Tottenham Hotspur vs. QPR: Winners and Losers from London Derby
Tottenham's emphatic 4-0 win Sunday over Queens Park Rangers at White Hart Lane gave supporters a glimpse of the style of football they've yearned for since the best days of Harry Redknapp's time at Spurs.
Nacer Chadli, the much-derided Belgian wide man, scored twice in the first half as Spurs ran rampant against their former manager's new team. QPR, unlucky in their opening defeat to Hull City, were abject, and Redknapp will know that he has plenty of work to do to keep them in the Premier League this season.
Tottenham got the victory and sit atop the nascent Premier League table, but who else won and lost in this London derby?
Winner: Nacer Chadli
Chadli opened the scoring against Rangers with a neatly lifted finish following a lovely piece of chest control. He scored his second goal with a powerful header from close range.
Both showed the kind of predatory instincts that Chadli exhibited at FC Twente. He also produced a sensational pass to spring Danny Rose for Emmanuel Adebayor's goal in the second half.
Chadli's ability to act as an additional centre-forward is part of his appeal as a player, but he has struggled to show his quality.
If he can build on this performance, Chadli is the ideal man to partner with Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen in Spurs' attacking line. With pace and significant physical presence, he offers the dual role of winger and auxiliary striker.
He has been the first player mentioned by media and Spurs fans alike when discussing the "mistakes" of last summer's transfer window. Most fans would suggest he was the most likely to be sold and least likely to be missed of all the new acquisitions.
After enduring a largely anonymous first season, Chadli rather struggled at the World Cup with Belgium, but his performance against QPR suggests he will flourish under Mauricio Pochettino.
Mark Bryans of the London Evening Standard quoted Pochettino as saying:
Lamela, Adebayor, Chadli and Eriksen create the movement and rotate - they are free.
We work a lot on the training ground but it is important that the players are free in their minds because they are creative players.
You can not put the players like that in the shade, you need to provide the organisation but after that they are free.
Winner: Danny Rose
When Spurs signed Ben Davies, it seemed like Danny Rose would be consigned to the role of understudy. Instead, he has put in two solid performances in Tottenham's opening two Premier League matches.
Against QPR, Rose put on an impressive attacking show. His assist for Adebayor's goal was fantastic. Taking the ball from Hugo Lloris, Rose played a pass to Chadli on halfway and burst forward into space to receive the return ball. He then curled his pass across goal right into the path of Adebayor.
More than just his attacking performance, Rose looks to have improved his defensive positioning and, crucially, his timing. Rose is aggressive in defence. That's just part of his game. Last season he had a problem mistiming his challenges. But against QPR he was spot on.
Rose is now the favoured left-back. If he is selected against Liverpool in place of the more defensive Davies, he will have earned it.
Loser: Harry Redknapp
Redknapp, the QPR boss, has been one of the most important men in Spurs' recent history. He guided them to the Champions League and helped build their first great team in many years.
But that team is now virtually gone. Only Younes Kaboul, Rose and Adebayor remain from the Redknapp days. Spurs' new, young team clicked against Rangers, but Redknapp's side was disjointed and extremely disappointing.
Redknapp would have loved to get a victory over the club he feels unfairly sacked him, but instead his abject team was walloped and are bottom of the table (albeit after just two games).
He has failed to impress with a talented, highly paid squad at Loftus Road, and this defeat will have been particularly hard to take.
Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph was unimpressed with the QPR display, using his Twitter feed to say, "As good as Spurs have been, QPR have been genuinely terrible. The defence and midfield don't look right at all."
Winner: Eric Dier
Against West Ham, Eric Dier enjoyed a dream debut. His performance against QPR did not quite hit those same heights, but he was very impressive again.
Scoring an excellent header from a Lamela corner, Dier became the first defender in Premier League history to notch goals in his first two matches, according to @MisterChiping on Twitter.
Deployed at right-back, Dier provided solid protection for Kaboul as well as a reliable outlet going forward. Dier already seems to have been a remarkable bargain and has won great credibility in his performances so far.
Not quite undroppable, Dier is doing everything he can to ensure he continues to play regularly for Pochettino's side.
It is rare for a 20-year-old to take so quickly to the English top flight, but Dier seems a rare talent indeed.
Loser: Roberto Soldado
Roberto Soldado's stock continues to slip at Spurs. Omitted from the starting lineup against West Ham and QPR, the Spaniard has had just 10 minutes to show his quality in the Premier League this season.
In his absence, Spurs ran roughshod over QPR's meek defence. Adebayor, his rival for the lone striker role, scored one goal and assisted another. While he was poor against West Ham, Adebayor performed well enough to retain his starting place against Liverpool next week.
With Harry Kane's impressive form, it could be argued that Soldado is now third choice at Spurs.
Underwhelming in Europe in midweek, Soldado could do little in his cameo against QPR and must now be doubting his position in the squad.
Unlikely to be sold, Soldado likely has plenty of time on the bench to look forward to.
Winner: Daniel Levy
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy will be utterly delighted with that victory. Never a particular admirer of Redknapp, Levy will have taken extra joy from a 4-0 rout of his former manager's new team.
The opening shots of the Premier League season have been fired, and Spurs sit on top of the pile. This will be utterly meaningless if the following 36 games don't match up to the opening two, but it is a positive position to be in and goes some way toward vindicating Levy's aggressive moves over the last 12 months.
Dismissing Andre Villas-Boas felt like a knee-jerk reaction to an embarrassing defeat, but it has led to this point.
If Pochettino continues as he has begun his tenure at White Hart Lane, Levy will be absolved of much of the criticism that has been sent his way.