Signs of Life
As if they’d hurled a bucket of iced water over themselves, just to fit in with the rest of the liberated world, Tottenham Hotspur were jerked back into the land of the living on Sunday; wide awake and able to steamroller an appropriately charitable QPR like hot tarmac.
A four-to-nothing victory which has taken us to the League’s summit at the end of Gameweek 2. Drink in the view, folks, you can see the whole kingdom from up here.
It’s perhaps sensible to reiterate that ‘Arry Redknapp’s side were an agreeable bunch. There’s nothing like a sizeable triumph in your first home game to help with the acclimatization process and luckily for Mauricio Pochettino, QPR were more than keen to pitch in. Their first selfless act was to play three centre-backs whose combined top speed is slower than fog.
Glenn Hoddle probably couldn’t believe his luck when he heard that 3-5-2 was back in vogue, with Juventus, Napoli and the Netherlands all recent exponents of the system. The simple maths for QPR, however, is that Richard Dunne + a Rio Ferdinand already thinking about his career in Hollywood ≠ foundations on which to build a new house. ‘Arry was similarly damning:
“We were slow on the ball, looked off the pace, didn’t have any energy. We weren’t sharp enough in certain areas and we’ll have to work harder than that, with and without the ball”
But so to our lot. Overlooking the popular disclaimer about QPR’s incompetence, Spurs were quite brilliant at times. Erik Lamela rightly arrested the interest of the MOTD2 panel, with some joyful surges and a willingness to get stuck in which will always impress pundits in this country.
Eric Dier continues to look like a defender at the height of his powers, despite being only two months older than Justin Bieber. Calm on the ball, focused in the art of defending and top of the goal-scoring charts to boot. Of course I saw all this coming when, at the beginning of August, I said:
“Meanwhile Eric Dier has come in on a raft of (mostly) goodwill and optimism from Lisbon, but he’s still only 20 years-old and unlikely to feature all that often.”
Free, that kind of analysis is.
A brief word on two chaps who took delivery of some rather mean-spirited beef last season. Nacer Chadli and Danny Rose. Sure it’s fun to laugh at millionaires being outwardly terrible at their jobs but just as enjoyable, is to see them succeed and turn the tide of opinion. Both Chadli and Rose had excellent games on Sunday and right now, they’re keeping Townsend, Lennon and Ben Davies out of the team on merit. Good on them.
A Decade of (mostly) Awesome Dawson
Farewell, Michael Dawson. A trustworthy mainspring of the club for nearly a decade. A limited defender by most accounts but never one to go missing when things went toxic. As so often they did. Seemed a thoroughly decent sort, too.
With big shoes to fill, then, it’s appropriate that we’ve recruited a real-life giant to take his place. Two-Meter Federico might not ding as a nickname but his credentials appear to be first-rate. Question marks over his ability to play in a high-line are surpassed by his knack of shutting down world-class strikers like Diego Costa. Put simply: he’s a bloody unit and will probably have a load of Chuck Norris facts reappropriated for him. That’s still a thing, right?
The good people at Football Fancast have set up a great European Fantasy League. But the season’s already started, dummy, I hear you say. Well, that may be the case but this league won’t start until after the next international break, so plenty of time to get on board. You can sign up here and I’ll give you details on any mini-leagues I set up in the next day or so. Chocks away!