The Blog that's not always wrong.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Am I bothered?

050911-N-5345W-065 U.S. Navy Sailors assigned to Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit Two, Detachment Two, pull divers from the water after completing dive operations from a mechanized landing craft in the well deck of the dock landing ship USS Tortuga (LSD 46) Sept. 11, 2005. Tortuga is currently moored at Naval Support Activity New Orleans, La., in support of Hurricane Katrina humanitarian assistance operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Kristopher Wilson) (Released) - 
Nasri and Chamakh undergo special training
Does it really matter? Am I bothered? Judging by my mood and that sinking feeling in my stomach, it certainly seems to matter this morning and yes I'm a bit bothered.. Set against the War in Afghanistan, World Poverty, Global Warming, Planning Permission for the New Stadium and one or two other pressing matters, probably not. Out of a Cup we didn't really want in the context of Champions' League what's the harm in giving a game to a few youngsters and one or two who need pitch time and going down to a very good, not so inexperienced Arsenal side.
At half time I muttered to no-one in particular and with a shake of the head, 'They're too good for us'. They gave a superb display of one touch attacking football and could easily have been two or three ahead. Gibbs was wrongly ruled offside and a penalty could have been given for a rash push by Ekotto.
At fulltime I thought ' Fair play to the lads they've hauled themselves back into this and if Lennon hadn't taken an extra touch we might have nicked it. Not that we deserved to. Extra time was a step too far. Two penalties, one rather harsh, the other fair enough saw us off. We fell asleep for the fourth from a free-kick but by then our heads had dropped and it was all over.We seemed drained by the effort of the second half and only Sandro gained in authority.
Keane's goal put us back in the game but he was offside when he took Naughton's pass and the keeper should have saved his weak shot, but he looked better than he did on Saturday. Palacios was shaded by his challenger and we gave the ball away with amazing frequency. Nothing new there though. So we battled back well but were basically outplayed. Wiltshire will be an able replacement for Fabregas if he leaves for Barcelona and was the stand out player. They beat us through superior skill and although we matched them for effort in the second half and can argue over diving and poor refereeing we cannot claim that we should have won, though we might have.
Did Nasri and Chamakh dive? Perhaps, but if you touch experienced or experienced enough players in the area they are going to go down. There is too much at stake particularly financially for cheating not to be an option in sport and although the referees are tasked with the job of policing it in the end it's down to the players themselves.
What did we learn? Livermore, Naughton and Caulker are promising young players. Sandro could be a force in a month or two's time. Pletikosa looks no better than Cudocini. Giovani is not a right winger and would have been better playing off Pavlyuchenko. Bentley may not be good enough. If you play Lennon he should be used more but he is not yet back to his best. Wenger balanced his team better than Harry who seems to have kept his promise to give a few players a chance but went about it in a somewhat 'gung ho' fashion.
So does it really matter? Am I bothered? Well it was Arsenal and it makes a difference. Of course if we beat West Ham on Saturday we can just plot it as another mark on the learning curve. We don't need the aggravation of a minor Cup; the Premiership and the Champions' League, in that order, are our priorities. But it was against Arsenal and Wenger's team showed how much more he wanted it.
So did what we learned outweigh the shame of such a defeat? In a sense nothing can compensate us for losing to Arsenal but it was 'only' the Carling Cup and Harry hopefully has a better idea of the depth of his squad; who might step up and who may never quite make it. There were ten changes from last Saturday and Modric, Van the Man, Gomes, Ledley, Hutton, Gallas, Crouch, Keane and Huddlestone might all be back for West Ham.
I believe that Harry was right to take a chance on this competition and have been arguing for some rotation and for younger players to be given a chance. This was the ideal opportunity. The inclusion of say Caulker or Sandro in a suitable Premiership game for 30 minutes in the near future might be a good idea but to include so many novices against Arsenal was perhaps a gesture too far. The score certainly flattered them and 3-2 would have been a fairer result.
So yes my heart says it does matter and I am botherd even if my head tells me that it doesn't and I shouldn't be. It will last a long time in the memory and will be recalled by Arsenal fans for some time. The only consolation is that they didn't score a fifth. We still have Ar5ena1.


Anonymous said...

considering you're still going on about it 2 days later, i'd suggest you are bothered.

Anonymous said...

the only thing you did not mention was the fantastic singing at the end from the remaining spurs fans . . . and no boos . . .
seems like the boo boys are the ones who dip out when the going's not too good
'i paid my money so i am entitled to boo' - imbeciles!

Anonymous said...

harry before the game was boasting about having eight internationals on the pitch ha ha ha

Anonymous said...

