Dec 16: Spurs 3 Man City 0
Eyewitness report by DAN CARRIER from WHITE HART LANE
THE question asked in recent weeks is which Spurs side will show up? Are we going to be treated to a barnstorming performance we know Harry’s boys are capable of, or will they look like a tepid bunch of Europa league wannabes?
The recent form - two draws and a loss in games you’d think we’d enjoy - made easy conversation for pub cynics before kick off. But Spurs have always loved playing City: you are guaranteed to hear Ricky Villa’s name sung loud - it took the Park Lane end just five minutes to launch into a homage to the Argentine - and Spurs have lost just once in 13 meetings.
As it turned out, buccaneering Spurs turned up against a team that boasted real talent but seem to lack a vocal leader on the pitch to conquer a flaw Spurs fans know only too well - namely, having talented individuals who don’t like it up ‘em and disappear when things don’t go to plan.
But from the off, with the Lane rocking and fans enjoying giving former Gooner Adebayor plenty of stick, Spurs sensed they had something to prove.
Harry made a slight tweak to his forward line, with Crouch coming in for Robbie Keane.
Once again David Bentley did not make the bench: but Harry’s other want-away rebel, Russian forward Roman Pavlyuchenko, made his took his now familiar seat alongside Luka Modric, yet to be match fit after his extended autumn lay off.
Lennon ran City a merry dance through out the first period, aided by the convenience of being marked by Silvinho - the full back was offered no support at all by a frankly uninterested Robinho on the City left flank.
Kranjcar hit two goals and pulled the midfield strings: his first, after 36 minutes, was all we deserved, while his second right at the death was sheer class.
And his form gives Harry another selection headache. He has to worry about keeping Keane as well as Bentley and Pavlyuchenko interested, and now Kranjcar, who would be the one to give way for a fit Luka Modric, is proving to be ungraspable.
So on the back of this comprehensive victory against a team who are supposedly also in the hunt for fourth spot, what do we learn about this side?
Namely that we are in for some grand performances this term, but tempered with the frustration that if we’d played like that against Wolves, we’d have hit another nine.
Sadly, I can only conclude that we still don’t know which Spurs will show up.
“This was the best performance of the season so far,” Harry said afterwards.
And he was full of praise for Kranjcar, perhaps softening the blow when he inevitably does make way for Modric.
“If you don’t get man of the match tonight, you’ll never get one,” Harry said he told the Croatian goal scorer after the game.