A league clash with the Kings Roaders will always be worth more than a mere three points.
Whether is their despotic captain or chairman, Spurs fans have found vilifying their West London rivals an increasingly simple task in recent seasons.
A collection of fans on twitter summed the mood for a lot of Spurs fans up perfectly:
‘I hate Arsenal because I’m a Spurs fan, I hate Chelsea because I am a human being’
The frustration at not claiming the three points is fired by this sentiment, but I think it goes a lot further. For the first time that I can remember, Spurs lined up in the League with a side that in my view eclipsed the West Londoners’ offering in every department.
Villas-Boas’ revolution has seen the assembly of a squad that has as much depth as it does quality. Contrast this to an ageing Chelsea team that seems to be very much top loaded whilst surprisingly lacking any real incision and you can start to see where the optimism from Spurs fans has begun to stem from.
The end to ‘three point Lane’? I certainly hope so.
Saturday afternoon was your typical game of two halves, with Spurs dominating the early exchanges with Chelsea coming back strongly in the second half. Our best first half of the season, and their best second half; no wonder it was such a pulsating exchange.
So what went well and what didn’t?
A particular positive for me was the resurgence of Moussa Dembele, who looked back to his imperious best. Dominating and profiting from a wasteful Chelsea midfield, he was a constant source of menace from the middle of the park and a deserved MOTM. His partner in crime Paulinho looked to continue his recent good form with another good first half display. The key to our second half failings though was in this department where we began to look more and more sluggish as the game wore on, I cannot help but wonder whether Sandro would have been the more prudent substitution ahead of say Chadli, but hey hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Our attacking three continue to go from strength from strength, with our reborn Icelander maintaining the form which has seen him keep record signing Erik Lamela firmly on the bench. Andros Townsend continues to impress on the biggest stages with the Englishman alongside Eriksen as our two main sources of attacking craft.
I remain concerned by our wingbacks. Walker is someone who blows hot and cold with pieces of sublime skill interchanged with moments of ineptitude. Naughton appears to be taking worrying lessons from Walker, with a somewhat unconvincing display that saw him found out on numerous occasions. Less experienced and out of position, I have slightly more sympathy for Naughton.
As for the Torres/ Vertonghen handbags affair, neither really covered themselves in glory. Yes Torres should have had a straight red earlier, but equally you would expect better from our Belgian than to sink to the sort of level we condemn Chelsea for. Sad in the sense that he probably had one of his best games in Spurs colours, something which will be overlooked by a moment of contempt.
The AVB/ Mourinho debacle is probably something for another day, an interesting side note to what was an intriguing afternoon in North London.
The fact many of us our slightly disappointed at only taking a point is a sign of how far we have come as a club, no longer content to match the top sides we now want to beat them regularly.
Was it a question of two points dropped?
Come May I think we will look back on this as a point very much well earned.
Russia next. Onwards and upwards.