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Spurs deliver European masterclass
English club send out reminder to rest of Europe
Posted Feb 16, 2011 by Jeff Dawson
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The Champions League is back and oh how it’s been missed over the last few months. Last night’s stunning performance from Tottenham Hotspurs, in the cauldron of the San Siro, was a sensational reminder to the rest of Europe that the English clubs should be ignored at their peril as Spurs, and credit to manager Harry Redknapp for this, delivered an absolute masterclass is the art of European football.
I thought Harry got his tactics spot on last night and he is wise enough to recognise that the spirit and natural endeavours of the English game simply shouldn’t be ignored against the elite from the mainland of our great footballing continent.
Spurs dominated the ball in the first half and showed patience and defensive strength in the second period much to the annoyance of the Italians who resorted to dirty tricks to try and get something from the match. More on this in a moment.
As for Spurs, well they are really proving themselves to be a handful on this stage and I think most teams will be thinking, ‘I hope we don’t have to play them’ after this performance.
Even without the likes of Gareth Bale, Tom Huddlestone and Ledley King as well as half fit players like Rafael Van Der Vaart and Luka Modric, Spurs still had too much for the Serie A leaders.
And this is what has really impressed me about what Redknapp has put together at White Hart Lane. He has blended some great young English talent with talented stars from overseas and I believe that they now have one of the strongest squads in England and Europe – and it is being severely tested at the minute with injuries.
When those players mentioned are fully fit and the likes of Jermaine Defoe, Peter Crouch and Roman Pavlyuchenko are all firing, not many teams can match Spurs for quality.
I certainly feel there is a new dawn in the Premiership with teams such as Tottenham and Manchester City, as well as Liverpool, all soon to be knocking on the door of Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea. In fact, I think Chelsea are on the slide despite their recent heavy investment and Manchester United, although clear at the top, are there to be beaten. But that discussion is for another day.
As for the Italians, well for me they tarnished what was a great night of European football. The behaviour of Gennaro Gattuso, the Milan captain, was shocking and he should be banned for six European and six domestic games. I thought it was against the rules to raise your arms and head-butt people yet he seemed to get away with it time and time again. Then there was the disgusting tackle from ex-Gooner Mathieu Flamini who flew in two-footed on Verdan Corluka escaping with only a booking when it should clearly have been a red. Corluka will be lucky to escape a broken ankle after that obscene challenge.
Despite all that, Spurs can be happy with their evening’s work in Milan and the return leg at White Hart Lane in two weeks will be an absolute cracker. Don’t miss it!
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