Just what Spurs needed and just what the average Spurs fan who vowed once again – after another star player had walked away – never let another one get to ‘em needed. A star performance by a player who just looks Tottenham.
From the decent play but lack of a real cutting edge link between the new boys in midfield and the new boy up front it was obvious something was needed. That missing link. A number 10. In the one sided route of Norwich it arrived.
The appreciation of Christian Eriksen started early on his début even before he decided to double nutmeg a pair of Norwich players in their own box, which occurred before his sublimely simple lay-off for Spurs’ opener and his play for their second.
Ah but it was only Norwich. Well yes it was and only Norwich had stifled Spurs over the last couple of seasons, unbeaten against Spurs in three games last season, two draws and two Spurs defeats over the last four games, you have to go back to 2011 for the last league victory. Games which involved a lot of goals by a certain G. Bale.
Eriksen just seemed to have that time, space and vision to be the link to break down the flat back nine or tens that we see on such a regular basis at the Lane. With his further forward position it allowed the other two in midfield to do what they do best. Dembele didn’t quite work further forward, thought he would but didn’t, here he could play his game and get back to the player he was in the first few month of last season, when he was best midfielder in the league alongside Sandro. With Paulinho alongside as the box to box marauder, though little needed with one box.
The first goal was sublime for the most part, little bit of a battered cross from Rose, nicely chested down by Soldado to Eriksen who followed up with that sublime lay-off to the advancing Sigurdsson who finished excellently. Didn’t know about the Icelander starting on the left, was looking for Chadli out there but with him being unavailable Gylfi took his chance, with both hands.
But again it was going in at half time, after completely dominating the game, only one goal to the good.
Shortly after the break Gylfi was there in the right place at the right time, along with Spurs having more bodies in the box in open play than we’ve seen for a while. He got on the end of Paulinho’s brilliant cross across the face of the goal, yes their ‘keeper should have done better but the sniffer was on the back post. He’s got the shirt for now.
On the other side Townsend was having shot after shot. It became a bit infuriating. Now the other week I had no problem with him doing it because he was the only one creating. This game was completely different. More was required than the same thing over and over again. In the European tie when he scored and had the assists he mixed up his game. Coming inside and shooting, getting the byline and crossing to the far post and cutting the ball back. With Soldado up front, play like that will get more out of him and therefore Townsend than 9 shots that bring neither a goal nor a assist. Be a winger Andros.
Soldado again didn’t have much great service, it just didn’t quite fall for him, though he made the right moves. One nice front post run and header that didn’t just come off. The back heel after Eriksen’s double-meg was nicely done, lifting the ball knowing the ‘keeper was on the ground. also noted that 28 minutes 45 seconds into his fourth league game he was blown for offside. Defoe and Adebayor take note.
So this was a cruise, bar a couple of moments when Danny Rose came to the rescue with last ditch tackles/blocks, the odd daft moment – Lloris’ Superman impersonation resulting in his yellow for punching the ball just outside his area – where the score flattered the visitors. And with that score at two nil and complete domination AVB could bring on Hotlby, Sandro and Lamela.