This was one of those games that will live long in the memory of all lucky enough to be present. Everyone expected a Harry love-in, not many would’ve predicted quite such an emphatic, rampant and dominant performance to accompany it, especially one with the central character being the man that more than a few have raised doubts about recently, the much maligned Emmanuel Adebayor.
If Redknapp was the lead character off the field then our no 10 was the main man on it. He ran Coloccini and pals ragged from first to last. A goal and four assists tell their own story. Adebayor took full advantage of the space down our right in front of Kyle Walker, space which was nominally taken by Niko Kranjcar who was in fact given the free roaming role normally taken by Van der Vaart and/or Bale. The latter was given stricter orders than normal to stay out wide presumably due to the presence of Saha. It seems incredible that we managed to score 5 times without the Welshman contributing directly to any of them.
Adebayor was backed by ebullient and skilful performances from the rest of the side behind him and a display of clinical finishing from Saha alongside. Teamwork was the key as Assou-Ekotto and Modric, Walker and Kranjcar all supported the front two with panache, energy and precision.
Celebration followed the ever popular Benny’s first after 3 minutes, the noise being cranked up notch after notch as two from Saha and Kranjcar with his first of the season made it four after 34 minutes. Redknapp’s name echoed around the ground again and again. “You’re Spurs and you know you are”, ”We want you to stay” and “Only one Harry Redknapp”.
Newcastle were too open from the word go, if Pardew’s goal was to prove that he doesn’t have the tactical nous needed to become England manager then it was a fully successful mission. By the time he made the tactical and personnel changes required it was too late and the game was out of the visitors’ grasp. The Senegalese pairing up front looked lively but their efforts foundered on the King, Dawson and Parker triumvirate. By continuing to come forward as they shipped goals behind them, all Newcastle did was leave themselves open to more punishment. A half-time sub and reorganisation meant that we were restricted to only the one goal in the second half, another well worked team move ending with Adebayor volleying in for a strike he much deserved. The party tricks followed, with flicks, dummies and step overs all over the field. Just to make sure everyone felt part of the carnival, Brad Friedel got involved by parrying Ba’s goal bound header clear with a fine reflex save.
At the end of an extraordinary week for Redknapp he cannot fail to have been moved by the entreaties from the crowd and dazzled by the efforts of the players. On an occasion such as Saturday choosing to leave White Hart Lane seems ludicrous. The potential seems huge and the future a very bright lilywhite. The cold light of day, the five hour daily commutes, the smooth voice of David Bernstein and the almost tangible public pressure mean that he’ll probably opt to do so anyway. If Saturday is anything to go by though, there’s a lot more fun to be had before he does.
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