Man of the match performances for both Tottenham and Wales, three goals and assist. He is fast becoming this generation of Spurs fans’ Greaves, Hoddle, or Gascoigne, the one you tell your kids about, the “Joe Bloggs might have scored 120 goals this season and its only September, but I saw Gareth Bale in the flesh. Now that was a player! If he was playing now he’d have 220 goals, never mind 120!”.
It was great to see a free kick go in, and his second wrapped up a very valuable three points. I could go on but words would not do the Welsh wizard justice.
My fear at the beginning of the season was that Caulker would not get enough games for us, but be too good to go out on loan again. He’d become disgruntled (or simply pine for a move for the sake of his career), we’d have to let him go and end up making a big mistake.
It was a surprise to see him play ahead of Vertonghen, and while there is still more to come from the young man, it is very encouraging that AVB has faith to play him in pretty big matches. It was also pleasing to see him stride out of defence with the ball, a bit like Super Jan does.
Made some interesting choices, notably Caulker and Naughton ahead of Benny and Vertonghen, and to take off Holtby for Adebayor, but in the end we picked up the win we needed.
AVB is not afraid to rotate players in certain positions (and yet not in others, again, interesting) but given the international matches midweek, the run of weekend-midweek-weekend-midweek matches, and Lyon on Thursday in a competition the boss is taking seriously, it is probably the right thing to do. We might not be at our fluid best but hopefully it will avoid the kind of end of season slumps like the last two campaigns.
Yet more evidence the lone striker role doesn’t suit him, but in a funny way Clint could have picked up two assists on Saturday. He won the free kick from which Bale scored, and it was his punt upfield that Bale ran on to (although Adebayor might have got the penultimate touch). His ability to play wide in midfield also adds to his usefulness, although if we are honest Bale’s emergence as a central threat, Holtby’s signing, and the need to play a proper/only available striker up front may mean he’ll start to miss out on game time.
Two assists for the U21s on Tuesday, the Millwall-loanee should make it to the U21 championships in Israel in the summer. What happens with him next season will be very interesting, for him and for us.
Premier League debut at 25. Dawkins has had a rollercoaster of a career so far, and like all academy products I hope he does well as a footballer and earns a living from it.
The more he plays like this, the harder it will be to keep him at the club. Still, lets cross that bridge when we come to it.
After dicking the club around with his ACN participation, I don’t think it helped to arrive late back, even if it wasn’t his fault. Fortunately for him he’ll get a chance of redemption, probably against Lyon, and we really need him to fire.
Tony Parks and family
I’m sure we all wish Tony, his son Joe, and the rest of the Parks family all the best and hope Joe can pull through this tough battle.