The Blog that's not always wrong.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Well qualified

Pouring Champagne
                             Oh go on then, just a little one at this stage.

I had predicted that the stress of having to win at the Lane, the missed chances; the refereeing blunders; the clock ticking down; the possibility that they might score a goal; the dread of extra time and perish the thought: penalties; might all conspire to finally send me to the great defibrillator in the sky. But last night neither me nor the boys broke into a semblance of perspiration.

A controlled, routine win against what turned out to be in the end a very average side. The chants along the lines of 3-0 and you made a mess of it give the clue to the open pantry window through which we forced our late entry in the first leg and their defence and goalkeeper were found to be dozing on the porch as we slipped past them again without setting off any surveillance equipment. Don't they have any tall strikers in Switzerland?

I should post an apology to Mr. P J Crouch at this stage for any disparaging comments I may have uttered in frustration in the past. He was given space and used it well, little cushioned headers instead of flick ons and strong and accurate headers when given the chance. In the Premiership he is usually under strong challenge and doesn't do so well. Apart from Dawson who has 'long ball' in his DNA we didn't overdo the upfield punt and got the ball to Tom Hoddlestone as he is beginning to be known,

We scored early, got a fortunate second just as we were losing the initial momentum and ran out easy winners. Fortune and referees are smiling upon us at the moment. Huddlestone, Bale, and Crouch were exceptional: Ledley, Ekotto,and Lennon were merely excellent. Defoe, threatened with a scalpel in his delicate parts, was livelier than he has been for months Drama queen Gomes had actually seen a wolf this time but Harry stuffing the velvet glove into his jacket pocket showed him only the iron fist. The whole thing passed off like a training ground exercise, no alarms, no excursions, except, hopefully, to hot sunny locations in Spain and Italy, no sweat, no worries. It was so unTottenham like it was positively disconcerting.

They couldn't even pressurise our one legged Brazilian keeper and Cudocini dealt competently with the little that Young Boys threw his way in the second half. The only clouds on the horizon were the continuing sloppiness of Palacios who seems to be playing in a daze and the lack of urgency of Corluka.

I hope that the Champions' League proper is more exciting than this. We finally came of age in the Premiership era, confounding our critics and delighting our fans. After the 'Death by Plastic' last week where we obviously didn't fancy it at all, we got it all together, parceled it up, and sent it first class to Monaco for the draw for the group stages. As the message booms around the world that Tottenham Hotspur are through to the Champions' League proper I expect the High Road postman to be staggering into Bill Nicholson way with sacks of applications from the World's finest, pot hunters and mercenaries included.

Our wage structure should sort the ambitious from the last chancers, the needy, and the greedy. Harry is taking Sandra to a seminar on far post finishing where she is I think the main speaker and claims nothing is happening on the transfer front. Daniel is going to have to do it all on his own. Her Brazilian near namesake arrives any day so Wilson's days could be numbered in the January window if he continues to disappoint.

We qualified well and are well qualified to progress. Of course this is all in the euphoric glow of the sunrise on the pleasant uplands of Hindsight. At 4-0 with go I was calculating whether it was possible for them to score the 3 goals needed to win the game. Only as a Sudoku, Guardian Crossword type of intellectual exercise you understand not because I really thought it might happen. Not really.

So we reach the shores of the Promised Land and now have to hack our way through the jungles or at least the undergrowth of Italy, Germany and Holland to get to the knockout stage and then on to the National Stadium of, well bless me, England. So as long as it's some outfit from overseas we will have home advantage for the final. Everything to play for then.

What effect this will have on the mundane Premiership fixture against Wigan in the minds of our heroes is difficult to judge. Are we expecting a repeat of last year's goalfest? You bet we are. The CL qualification should inspire the boys and give them confidence for the domestic season to come although fixture congestion might cause problems later if we progress in the domestic cups. But these are better problems than worrying about relegation and survival, or even mid-table mediocrity.

Winning is a habit, an attitude, a mentality that we are slowly acquiring. We are more likely to finish in the top four than win the Champions' League so we must not sacrifice our Premiership or cup performances. Wigan, the first in a run of very winnable fixtures, is a game that we need to win, should win, and will win, probably by a margin if we have any ambitions for the Champions' League.


Anonymous said...

Right you are?

kit said...

One of the best pieces I have read in a long time!!

Alwyn said...

very well done at the Lane, and what's that with the white flags the crowd was waving? i don't recall seeing that b4, then again (given this part of the world) i don't actually get to watch Spurs matches much.

Gareth Bale is shaping up to be the Man of the Seaon; a Spurs version of Giggs in his prime? Oh, they're both Welsh too, right?

COYS in Europe!

JimmyG2 said...

The flags which were left on every Spurs seat before the game were a great idea I thought. Made the stadium even more intimidating.

Well it worked for Adolph.

Yep both Welsh, and remember Cliff Jones and Terrry Medwin from the great 60's side were both Welsh.

You're very welcome

elwehbi@ibleedhotspur said...

Excellent post JimmyG2!

Hudd's touch on every ball was top drawer. I was drooling every time he kicked the sweet spot and controlled play. Played a lot deeper than usual though.

Congratulations are due to everyone, including the fans, for the achievement! Bring on the Champions League!!!!!


who framed ruel fox? said...

A vintage post there, Jimmy. Unlike the pictured bubbly which I'd hazard a guess at being a bottle of Tesco's Asti.

Alan said...

Nice one jim, fitting the game into the bigger picture. No complacency today.

Good spot for Wilson and Charlie. Amidst the euphoria you've spotted neither are doing well.

Cheers, Al

Post a Comment