Premier League review: Tottenham continue to sparkle
Alex Sharp looks back at the 11th instalment of top flight action and Tottenham Hotspur's flying start
Tottenham are continuing to sparkle despite the news manager Harry Redknapp is out for the next five weeks following heart surgery.
The north Londoners marched to a 3-1 victory at Craven Cottage on Sunday in their violet away kit, and excuse the pun, continued their purple patch.
Redknapp can now rest easy knowing that his side have scored 20 in their last eight league games, winning seven – and with a game in hand could leapfrog Chelsea into the top four. In fact, Spurs have suffered only three league defeats since April, all against the Manchester clubs.
Perhaps the stress has got to “˜Arry but he has managed to conjure up an exciting, explosive side that now has the momentum to threaten the top sides in the league – as long as they don’t become distracted in the Europa League.
In stark contrast to the flapping gloves of last season, Tottenham appear solid at the back with Younès Kaboul drastically improving from the last campaign and Brad Friedel continuing to impress between the sticks. The game at Fulham on Sunday was Friedel’s 276th consecutive league start.
For a team in such a rich vein of form it is quite surprising that Scott Parker is the only Spurs player representing England against Sweeden and Spain in the International break.
Jermaine Defoe has been omitted which is a shock considering Wayne Rooney is out of the squad. Bobby Zamora is a grafter but lacks the quality, which was proven by his open-goal howler the other week. Then there is Darren Bent, who seems to lack any form of International quality. (Yes, he scores goals – but they are mainly tap-ins after being put on a plate for him).
Aaron Lennon has played his way back into form and fitness which was emphasised by the winger’s astute finish at Fulham for Tottenham’s second. Lennon has not played for England since the horrors of South Africa but would surely have offered competition for Theo Walcott on the right rather than the predictable Stewart Downing.
Finally, Fabio Capello has rewarded Daniel Sturridge for his continued progress at Chelsea – and the Blues striker could form an interesting partnership with Danny Wellbeck in the forthcoming friendlies.
Wellbeck has improved drastically this season playing alongside Rooney and co. at United. His deflected header on Saturday got Sir Alex Ferguson’s 26th year in charge at Old Trafford off to a winning start.
Did you know that 25 years ago, on Saturday 6 November, Ferguson took over at Manchester United and the bottom four clubs in the old Division One were Chelsea, Manchester United, Newcastle United, and Manchester City. Today’s top four. How times have changed.
Ferguson, on his 25th anniversary, remained as ruthless as ever by stating that Rio Ferdinand will not be a regular at United anymore – and it seems Capello concurs, omitting the under-performing defender from the squad.
A bizarre decision was to include Glen Johnson, who attempts to copy the archetypal Brazilian right-back but forgets he’s a defender.
Another one is the omission of Micah Richards, who is commanding at the back in the imperious Manchester City side. There appears to be no logic in that decision.