I knew I should have held something back after the Arsenal game. I've nowhere to go now with the superlatives. I got too far ahead of my team. I was so delighted with the way we faced down Arsenal for thefirst time in a decade, that I didn't think ahead to the Chelsea game. It never occurred to me that we might win that one too. But as I rested hidden in the clouds of glory that swirl around the approaches to the peak the team climbed past me. After Wednesday I was just enjoying the moment, the bragging rights, the deep satisfaction of at least putting this bit of our shame to bed. I thought that we had reached the peak of our ambitions, but as the mists cleared I could see that there were greater heights to scale.
Against Chelsea we played even better. We defended equally well but now Modric ran the midfield and we should have won it with ease.. Bale, Pavlyuchenko, and Defoe all had good chances to administer a spanking. We weren't as dependent on Gomes who only made a couple of world class saves on this occasion. New horizons swam into view.
Chelsea, Champions in waiting will have to wait a little longer. In mid-week we hammered our crampons into Arsenal, now we've done the same to Chelsea and at the weekend we set out to scale Mount United. We couldn't could we? So much for our difficult run in. Suffice to say that that was our best performance of the season, a concerted team effort in which everybody gets 9 and Bale, Modric and Dawson get 10. Nothing over the top there then.
In any case its not cool to get too excited. Anyone would think that beating Arsenal and Chelsea in the same week was something out of the ordinary. We might just have to get used to this level of performance. All this within days of Portsmouth and Sunderland. That surely wasn't us: that was some inferior Spurs Tribute team; imposters on the Premiership circuit, cowboys using our branding iron. Trading Standards should investigate. Well the real Tottenham roped themselves together and left those charlatans sleeping in their tents at base camp
Chelsea are our favourite whipping boys at The Lane, that's three wins in four games, not to mention the Carling Cup. 'Can we play you every week?'. We matched and beat them all over the pitch. Dawson had Drogba for breakfast and Bale lunched and dined on whoever was put in front of him: Ferriera then Ivanovic and finally Terry who was sent off for yet another ugly challenge after being outpaced while Bale was still in third gear. Modric showed once again that he can play effectively wherever he is put. Huddlestone was immense in every sense of the word.
There were some curious similarities with the Arsenal game: same score line; Bale scored the second goal; and a late goal conceded from a cross along the ground from the right to make it interesting. We should have been out of sight by then but decided to do it the Tottenham way with our hearts in our mouths. Climbing without oxygen.
Who amongst you didn't cringe when Defoe stepped up after missing 6 of his last 10 penalties? What gave him the idea that he could score this one? Who told him he could take it? He cracked it high into the net having sent Cech the wrong way. All questions answered. That boy's confidence borders on the edge of insanely dangerous. Ice to be tested? Crevasse to be examined? Send for Jermaine.
We concentrated on Bale's speed and strength down the left but even Kaboul after a dodgy start found the space and time to support Bentley on the right. Bentley himself almost caught Cech out with a delicate chip. The movement of Defoe and Pavlyuchenko exposed the Chelsea back line which looked cumbersome. Dawson even without Ledley was as solid as the rock we are scaling. Capello, given the chance to compare the two centre halfs, must surely come to the same conclusion which we all reached weeks ago. That boy and his minder Mr. King deserve tickets to S.Africa
The referee, Phil Dowd, was more than fair and had sent Terry off before today. The penalty was not clear but Bale had gone down heavily in the area minutes before so justice was done. Mr. Dowd was firm and followed through, booking Alex for dissent. My theory is that referee's are increasingly unhappy with the abuse they receive, 'Respect' agenda or not. A team like Tottenham who on the whole behave well, and Harry too, will eventually reap the rewards of good behavior. It certainly seemed to work on Saturday. Perhaps next week's game at Manchester will test my theory to destruction.
I targeted 3 points from these three allegedly tricky ties and so far with one to play we have six. Utd. beat City and we are back in front for the 4th spot, two points and a goal ahead. Arsenal lost at Wigan which perhaps puts our achievement into perspective. It's certainly still on. There is no reason to suppose that we won't maintain this standard of performance or this level of concentration for the last 4 games. We have Palacios and Lennon to return and Ledley waiting in the wings. Will Palacios get back into the team straight away? Probably; at the expense of Ekotto; Bale will return to fullback and he and Modric will be left free climbing on the flank.
Only Tottenham can turn football into an extreme sport with the variety of their performances. We abseil, one handed, down the sheerest rock face with nonchalant ease and trip over a tent peg at the bottom. We have been a staging post for aspiring climbers for too long; a bivouac on a windswept ledge half way up the mountain. Time to push on up.
. As all mountaineers will testify the golden rule as you approach the top is, 'Don't look down'. Keep your eyes firmly fixed on the summit ahead. Look out Arsenal: Spurs are coming.