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Sunday, 22 January 2012

Winners. The lot of 'em.

Citeh away. It's fair to say that there was optimism flowing through the squad and that flow was felt very much through the hearts of Spurs fans all over the country. We travelled up there with words of title aspirations; when a similar thing was said last year it came at a time we were sitting in fifth with the very team we played today always looking out of arms reach. A string of disappointing home results soon dashed any vague one man voice of talk of the title and with it ended our goal of finishing in the top 4 as well.

After we fell foul of a 5-1 drubbing by City at the Lane this was the game that we couldn't even begin to dread any more so. Did we really have to play them twice? With Luka seemingly uneasy at the colour of the top he was playing in and with no holding midfielder or forward in, how were we ever going to break back into the Holy Grail of the top 4 positions?

But the beauty of football is things change. Even the most optimistic of fans could hardly have pictured since the City game that we'd only lose one more game in 2011 and go on a run that pitted us 10 points ahead of Arsenal and 4 ahead of Chelsea in third. 3rd spot, back then, was delusional. Now, I hear whispers that we wouldn't take 4th if it was offered now. There's still just under another half of the season to go, but I'd take 4th if it was offered, not that we get that privilege anyway.

We started more comfortable than City. We soaked up the occasion as the home side seemed to begin with trembly knees. We kept possession well without creating too much and, in all, I was satisfied with our performance in the first half. We'd given a good account of ourselves on a pitch where no side had turned up and taken anything. For the 1st City goal the movement from N*sri was exemplary. Although, it was almost scary how easy our defence just seemed to be carved open. Knife through butter stuff. No matter how well Spurs are doing you can never rest when we're facing a corner. It's not our nature. Walker leaving Lescott and suddenly not 15 minutes into the second half we find ourselves two behind. Sh*t.

Ahh, that's more than a kick in the bollocks. This left us with a dilemma. Do we stick numbers behind the ball for damage limitation or do we do what Spurs and 'Arry love to do and have a go? Ironically, as great as our football has been, Kaboul's long ball over the top to Jermain was inch perfect. Savic was indecisive and, before City's owners had finished their glass of Perrier-Jouer we were back in it.

The goal brought with it a flood of optimism. Defoe looked incredibly sharp the entire game. He lead the line well and wasn't afraid to get stuck in. He exploited the Savic mistake and Hart's indecision to give us what our play had warranted. We never looked back since pulling one back and fully deserved to go level not long after. Bale was far to individual and didn't look a team player. His performance was poor and yet with one sweet strike he's put us level. It's what the best players do.

At 2-2 I was more than content. We'd taken the game to Manchester City and made them look incredibly ordinary. The City fans felt their knees starting to tremble. The Spurs fans couldn't stop singing. The game showed the mental strength we have in our squad to battle back as we did. It's unfortunate that we couldn't take one golden platinum opportunity before handing City a gift. It was unusual for Ledley to be so rash to go to the floor as he did. For a player that has been so consistent in the years he's battled through each game for Spurs, a rare error of judgement can be easily forgiven. The player who rolled in the penalty should've been sat in the stands suited up and waiting for the final whistle.

We should take more positives than negatives today. We had the best team in the country on the back foot for large spells. We had the mental resilience to not let the ghost of the 5-1 hammering striker fear into the side and just kept playing our game.

Parker also took a sore head.

When's this karma thing going to work in our favour?


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