2 weeks into the 2011/2012 season and, although the sun was out in its full, it failed to gaze down over N17 as our season kicked off to a rather dim start; dim being the understatement of 2011 so far. I pictured Mancini seated in a large leather chair slowly running his fingers through the fur of a tabby cat, which was perched rather snug on his lap, as he oversaw the investment of millions being splashed out on the world's greatest talents.
As the start of our season was delayed due to kids deciding to wreak havoc on our beloved community; we found ourselves on the end of rather large defeats away at Yanited (atleast it wasn't 8) and at home to Citeh. Any pre-match optimisms were quickly dashed in Spurs-esque typical fashions as we began to think the worst with minimal transfer activity and one player that appeared willing to give his left arm to leave the club.
Come September 1st and even the most optimistic Spurs fans- the few of you that exist- could have hardly envisaged the formidable run that were to occur across the following 11 Premier League games. For sure the arrivals of Parker, now known simply as 'Super Scott,' and Adebayor were always going to fill the gaping holes torn in our side with the seemingly long term injury to Sandro and the finishing from last year that only resembled a forward line of the late Sergei Rebrov and Helder Postiga.
Through my own eyes, all I could see for the next two months was a treacherous road. A road that would feel like driving up the Alps during snow season. With the following game a usually tricky trip away at the Molineux and with fixtures against Liverpool, Arsenal and away at Newcastle to come within the next few weeks I remember telling myself that, come Christmas, if we stood comfortably in sixth then we'd have done well. We're typically a club always in the chase, and rarely find ourselves being the one chased.
Come December 5th and never has one glance at the league table brightened up such a typically cold and wet Monday. We're third. This isn't 4 games gone sitting third with 10th place just 3 points behind. This is third approaching (almost, kind of) the half way point of the season. With Scott Parker giving a new definition to the phrase 'hitting the ground running' and with the same lines of 'How've we gone so many blaady years without the boy?' a question being asked almost weekly, I can't help but think we've got a whole team of players that would be worthy for the player of the month award.
I was sceptical at the initial signing of Friedel. One of my close mates is a Villa fan and I remember him saying that he 'parrys' the ball out far to much for comfort. But what Brad has done is brought with him not only a wealth of experience but also the reliability needed to give the back four confidence. Gomes was no doubt a good shot stopper but his rather rash and unexpected ways always gave the impression that the 4 boys sitting in front of him lacked serious confidence in the man between the sticks. This lead to stupid mistakes and leaving games with a point instead of three.
Kyle Walker has been almost a fresh signing for Spurs. In the modern day game full backs are just as much wingers as they are defenders. They're expected to get forward to support in attacks but also aim to keep the opposition winger quiet. As good as Charlie was at defending, he lacked the pace to fit in with a modern day full back. It'll be a shame, but I expect him to find a decent club in January and probably prove to be a good coup for them. Kaboul was also one that has shown a vast amount of maturity since the summer. With Scotteh and Manu taking many of the plaudits, Kaboul's exploits and the extensive improvement in his defending has largely only gone noticed by us (and Juve); he reminds me of Benny, he'll give you a consistent game 9 times out of 10 but would never pop up on the radar as a stand out candidate to other clubs or the media; this I've no complaints with.
I think Luka was always going to be an interesting one, but in true Croat fashion he's wholeheartedly got on with it and I think that maybe, possibly, he might just be quietly happy again- but it's hardly like I'm best mates with the bloke. Levy's chains have remained untouched since the summer and his firm stance on the club concerning our magician are paying off, on and off the pitch. Bale looks to be reproducing his form of 2010 and even Lennon is looking the player that we all jump on our feet to watch. Defoe's barely had the sniff of first team action he'd expect but is still sticking the chances away and what a player we have to call upon.
Ade, although I still find he can frustrate the living daylights out of me at times with his shooting, he continues to find the net and links play fantastically. He's a rare breed of forward in that he's a lanky forward but his work rate is second to none. He's a different type of forward and one that we've missed; he constantly looks to bring others into play and this can be shown through his movement all over the pitch below.
I think this sums up Ade's work rate for the club. Considering this is the 'big' forward brought to lead our line, he's simply everywhere. This is Ade's attempted passes against Wolves, his first game for the club:
Considering this was his first game, to an extent, you expect a forward of his class to want to show his class and work rate for the team from day one. This was his attempted passes against Bolton, the latest game he played in. Notice how he consistently looks to start off plays even dropping to half way at times:
Ade is one that has been key to our recent success and we can only hope that he can continue this form throughout the whole season.
Rafa needs no mention. I think I've exhausted all the words that can be used to describe this bloke so instead he gets his own paragraph. He's world class. We can't ever moan that he brings problems with where he'd fit in because, if anything, we should adopt our formation to make him fit in. He scores goals, he makes goals and is entertaining on the ball. £8 million? Levy you hero.
We're touching the start of December. In truth, the vast majority of our side could've been awarded player of the month. Scotty is more than a worthy winner. We're playing with confidence and it brings great satisfaction seeing Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool all over our shoulder. For me, January is key. I fully expect serious money to be spent if the scenario hasn't changed in terms of league position. Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal do have the resources to spend and the wages to match. I expect little activity from us. Possibly a short-term replacement for Pav and Gomes, but no major activity to take place.
If the King's knees can stay intact. If Adebayor continues to play with his heart on show. If Modric and Parker continue the frightening form they're in. We might just take 3rd.