Very fair assessment, other than the 3-2 scoreline. You've admitted it should have been 2-0 at halftime and Keane's goal was offside, Bentley was continually trying to score the wonder goal, when quite often the best option would have been to pass to one of his team mates. If all Spurs fans were more realistic like you, don't think things would be so hostile between the two clubs? Gooner

Anonymous said...

Bit risky as an Arsenal fan but here goes. Very thoughtful and well put together piece. I think Wenger suprised Redknapp with the strength of our team which made it tough for you. The penalties were fouls. The first one was a bit soft but it was a foul and Nasri went down. Wouldn't Spurs' players do the same? You've got a good team but you aren't at Arsenal's level yet. It's not particularly about players but experience of playing at the top level for a long period. To get better you need to continue to build by being in the CL. As Man City will find out having a large squad of good players isn't enough. You need the club and manager to have a lot of top level experience. So, if it's any consolation, the game didn't really matter. Looking forward to the PL game!

Anonymous said...

In fairness, at least Arsenal won't be crass and asinine enough to make a DVD of it.

Anonymous said...

and we have Tott1ngh4m :)

Anonymous said...

Yeh and we still have 4-1 at your own ground.

Anonymous said...

"Out of a Cup we didn't really want in the context of Champions' League" Funny that considering it was such a big cup when you WON it..............typical spud, so full of s**t! Spanked 4-1 on your own patch by your most hated rivals and who's shadow you will be forever in..........but your not bothered are you!!

Anonymous said...

you are definitely bothered. 3-2 woild never have been fair 4-1 was about right. tottenham were totally outplayed by an arsenal side with 9 changes from the premiership side of the last match.
I believe another lesson to be learned from that match is the difference in the 2 teams' strength in depth. Arsenal have more quality players to call on.
There is no doubting however, that spurs have a very good looking starting 11 with the likes of van der vaart and bale in the form of his life. Arsenal just have more.

Anonymous said...

He was not boasting he was stating a fact.

Anonymous said...

like ive said before, wen we beat you 5-1 n went on t win it, it wos just the mickey mouse cup... so it still is yeah?

Anonymous said...

It is a mickey mouse cup but spanking you lot 4-1 in your own backyard is so much f**king fun its hilarious! wether it be in the mickey mouse cup or the premier league......I JUST LOVE IT!!

Anonymous said...

Happy Totteringhams day boys :)

Marianne said...

Fair assessment Jimmy, Arry got it wrong, left footer on the right and vice versa, too many defensive players in the middle, cried out for a Kranky appearance. Happy to be out of said cup, But! Never like to get beaten by the Goons, specially in the manner that we did. As you said, one positive was Sandro, covered ground and hassled with some nice touches as well, definitely going to be a big player for us. Probably better to lose against the humble Goons, can you imagine the price we would pay if it were the Spanners?. Lol. Role on Saturday, normal service.

Anonymous said...

"Out of a Cup we didn't really want in the context of Champions' League" Funny that considering it was such a big cup when you WON it..............typical spud, so full of s**t! Spanked 4-1 on your own patch by your most hated rivals and who's shadow you will be forever in..........but your not bothered are you!!"

Hyprocrite. When we spanked you 5-1, it was ONLY the mickey mouse cup or we played the kids.

Spurs played 1 first team player against your 5. Clearly Arsenal's priorities have changed?

Marianne said...

Roll on Saturday. Lol.

Anonymous said...

If it is only the Mickey Mouse Cup (agreed), I'm not sure why you were all so excited to beat our kids two years ago. You can't have it both ways.

Marianne said...


Because it`s a guaranteed Euro place! That is why the cup is important to so many teams, however, we are in the CL and must concentrate on securing fourth spot again.

TMWNN said...

Mickey Mouse.

elwehbi@ibleedhotspur said...

I can take a loss, but the fans at the Lane truly disappointed me. How did we ever let a bunch of Arse fans subdue our chants??? I'm cringing just thinking about it.

Anonymous said...

Lets get one thing straight. The carling cup is a F**KING MICKEY MOUSE CUP! It was a F**KING MICKEY MOUSE CUP when you beat us 5-1 and its still a F**KING MICKEY MOUSE CUP NOW!!
But who gives a F**K we beat you 4-1!! You can't have it both ways you f**king IDIOTS!

Andrew said...

As an Arsenal fan I have to say this is a fairly balanced article, although I would question a couple of points. Firstly this cup always did matter to Spurs, I mean there's a guy at my work who has a mug with 'Carling Cup winners on it'! I never heard the end of it when you beat us 5-1, now the excuse is that Spurs have more important fish to fry like the Champions League. This seems a bit hypocritical given that Arsenal have been in the Champions League for something like 13 years in a row, so it has never been high on our list of priorities.

