Simply What We Do

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

​Even when we get Spursy it doesn’t matter. There were three tough remaining home fixtures entering this Sunday—the first is done and dusted and three more points in a truly amazing final season at the Lane. Nine league wins on the spin; fifteen against but two draws in all competitions—does anyone believe that either the Red Devils or Gooners will overturn such a quality record? I suspect the away fixtures will tell the tale of just where we finish—and they are not without worry: a resurgent Leicester, derbies in East and South London, and three games that may all have relegation implication at Swansea, Hull and Burnley.

​Yet let’s be honest—while none of us wish to awaken the sleeping bear that has always haunted us in April and May, Wenger’s bunch appears almost spent. Mourinho’s side never loses, but all those Old Trafford draws have exacted a price. The bigger test may be a real run for the FA Cup and a struggle with City to finish 2nd.

​But for the letdowns in the final 15 minutes, this could easily have been a two or three goal victory, such was the dominance Spurs produced for most of the afternoon. Both of Kane’s goals stemmed from curious action by Robles, but the first—only our second from outside the penalty area all season—was a striker’s dagger and the second a sublime finish. He could easily have had another in the first half when he left Toffee defenders in the dust and was denied by Robles arm, and in the second frame when he made a mess out of an attempted chip when hard and direct would have done the job. Spurs were active and insistent save for one brief stretch before Lukaku’s goal and then on occasion in the final ten minutes.

​Dier played a strong game until shutting off on the Valencia set-piece goal. Alderweireld was typically resolute. The problems came on the left, as both Davies and Vertonghen coughed up the ball a bit too often for my taste, and of course the Belgian slipped allowing his countryman easy access for Everton’s opener. But despite his comparative lack of pace, I thought the Welshman had a very solid game and was justifying the continued excellence of the manager’s three in the back formation.​The front three are always excellent—today was no different—and kudos to both Winks and Dele for that final goal—I doubt we shut off and allow an equalizer without it, but the pad was nice if brief. Dembele seemed a bit hesitant for much of the first half, but grew into the game. Wanyama’s only fault were a pair of ill-judged headers in goal scoring territory.

​This starting XI has no peer in this league—not even Chelsea for after all in the two games between the two clubs we were without both Rose and Alderweireld at the Bridge and yet lost by only one, whereas both were pretty much at full strength at WHL and it finished 2-0. The first 80 minutes of this game was Spurs football in all of its glory—we stifle the opposition then open them up with bursts of brilliance. With only the distraction of the FA Cup, one can only hope that Spurs can dodge any more serious injuries and welcome Danny Rose—and perhaps Erik Lamela—for the final run to the line in April and May.

​They’ll hear from Poch about those late goals, particularly the second since Vertonghen’s slip was one of those things. And that’s a good thing. This team needs to see this season out in style. Perhaps a trophy. Second place. Keep the build moving.

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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.

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