Saturday 14th January 2017

Spurs 4 WBA 0

Harry Kane hit a hat-trick as we over-powered West Bromwich Albion to register our sixth successive Premier League win and climb to second in the table at White Hart Lane on Saturday lunchtime.

The England striker followed up the birth of his first child last weekend with a wonderful treble on his return to action having missed our FA Cup tie against Aston Villa following the arrival of daughter Ivy Jane Kane. Baggies defender Gareth McAuley put through his own net as well to give us a comprehensive victory against a team we have struggled to break down in the recent past, but this was an excellent performance from start to finish.


Having hoped for an early goal to open the game, we got exactly that with the opener after just 12 minutes. Victor Wanyama and Christian Eriksen worked the opportunity, the Dane threading a neat pass through for Kane who drilled past Ben Foster from 12 yards out.

We doubled our advantage on 25 minutes when Eriksen hit a shot which took two deflections on its way into the net, the second off McAuley, wrong-footing Foster and creeping over the line to put us completely in control. In fairness to Foster, he was single-handedly keeping the score down, making a string of very good saves, denying Kane on a number of occasions but also saving from Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, who was sadly forced off in the second half after going over on his ankle.


Albion failed to have a single shot on target as we dominated throughout, while we had 11 shots at goal and added two more goals to our tally in the final 13 minutes as Kane completed his hat-trick. Our third was all about Kyle Walker’s persistence down the right as he robbed McAuley of possession and centred for Kane to score, before the striker ensured he would be leaving with the match ball when he latched on to Dele Alli’s clever dink and beat Foster again.


Atlanta 36  Seahawks 20

It started so well for The Hawks tonight in Atlanta then they appeared to revert back to something that would happen in the dark and distant past. Errors and comical ones at that. Too many injuries and penalties cost us a win. A silly safety and a penalty call that cost us 79 yards really killed us. The Seahawks opened Saturday’s game with one of their most impressive drives of the season, a balanced 14-play, 89-yard touchdown drive that took more than eight minutes off the clock. After a field goal on their next drive gave the Seahawks a 10-7 lead, they managed only one field goal over their next seven possessions before Doug Baldwin caught a touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter. That type of performance—explosive and efficient at times, struggling at other times—was “the story of our season,” Baldwin said. “We haven’t been able to be consistent, drive in and drive out.”

But while Baldwin, who matched a franchise record with 94 receptions and had a career-high 1,128 receiving yards this season, was disappointed like everyone else in Seattle’s locker room, he too sees more big things in the future. “It has been a long season, a difficult season,” Baldwin said. “We had our ups and downs. We’re thankful to have gotten to this point, but we’re obviously disappointed we’re not playing next week.


“Jermaine (Kearse) and I were just talking about it, I’m ready to start training right now for next season. I think we have all the pieces, we have all the tools. We were missing some guys, health-wise, we were kind of finding ourselves up front on the offensive line because we were young. We’ve got some years under our belt now, so hopefully we can put it all together.” Added defensive end Cliff Avril, who earned Pro-Bowl honours for the first time in his career after recording 11.5 sacks in the regular season, “We have a great team. It’s unfortunate the way the season ended, but we have the right guys, we have the right personnel. Continue to keep getting better, and that’s all we can do. The future is bright for us as long as we do that.”

Quarterback Russell Wilson, who after the 2012 postseason loss in Atlanta was already looking ahead to the next season as he walked off the field, said he had a similar feeling following Saturday’s loss, and said he’s “even more hungry” heading into this offseason than he was four years ago.“I believe in what we’re doing, I believe in our teammates and coaches and all that,” Wilson said. “The exciting part is we get to go back to work this offseason and see how good we can really become—individually, as a team, as a group, as a unit. We’re sticking together and we’re believing in that.

“I’m probably even more hungry. You love the game so much, you know what it takes, you’re passionate about your job, you’re passionate about the early mornings, you’re passionate about the late nights, you’re passionate about the offseason and doing everything you can to be committed to be great, so we’re a little disappointed obviously to not have won tonight but the good thing is you still have all the fire and passion and love for the game. So I’m looking forward to what’s ahead. I think the best is ahead… I think about what’s ahead. I believe there’s a lot of greatness ahead, I believe there’s a lot of wins ahead and I believe there’s a lot of championships ahead.”


The Seahawks can feel good about their future, even after a disappointing end to their season, because they have a roster full of talented players still in their prime, almost all of whom are under contract next year and beyond, and because they have a coaching staff that has proven it has what it takes to win a lot of games. But there’s more to it than just talent and Xs and Ox, Carroll said. “It’s the mentality of the players, they get it,” Carroll said. “They really appreciate one another, they care for one another, they know that these guys can ball and they like playing with them. It’s the direction of the leadership from Kam (Chancellor) and from Bobby (Wagner) and K.J. (Wright) and Michael (Bennett) and Russell and all those guys that do such a great job of continuing to look ahead and keep pushing to the future and what we can become, not about what was or what could have happened. They don’t go that way. It’s a very strong mentality and it’s one that I hope our fans can sense and feel in our guys, because you’ve got a team that’s coming back raring to go again.

“It’s just really hard to think that it’s over. It’s really hard to walk out of here, because we’ve been too connected and too much a part of this opportunity. Even though we came up short today, it feels like we should be playing.”

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