Tottenham Hotspur has done it. They’ve struck gold by qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in their history. And they did it in style at the ground of the club who had the best chance of beating them to the honor.
Before Peter Crouch headed the ball into the back of the Manchester City net, I was planning on writing an article about him tonight. This is a player who never gives up and caused Manchester City problems all night by knocking the ball down for fellow teammates running on to the ball, and almost scoring earlier after his header hit the post.
But it wasn’t just this game where Crouch showed his prowess. He’s been doing it throughout his career but has never seemed to get a consistent run of games at Liverpool or Tottenham. But even when he was at Liverpool, he always added a lot of depth to Liverpool’s attacks and scored some brilliant goals in the Champions League. Earlier in his career, at Portsmouth and Aston Villa, he did get a regular starting position more frequently and it was at those two clubs where he shone.
Having said that, Tottenham’s 1-0 victory against Manchester City Wednesday night was a brilliant team performance. What impressed me the most about Spurs was the way they defended. Whenever City attacked down the wings, Tottenham quickly closed down the attacks and often prevented City from sending in deadly crosses. In particular, when Adam Johnson attacked down the right wing, Spurs defenders knew that Johnson would cut to his left to try to float the ball into the box. But each time the left-footed Johnson tried to do that, Tottenham defenders were right on top of him and quickly extinguished the threat.
I’ve always liked Peter Crouch especially when he’s been utilized for his skills on the ball rather than in the air. Wednesday night’s performance was a perfect example of what he can bring to England and he must be part of the squad perhaps instead of Emile Heskey who has had little playing time for Villa.
For Manchester City, it’s back to the drawing board. In the past few games they’ve showed the lack of creativity they so desperately needed Wednesday night. They came close many times, but Craig Bellamy again had a poor performance which I thought brought the team down. At the same time, City looked vulnerable in the back and had a difficult time dealing with the pace of Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon, although the latter was less influential than he usually is.
It’s been a long time waiting for Tottenham supporters around the world. But they did it in style and were deserved winners. It’s been an incredible season for Tottenham Hotspur and they now face the prospect of playing Burnley on Sunday knowing that a win against the Clarets and an Arsenal loss versus Fulham will put Tottenham in third place in the league and knock their hated rivals down into fourth. I don’t see it happening, but the pressure is all on Arsenal at this stage. Crazier things have happened before.