And to the anonymous poster on 23 Sept at 11.01, let me correct you on the number of 1st team players. This is Arsenal's 1st team: Almunia, Clichy, Vermaelen, Squillaci, Sagna, Song, Fabregas, Diaby, Arshavin, Walcott & Van Persie. Correct me if I'm wrong but NONE of those players started the match against Spurs - most of them are out injured! Arshavin came on with 18 mins to go because Wenger wanted to avoid extra time. So please accept what we all know - Arsenal have a far bigger and better squad than Spurs.

Sam-I-Am said...

Good post, JG2. I think your analysis is well balanced and fair. That goes for Anon 10:42 too. No risk for an Arsenal fan who has something intelligent to say. I too believe that Harry has a lot to learn at this level (and he could do a lot worse than pay due attention to Wenger - btw I don't particularly like Wenger but there's no doubting his credentials and experience).

I think Harry made a big mistake playing so many debutants alongside fringe and out-of-form players: not because of the loss, although that hurts too, but more so because the inevitable confidence crushing such a defeat/display has on youngsters.

I feel sorry for Naughton who was clearly out of his depth with no senior player alongside him to usher him along. Caulker did very well considering but you could see he was increasingly frustrated too. Being substituted at half time must have been crushing for Livermore but especially for Dos Santos who was (supposedly!) being given a chance to impress (wouldn't be surprised if there are longer term consequences here).

I am very disappointed in Bentley. At a time where he could have shown some seniority and level headedness, he displayed neither, gave the ball away far too often, didn't track back, shot speculatively when others were in better positions, wasted free kicks without bringing others (who had trudged up from back) into play. Going forward, I feel less inclined to give him another opportunity.

Still, it's time to move on and hopefully chalk this one to experience.


Anonymous said...

even thought they seemed to play a lot better on the day, I belive Arses priorities have changed from "playing kids in a worthless cup" to playing 5 1st teamers agaisnt spurs kids and resevres shows how the "worthless mickey mouse cup" as they used to call it, has become somewhat important to them, I suppose even that cup will be some sort of silverware as such as amazing big club they belive they are, they actually need to win something at some point.

Anonymous said...

Gooner in peace here...nice write up, you should be commended for a very level headed and fair assessment of the match given the circumstances. I agree with others that I think we were well worthy of a two or greater goal margin as we outplayed you considerably in the first half. The first pen was harsh but I feel it balanced out the incorrect offside decision against Gibbs. If u had gone down two nil then it wouldve been game over IMO. Anyways, the point is that it doesn't matter what competition it is, gooner will always want to beat spurs and vice always matters and it will always hurt to lose to your rivals. True fans get that, mickey mouse fans will say it's only blah blah cup and I'm not bothered. I'm just happy wenger finally seemed to get it too after the beating we took last time. Good blog

Anonymous said...

Funny how so many Arsenal fans are suddenly posting on Spurs sites. That 5-1 drubbing really still hurts them! To compare the two matches is real desperation. The 5-1 was a semi-final and actually meant something, a place in the final. This was a third round tie that Harry obviously wasn't too worried about and everyone should remember that it was 1-1 at full time. For those Arsenal fans who aren't too good at maths, that is 4 goals different to the famous 5-1 win. Problem is that Arsenal fans still think that pretty passing in the middle of the park means something. Don't get me wrong, Arsenal played better football than Spurs, but Spurs could have easily won the game in normal time. Offsides are missed/given wrongly all of the time, it is part of football. The tie turned on a very dodgy penalty decision, but hopefully Bassong will learn from it that diving is just part of the modern game and referees seem unable to differentiate.

I can't believe how worked up some Spurs fans are getting. We have more important things to worry about this season. Let the gooners have their moment of false glory. It just shows how worried they are that the balance just might be shifting.

Anonymous said...

Agree with comments from 10.42 apart from "If all Spurs fans were more realistic like you, don't think things would be so hostile between the two clubs? Gooner" it's both ways mate look at all the idiots commenting after you just getting bitchy I think they deserved 4-1 in the end not defending us but that wasnt totally our second string as we have like 4-5 first team injusred so half the second string were saved from this game to.
But Yes it did matter and I feel we should have played more any competition during the season we are in does matter.

Mean Lean said...

Nice to read a well balanced view from a rival fan. I am a Gooner and have not come to gloat.

I think the difference between the two teams is quite simple really. We have a deeper and stronger squad than Tottenham at least at reserve team level.

Players like Gibbs, Wilshere, Djourou, Vela etc are players who we brought in young and they have developed into Internationals. Just because they are better players doesn't mean that Arsene fielded a first team.

