That is the question. After a bumpy start and the unrest of European Transfer window deadline (2nd September) and the players being unsettled, and now us beating Palace convincingly, hopefully, yes. However, I must say that I thought that the European transfer window jitters – unsettling the players was bullsh*t. I say bullsh*t because they are professional people and should rise above all the speculation.
Sadly, that was the talk in the dugout, press and all over the place. But we beat Villa amongst all the kafuffle, then we had a good draw away at the Manchester City’s ground, yes, last season’s triple winners – again, amongst all the kafuffle, then back home to face Newcastle. We lose and then conveniently blame it on the “transfer window deadline” kerfuffle. Bull! Now it is all over (the transfer window conjecture), and the kerfuffle has subsided, now we get a stunning victory over Palace. What are we going to blame it on when we suffer another defeat at the hands of one of the lower stragglers? Over pumped up and swollen testicles? That is a good one, and I don’t think that has been used before. It is always best to have a bag of excuses, apart from the truth.
Anyhow, everybody looked happy so let us mean to go on as our potential should dictate.
We hit our stride, yes, something to crow about. In an almost packed stadium (59,812). We Jivy-Jived our way to victory and all because the Son came out (sun, get it? Oh, please yourselves!)… and shined on us. OK, plus the other players performing as their wages dictated they should do.
But did it help that Mauricio had a long chat, a few home truths sprayed about, the week of the match? He wanted to refocus their mindset and vision to winning ways, and I must say, it seemed to work (and the players that hoped to leave didn’t, because nobody seriously came in for them… always an excellent way to “refocus” one’s mind).
Once the whistle went we were like hungry lions, looking for the raw meat and finding it in a quivering Palace side. We overwhelmed them… yes, we kicked arse… at least in the first half. Our Son, who scored our primary goal in our new stadium… less than a year ago (April) scored again with a crisp finish after Sakho misjudged Toby Alderweireld’s raking cross-field pass.
Previously, we had fallen behind in both our home games so far this season, continued to apply pressure on the Palace rearguard, and we finally doubled our lead when Aurier’s cross from the right was directed past Guaita by the unfortunate Van Aanholt.
Aurier was making his first start since February, was left in far too much space as he set up our second goal, and Palace failed to learn their lesson as the Ivory Coast defender produced another teasing ball which Son volleyed brilliantly past Guaita at the far post.
Son was at the forefront of all that was good about our performance, starting the move that led to Lamela prodding Kane’s low cross beyond the Palace goalkeeper three minutes before the interval.
Hodgson’s side were second best from start to finish as the defensive organisation that earned them that impressive victory at Old Trafford appeared to desert them.
There may have been an element of fortune about our second goal, but we cut through our opponents with embarrassing ease in the build-up to our third and fourth goals, with Son and Lamela both left unmarked at the far post.
Palace rarely threatened at the other end as Lloris made routine saves from Cahill and Kouyate in the first half, before thwarting Wilfried Zaha in the second. Finally, the whistle came to spare Palace’s blushes.
Even though all the goals wherein the first half, we used the second half as more of a team spirit exercise, without putting a man into a dangerous position, that would jeopardise his chances for Wednesday’s game in Greece. We thought, four goals, lovely jubbly.
As I looked up at our golden cockerel, who was looking down over our magnificent stadium, I am sure I heard it crowing, albeit with Bill Nicholson standing behind it squeezing its balls.
We’ve had two victories, two draws and a stupid defeat this season. We have the quality and the depth, it just needs Pochettino finding the right combination to carry on our winning way. Get that right, and he will be the hero he so wants to be (that is a hero with trophies), and we can proudly look up at the Cockerel crowing without anybody behind it clutching its vibrating jigglers to stimulate the vocal cords.
I am currently in Greece, no, not for a holiday but serious work. Work that entails playing my part in Tottenham’s renovation (oh, really! No, not really… but I can dream… nonetheless, I will be there with the team, even though in such a more inferior role… or should that be a roll? If it is, then I’ll have a baguette with cheese and tuna, thank you!).
Whether you are there or not, get behind the team… it is a new dawn? (hopefully!).
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