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Three Points, Zero Fuss

Tottenham have come a long way since Andre Villas-Boas sent his team out for their first home fixture in 2012. Back then the club was fragmented, fans split and opinions two a penny. Some lamented the way in which Harry Redknapp was sacked, others doubted a man who had been ousted by the changing room at Chelsea, twelve months though in football is a long time. This Sunday everything was different.

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There is an undeniable sense of unity around the ground and surrounding area. A drink may be hard to come by with the Bell & Hare closing their outside bar and employing a skeleton staff inside, but even this failed to dampen spirits. Spurs fans have taken to AVB and believe in Daniel Levy’s negotiating and Franco Baldini’s eye for talent.

The build up to the game had been dominated once again by a Welshman having avacaciones en Madrid, but the team were anything but distracted. From the first minute Spurs were in control and the few moments Swansea mustered up an attempt at goal, Hugo Lloris was more than equal to it.

As the Welshman flies back to the UK, apparently frustrated at not being paraded on a temporary stage at the Santiago Bernabeu, he will do well to watch the highlights of our game. Tottenham have yet to miss him and in his absence have grown. Any hope Madrid had that his injury would destabilise us and force our hand, in order to focus our players have been quashed

Swansea arrived with a reputation of possession and colourful attacking football, but up against a team that has found resilience and added strength to its ranks, they were unable to impose themselves.

During AVB’s reign Tottenham have often been rather lethargic at home, against Swansea though with a midfield trio of Etienne Capoue, Paulinho and Mousa Dembele, lethargic is a redundant term. The trio were an awesome sight, combining industry as well as skill. The Brazilian in particular impressed again, playing neat one touch football with Roberto Soldado, or driving at the heart of the Swansea defence. As the weeks pass, he grows more and more into our key midfield component.

Sandro who had a brief cameo towards the end of the game, will be hard pressed to break back into the team once he is fully fit.  It is a measure of how well Spurs have conducted their transfer business that last season’s key midfielder, is no longer a guaranteed starter.

Of course, this wasn’t the perfect home display from Spurs. The same issues that troubled us last season against teams that sit back and defend deep remain. We are on occasions predictable and the final ball from Kyle Walker, Danny Rose and Nacer Chadli when is does beat the first man is often wayward. At half time Glenn Hoddle gave an interview and the consensus from those around me old enough to remember him was unanimous, with a player of his ilk operating in our team, we would be title contenders.

However great Baldini is though, strapping a flux capacitor to a Delorean seems well beyond him, so instead he has eight days to conjure up the player to add inventiveness to what has become a resolute starting XI.

 In the absence of our Welshman and injury to Aaron Lennon, local boy Andros Townsend was finally given his opportunity in the spotlight. Personally, I have never been a big believer in the wide man, but happily, his level of performance is starting to win me over.

With Chadli often dipping back inside and slowing the game, Townsend was the polar opposite on the right. His runs and ability to nick the loose ball won Spurs countless free-kicks and the crucial penalty. Townsend has still to develop the telepathic relationship with Walker that Lennon has, but the signs are there that given time a fruitful partnership could exist.

With Spurs currently lacking something different in offensive positions perhaps this is Townsend’s breakout year?

On the opposite flank, Rose is taking full advantage over the absence of Benoit Assou-Ekotto, who was in attendance with Emmanuel Adebayor. The former winger now turned fullback is finally getting the game time he has desired for years and is contributing well.

Rose has cut out the cheap free-kicks that littered his pre-season game with Espanyol, and kept former Spurs winger Wayne Routledge deathly quiet. This summer Spurs have released quite a few Englishmen, so to see four in the starting XI with another three on the bench was heartening. Amazing as it is to see wonderful continental talent on display, the sight of Englishman wearing the Lilywhite is the foundation of our great club.

 The season is only two games old, yet Spurs have prevailed through inches of tabloid speculation, clubs poaching nailed on signings and certain individuals being MIA. We have a 100% record and are already +5 on last year points tally. Two games, six points and zero fuss. Bring on the next team.
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