Tottenham Hotspur versus Manchester City was always going to be a battle of two polarising philosophies. In one corner the ‘evil’ all conquering goliath of a club with a bottomless money pot at their disposal. Taking on a club limited to a stringent transfer budget with a bunch of kids you would expect to meet having a kick about on a Saturday afternoon at Bruce Castle Park.
Prior to the game, not many (if any) pundits gave our kids a prayer. The unbelievable annihilation of Manchester City is the kind that makes you wonder if this could be the beginning of our boys finally becoming men. Paul Merson. Eat your heart out.
‘You can’t win anything with kids’, is an assertion Alan Hansen will forever be haunted with. What poor Alan failed to realise was, recruiting the right kids refreshes a team with a lot of hunger and desire. Having let go of all the ‘big uns’ and having faith in the youth, we are now seeing a side that demonstrates energy, character and purpose. It’s taken a while but perhaps these are the first fruits of Pochettino’s philosophy materialising.
Every player excelled in their role and contributed something meaningful against City. But step forward Erik Lamela. He deserves a paragraph on his own for his stellar shift. After being precariously close in being sold in the summer, to say the Argentine has turned over a new leaf is an understatement. Lamela’s work rate was as effective as ever. He chased and battled for every lost cause. Offensively too he was on point; surging forward with nimble footwork and clever quick passing. He made the most of a susceptible City defence severely missing their defensive lynchpins in Kompany and Hart. Lamela’s goal and assist was nothing less than he deserved and we all hope he can continue to develop the way he has been. It should not come as a surprise that he has created the most chances in the team (16) thus far in the season. With 14 of them being key passes and 2 assists overall. The goal he scored to cap off a fantastic win for us was mesmerising. The Lamela we knew in the past may have huffed and scuffed that chance wide and far over the bar. Yet the Lamela we have now, had the composure to match the skill. His magical shifting of feet and feinting floored the keeper who made a desperate plunge to retrieve the ball. Demichelis was left sprawled helplessly on his backside as he attempted to hack the ball off the line. Whisper it quietly but that was a bit Messi-esque!
In the middle of the park, the onlooking England manager would have been ecstatic with what he saw in Eric Dier and Alli. With a combined cost of a paltry £9million the English duo put their expensive midfield counterparts to shame. Ben Davies, Toby and Verts along with Lloris all were excellent. Kyle Walker started the game shaky but he grew as the game progressed and shackled Sterling for long periods of the game. Son, Eriksen and Kane all deserve plaudits for their belief and courage. They did not stop believing and in the end their offensive quality was duly rewarded. I could write a bestseller on how good the team operated collectively if there was time. Overall, the resounding victory was a statement to the rest of the league, that we may have the youngest team but they are also a battling team.
Well what can we say about City? At present they are straight outta
Compton form. That much is for sure. Oh and Kyle Walker, the game is long over. You can let Raheem Sterling out of your pocket now.
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