The Blog that's not always wrong.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Now the Titanic, that was a disaster.

The loss of SS Titanic,

So what do you want me to say?
'There there, let Mummy kiss it better. Did that nasty referee man disallow your goal? Did he give a lollipop to those Portsmouth ragamuffins and ruin your weekend.? Was that naughty pitch too slippery for you?' If you're looking for a comfort blanket; somebody to commiserate with you at your painful loss; a fellow fan to join you in a howl of pain at the injustice of it all you've come to the wrong place

Do we really believe that there's an International conspiracy to stop English teams reaching the Champions' League final or even the semi-finals of the World cup? That there's a code of conduct hanging in the referees changing room that says 'top four good; everyone below, especially Tottenham, to be penalised; protests ignored, appeals turned down, claims waved away; entreaties discounted?

Or do we manage to do all this entirely unaided; achieve it by our own incompetence? Perhaps it's too soon to look ourselves squarely in the mirror and admit .' God your ugly!'. Well perhaps not 'ugly' exactly but not quite as handsome as we thought.

The pitch and the refs certainly affected both semi's. But that happens in virtually every match and to believe in conspiracy is to let ourselves off the hook. You don't need to be Maigret to spot the signs of a serial offender here. That offender is ourselves and once again we won every statistic going and lost the match. We had better players, more possession, more accurate passing, more shots, more of everything except goals. We had 20 corners and several free kicks in dangerous areas but rarely threatened from any of them even though the dead ball kicking was generally good.

Only Bale shone although Modric worked hard on a pitch that made running with the ball and short passing treacherous. But we were too leaden in the build up and Huddlestone and Palacios treated the pitch like a mine-field so cautious was their approach . Not for the first time this season we were confronted by a packed, hard working defence that we were too slow of thought and movement to break down. We had better get used to it and get back to the tactical drawing board because, even though we are only on the fringes of the elite, more and more teams will adopt these tactics against us. My fear is that come the summer Crouch will be retained and Pavlyuchenko 's chips will be cashed in.

We had several chances unfortunately falling mainly to Crouch whose rapier like skills are still in the box unopened.. We had one knockdown from the front pair which Defoe put straight at James. Otherwise lunging Portsmouth bodies prevented any clear cut chances. James saved a header from Crouch and a cunning chip from Huddlestone. Crouch scored a perfectly good equaliser which was ruled out for a foul by Kranjcar on James. James' face afterwards showed the true story: Kranjcar had pulled out of the challenge and James dropped the ball. This was clear on replay but refs. don't have the benefit of replays.

We weren't sunk by these external factors but scuppered ourselves by our inability to finish or create clear cut opportunities and by defensive indiscipline which enabled Piquionne, Boateng and Dindane to break with menace. Eventually Dawson slipped and they scored. But we could and perhaps should have been home and dry by then. The penalty was debatable but if it had occurred at the other end we would have been screaming for a 'nailed on' spot kick. It is a myth to suppose that if you get the ball first it can't be a foul.

It's effect on the game was minimal, we might still be playing and not have scored. However the fact that Palacios picked up his long expected two match ban will impact on the Arsenal and Chelsea results. Elsewhere Man.City thrashed Birmingham, no mean feat, and unlike us are ona goal fest.. If you don't score you can't win. Liverpool could only draw at Anfield with Fulham and it might just be a two horse race for 4th.

Last week we blamed injuries, this week it's the pitch or the referee; or both. The so-called 'lack of mental strength 'which is the accusation that the fans level at the team is no more clearly evident than in the attitude of the fans who cry 'foul' or the rightly ridiculed lament of fans that 'we wuz robbed'. This turns teams that came second into genuine 'losers' .Portsmouth had a game plan and they were disciplined enough to make it work.

Arsenal come to the Lane on Wednesday without Fabregas and others and this again is winnable. The iceberg sized pack on Huddleston's ankle after he was subbed makes his fitness unlikely but Ledley might make a comeback for this one which will steady the ship although he didn't play well at the Emirates. Lennon and Jenas loom on the horizon. Three points are the only antidote to our suffering now. They will quicken our pulses again, the veins in our foreheads will stop throbbing and it will be all on for 4th. which is a real prize rather than a bauble, proud Cup tradition or not.

I know, 'you don't get any prizes for coming fourth'; apart from the voucher for a gold card entry ticket to the rich man's club; the promise of an introduction to the elite players of the world; a more secure grip on the best of our own players and visits to WHL of the finest teams in Europe. Nothing to play for there then.

This was not our best chance of winning silverware; that's next year now. Nor have we blown our one chance in a lifetime to get into the Champions' League; that's still on. Nor was Saturday a 'disaster': hopes were dashed but nobody got killed. We just lost a football match we probably should have won. Now the Titanic, that was a disaster.


Anonymous said...

we are not in the same class as those pikey wankers down the road....

Dean in Brum said...

Can't see us getting anything at home to Arsenal or away to Chelsea.

Anonymous said...

Oh Jesus. Too biased, you fucker! Your season is going to slip away soon.

Anonymous said...

I can't see us getting anything away to Chelsea either. Might have something to do with the game being played at home though. One suspects.


Anonymous said...

