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Knees? Check. Trembling? Check.

Spurs 3 Bolton 1

I watched the FA Cup game against Bolton in a hotel bar in Swansea with a West Country Spurs fan on a big screen without audio but with the unwanted ramblings of a quiz master reading out daft questions and playing awful music from the 70s and 80s. Hardly borderline surreal but not my ideal setting to watch Spurs. Even so, for or all I cared I could have been tied to a chair and been subjected to Chinese water torture, it would not have distracted me from my enjoyment at witnessing a rebirth (of sorts) for team in Lilywhite who swaggered, swashbuckled and displayed the urgency, fluidity and sharpness in touch and pass that has been missing for several games.

Sure, okay, no need to point out that we lacked that clinical composure where it mattered but this is still a team, a group of players, attempting to climb back off the ground, dust off and gently jog to warm up those muscles before running at full speed again.

It might have felt ominous at times, I'm sure everyone watching flirted with the potential for us to be sucker-punched what with all the possession and chances we were carving out. But also you would have flirted with the thought that one goal would suddenly make more easier to come by. Rejoice, the latter was the satisfying conclusion.

Bogdan (Bolton's keeper) seemed to get his body/hands/finger tips onto everything kicked his way. Granted one or two opportunities should really have been buried past him beyond any doubt. But to return to the metaphor of getting ourselves off the floor and back up standing proud, in some ways the patience and perseverance probably worked out for the best because it now truly feels like we've exorcised the demons that have recently haunted us.

Harry got the starting line-up right and made the right change at the right time (although we're still far better with one upfront than two). Was impressed with Livermore. To be honest there was little not to be impressed about taking into consideration how we've lacked this ilk of tempo and now we appear to be have got it back. We scored from a set piece - surely that's deserving of smiles all round. In fact there's been a steady improvement of dead ball kicking recently, although that's hardly something to shout about when you check the stats and remind yourself of how poor we've been for seasons now.

What we need to do now is replicate it in the league. Can't think of a better way to do so than to go toe to toe with the tippy tappy free flowing Swansea side this weekend.

All to play for. Our season is alive.

We're going to Wembley. Not proper Wembley, but it's still 90 mins or so away from a Cup final.

I'm having some of that.


Reader Comments (18)

Triffic summary, Spooky.

Thought the formation with Walker really bombing on and van der Vaart tucking in suited us a lot.

One concern is that none of our DMs seem to naturally favour protecting the right back area, which is something they will need to learn to do.

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterWindyCOYS

was at the lane for this one and must say how incredible walker is, his movement off the ball is fantastic. I really think there is an argument to give scotty a rest, he has been off the boil the last few games and livermore deserves a couple of starts, he is superior to scotty in looking up and picking passes aswell. I am feeling good with us apparently coming into form and with lennon coming back we can set up in the formation that served us so well in the first half of the season.

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:15 PM | Unregistered Commenterliamlemur

I was there.... 74 mins on the clock and what do you know we score from a corner, and its Ryan Nelson who i gota say had a really solid game, also as you say Spooks Livermore he is definitely one for the future, he had a great game, Bale, Modders, Walker all impressed as did VDV and Defoe when he came on, Ade hard working as ever. Set pieces improving back to winning ways a semi final with the Chavs at Wemberley.... reasons to be cheerful COYS !!

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterBobby

Team performance, unity and actual application of responsibilities (aside from what Windy pointed out) all worked and looked like it's meant to - Spurs playing effective, attractive football. Still need to polish up but confidence is back.

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:21 PM | Registered Commenterspooky

watched in a pub full of chels watching their CL game. no idel but a happy upb all round at the end! "Yuo'll go out in the semi" one chels boy shouted so i pointed out they'll be haeding out at the same stage in the CL. Hopefully.
The season turned a corner for us when VDV scored deep into injury time v Stoke. We are only going to improve now. 8 games, we could take 20 points from that lot and finish 3rd. and the FA cup is ours to lose.
boy could this be a memorable end to the season.
Lennon back soon?

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:33 PM | Unregistered Commenterdixta

I enjoyed the game and the win under strange circumstances but i do fear win we go 2-0 up.

It seems to be the trigger for sloppy play and complete loss of momentum. As soon as we got the second goal our whole team dropped back into our own half.

This casual "we've won this now" attitude has cost us this season and i would say it was the catalyst for our recent slump (2-0 up against arsenal to dropping 13 point in 5 games). I'm not sure why it happens but we need to start crushing teams and continuing to drive forward after the second goal as a better team than Bolton would've equalised and maybe even gone on to win this cup tie.

I agree that we are in full recovery but we need to beat the 2 goal advantage blues if we are ever going to truly challenge for the title.

Mar 29, 2012 at 1:35 PM | Unregistered Commenterlodvic

@lodvic; Sensible words indeed. Spurs are better at taking their (collective) foot off the pedal than they are of pushing on when they think they have a comfortable cushion. Surely the coaching staff will get that right !!

Mar 29, 2012 at 2:05 PM | Unregistered Commentercookiebun

It's a strange one. At 2-0 up in any game we should up the pace even more and steam roll them. That ruthlessness is still something we need.

Mar 29, 2012 at 2:08 PM | Registered Commenterspooky


Lets not get ahead of ourselves, our season hasn't been turned around yet, 3 wins from the next 3 league games and I will be agreeing with you but a draw at home to Stoke, a draw away to a very poor Chelsea team who we dominated and a win in the cup against a team battling relegation hasn't got me doing cartwheels!!!!!

No win in 5 in the league and 1 win in our last 3, hardly 3rd place form

Mar 29, 2012 at 2:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterOssie

Very enthused that we have the potential to lift the FA Cup, and although there is plenty of work yet to do against Chelscum I can see us competing well against them and hopefully secure our place in the final. I celebrate my birthday a week after the game therefore I'll view a win as an early birthday gift. Our season is still on course for a third place finish also, we seem to have added a bit more resilience to our game now which can only hold us in good stead for the remaining matches. Nice article Spooky, keep up the good work. TTID COYS!!

Mar 29, 2012 at 3:04 PM | Unregistered Commenteraspurusual

If there´s a queue for chicken assessment prior to a hatching scenario then I´m at the front,
just ahead of you apparently Spooky.
The Nightmare is over: Long live the dream as we say in Hopelessly Hopefulville.

A goal from our 14th Van Der Vaart corner in a single game.. Things are looking up. If at first... as they say

Mar 30, 2012 at 9:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterJimmyG2

Saha's goal though, 'kin hell. I want to see a lot more of that from him.

Mar 30, 2012 at 4:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterBimspur

not sure if this is the best place to say or not but the sign up facility hasnt worked for me, ive received no email yet if i try a re register it confirms that my username and email have been used to i havent typo'd.

Mar 31, 2012 at 11:08 AM | Unregistered Commenterliamlemur

I'll look into it. I've test it a few times and the mail doesn't take long at all to be sent out.

Mar 31, 2012 at 11:10 AM | Registered Commenterspooky

I've re-sent the confirmation mail. Let me know if you get it.

Mar 31, 2012 at 11:13 AM | Registered Commenterspooky

still not arrived in either inbox or junk I'm afraid.

Mar 31, 2012 at 11:32 AM | Unregistered Commenterliamlemur

i tell a lie, it has arrived! (my bad)

Mar 31, 2012 at 11:33 AM | Unregistered Commenterliamlemur

No worries.

Mar 31, 2012 at 11:38 AM | Registered Commenterspooky

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