“Comments on Shearer MkII” says George. “I completely agree that as greats age, they are no longer front of pack raw speed/ jump/ etc. Of course, the veteran’s wisdom paired with his residual formerly fantastic ability places him in an altogether different sphere.”
Yes, Shearer was still good, but his knowhow didn’t compensate for the lost gas. Thinking about it, I’d probably have Kane above Shearer now, given his record in Europe.
“Taking Nicholas Walsmley’s pass, and running with it,” says Matt Dony. “Must be really pleasant to play Kane and Son in this kind of mood. Near Alderweireld Heaven. I’m sorry.”
No apology necessary; I ran through the track listing of about six REM albums in my head while looking at the teamsheet, trying to find something similar, and missed this iteration. But I agree, who can cope with Son Son H?
“What has happened to the Jose of old?” asks Jonny Bull. “His previous teams would have shut up shop at 1-0, suffocating the opposition and, eventually his own team’s fans with his miseryball.
This Spurs team have been averaging three goals a game this season and show no interest in easing off when ahead. Did Mourinho take the criticism of his style to heart? Or has he been visited by a ghost from his future imploring him to change his ways?”
I’m not sure, because one characteristic of his later career has been trying to impose a style of play and being on squads and players to whom both are entirely unsuited. I guess Spurs are still a counter-attacking team, and striking opponents who come forward is part of the plan. But it’s also fair to say that his first Chelsea team were devastating going forward when Robben was on.
Half-time: Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 West Ham United
Harry Kane. That really is all there is to say.
45+2 min A ball into the box from Masuaku and Soucek tries to shoot then Coufal does, but his effort is blocked at source by … Harry Kaneavaro! Unbelievable behaviour.
45+1 min “Did you really say that Shearer wasn’t elite?” asks Robert Lin. “Are you out of your mind?” he wonders.
No I didn’t say that, I said that Shearer Mk III wasn’t elite, which I don’t think is especially controversial. Still good, but not one of the best in the world.
43 min Excellent from Spurs, one-touch stuff pinging the ball about before Ndombele tries a pass over the top for Kane. He can’t gather, but Ndombele then manages two decent challenges to keep West Ham down. Is he the first player since Joe Cole who’s come back and been useful to Mourinho, after being victimised by him?
43 min “Losing My Reguilon is the song of the night for whoever’s supposed to be marking him,” sniggers Nicholas Walmsley.
42 min Spurs counter and Kane finds Sissoko; he squares for Bergwijn, who wafts wide. Spurs are playing through West Ham so easily.
40 min “Considering a Moyes-less West Ham’s last two league games garnered two wins (against Wolves and Leicester),” says Charlie Pulling, “and a total of seven scored and zero conceded, I hope, I think, I know that the Hammers would surely prefer the Scotsman would take a lesson out of Gareth Bale’s favourite Oasis album and please do go away. D’know what I mean?”
In fairness, he was managing remotely, and this team absolutely reeks of Moyes – in both good and less good aspects.
39 min Reguilon, who’s settling very nicely, arcs a cross into the space behind defence and keeper that has too much gas on it for Bergwijn.
37 min Antonio looks to budge the ball across Alderweireld, anticipating a challenge that’ll win him a penalty, but Alderweireld is firm, fast, and first to the ball. Excellent defending.
36 min “Harry Kane channelling Don Revie,” says Mal Simon, I imagine referring to the progenitor of the withdrawn centre-forward role.
I actually think someone else played it here first but can’t remember who – I shall investigate – but yes, it was inspired by Nandor Hidegkuti.
35 min Eeeeesh! Aurier again makes ground down the right and crosses low and hard; Son slides in, but can’t quite make contact so Fabianski collects. That was very nearly 4-0.
33 min I guess we oughtn’t be surprised that Kane is thriving under Mourinho – Mourinho is still a genius, but more than that, Kane is exactly the sort of monomaniacal freak of nature on with whom he gets.
33 min Reguilon finds Son, who finds Kane, but Soucek just about gets a foot in.
30 min “On Twitter last year,” says John Tumbridge, “one on of those pointless surveys” – are there any others? – “the question was ‘What is your unpopular view about Spurs?’ My response was that ‘We’ve seen the best of Harry. I was wrong .”
Yes, I also used that humiliating medium to wonder if Mason Greenwood was already better than him. Ahem.
29 min I wondered about Spurs in midfield, but they look alright so far. Maybe it’s just the addition of Kane, but Hojbjerg is playing really well and Ndombele is growing too, taking a chipped pass from Kane and sliding a nice ball inside the full-back for Aurier, who can’t pick out a man with his cross.
26 min “Thanks for the pop video,” says Charles Antaki. “The music is a bit on the hectic side for me, but great to see Helsinki’s beautiful Cathedral Square featured. I didn’t last the whole clip, but if the kids made it to the extravagant Orthodox cathedral a couple of hundred metres down the road, we’d have had the full travelogue’s worth.”
There’s only one Helsinki.
24 min A stat comes up: Mourinho has never lost a match to David Moyes.
22 min Spurs win a free-kick down the right which Son will swing out, and just as Kane looks poised to attack it, it prangs off Ogbonna who was looking the other way. Then, in the repechage that follows, a stray elbow cracks Sissoko – Antonio’s – and he goes down.
20 min The aspect of those 12-22 yard finishes that sets Kane apart is how quickly he sizes up the situation then does whatever it demands. Neither keeper nor defenders can set, and the purity of his technique – as much a facility of practise as nature, I shouldn’t wonder – means there’s nothing they can then do about it. Oh, and Antonio slid in late on Son, earning himself a booking.
18 min I’m not going to lie, I wondered about Kane. He’ll be able to finish and pass until the day he does and probably after then, but I wondered if he’d lost his gas, and whether that would have him like Shearer Mk III, a good player but not an elite one. If it was not already clear, I am a moron.
GOAL! Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 West Ham United (Kane 16)
It’s absolutely rrrrrrridiculous! West Ham have five defenders and they still can’t get close to Harry Kane! Hojbjerg finds Son, he goes wide to Reguilon and everyone knows what’s coming next: a perfect cross, an expert’s header, and Spurs are ravaging West Ham like wild dogs!
15 min “Thanks for the interesting mix of images today,” says Justin Kavanagh. “It got my slightly murky Sunday mind thinking how football has changed from the 1920s to the 50s and 60s to the present day. For example, who could picture either of the Charlton brothers with a man bun? Or Gareth Bale sitting in Madrid airport before his physical this summer with a beer and ciggie on?”
I guess there were footballers in the 60s with the equivalent of the bun, just as there will be players now who enjoy a tab.
14 min And where would winning the league with Spurs rank on Mourinho’s bedpost?