Tottenham Hotspur: Best Players in Win vs. Blackburn Rovers
Some have suggested that Spurs were underwhelming in victory, but, Tottenham fans, how often in recent times have they failed to get a result in a game like this? At the end of the season, three points will always be three points, regardless of how they are earned.
In their next two league games, Spurs face Queens Park Rangers at White Hart Lane and Fulham at Craven Cottage. Tottenham will expect to win both of these games, and if either Newcastle or Chelsea slip, look for Spurs to join the top four.
Here are Tottenham's best players from their win at Ewood Park.
Rafael Van Der Vaart
Say what you will about van der Vaart, but the man is a great player. His two-goal display Sunday against Blackburn won the game for Tottenham.
I was one of the many Spurs fans who was starting to feel that VDV may not fit into Tottenham's long-term plans because he is hard to insert into a formation. My foot is also firmly planted in my mouth.
The talismanic VDV struck twice Sunday at Ewood Park despite many calling for Jermain Defoe to get the start. After his display against Blackburn, it might be a while before Defoe sees the starting lineup again.
With five goals to his tally already, VDV has proven that he deserves to be on the pitch for Spurs.
The 4-4-2 formation employed by Harry Redknapp Sunday worked well, especially considering that Emmanuel Adebayor didn't have much of an influence of the game.
Look for Tottenham to continue to tweak the formation, but I believe that VDV will be a big part of Redknapp's attacking plans.
Assou-Ekotto has had a decent start to the campaign, but on Sunday against Blackburn he showed what he can do for Tottenham.
Defensively he was solid, with most of Blackburn's pressure coming through the air and troubling the Spurs' center backs. However, it was on the attack that Assou-Ekotto displayed his value. On a day when Gareth Bale wasn't getting it done on the left wing, Assou-Ekotto delivered great attacking play from the back.
His runs looked lively and dangerous all day, and they culminated with him assisting Rafael van der Vaart's second goal. The final pass to VDV may have been a bit fortuitous, but, without the run by Assou-Ekotto, Tottenham may not have pulled ahead.
With Gareth Bale not playing like himself over the past few games, it has been positive to see Assou-Ekotto playing well.
Luka Modric, with all the summer transfer talk and massive offer from Chelsea, no longer flies under the radar much, but on Sunday he did just that.
There was no wonder strike like the one against Liverpool, no dazzling skill like Spurs fans are accustomed to seeing.
What Modric did give, however, was the type of play that a team needs from its central midfielder. He was consistent, he passed well, he tracked back on defense and he registered a couple of nice shots on goal.
In other words, he did it all. Just as he always does.
With injuries to Michael Dawson, Ledley King and William Gallas, Bassong received the start at center back on Sunday.
While he didn't have the performance of a lifetime, he played ably and was solid in defense all day.
Bassong showed that he has pace, sniffing out a few possessions that surely would have beaten Michael Dawson. He also showed that he is comfortable in possession, not panicking when the ball was played to him.
His positioning could use a little work, as he looked uncomfortable a few times the ball was played over the top, but that will come with experience. On the lone Blackburn goal, it was Younes Kaboul, not Bassong, who was beaten in the air.
Overall, Bassong showed fans and doubters alike that he is more than capable of being a part of Tottenham's defensive rotation. Expect to see more of Bassong this season.
It's funny in a game that was not an overly impressive defensive performance that three defenders would be among Tottenham's best players, but their performances deserved the consideration.
Kyle Walker made one of the best runs of the season to set up Rafael van der Vaart's first goal. Did anyone see his pace? Aaron Lennon better make sure he is fully fit before he challenges Walker to a foot race.
Walker picked up a pass from Emmanuel Adebayor on the right wing and turned on the jets. The poor Blackburn left back, Gael Givet, didn't stand a chance. Then, just as impressively, Walker fired a pass right to VDV while still running at full speed.
Never mind that Walker could still look to improve defensively; he is only 21. If he can make runs and passes like that on a regular basis, Spurs might need a new right back because Walker could be their right winger.
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