May 19 2013 Latest news:
By Daniel Grigg
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Tottenham Blogger Daniel Grigg reflects on Sunday’s 4-0 win over Liverpool at White Hart Lane
If ever a performance proved the wisdom of holding onto a player, this was it, as Luka Modric produced the most dominant, composed and effective midfield display any Tottenham fan could have wished for against Liverpool on Sunday.
The Croatian midfielder couldnt have hit the opening goal more emphatically, silencing the many doubters who had questioned whether he would ever be the same player for Spurs again after the long, drawn-out transfer speculation this summer.
It was easily the best goal of Modrics Tottenham career, made all the sweeter when his team-mates and, most importantly, the overwhelming majority of the White Hart Lane crowd, joined in his ecstatic celebration with such fervour and support.
Jermain Defoes second goal in two matches showed his growing confidence as well, while Emmanuel Adebayor already looks fully capable of scoring more than 20 league goals this season.
It has to be said, though, that by that time he had volleyed home his second goal in injury-time, Liverpool had produced enough material for chapters one, two and three of a handbook entitled How Not to Play the Offside Trap.
Throughout the match, Spurs played with such a wonderful, new-found confidence which was almost surprising, given that they had won just of their first six matches of the season in all competitions.
However, confidence can spread remarkably quickly when, all of a sudden, you have a pair of regular-scoring strikers at one end, and an ultra-reliable and experienced goalkeeper at the other.
Add to that the return of the talismanic Ledley King, and Spurs two clean sheets in his first two appearances this season, and suddenly everyone is asking whether Spurs can finish in the top four again, with what is undeniably an excellent squad.
That was particularly evident this weekend, as the absences of Michael Dawson, Sandro, Tom Huddlestone, Aaron Lennon, Heurelho Gomes and William Gallas all went virtually unnoticed.
Spurs midfield were able to dominate, squeeze and stifle Liverpool, who must surely be questioning the wisdom of letting their own version of Modric, Raul Meireles, join Chelsea so late in the transfer window - especially given the inordinate number of occasions when both Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson give possession away.
Liverpools big-money striker signings, Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez, consequently had few opportunities to make the home crowd jealous - both had been linked with moves to Tottenham in January, before moving to Liverpool.
Indeed, eight months on, Reds fans are probably wishing that Carroll had moved to White Hart Lane, rather than Anfield.
It has to be said, though, that these days King and Younes Kaboul look like a top-quality partnership - more than a match for most Premier League attacks, unlike the first season that Kaboul spent at Spurs after leaving Auxerre.
Tottenhams centre-backs kept Liverpools strikers under lock and key for the vast majority of the afternoon, and giving Friedel one of the easiest games of his exceedingly long career.
Having completed the most dominant of their three successive victories over Liverpool, who many have tipped for a return to the top four, Spurs have now put themselves right back in contention to qualify for the Champions League again.
However, Tottenham have often excelled against the top teams in the past, only to slip up against weaker opposition and as last season showed, beating Liverpool at home is no guarantee of a top-four finish.
Instead, real and lasting success requires a consistent success against those tricky teams like Wolves and Wigan and Spurs will get a very different test of their credentials this weekend at the DW Stadium.