Spurs Brave the Arctic to Make it 5 out of 5
After some curious ventures into the pockets of Cold Europe- Moldova, the Saturn Stadium (near Moscow) and, finally, within the borders of the Arctic Circle- Spurs have now progressed into the knockout stages of the Continent’s secondary club competition. Take that, Europe!
Is wasn’t too long before last night’s game in Tromsø descended into meaningless farce as news filtered in on the old wireless that Anzi Michelangelodonatelloraphaelleonardo had failed to beat Sheriff, meaning winning Group K was a certainty for the glove-clad and frosty-breathed men of Hotspur and all soccer bets placed on them finishing in top spot would be prosperous. Very soon it became an exercise in admiring the retrograde air of playing with a high-vis orange ball and wondering which player who wouldn’t be able to remember Euro 96’ might make an appearance for Spurs.
As it turned out, not one of the four fledglings consigned to the bench by Villas-Boas made it on to the wintry turf. Even when the result was completely irrelevant.
Still, the experience alone- that of sitting on one’s behind in sub-zero temperatures, with a thick blanket covering the legs so they don’t fall off- is one to delight in for the McEvoy, Fredericks and Co.
Regardless of the news from Mother Russia, the outcome was never really in question for Tottenham, even with the residual weight of trauma from last weekend. If there were some reassurance to be harvested from the game then Dembélé’s finish was pleasingly neat- his first since the last-minute equaliser at Lyon in March- and Étienne Capoue looks a little closer to regaining full-fitness. Elsehwhere, Gylfi Sigurdsson created both goals, which may go some way to aid his cause in claiming the primary playmaker role for United at the weekend. A saner choice as any.