Steve Bruce has a point. It was almost an afterthought, that flick, but Jan Vertonghen transformed it into an international incident and forced Craig Pawson’s hand with help from thelinesman who witnessed the transgression. If part of Baldini’stask is to find acting skill, then give me more—if the Spaniards and South Americans can dive and flop at the touch of a feather, then surely a Belgian can turn a jab to his privates into an opportunity for his struggling team. But the Hull manager knows that his ten remaining had every chance to still produce a result, or to have forged a first-half lead large enough to withstand the man down trial, and they failed.
For our sake, it was good the deliverance came from the one man, I suspect, we have all been silently expecting to become our true leader. Ever since Bale departed, and after it became clear that Roberto Soldado possessed severe limitations, who else had the quality to shape this team into something special but Christian Eriksen? We had a brief flirtation with Andros Townsend at the beginning of last season, a revival for Emmanuel Adebayor that history accurately marked as only brief in its tenure, the vexing promise of Erik Lamela, the surprising goal scoring burst of Nacer Chadli, and lately the perhaps more solidly grounded energy and goal scoring flair that Harry Kane provides. But are any of those blokes real game changers? Can any of them produce the two special kicks that proved the difference between no points and three yesterday? The Dane must be at least near-great for Spurs to be good—let’s hope this game was the first course in an elaborate meal, and not another late night snack—tasty but unsatisfying when the new day dawns.
The fortune that shone on Spurs at the KC will hardly be sufficient in the next ten days, however. First we play an Everton side finally beginning to find its form—but as uncertain as to its true status as a host of other clubs are as the season completes its first third. Are Arsenal true Champions League contenders? United? Liverpool? The Hammers or Swansea? Can Southampton stay up in the Top Four all year? The supposed class all have serious flaws. The supposed midtable sides all have the doubt that a weaker bank account and more meager history produce. At least the Gunners and Red Devils can point to a recent pedigree—but for the Toffees and ourselves we must grasp at the straws that recent near-miss finishes have offered.
Three points at home—after another mid-week European distraction—would make whatever horror might be in store three days later at Stamford Bridge at least understandable, if not palatable. But another frustrating 90 minutes at the Lane followed by the expected result in West London, no matter how well we combat Chelsea’s champion XI, could end the still flickering hopes for this campaign. Flickering about as much as Gaston Ramirez’s revenge. Well, we turned that into gold, so who knows? Chelsea are due for a stumble—Spurs have alreadygained a draw at the Emirates this year—could four points possibly be in the offing? We’ll all jump at three.
Have something to tell us about this article?