CROUCHING Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Glenn Hoddle and George Graham, combatants and duellists not only on the pitch, but also in the press room.

A duel, many would have you believe, for the hearts, minds and souls of the Followers of the Cockerel.

The Chosen One, following the path of light, versus the Pretender, the usurper from the enemy camp who will never be accepted.

No matter what he says, or does, Hoddle always knows that his name will be indelibly linked with Tottenham job and the way his Saints side performed will do little to abate speculation.

Ironically, it was the very virtues that Graham larded into his Arsenal teams that Hoddle has injected into this Saints side.

Organisation, solidity, industry, power, strength, allied of course, to skill in the right areas. Down the years it was the recipe for One-Nil to the Arsenal.

It was the Way of the Tiger; crouching, coiled and ready to strike.

In contrast, Spurs were the Hidden Dragon, sulking in its cave and obscured by its own smokescreen, a smokescreen Graham continued to employ afterwards when facing the press.

He was the Hidden Dragon, constantly on the defensive, petulantly lashing out a claw at boardroom level confusion; flicking out the forked tongue at doubt over future investment and a current lack of money to strengthen. He was the one bellowing out plaintive balls of smoky fire over a lengthy injury list, conveniently forgetting that one player, Sergei Rebrov, cost as much as the entire team Hoddle fielded.

Hoddle lost only the third player he has brought to the club, Dan Petrescu, to a flu virus, but didn't bleat. He simply reshuffled his pack and got on with the job in hand.

Spurs may have Sol Campbell, but Saints have Jason Dodd. Both are one-club men, both with what some would have you believe are uncertain futures.

The clouds over Campbell's future bubble up over his ending contract, while the dark mutterings over Dodd's place in the scheme of things centered over Petrescu's arrival.

But as any Oriental sage worth his rice portion will tell you, when the door closes on one opportunity it opens on another.

A magesterial performance more than hints that Dodd will find a new lease of life in a sweeper role if Hoddle's rejigs his line-up to accommodate Petrescu's skills as a wing-back.

And with the ever-emerging Wayne Bridge rampaging down the other flank, it's a mouth-watering prospect of Saints stretching teams out.

Spurs have lost their way. A club once ranked among The Big Five is merely making up the numbers. Like everyone else, they choke on the dust of Manchester United. But they are also developing a nasty hacking cough on the exhaust fumes of teams they once considered themselves superior to.

The followers of the Cockerel may still feel they have a divine right to sit at the same table as the mightiest, but it says something about expectation levels when Saints come away from a team that hasn't suffered a Premiership defeat at home, not happy with a point, but kicking themselves that they haven't won.

Suddenly there's are new expectation levels among Saints supporters, who see the path of enlightenment shining before them - a new stadium, a team on the rise under a manager who knows his onions.

Clearly, the way of the Crouching Tiger is best.