said one Toonite.
And he wasn’t wrong. From the Spurs fans through the players to even the opposition there was a 90 minute ‘Arry lovefest at the Lane on Saturday.
Newcastle being shorn of their usual combative midfielders did help Spurs from the off, as Newcastle didn’t exactly compete, certainly no pressing, but even with that making things easier the first half from Spurs was about as good as you’ll get – and Spurs were missing the likes of van der Vaart, Kaboul and Lennon. It seemed a release of tension from everyone involved after ‘Arry’s midfield acquittal combined with a desperate plea from the players
you don’t want to leave this.
A surprise from ‘Arry to begin with as he went 4-4-2 with Saha partnering Adebayor up front. A ‘Arry master-stroke? After it who hadn’t questioned this transfer? It hadn’t looked that inspired against Liverpool earlier in the week.
But things were just a little different back then, Saha was on his own and Spurs weren’t exactly in attacking mode. This time around he had a strike partner but which Adebayor would turn up. As we all expected the man from Togo had a storming start to his Spurs career – as he seems to have had at every club he’s been at – then the scoring slowly disappeared – again as expected on previous – but the production was still there, he was working for the team – something new – but then that dropped off. Over the last few weeks he’s been pretty inept with a distinct inability to control the ball.
All of a sudden with Saha next to him we got a player that was even better than during that honeymoon period. All over the place, not just being able to get the ball under control but creating chances four of which were taken has he amounted four assists. First up after 2 minutes, a nice run down the right, one-two with Kranjcar and his cross across the face of the goal found Assou-Ekotto all on his lonesome to knock in his third of the season.
Four minutes later and Saha started to pay off that transfer fee. Again down the right, Adebayor the winger?? He put in another great cross that was met sweetly by Saha, right where a striker should be. ‘Arry was up, the crowd were up the players were certainly up.
Things, scoring wise, calmed down for a bit as the next goal took a quarter of an hour, though Spurs were completely bossing things. The same combination as the second as after some nice work by Modric down the left, he played it into Adebayor who laid it off perfectly for Saha to bag his second. Transfer fee paid off, all gravy now. Admittedly between the two Saha strikes there was a bit of luck as an Adebayor attempted sliding tackle/block in the Spurs box resulted in the ball hitting his hand. Penalty could have been given.
Another 15 minutes before the fourth. This time Saha in the build up with a run down the left. Bale coming from the centre to the left pointing where he wants the ball is ignored by Saha but not the defender he dragged away from the play, as the French striker finds Adebayor. His weak attempt comes off the ‘keeper and after a bit of miscontrol eventually finds the incoming Kranjcar to bang in his first for a while.
After that things really did calm down as Spurs took their foot off the gas and were just content with keeping the ball and making those in black run about a bit. It was a complete cruise. There’s been a few games like this, Aston Villa, Liverpool at home, Wigan away first half. But this was just that bit easier and better.
Adebayor finally got his reward just after the hour, the big fellas started it off himself on the right, keeping the ball before it made it’s way across the pitch to Benny on the left as Adebayor made his way into the box. Benny’s cross was nodded back by Saha for Adebayor to swing his right and bury the fifth.
Again back to cruise control. Enough to take off the quiet Bale and the new hero new boy Saha for Defoe and Lennon then give Ledley a rest for another new one Nelsen. It didn’t exactly disrupt the defence that as Ledley, Dawson and Walker had a breeze of a game. Except for one moment when a cross by Newcastle was met by Ba whose header was brilliantly saved by Friedel, especially when you consider what little he had to do for the rest of the game.
The crowd were jubilant, there was love for ‘Arry and he was showing more love for the club and fans than we’ve probably seen before. As I said to the aforementioned Toonite, better teams than his would have been swept aside by Spurs on Saturday night, after all they cruised most of the game and weren’t exactly 100% clinical in front of goal, had a stuck on penalty turned down, could have been a real stuffing.
Now why would you want to give this up to manage Gerrard stinking the place up in an England shirt for yet another cap?