I had the dubious pleasure of watching the Asterias Tripoli match via Be In Sports which meant a half time analysis by none other than Trevor Francis – a pundit who never, it seems, has a good word for Spurs.
On this occasion however he was positively purring in his praise and even went as far as to claim that the “rabona” strike from Lamela was, in his words “The greatest goal we have ever seen”.
Now, before we get too excited, let us consider the goal itself.
It was a spectacular goal – no question about that. The skill level, the technical ability added to the impudence do all add to that spectacle but was it really “the greatest”?
Not wishing to deny Lamela his moment of glory but no it wasn´t.
To qualify for that title a goal must surely be more than just an extraordinary strike at goal, there must be something extraordinary about the build up play, there must be something unique and awe-inspiring.
The build up play to that goal was not awe-inspiring it was simply awful. Adebayor miscontrolled and the ball was prodded across the penalty box by a defender, possibly wrong footing Lamela and causing him to shift his positioning so that his only option for a strike on goal was by way of a “rabona”. Had he tried to control it he would have been closed down and the moment lost.
And if you trawl through the archives you will find that it isn´t even the best “rabona” goal, nor is it even the best “rabona” scored by Lamela as in his teenage years he ended a mazy run with a similar strike from much closer range whilst playing for River Plate. Maybe it wasn´t even his best goal on the night as I felt his second goal showed greater skill and athleticism, a flying volley under immense pressure and squeezing the ball in at pace at a very tight angle
Yes it was a great goal, and no doubt it will be oft repeated on our TV screens in the future, but it wasn´t that great.
What it will do is give our most expensive signing more confidence and that is something that has been lacking – especially last season – so that maybe now he can go on to fulfil his true potential.
Another player who will be full of confidence, of course, is Harry Kane with three goals of varying degrees of difficulty. A low right foot rasper from well outside the box, a relatively simple tap in (but we have seen them missed in the past) and a well placed header at the far post.
Statistically he is now on a par with Sergio Aguera in terms of scoring this season as both are averaging a goal every 70 minutes or so of playing time. That Aguera starts most games for Citeh and is their number one, Kane´s opportunities have either come off the bench or in cup games.
Surely his performances – and not just his goals – have been good enough to warrant a place in the starting line up on Sunday.
Some will say he benefitted from playing behind Adebayor as opposed to being the lone striker but would he be better suited to playing in front of our regular attacking midfield trio of Chadli, Eriksen and Lamela? His link up play is better than either Adebayor or Soldado, his runs into the box more committed and his willingness to get on the end of through balls and have a shot is well documented.
He may not be the fastest, but he is big and strong, he works hard and seems to have that knack of being in the right place at the right time. And that is something that sets great strikers apart from simply good ones.
Maybe with that added confidence running through his veins, maybe with the next opponents being lowly Newcastle, maybe just maybe now is the time to unleash the HurriKane.
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