Away is the new home
An astonishing fourth (!) away win in thirteen days could be characterised as stylish in the first half but slightly scrappy in the second. In those four victories we have scored twelve goals and conceded two, both of which were at our own hands (feet) – Vertonghen at Palace and Davies at Colchester. It’s no wonder the word ‘swagger’ is being bandied about in some of the media match reports today.
When are Norwich turning up?
The manner of yesterday’s win spoke volumes. The ease with which we first took the lead when Alli was on hand to tap home the rebound from Eriksen’s saved shot and then created chances for the rest of the half (which only resulted in Harry’s converted pen though there could’ve been many more) without looking like we were having to play at much above a canter, was hugely impressive and when Norwich hoofed and puffed their way back into the game after the break we coped with the bombast with ease, apart from one wobbly spell when Mbokani’s height and strength gave us issues.
Lumber as footballers
When Alex Neil increased the aerial threat by throwing on more meat in the shape of Jerome and Odjidja-Ofoe, Poch responded by introducing man mountain Tom Carroll to help improve our ability to keep possession under pressure and deny the Norwich tree trunks any service. It worked as we reversed the tide, kept the home team comfortably at bay and created several opportunities on the break the last of which Kane cockily curled home left footed to complete the scoring.
Mousa – Man or magician?
Kane was outstanding throughout especially before half time. His skill, directness and determination when combined with his link up play with Alli & Eriksen meant Bassong and new signing Klose (not that one) couldn’t cope.
Norwich’s strange concession of the wings to Rose and Walker meant that Dembélé, Dier and Son constantly had outlets, during the opening forty-five anyway. Attempting to play so narrowly was a bizarre tactic from Neil – if it was a tactic and not just the Canaries being mesmerised into gathering round Dembélé in an attempt to discover whether or not the ball really was glued to his foot. The Belgian was a huge influence on the game as usual especially when the home side attempted to muscle their way back into the match.
Spreading the love
Walker and Alderweireld deserve special mention for their displays and the best compliment to Wimmer is that we didn’t notice the absence of Vertonghen.
The support was outstanding, but given the start we made on the pitch it’d be surprising if it weren’t. At the end the team were all smiles and hugs when they came over to the away corner and received a great reception but after they’d all turned back towards the tunnel Pochettino suddenly emerged hands in the air applauding and the returning roar was almost gutteral. A huge outburst of love for the man who has brought us so much please in the last few months.
Five wins on the bounce is a good as a rest
Against Sunderland it looked as though signs of tiredness were creeping in, it took us an age to get going you’ll recall, whereas last night we looked fresh out of the box and ready to go. The winning habit and good coaching seems, at the moment, to be staving off fatigue. With forty-two points and two cups still to fight for though, there’s still a long way to go.
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