The thought of a playoff round is enough to induce panic within even the most optimistic of Spurs fans. We just don’t like them.
A recent history of European adventures that have in the main begun with disappointment. A series of ignominious marches back from the far reaches of the continent have often left the club very much on the back foot. Young Boys, Anorthosis and Krakow; we have shown our lack of appetite for the early away day before.
So 1-1 score prediction, pretty optimistic really?
My geographical knowledge doesn’t really extend far past GCSE coastal erosion in Norfolk, but even I questioned whether a trip to Georgia represented much of a European trip. It seems the way UEFA are going these days, a Europa trip to Osaka isn’t beyond the realms of possibility.
A core group of hardened fans made the brutal trip to the war-torn state of Georgia. On the periphery of the Black Sea this tie would have represented the very worst fear of Spurs teams in days gone by. Jet lag, unfamiliar opponents and a hostile atmosphere surely necessitated a Tottenham capitulation?
Maybe I underestimated how far we have come under Villas-Boas.
This potential banana skin turned into nothing more than a procession, a training ground exercise. Barely having to get out of first gear, Spurs exuded the kind of class that wouldn’t have been misplaced in a Barcelona side.
Granted Tbilisi were a shambles, if they are Georgian champions God knows how bad the rest of the teams in their league must be. That said weak opponents haven’t stopped us making a mockery of ourselves in the past, and the comfortable and professional manner of victory is still something to celebrate.
A few real positives to take from the game:
Andros Townsend proved to everyone why he is a notch above Aaron Lennon at the moment. Devastating bursts of pace, whilst maintaining the ability to deliver an end product consistently. Surely in contention for a start on Sunday?
Danny Rose’s screamer against Arsenal certainly wasn’t a one off. His rocket capped off another impressive performance from our young English wingback.
The collection of Oxbridge schooled thugs that Villas-Boas has acquired are definitely doing the business in midfield. Paulinho and Capoue this time displaying the sort of refined physicality that is going to be central to our plans going forward. The likes of Wilshere and Ramsey must surely be quivering with fear at the thought of our midfield muscle.
Anything we can improve on?
Always hard to critique when you have just won 5-0, but here goes. Whilst Soldado looks ruthless in front of goal, he spent the majority of the game isolated and ineffectual. My view was that a weak performance from Sigurdsson starved him of any real regular supply. Would a move for Christian Eriksen not be a shrewd one here?
Keeping a clean sheet in Tbilisi was somewhat ironic, with Lloris leaving the field muddied and battle scarred. A series of genuinely world-class saves masked a defensive display that left a lot to be desired.
Maybe I am being a little harsh. Regardless of the opposition a 5-0 victory is something to be applauded and the display itself was worth marvelling at too.
Are we in for some more ‘Glory Glory’ nights at the Lane? I sure hope so.