The Blog that's not always wrong.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

And then I woke up

You know that moment when you wake up and for a split second you have forgotten that you are a Tottenham supporter and that you have just lost to Man.Utd. at home, after scoring in the first minute with the referee sending Scholes off for the last half hour? You are very briefly content, not quite awake, still top of the league, not just unbeaten but with a 100% record. Well the split second is over and I am now fully awake.

Now such a performance as that cannot be portrayed as good and yet I am disappointed rather than depressed and searching for positives rather than looking for scapegoats, and there are one or two.
That accident of history, geography and family background that shaped my Spurs destiny cannot be denied and whatever happened on Saturday has to be taken in the round and on the chin.

Firstly they are and were the better team: perhaps not individually but collectively they played well and Ferguson responded more effectively to the changing fortunes of the game and got his tactics right. Berbatov was at his Berbatovian best and Rooney ran all the afternoon, mostly from offside positions fortunately, and got his just reward on the counter attack. Some of this is hindsight and after 1 minute you might have been gasping at the managerial genius of Harry, but over the next 89 minutes the plot unravelled and we were found wanting.

But positives first. I would rather lose to Man.Utd. than Portsmouth, Hull, Wolves or whoever. Man.City and Aston Villa are the teams to beat this year, and at the moment, Sunderland but they are virtually a Spurs eleven so their joy is our joy. Those people, including me, who were dreaming of going through the season unbeaten can now relax and settle down for the long haul. The team that played yesterday and the way that they played will beat most sides in the Premiership and that will ensure progress even if we don't do as well this year against the Top Four, although we have already beaten Liverpool.

Individual performances were good: only Keane struggled, playing out of position, Defoe after the first minute was virtually invisible, swallowed up by the United back four. Crouch did very well, doing what he does, against the most 'uncompromising' centre half in the Premiership and the fact that it was, in the end, tactically inept was not his fault. Huddlestone was good again especially for the first twenty minutes, although he and Palacios didn't get close enough to Scholes and Giggs to stop them playing.

The big plus was for me was Jenas who returned confidently, ran the midfield for the first part of the second half with intelligent movement and some good passing and was unlucky not to score. Kranjcar briefly showed that he might be more of a replacement for Modric than Keane which makes me wonder why he didn't start there in the first place.

And so to my favourite scapegoat, our saviour Harry. If things are not perfect they can be improved. Good enough is not good enough. If loyalty can be a fault then he has it in spades. Keane was out of sorts and out of position. He should have been moved or removed. Against ten men every coaching manual will emphasise keeping the ball, making the opposition work and making the extra man count. 50/50 long balls towards Crouch does not work in this situation and Pavlyuchenko might have been used to good effect with either Crouch or Defoe. We threw away what advantage we had.

And yet we're five matches in, still in the top four, all the positives from the previous four matches apply and we lost a game to a team that will probably win the league. Harry needs to break his fixation with Keane and Crouch; give Pavlyuchenko and perhaps Dos Santos a chance; we've got Bale, Woodgate,Dawson, Gomes and Modric to return; and we're playing good football.

I'll just have another snooze and when I wake up I might just get that brief second of bliss again.


Anonymous said...


We are by far the better team
Manure always live up to their name against us and they know that, that is why they always have the ref help them out of trouble
Yesterday was no exception as Berbatov was rewarded for diving, Evra got away with a headbutt and Lennon was booked for daring to be on the receiving end of a horrible Utd tackle just outside their penalty area

stoney said...

The ref won that game for them. He was an absolute disgrace. Apart from sending off scholes he gave everything to united. At least dick Turpin had the decentcy to wear a mask when he robbed people.

Frank said...

Good call on your comment about us throwing our advantage away by lumping it long to Crouch.

I felt it was too much of the easy option all game, but that's what you get with the beanpole I suppose, it's not his fault. The defenders suddenly all decide they are Hoddle.

JimmyG2 said...

Anon 1924 and stoney

Hardly a comparison, awarding a free kick or rather harshly sending Scholes off. Fairest refereeing we've had for years. I wear my Tottenham blinkers with as much pride as the next man but come on fellas.
We played well for the first 20 minutes of each half but otherwise they bossed the game, even Lennon made little headway against Evra.

stoney said...

JimmyG2. You obviously weren't at the game. So shut up until you know what you're talking about. And you're definately no spurs fan.

elwehbi@ibleedhotspur said...

I completely agree that Harry was to blame for this one. Some really bad decisions or lack thereof... Keane was struggling and should have been subbed way earlier. You forgot to mention and Lennon and Evra's domination of the right side. We should have moved him to the left and brought on Bentley... he could have played the long ball all day to Crouch and chances are, we might have scored. Oh well, it's a loss to United and honestly, they were in form. Chelsea next so let's learn from our mistakes and be ready for them.


elwehbi@ibleedhotspur said...

Sorry for the mistake above... meant to say "You forgot Lennon and Evra's domination of the right side."


Anonymous said...

It was Harry fault keane should have been drop and Kranjcar in from the start. utd scum where better easily better than us and Evra did head butt 1 of ours and vidic elbow crouch. So they could have been down to 9 and prob still beat us . HA HA HA BELFAST YID

who framed ruel fox? said...

It might just be a psychological thing; we seem to have an uncanny knack of giving away leads to Manure. In fact most games I can think of in recent years has seen us either score first or dominate the opening exchanges. FA Cup games in the last two seasons, the 0-0 at WHL, 5-2 last year, 5-3 a few seasons ago. Even the CC final we had plenty of chances to beat them.

The list is worringly long.

We need to be able to prolong our momentum for the entire 90 minutes and not just assume they're gooing to make a come back. As they so often do.

Without wanting to sound too crass, I really want to beat these bastards.

Nice post, Jimmy.

JimmyG2 said...

Thankyou Mr Fox.
Yes I think you`re right its a mental, attitude problem in general.
On Saturday though we had tactical and formation hitches and some of our players were not quite there on the day, Palacios in particular.3-1 flattered them.
They played as if they expect to win and we don't. Yet.

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