West Ham walloped, then. You’d have forgiven Spurs for approaching this with some degree of caution. Having lost four of the last five in the league and facing that dangerous animal of a newly promoted side buoyed by good form and travelling support stricken with Cup Final Fever- amongst other, less savoury afflictions- this could’ve easily turned into one of those afternoons where things didn’t quite click into place. With the WHL inmates becoming increasingly tetchy with every goal-free minute.
Instead it was reassuring to have them get behind the team as they went merrily about the business of out-scoring the hapless Hammers and the 10th Most Expensive Player of All Time . All very nice indeed.
Defoe’s finest goal in Lilywhite? Not many can I think of which exhibited so many of his attributes in one go. Speed, power, tricky feet and a shot like a goddamn champion. The thwack against Arsenal in the 5-4er of a few years ago was rather fabulous, but I’d wager this one surpassed it. Ker-plunk!
Is that the Hugo/Brad debate put to rest, then? Preferably nailed shut in an air-tight casket and buried under thick concrete. Friedel has done little wrong in his time at the club, other than be closer to an expiry date than the competition. It’s no conspiracy, just a bit of forward planning. The circle of life and whatnot.
And it’s some keeper Lloris appears to be. A confident pair of hands who can snuffle out the air of potential threat much quicker than the average bear. He races from his line, flinging himself on danger like a war hero smothering a grenade. One of West Ham’s best moves, a two-on-one breakaway in the second half, was dealt with before anyone realised it was a thing.
Praise be, Clint Dempsey had a game. Far from the ponderous lunk we’d somewhat resigned ourselves to seeing each week, this was a performance of great encouragement. Decisive on the ball, tidy in possession and a recurrent goal-threat. This was retrograde Dempsey. Old School, to use a more fitting vernacular for a man of his talents. More please.
Liverpuddles tomorrow. Philosophy FC. If you’re terribly unlucky I might be live-blogging it.
Pray for Mojo.