Sunday’s 3-1 victory over QPR at White Hart Lane could kick start a bright future for Tottenham Hotspur. With the form and style of a top team, Spurs absolutely dominated the first 45 minutes and should have gone in at the break with at least double the two goals scored by Gareth Bale and Rafael Van der Vaart.
QPR soon hit back in the second half, but as we dug in our dominance prevailed when Gareth Bale once again struck to make it 3-1 and round off possibly our most impressive performance so far this season.
With six wins from a possible seven games, Tottenham are second in the form table only to league leaders Manchester City. Fourth place seemed to be our maximum aim this season, but with our current form, surely we should be looking to finish higher than the Champions League play-off spot. Third placed Chelsea have now lost their last two league games, meaning that Spurs are currently level with the three-times Premier League title winners, with a game in hand.
For me, instead of looking at Liverpool and Arsenal creeping up the table below us, we should be looking to overtake a stuttering Chelsea side and the over-achieving Newcastle instead of worrying about our ‘fourth place’ competitors. These sides should not be completely ignored, however, as Arsenal continue to improve and Liverpool appear to constantly switch positions with us every weekend.
But are we better than Liverpool and Arsenal? The Gunners have always been known for their slick football even if they are without a trophy for the past six seasons, and Liverpool have spent heavily this summer to be in the position to challenge the league’s top teams. Our midfield performance against QPR on Sunday was by far better than any football I’ve seen from Arsenal or Liverpool this season so far. Add this to our impressive home wins against both those sides already this season and you could say that we look to be the team with the most quality out of the three.
We are now at the stage of the season where the inevitable “Who would be your player of the season if you had to choose now?” questions on call-in shows and chat-rooms are thrown at pundits and fans. Since signing, Scott Parker has been my man of the match in every game he has played for Spurs so far. The old-fashioned central midfielder was compared to the likes of Dave Mackay by Harry Redknapp after his superb display on Sunday, contributing further to his stunning performances ever since he pulled on a Tottenham shirt in our 2-0 victory at Wolves.
Parker’s directness, drive and defensive ability gives the likes of Bale, Lennon and Modric the permission to be themselves and primarily attack our opponents. “Super Scott” seems to have slotted in delightfully quickly at Tottenham – even to the extent of keeping the impressive Sandro out of the team.
So with the defensive part of our side looking solid with Parker and our back four proving strong (the consistency of Kaboul and Assou-Ekotto ever-present), our attacking force was able to get the job done against QPR. Joey Barton tweeted after the game that Luka Modric is the best player in the league after coming up against him in the centre of midfield.
The Croatian craftsman held things together and supported the likes of Bale, Lennon and Van der Vaart, constantly creating chances for himself and those around him. Bale himself looks back to his best after two superbly hit strikes, the second of which being a well worked move involving the Welshman and Aaron Lennon moving the ball slickly and quickly to devastating effect. Lennon also made Bale’s first goal – the English winger looked to be over his lack of confidence that has been evident since returning from an early season foot injury.
It has been widely discussed that the goals of Rafael Van der Vaart so often got us out of trouble last season. On Sunday, Rafa’s goal simply added to the marvellous display from himself and the rest of his attacking team-mates in a side that look worthy of scoring a few goals against any opponent. I believe that Van der Vaart’s strikes this season will be seen as more of an overall contribution rather than a get out of jail free card, mainly thanks to other players in the squad also finding the net. Jermain Defoe has even struggled to get a minute on the field recently despite looking twice as sharp as last term.
The short, quick passing game that I saw at the Lane on Sunday was even better than our performance in the 4-0 thrashing of Liverpool last month. At the risk of getting over-excited, I tentatively foresee similar displays to come in the future for this current Spurs side.