The attention was largely elsewhere during a madcap Sunday which could quite accurately be described as ‘Super’ due to the drama on show, but Tottenham Hotspur didn’t let that distract them from achieving their goal.
On England’s south coast, Spurs rather quietly slipped into the top four with a 2-1 win over Southampton that might not have done much for the home side’s prospects of avoiding relegation, but certainly served as a huge boost to the ambitions of the visitors at the other end of the Premier League table.
The win was Tottenham’s fifth from the last six league outings, with any doubts over manager Andre Villas-Boas following a winless first three games now firmly placed in the past.
That run of a loss at Newcastle followed by home draws against West Brom and Norwich even saw a few of the more reactionary Spurs fans call for Villas-Boas’s head and the return of good old Harry Redknapp, but the results since mid-September have now surely got any remaining doubters off the Portuguese’s back.
The task now is of course to keep on impressing, and going into a November which includes fixtures against Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool it will also be important to stay calm and not let results go to their heads.
Staying quietly confident might just be the best thing for Villas-Boas and Spurs right now, and so not for him the bullish and always inaccurate cries from Redknapp that his side were ready to challenge for the Premier League title.
The manner that Chelsea took the game away from them in their 4-2 win at White Hart Lane a week and a half ago showcased that Tottenham’s squad isn’t quite on a par with the top sides in the division just yet. Finishing just below them is a different matter altogether though.
In Gareth Bale, Moussa Dembele, Aaron Lennon, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Clint Dempsey, Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor there are the raw attacking materials for a serious tilt at the top four from Tottenham, with qualification for the Champions League surely more than just a pipedream during a campaign in which a good cup run would also strengthen Tottenham’s claims to be considered amongst the big boys.
Reaching the Champions League quarter-finals in 2010/11 perhaps led to some people behind the scenes at Tottenham deciding that the club should run before they could walk, and with Redknapp eventually paying the price for such an increase in expectations then maybe it’d be wise for Spurs fans to just take each game as it comes right now. When you have a talent such as Bale on your hands though, that is easier said than done.
In these times of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo it can be easy to overlook other talents and compare them to that star duo – comparisons which they will always lose out in.
However, Redknapp’s recent claim that Bale is the best British player in the Premier League is probably a correct one in terms of recent form, and if the Welshman can keep on inspiring his side then the sky could well be the limit for Tottenham – so long as that sky falls just below Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City that is.
Like it or not that is where Spurs are right now, but that is a terrific base from which a young manager can build and look to improve as he establishes himself at a club who are slowly beginning to take him to their hearts.
Spurs and Villas-Boas shouldn’t mind that they’re not the centre of attention as long as they keep winning.
Leave it to others to decide when the quiet confidence deserves to be shouted about.