While The Hotspur Way was quite keen on pining for a ‘big European night ™’ it’s probably fair to say that none of us were expecting that.
Far from just rising to the occasion and indulging in one of the finer marquee ties that – not just the Europa League, but European football as a whole – had to offer, Spurs actually raised it up a notch and churned out arguably the finest all-round 90 minutes of football that we’ve seen at White Hart Lane this term.
Now before we start flying off the handle on this one, it’s worth noting that the Inter Milan team we took apart last night was a pale shadow of the one we trounced just over two years ago. Andrea Stramaccioni’s side aren’t anywhere near as poor as last night’s performance suggested, but European champions they most certainly are not.
But for as poor as i Nerazzurri were last night, we were absolutely magnificent and for as euphoric as the wins against both the Spammers and the Arse might have felt, there was perhaps just as much happiness to take out of last night’s result – albeit in a slightly different way.
We’re all a lot more accustomed to self-destruction, food poisoning and general wasting away when it comes to entering the season’s finishing straight. If Spurs were an athlete, we’d be a lot more Derek Redmond, than – and this hurts to say – the Michael Johnson like men in red down the road.
Where as Spurs tend to hobble over the finishing line in a flurry of tears, the Arse usually tend to systematically raise their game as they fly round the bend, taking pity upon us and the inevitable breakdown that usually follows.
But this time, it’s different. As if our recent unbeaten run in the league wasn’t enough, the two derby day wins have instilled a feeling of confidence within this side not seen since, well, it’s honestly quite difficult to remember. Last night we witnessed a bunch of talented footballers and, for want of a better word, a bunch of blokes who simply don’t look like they want to loose.
In attack we looked sharp, direct and undoubtedly boosted by the return of Jermain Defoe. The England man will take time to return to his best, but it looks like we’ve got the goalscoring version back, rather than the headless chicken incarnation.
Bale and Lennon were their usual superb selves and the recent renaissance of Gylfi Sigurdsson continued. The Icelandic international was outstanding and he has perhaps benefitted as much as anyone out of the last couple of games.
It’s hardly as if Esteban Cambiasso’s accelerated hair loss needed another shot in the arm, but any hope he may have had of growing it back would have been dealt a painful blow such was the unrelenting stress his midfield was put under last night. Dembele and Parker were magnificent, with the latter looking particularly impressive. Early days, but if Scotty can sustain the sort of performance he produced last night, then we can really hope to be optimistic moving forward.
With our defence looking as steady with Willy G at the back as it does with Daws (pushing our luck on this one, I know), taking in all of the above, maybe we really can begin to look up the table, rather than simply keeping one eye below. Because for all the talent that resides in this squad, we now have one thing not seen in a long time in N17 and something you most certainly can’t put a price on. Momentum. Long may that continue.