And don’t it feel good?
A dismal first half was punctuated by a moment of brilliance as a perfectly weighted Harry Kane left-footed found Heung-Min Son who beat Alex McCarthy for the opener. Who knew it would be the first of four such goals as two-thirds of what may soon become the best front three in the Premier League simply ran rampant, papering over about an hour of football where the Saints were the more energetic and aggressive side?
Whatever happened at halftime—big balls, no mistakes, boys, or simply a hot cup of coffee—the team was transformed. It was the type of display we have rarely seen in the past three seasons, since things started to grind down under Poch. It was as if they began to celebrate the extraordinary developments of the past few days and each goal bred another. By the end Kane was exhausted and didn’t even bother to acknowledge his own goal for the fifth. I have to be honest—I thought prior to the goal Son played one of his worst halves in a long time. Every attack consisted of long ball to either Son and Kane, with each, particularly the Korean, being offside. He was trapped on the left, without ideas and everything seemed to be sputtering. Until it didn’t.
The defence was leaky. None of them had a particularly good game as the Saints could have scored at least one or two more other than Ings’ opener. Hugo made a few bright saves to keep this game close, but he was slow on the goal and had a few curious Llorisian adventures. Ndombele was active, but the difference between him and Lo Celso was evident in an instant, when the Argentine turned and made the pass to Kane which led to the second Son goal. And now we await the initial appearance of our two left-footed transplants from Madrid. Reguilo must be an improvement over Davies—and surely Ryan Sessegnon must be about to be dispatched somewhere since both of his potential roles have been supplanted.
As for the other, it all seems a bit unreal. The camps seem to be utterly polarized—some saying the move is brilliant, others thinking it smacks of desperation. Whether it is a good or bad thing that Bale has barely played for two seasons, despite largely being over his injury woes (until now, it appears) remains to be seen. But surely no one can doubt this club’s ambition. And today’s second half reminds us of what they are capable of once the field becomes open.
In a week—before Gareth Bale has even gotten to know his new teammates and with him probably at least two or three more weeks away from his first pitchside appearance—we will know whether two of the trophy hunts he wants to be part of are still alive. Games in East London and Romania are wildly different in character and atmosphere and Jose faces some vexing selection decisions in a team he now thinks has an abundance of options. Whether Dele? Is he bound for Paris? Have we seen the last of him? Do they put the “eau” on the brush first in France? Or will a Tuesday night at Brisbane Road be his swan song? For all the joy of this week, it is tinged with sadness over a career that seems to have reached its limit—at least as a Spur. He only cost 5 mill—but the ride was fun enough still.
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