Werder Bremen (H) Champions League... and we're havin' a laugh!


Audere est facere
Jul 28, 2004
Thread starter #1
Growing up, my father always told me about the magic of European nights at White Hart Lane. He meant the atmosphere more than anything else, but when one watches magicians like Modric, Lennon and Bale barely leave their stride and still annihilate a Champions League regular, albeit one lacking in both key players and form, the dual meaning of his words are all the more evident. It is all the more magical that Spurs have adapted so easily in their maiden Champions League season after so many years of being nearly club. They might not be the finished article yet, but on the basis of nights like this, they are not far off.

The match didn't feel like a full blooded affair. There was an arrogance in the air, the fans knew they were watching a good team, and fully expected a comfortable win. The players seemed to exude the same aura, but without letting complacency creep in. Having just turned over Arsenal with what must go down as their most spirited performance to date, every one of them was entitled to have a spring in their step, a strut in their stride, and in making the first goal of the night inside the first ten minutes, Aaron Lennon embodied that absolutely. He pushed the ball in front of him after Huttons pass and darted past his marker with all the confidence of a man who knew he was better. Time seemed to slow down for the roadrunner as he dragged the ball back perfectly for the oncoming Kaboul, and the derby day hero did not disappoint as he thumped his volley into the back of the net.

As the half wore on, Spurs, while in control, didn't expend any more energy than they needed to. They still created a few chances, always via Bale or Lennon, and Modric ensured that the other side saw as little of the ball as possible, but in a game against opposition who just had no answer, Spurs didn't need to force the questions. Their effortless control paid dividends in the closing moments of the half when, in the absence of Van der Vaart, Modric showed those clueless few who doubt him just how effective he can be. Crouch rose to head down a ball into the box, as he so often has, and just as his Dutch partner in crime has done on so many occasions already, Modric was on hand to dummy as the ball dropped before scoring the simplest of finishes. He is mainly the selfless seamster of the Spurs side, but when the situation commands it he is so much more.

After some superb halftime entertainment, namely, the constant booing of a German match reporter who was unfortunately placed near the most vociferous section of White Hart Lane, the second half picked up where the first half left off, completely uncompetitive and one sided. Bale either beat his man with ease every time, or was hauled down ever time. I did cringe a little each time he was fouled, but that was counteracted with the joy of seeing him toy with each and every one of his markers. He was unlucky not to chalk up an assist when Crouch met his delightful cross only to see a defender make the block, though the young Welshman had only himself to blame when his poor penalty was saved after the mercurial Modric had been taken down in the area.

The last Spurs goal displayed the danger their wingmen pose to all defences across Europe like no other goal could. Gareth Bale dribbled past two men before putting in his cross. The cross evaded all in the area and bounced off the cross bar, looking like it would go out. When it didn't Aaron Lennon was alert enough to collect the ball off of the chalk, turn, and come face to face with a green jersey. If Lennon has been in poor form, it certainly did not show here, as he dropped his shoulder, feinted to the right, before nutmegging his obstacle and speeding past him. If that wasn't enough, he also played the ball perfectly for Peter Crouch to thump into the net and seal the victory for Spurs. Lennon's performance was his best of the season, and but for some wastefulness he could have had another two assists in this match.

Lennon's resurgance means that in himself and Bale, Spurs have the most dangerous wing attack in Europe. Combine that with the ability of Modric to release them, and the return of a sharp looking Jermain Defoe, and Spurs have one of Europes most potent attacks, and all this before one factors in the constatly scoring and assisting Rafael Van der Vaart. Having now also recorded their first clean sheet in ages, in no small part down to the ever imrpoving partnership of Gallas and Kaboul, not to mention the stellar performance from Palacios when he replaced the unfortunate Jenas, it is impossible not to seriously consider Spurs as a candidate for the trophy at the end of the competition. European nights at White Hart Lane? As my father used to tell me, there's nothing like them!


See you next Tuesday
Mar 10, 2005
Bit late to bring it up, but superb article as usual BBlG

I now have an image of Aaron Lennon's head on Roadrunner's body. A good photoshop job of that will be repped :grin: