October 26, 2010
Anyone looking at the statistics leading up to Everton's visit to White Hart Lane might well have been tempted to place a bet on the result being a no-scoring or low-scoring draw, as indeed turned out to be the case. Going into the game, Everton had managed to score in only half of their Premier League fixtures to date, with no more than two of those goals coming away from home. More impressively, however, they had kept three clean sheets in a row. For their part, Spurs had kept a solitary clean sheet all season in the league and were also averaging just over a goal per game. The 1-1 score at the final whistle came, therefore, as no great surprise and on balance it was probably a fair result.
October 20, 2010
Spurs appear to be developing the knack, typically possessed by most successful sides, of grinding out results that may not always be fully merited. In fairness, "grinding" suggests an unattractive brand of football and both sides showed real creativity and flair in spells at Craven Cottage, with Fulham left feeling aggrieved at the final whistle after another controversial Spurs winner away from home. Van der Vaart was very impressive once again and his exquisite chip against the bar has drawn comparison with Glenn Hoddle’s imperious goal against Watford in the early 80s. While it was not quite in that league - check out YouTube if you're inclined to disagree - the Dutchman's effort was nonetheless characteristic of the class he has brought to the team.
October 6, 2010
Two goals by Rafael van der Vaart sealed a vital win for Spurs against Aston Villa and reinforced the perception that he has been the bargain buy of the new season. The Dutchman was the difference between two closely matched sides, especially when he was deployed just behind the hardworking Peter Crouch. He was also hugely influential in the Champions League tie against FC Twente a few days earlier, or at least he was until his rather foolish sending off with half an hour of the game remaining. That second yellow card means that he misses the clash with Inter Milan later this month, and it will be fascinating to see Spurs perform in his absence. The suspicion is that he might be missed a great deal.