot.
So, another hoodoo confronted; another jinx defeated; another myth deflated; another dragon slain. This was one more step on the road to the re-ascendency of Spurs. Perhaps they are, Mr. Hanson, a team that does not always let you down in the end.. Arsenal are a very good team but on the night we were better. They had more than 60% possession but Gomes didn't have to make a save until the 75th minute. We scored the goals at the right moments and Harry called it right from the off. Danny Rose made his first start, trying on the mantle of Lennon another Leeds' Academy graduate, and scored the goal of the season and possibly his career after ten minutes.
Everyone worked hard to cover and close down. This was an organised and disciplined team effort. We were ragged and careless with the ball in the first half but gradually composed ourselves. The 'King is finished' brigade will have to think again as will the 'Modric can't hack it in centre mid.' sceptics. We needed to hold onto the ball and Modric and King rarely give the ball away. The later introduction of Bentley, who surprised us again with his work rate, and Gudjohnsen helped us to retain possession. Gomes was on hand with three top class saves when all else had failed. 'Just doing my job' he says.
Bale again was a revelation and what the hell was he doing there to score his first goal of the season from a Defoe assist? This was probably another first. The quality of the ball from Defoe defies analysis: perfectly weighted and conceived on the drawing board of a space scientist from NASA planning a moon shot. It bisected the two defenders and allowed Bale to coolly pass the ball into the net. Almost game set and match.
Some fans would rather have won this game than the F.A.Cup or qualify for the Champions' League but in fact it opens up just that possibility. So we can have our cake and eat it. Life is very sweet sometimes.' Mental toughness' was very much in evidence even without the suspended Palacios to 'stiffen the sinews'. I prefer to think of it as confidence and belief with a dose of concentration and application. All this the result of having a settled squad with quality players ,playing well and challenging at the highest level. A more down to earth analysis than the the pseudo psychological, semi mystical mumbo jumbo implied by 'mental toughness'. A thoroughbred called Progress out of Stability and Confidence.
. After this performance and result whatever happens in the run in this will go down as one of the best seasons for years and Harry now has an option on the job for life. I have no particular wish to ruin Arsenal's season and if I was offered the deal that Arsenal win the league and we come 4th I would take it. However beating them was essential to our own progress.
The average age of the Tottenham starting eleven was less than that of the Arsenal team and we had two players, (Rose 19 and Bale 20) two years younger than their youngest. So much for the kids. Our first team injury list matched theirs, and they had the oldest player on the pitch.(Campbell 35).So all in all a good night for Spurs fans who can now cite last night as well as the 5-1 Carling Cup victory when the Arsenal fans get uppity in the next few years. Bragging rights secured for the time being, but most important another step up in our own confidence.
Our current points total of 61 after 33 games has already beaten our previous highest Premiership points total at this stage (58 in 2005/6) and we still have 5 games left to beat our final tally in that year of 65pts. With Man.Utd we have the meanest home defence record in the Premiership (11 conceded in 17 games)
You don't need statistics to know that we are having a good season. But sometimes they help you to understand how far we have come. Once again we defeated a team that came to play and took us on. We now have to work out how to beat teams that don't come to play but to defend and snatch a point. That's Liverpool, Arsenal and Man.City beaten at the Lane and next up is Chelsea who won't be relishing the trip across town at this point. I have absolutely no idea which Tottenham will turn up, the Portsmouth or the Arsenal one so anything can happen and probably will but at the moment I don't really care.