Sacré bleu! Another game, another couple of bits of Gareth Bale artistry and yet another morning having to listen to how lucky we are to have him, beckoned after last night’s 2-1 Europa League win over Lyon.
Bale’s faux-Ronaldo impression seems to be getting better by the day and to add to the incredibly suspect haircut he’s been donning in tribute to Madrid’s number seven, he seems to have cracked the knack of making that unique free-kick technique stick, too.
Although contrary to English football’s popular belief in recent weeks, Spurs did in fact field another ten players last night. And had Bale not been playing, although Spurs would have probably ended up loosing last night, the chances are that one Kyle Walker may well have been a contender for man of the match.
Now given the way Walker’s been playing, uttering that statement would have amounted to little more than heresy in recent weeks, such have been the shoddy displays that the ex-Sheffield United man has been churning out this season. Although whisper it quietly, he didn’t actually do too badly at all last night, In fact, he actually did quite well indeed.
For long periods last night, Walker offered arguably our most potent attacking outlet down the right hand side. Whether Valentines Day had rekindled the love in the Walker/Aaron Lennon relationship, we can only speculate, although the way they were linking up, playing neat one-twos and carefully overlapping evoked memories of Walker in particular, in his pomp last season.
Describing a 22-year-old footballer, as ‘being in his pomp’ is of course ridiculous, although as troughs of form go, Walker’s has reached the point where it’s begun to unravel so much of the good work he racked up last season.
Yes, he is still relatively young and yes, expectations were probably warped after last term, but for us to still be talking about him experiencing a tough spell with only three months of the season left to play, leave little excuses left to be wheeled out.
Last night’s performance wasn’t flawless by any stretch of the imagination and while Walker looked solid defensively in the first half, after picking up a booking for a silly foul on Samuel Umtiti, he went a little bit Mad-Max on us again.
Most importantly however, it was a step in the right direction and although last night wouldn’t have won over all his doubters at White Hart Lane, it at least sent a message out that there is a top-class full back in there somewhere wanting to come out.
Like the performance of the team in general, Kyle Walker wasn’t perfect against Lyon, but we’ll take it. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so to speak, and given how poorly he’s performed all season, getting back up to the levels supporters expect from him is going to be a sizeable journey – although last night was a step in the right direction.