Toffees Hammered and It’s Going Down To The Wire
Here we go, then, careering into the jaws of March with but a wafer thin mint between us and the chasing pack. We’re clinging on, good people, that’s for sure. With knuckles white as semi-skimmed milk. We’re clinging on.
A titanic win at The Lane on Sunday; the magnitude of which will hopefully become clear at a later date. When the table has a decidedly finished look about it, and we’re perched triumphantly- heads above water- breathing lungfuls of clean, Champions League air. Oh, I bet it tastes good up there.
Let’s be honest, Everton had ‘trouble’ written all over it. And it wasn’t just the testing make-up of the opposition. News of an airborne virus floating about camp days before kick-off had many- including myself- in a state of panic. I imagined an afternoon of bedlam as men of various age and nationality waddled about the park, holding their breeches, doubling over in misery as bombs of vomit and faeces exploded about their person. Like the aftermath of an all-you-can-eat raw chicken buffet. But there was no such sign of it. Corluka and Palacios- the allegedly worse stricken- had barn-storming opening forty-fives. Neither demonstrating any hints of fatigue or queasiness.
I imagine the Pavlyuchenko Fan Club has gained a few more members this weekend; the monthly newsletters alone are costing a fortune in stamps. Harry’s got his ‘From Russia With Love’ badge hidden under his lapels ready for the Cup Final. Bless. Another game and another impish bit of finishing from Mostovskoy’s favourite son. Give him a yard or two and he really doesn’t mess about, does he?
In the other most improved corner, Gareth Bale is continuing to have a revival pretty close to miraculous. What warms me most to young Baler is– attack-wise – he’s completely fearless. He’s constantly got his skates on; hugging the touchline, cutting inside. All roads lead to the opposition’s box and the swiftest route to goal. Direct or otherwise. He must be a nightmare to play against. That monkey is now not only off his back, it’s evolved into a super-human breed of full-back. Darwin would be tumbling off his stool at the rate of such progress.
And finally. Luka Modric. My how it’s nice to have to you around. Just a magical bit of work from him. After pulling a rabbit out of a swamp-filled hat last week, it must’ve been a relief to stretch his legs on something a little more horizontal. Not that anyone could get close to him, anyway. For forty-five string-pulling minutes, the Croatian was as lively as popping candy; neat passing, deft touches, all rounded off with a nifty twenty-yard curler just shy of thirty minutes.
Devised, assembled and finished in Croatia.
Thank our lucky stars that the shop window of World Cup 2010 has the shutters firmly down on Modric and his fellow countrymen this summer. We must do everything in out power to keep hold of that one.
In the meantime, Tottenham retain 4th.