Posted by: Paul | November 3, 2010

Tottenham’s Week: From the Ridiculous to the Sublime

OK, I know I only posted about Tottenham on Monday, but after last night’s brilliant Gareth Bale-inspired performance against the Champions League holders Inter Milan, I just couldn’t resist.

My brother was at the game last night, and oh how I wish I could have been there myself. After the marker we laid down in the second half of our game at the San Siro, we delivered on all the promise we’ve shown and secured arguably the best result in Spurs’ recent history, with a 3-1 win over Rafael Benitez’s galactico-stuffed side.

All the attention this morning is understandably focused on the hottest property in football right now, 21 year old Welshman Bale, but despite directly creating our second and third goals in near identical style, it was far from a one man show. Special mention must go to Carlo Cudicini for not just his great save from Wesley Sneijder’s free kick, but also a solid and composed performance throughout the game. Aaron Lennon gave Walter Samuel almost as torrid a time down the right as Bale did to Maicon on the other side of the pitch, showing signs of returning to his best form. We’re also developing a very solid spine to the team, with Huddlestone and Luka Modric again being very influential in midfield, and once more Younes Kaboul has proven himself a rock in central defence. Michael Dawson will have his work cut out to regain his place once he returns from injury!

But some perspective is necessary at this point. As great as the result was, Inter had clearly learned nothing from our first encounter, and right out of the blocks Bale was causing right back Maicon the same problems as in the previous encounter. The same Gareth Bale who was ably shut down by Everton’s Phil Neville two weeks ago. Perhaps people haven’t given Neville enough credit!

This is also an Inter side Benitez has inherited from Jose Mourinho. They’re not his team yet, and with a new manager things always take a while to settle down, so perhaps we have been able to capitalise on a minor weakness at the right time.

Whatever the case, Spurs fans can sit back and bask in this result, which puts qualification for the CL knockout stage at the first attempt firmly in our hands. But now we need to concentrate on getting our league form back, which has faltered in recent weeks. One season in the Champions League is not enough for people to sit up and take notice in the changes in footballing hierarchy, we have to do it again. And again. And to be honest, the sweetest victory of all would be beating Man City’s millionaires into the top four for the second season in a row.

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