This season has been very good so far and full credit to the Manager and the players. If we finish 5th or 6th this is about right for our team and an improvement over last year. We must not forget that. Harry's first full year and he has done wonders. Anything above these places would be amazing. Although without Wilson the slim chance of picking up points against our good friends Arsenal ahem..and Chelsea I think are highly unlikely. You have to win the battle in midfield against these big boys to stand a chance. If the Ref had of given Wilson a red card he would make the Chelsea game! How nuts is that? That's the FA for you. Next season could be even better, we didn't expect 4th before the season so I really think we have been over acheiving. Don't forget we are fighting City for 4th who really are the new Chelsea. To get to April and just miss out on a cup final be sitting in 5th is something to be very happy about. Even though it hurts like hell that we didn't book our place at Wembley again. We must put things into perspective, unfortunately a few of our fans think we should be 4th. But to expect this of Harry's first full season after what happened last year is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

You all thought you can just turn up and win.U bunch of assesas

Anonymous said...

We aren't playing Chelsea away,
about the last comment, its a Spurs Blog, you nugget what are expecting?

SeattleSpursGuy said...

@22.19: You're right, but it was a reasonable thought to have since teams have been beating Pompey by simply turning up all of this season.

Anonymous said...

What about United getting beaten by Leeds in Div 2 at Old Trafford this season. Cup upsets do happen and we played a Pompey team who played like their lives depended on it.

WhiteHartDub said...

Chelsea is at home still don't see us getting anything from any of the games if we play like that for the remainder of them. Crouch is gormless!! the sooner Harry wakes up to that the better. Personally I want 2MP and Keane to be sold and spend the proceeds on 1 striker.

Anonymous said...

Lennon is out for Wednesday, he's had to go for another scan! Man what luck.

Anonymous said...

and van Persie is back to haunt our old King..

Anonymous said...

Their studs were too short, or they were playing wih blades.

Harry and his army of coaches, would have known this, wouldnt they ;-)

We'll get top four though as its already been agreed.

Anonymous said...

that lose will could be one of the most defining moments in our recent history it will either kick us up the arsee and ultimately finish 4TH or see us falter and hand over 4th for ggod to city because if they get it we are no getting it back thats for sure if pompey can beat us we can beat arsenal and chelseaa and one other thing DONT PLAY CROUCH

Anonymous said...

we played (or were meant to - poor showing) on Sunday not saturday. Get your facts straight!
Don't play Ledley - the back four need stability not 70 -80 minutes from a great but crocked player ! - boys been great but he needs to be put out to pasture or the young centre backs we have/buy will never come good

Sam-I-am said...

If Hud and Wilson are out, why not play Ledders as holding midfielder + stable back four

JimmyG2 said...

Well thankyou folks. We all seem to be taking this rather well.
No screaming for Harry's head, well not yet anyway.
Just a little bit of tetchiness here and there.

Anon 22:15.
Even more calm and reasonable than me. Can't disagree with much of that.

Sam-I-am/Anon 01:34
Apart from the last Arsenal game Ledley has never let us down but I think his time is nearly up.
Is he up to playing in the midfield?
Quite a neat idea if its possible.

Bit unfair as Portsmouth have played rather well this season, as we found to our cost on Sunday.

Can't disagree but it won't happen.

Anonymous said...

Those who say its "unfortunate" that some Spurs supporters want 4th place make me sick! We belong in the top four! We hammered City 3-0 and we have been better all season than everyone except the current top three. We can still do it, there's no reason we can't beat City again and we can get points from all of our next three games. If Blackburn can get a point off a Man United side who just had to win then why can't we do better? Let's have some bloody pride, ffs! COYS

Anonymous said...

Despite their lowly position in the table Pompey have been no where near the worst Prem team this year. And to say we played badly on Sunday is just plainly untrue. We had enough chances and possesion to win 2 games. It just didnt happen. As JimmyG2 says in the article, we lost a game we should have won. Happens from time to time. Good luck to Pompey. Genuine club with real football loving fans. I hope they dick the Chavs in the final. Actually, no, i hope they get played off the park and still win it. The way they did Sunday!!

elwehbi@ibleedhotspur said...

Pompey showed up to play and it was well deserved. Yes, players were slipping. Yes, penalties were disallowed. Yes, penalties were called which shouldn't have been. Who to blame? The squad. We could have secured the trip to the final but it just wasn't meant to be. No time to sulk though, big match tomorrow night and we need to destroy the Arse.


Anonymous said...

"It is a myth to suppose that if you get the ball first it can't be a foul." You'll probably be saying that physical contact isn't allowed too??

Anonymous said...

I'm still low and not even a vol au vent to console me. I was not complacent about Sunday but defeat will be a bitter blow to the squad. If the lack of mental fortitude was exposed on Sunday, goodness knows from where they will dredge up the courage to perform well tomorrow, and make no mistake, we will have to be at our very best for 93 minutes to beat them.

Cheers, Al

JimmyG2 said...

Anon 12:55
Think about it.
If you go in studs up and get the ball but break the guy's leg it's not only a foul but a sending off even though you got the ball.
I prefer the current situation where the rules banning tackling from behind; sliding tackles and studs up tackles which are designed to protect skilful players than the old fashioned 'man's game' scenario which favours cloggers over players.
I would introduce a rule that said that three fouls would get a yellow card,6 a red, tally to be kept by the 4th official or an enumerator in the stands.
That would have seen Brown sent off for persistent fouling before half time.It would clean up the game and make it more entertaining and favour skill over physicality.
The old days were crude affairs I'm afraid.

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