A Lovely Swan Dive Into A Rapidly Filling Pool

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

They’re not Spursy. Not this bunch. Not ever. Just when one thought about miserable Europa League results, shock losses to Norwich, or West Brom—just when one started to worry about 2nd place and, God forbid, even St. You-Know-Who’s Day—just when the frustrations of nearly 90 minutes of domination producing not one decent shot on goal started to boil over, this wonderful group of players reminded one and all that they are not living in the past. They rise up and pounce and Eriksen, Dele, Janssen and Son did just that. And it was glorious.

The hint that maybe things had finally turned came a few minutes before the equalizer when a beautiful ball from Eriksen (?) landed on Dele’s head and surely was to be deposited in the corner of the net. A gimpy Lucas Fabianski thought otherwise with the one truly special save of the evening. And then in dizzying combination, Eriksen launched again and this time the deflection headed right to Dele’s leg and there was no missing.

The resolve following the goal was extraordinary—one knew a chance was coming (Janssen came close) and this time it was Son, the beleaguered symbol of all that had gone wrong in this game, in alone on the right and Fabianski was only able to slow the ball’s inevitable progress to the net. Now the Swans had to gamble and surely they would be opened up and Eriksen—MOTM for me—wasn’t about to miss.

Yes, Chelsea held on for their three points and while 2nd place now seems assured, the title is probably out of reach. But so what? This team could easily best 80 points—and perhaps even 85. This is the best Spurs team in recent memory—by far…They did not quit—despite all the poor quality in the final third throughout this game, the cheap goal that some very poor defending conceded, the sense that it was not their night.

Davies and particularly Alderweireld conspired to allow a goal. Just before that an equally important failure had occurred when Son chose the only option on a 3 v 1 that was not going to produce a goal—a pass to Moussa Sissoko. It was less the latter’s failure to return the ball back to either Son or Dele and more the defender’s smart guesswork but Son seemed to have a black cloud over him the rest of the evening. Neither winger—Davies or Walker—were able to exploit the space they were given and their crosses were weak; Somehow Eriksen, Dele and Son repeeatedly failed to link up in any productive way.

But no matter because this one was destined to last 97 minutes, not 90. And in that final 10 minutes, the quality and grit of this side shone. Beat Watford and Bournemouth at home and hope the Blues stumble on the road and by the time we get to Wembley we might still have a title narrative.

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Paul is a respected U.S. political pollster (Democrat) based in Madison, Wisconsin and Los Angeles. His love for Spurs began when the Premier League games started appearing regularly in the U.S. and an American lover of football had to choose a side. Bale, Rushdie, Adele, Shakespeare, the Spurs faithful, The Lane, etc. were all irresistible attractions and have made Maslin a Spur for life.

2 COMMENTS

  1. We pulled this one out the fire…. let’s not leave it so late again…. I won’t have any fingernails left….

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