Saturday’s despatching of Bournemouth was superficially so routine that many of its merits have been brusquely dismissed, or at least lost in the aftershock of Chelsea’s lead falling to a slightly more assailable than previously four points.
Beating teams so easily is no straight forward task, but this year our Swat Aside Per Game ratio is at a height where even Real and Barca, the ultimate big fish in a small pond, might suffer a twinge of jealousy. Since January Watford, Southampton, West Brom, Stoke, Watford again and now the Cherries have been perfunctorily dismissed with their goals against columns four goals to the bad. Several of the home games, where the majority of the damage has been done before the interval have led to such a becalmed second half that I’m not sure Daniel Levy wouldn’t be expecting complaints that people aren’t getting value for money. (And this is ignoring the cup thrashings meted out to Fulham and Millwall).
Of course, Kane, Alli, Son and Eriksen grab the headlines but they can’t do their job without the platform provided by the consistent and absolute top quality work done by the chaps behind them. What team’s midfield would look at Dembélé, Wanyama and Dier and think, “yeah, we’ll have them”, what other sides wide players would fancy coming out on top against Walker and Davies? Ok, I’ll give you that one, substitute the English Rose for the Welshman. And who, when faced by Vertonghen, Alderweireld and Lloris doesn’t wonder whether Spurs defence is what Trump’s Wall will look like eventually?
Don’t take this side and these victories for granted. Familiarity breeds contempt they say, what we must do is make sure we don’t lose the sense of wonder that should be created in us each time Dele side foots another ball into the corner, Walker brings down a crossfield ball first time, Lloris makes the outstanding look simple, Son magics up a beaming smile handshake, Vertonghen whips the ball away from another striker, Moussa shrugs off a couple of powder puff challenges or Harry makes a mug of another centre back.
These are moments to treasure and appreciate, no matter how easy they all make it seem.