Once in a while you get game where a team is flattered by the scoreline and that was certainly true of Wigan on Sunday. Spurs could quite easily have been in double figures and Wigan's "goal" resulted from a blatant handball by Paul Scharner. Thankfully Robbie Keane was not on the field at the time. Given events earlier in the week and his penchant for appealing decisions, the Irishman might have been in danger of suffering an aneurysm.
This column has called week after week for Keane to be given a spot on the bench and against Wigan - for whatever reason - Harry Redknapp finally acquiesced. Without Keane, Spurs abandoned the diamond formation and reverted to a conventional 4-4-2. The captaincy was handed to a natural leader, Jonathan Woodgate, and Jenas was also benched, with Kranjcar being given a well-deserved start. It would be churlish to suggest that these changes alone resulted in the 9-1 victory but they certainly didn't hurt.
Spurs had four players who turned in magnificent performances. Redknapp used that very term to describe the contribution of Kranjcar, who topped off a display full of skill and industry with the ninth and final goal. Palacios worked tirelessly against his former team, returning to the kind of form that had persuaded the manager to sign him in the first place. And the outstanding Defoe, aided by the exceptional Lennon, simply tore Wigan apart.
These four were ably supported by their teammates, with everyone playing their part and with Woodgate, Dawson and Corluka also deserving of special praise. Admittedly the opposition were terrible on the day, with Erik Edman - a player who if anything was slightly underrated during his time at the Lane - being given a real roasting by Lennon. Yet however much Wigan heads dropped as the goals flew in, their goalkeeper Chris Kirkland could not be blamed for any of them and was, in fact, their best performer by quite some margin. Unusually for such a bizarre scoreline, all of the Spurs goals were of high quality and eight of the nine were scored from open play.
It was truly a day for the football anoraks, with Defoe the delight of the statisticians: only the third player to score five goals in a Premier League fixture; the second fastest hat-trick in Premier League history; the only player ever to score five goals in one Premier League half; and Spurs' biggest ever top-flight win and the second highest ever win in the history of the Premier League.
The stat that really matters, though, is that Spurs are now in fourth, level on points with Arsenal and with a much better goal difference that the teams below them. Next week they face the team immediately below, Aston Villa, and have a chance to strengthen that place in the top four. Surely Defoe and Crouch will play together up front. Surely Spurs will line up in 4-4-2 formation. Surely Kranjcar will start ahead of Jenas. Harry Redknapp has been given nine good reasons why it must be so.