The Blog that's not always wrong.

Monday, 15 February 2010

A game of two halves

A game of two halves. I'm sorry but why search for an original phrase when the cliche expresses Sunday's match with such precision; what more appropriate expression for the Cup game at Bolton is there? 'A sporting contest of two contrasting 45minute sessions' lacks pith, pips and peel to me. A team of cardboard cut-outs pretending to be a Spurs 11 spent the first hour chasing shadows and booting the ball high in the air, sometimes in the general direction of Crouch. Not that it made any difference because whether it bounced off him or not it still came straight back.

Their goal came at the end of a flowing 16 pass move; that's 16 opportunities to intercept, tackle or mark. When since Xmas have we constructed such a passing move, mainly on the ground, resulting in a crisply taken goal? Make that, ' when since the start of the season'. We are supposed to be the passing team and Bolton the long ball merchants. Not yesterday. I spent the whole of the first half with my head in my hands shouting, 'Get it down, get it down'. We picked up where we left off at Wolves: not a good place to start. Once again I exempt Bale from the general criticism. If Bolton, particularly Elmander, could shoot they would have been a speck on the horizon by half time.

Modric looked distressed either because of his own form and fitness or because he thought that the team had been taken over by a cast of Zombies straight out of 'Shaun of the Dead'. Harry denies that he injected the squad with an experimental serum to bring them back to life. However credit someone, perhaps Joe Jordan, sans teeth, with the electric nipple clamps, for getting them up for the second half.

Gradually I relaxed; the boys were sneaking back into town and now I was muttering 'That's better, that's better'. First Modric and then his replacement Kranjcar combined well with Bale and he eventually set up Defoe for a well struck goal. Before that we had hit the bar twice and later Huddlestone fluffed a penalty. I hope we don't have to settle anything in the near future by a penalty shoot-out.

Interestingly informants allege that Huddlestone got the poisoned penalty chalice by crashing the ball,and the goalkeeper, if he tried to intervene, into and through he back of the net in practice. But on his first day at work he opts for caution and placement.

Harry's refusal to play Pavlyuchenko  but his insistence on displaying him on the bench seems deliberate and personal. I think it demeans the player, who scored after 4mins.11secs. on his last appearance, the manager and the club. To substitute a clearly unfit Gudjohnsen against Wolves ahead of him was to add insult to injury. He should have started against Bolton.

Once again we had more corners(12) than any other team over the weekend but failed to get a shot or header on goal from any of them. I estimate that we average nearly ten corners per game and haven't threatened from any of them since early in the season. What exactly do we practice at training sessions if it's not penalties and set pieces?

We could easily have lost it in the first half and yet we should have won it in the second. Do we bemoan the dire first half performance or congratulate them for putting it right and getting another draw at a ground where we haven't won for years? Tough choice but the replay is at WHL and we have avoided Chelsea in the next round and have a winnable game at Fulham.

So we have a good chance to make the semi-finals of the Cup and are still in with a shout of finishing in the top six. The 'Harry out' bandwagon is getting steam up and is ready to roll but only if we fail to make either of these will it become a real force. I am not on board because changing the manager every 18 months, whatever his limitations, and they all have them, is the reason why we have achieved so little over the last two decades.

It's beginning to look like a season of two halves as well but we still have games and time to make some progress. Remember; we are Spurs; we don't do easy or predictable. Don't you just love them.


Anonymous said...

An old lady stood up and gave me her seat on the bus today. FFS I'm only 45 years old but I guess that's the result of supporting Spurs from a very early age !!!

TMWNN said...

There'd be no chance of Redknapp doing that.

elwehbi@ibleedhotspur said...

Calling for Redknapp's head at this point is way too premature. I don't think these people realize what would happen if he was to be axed. Do they really think we would find our savior? He was our savior a year ago. I do admit that tactically, he is not necessarily as efficient as Fergie or (hate to say it) Wenger. But Harry does have us playing some great football; that's when the lads come to play and not sulk. 4th might not be on the cards for us this year, but that's ok. We have still been performing better than most of us would have predicted.


JimmyG2 said...

Absolutely totally agree.

First poster.
It gets to you in the end. Trust me.
It was probably my mum, she knows the signs.

You are a gentleman sir for not mentioning my deriliction of my boy JJ.
Abraham and Isaac comes to mind.

pushnrun said...

Thanks Jimmy, for being the voice of reason and hope. A draw in the cup on the back of 6 points from 6 games is hardly top 4 form but somehow we limp on with another chance to pinch 4th spot if MC and 'pool draw and fixture congestion stuffs Villa....of course we have to win, with Wigan out for revenge not as straight forward as some might think. I still think the performances are way up on much of last season and despite healthy doses of disappointment salute Harry.... no change of management, move Pav on if Harry won't play him (not my wish) and bring O'Hara back. By the way, only 8 conceded at home, on the back of last season(10?) that does show consistancy or am I clutching at straws?

COYS!!!! Just another 25pts from 36! Simples

TMWNN said...

We'll (probably) miss out on fourth due to not scoring enough goals.

Whether this is Redknapp's fault is debatable. You can't really argue with the signings in his first window as we really were desperate.

The Crouch option which now appears to be plan A is due to Keane being hopeless the second time around and Redknapp's reluctance to play Pav.

Whether Pav ought to play is also up for debate (I don't rate him), but there has to be a time when he's worth 20 mins or so doesn't there?

Redknapp isn't the man for the job and there will be no excuses for the kind of results we've seen this year, next.

My expert analysis: 'Arry won't make it past next season.

JimmyG2 said...

Agree I don't want another change of management and though not a Harry fan he has done very well.
But we could have done better.

I do rate Pavlyuchenko so that means he's probably useless.
If we don't get something this year I tend to agree about Harry's future, Levy is not a patient man, but as I said to pushrun it won't be in the short and medium term interest of the club.
I'm too old to be thinking about the long term.

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