Posted by: Paul | August 14, 2010

Hart as you mean to go on

A goalless draw is usually the result a football fan dreads. But the opening fixture of the new Premier League season, my beloved Spurs against the evil Man City was as good a goalless draw as I’ve ever seen.

Of course, Man City aren’t really evil. Not intentionally so anyway – their eyes don’t glow red, they don’t grow horns from their foreheads every time they make a tackle (except Nigel De Jong). I only describe them as that because of their blatant attempts to buy themselves success by spending seemingly limitless amounts of cash on players without really thinking about whether they can play together. Obviously people moving over from Spain and Italy take time to adjust to a different league (some say the Premier League is fater paced than others, some say it’s also rougher), and a team who have never played a match together as a unit will take time to bed in. But for the entire first half, and parts of the second, we sliced them open, and make them look like the team of strangers they undoubtedly are. Tottenham have picked up where they left off and it’s a statement of intent – and an exposition of how far Citeh still have to go.

Of course, there’s the little matter of us not actually winning the game. Because of the ‘quality’ of their players, Citeh is always a game that worries me – they have individuals like Tevez and Adebayor (boo!) who are capable of nicking a goal in a split second and turning a game. But today I never felt like they were close to doing that – at times we ran rings round them, especially Gareth Bale out on the left wing. We just couldn’t get past the brilliant Joe Hart. For all their spending and big foreign names (David Silva was lacklustre in the extreme), it was homegrown hero Hart who saved the day, making save after spectacular save. Capello can have no doubts now about who England’s true number one is, and Hart was deservedly man of the match.

A great start to the new season – I’d have settled for a point before the game, and so despite coming so close I have no cause for complaint really. Hart just had a killer match, and Shay Given may well be on the bench for a long time.

Now the serious matter of the Champions League beckons – we must win in Switzerland on Tuesday. Come on you Spurs!

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