While we put out the likes of Nasri, Eboue and Rosicky, Tottenham played players like Assou-Ekotto, Bassong, Bentley. So the difference was the quality of reserve.

Anonymous said...

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz............. sp*rs will always be sp*rs, like a little irritating rash! Most of us dont even consider your pathetic little club in Ponders End to be compitition. The most fickle, moronic fans in the country! "Is this a fire drill" as stadium empties!
Oh, and of course you care otherwise you wouldnt be reading this.
Now, bore off and continue to aspire to be like us you halfwits.

Anonymous said...

what a 'Arse-Anal' you are lmao. Ponders End lol, go back to bloody woolwich you gypsies. Half the fan goons I see are just glory hunting fans girlfriends who just liek red, or fancy someone on your gay team. You won a 3rd round tie against pratcally a whole reserve youngsters squad get over yourselves lol, worthless cup to you lot my Arse(anal) lmao

Anonymous said...

to whoever wrote "the balance just may be shifting"
wake up you deluded c*nt!! come back with that comment when you have won something meaningful!! Enjoy your 1 and only season in the group stage of the champions league cos you won't be in it next year!!!hahahahahahhahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahhhahahahahahahhahahahhaahhahahahhahahhahha

Fahim said...

Good post buddy, i'm an arsenal fan, and of course being written from a spurs fans perspective it is bound to be a little biased, but overall neutral enough, covered all the points and well written ;)

Shelf side Yid said...

If Spurs took the game seriously and played are full 1st team then we would of won no doubt about it End of!

JimmyG2 said...

Welcome all.

I am bothered, I say so and the phrase comes from Pauline Tate's sketch the whole point of which is to show she is bothered when she says she isn't.

Didn't know there were so many Arsenal fans who can read and write reasonably. One or two exceptions of course.

Mean Lean

Fair points. Harry exposed too many inexperienced players at once in a tie that's important in its terms, leave aside the Mickey Mouse nonsense.

Anon 10:42.
I have never subscibed to the over the top hatred that is supposed to exist between us.
It's mostly put on anyway.

Sam I Am
Good post yourself and agree with your points re Bentley Naughton and Caulker.
Gio and Livermore who has gone out on loan today will feel badly treated.

More later folks

Anonymous said...

Good post JimmyG. I appreciate your honesty, particularly the black and white pictures of the legend that was Greaves. I am guessing, without the forensic use of carbon dating, that those pictures are circa 1961? That is ermmm nearly 50 years ago. That is a long time to wait to win anything decent isn't it? Damn, my Arsenal loyalties are coming to the fore and this might seem like gloating, but you will FOREVER be in our shadow.

Anonymous said...

Spurs are better than arsenal when they have won more trophies than them. End of

Anonymous said...

I'm an arsenal fan and thought this was a very, very good piece - if the result were reversed it's the kind of sensible piece i'd hope arsenal bloggers would write.

In a similar but reversed reaction to yours, I'm very glad we managed to beat Spurs (especially considering that 5-1 result) but it is stil the carling cup, so hardly anything to rub in your faces too much! You battled well in the second half, but the result seemed inevitable in ET considering the amount of effort you had to put in chasing throughout the 90.

In terms of the teams, I think we had a similar amount of young players on display as you did, the difference being ours have a lot more experience under their belts (the velas, wilshires etc). Also it seamed that ours fitted in to the team much more seamlessly (I can't speak to spurs training methods, but i know for a fact that aresenal use the same system right throughout the ranks and younger players often train with the first team).

I honestly think Spurs are going to suffer this season, not through lack of quality (even the most diehard gooner cannot deny spurs do quality, even if it's not the most consistent), but trying to balance the CL and premiership while keeping their focus.

Anyway, keep up the good (well-balanced) work

Anonymous said...

Fair article. I'm bothered. It's the league cup, i want to win it. Very simple.

To be clear. We were playing a side much weaker than our second string.

We played our 6th and 8th choice centre backs. Injuries permitting:
King, Dawson, Woodgate, Gallas, Kaboul are all ahead of Bassong. Throw in Corluka who is ahead of Caulker.

We also played our 4th choice right back:
Corluka, Kaboul, Hutton are ahead of Naughton

Anonymous said...

If Spuds don't care why pay to watch? If Ian Holloway and Fergie don't manage their team it says it. Just fun to be Spuds.

JimmyG2 said...

Anon 10:39/ El Whebi
Perhaps more worrying than the loss was the booing. Was it non regulars in the main?

Were they booing at Harry?,the players? an individual performance? Who knows and that's the weakness o booing it's so indiscriminate.

Good thread on Spurs Community on this subject.

Agree about Harry playing players out of position

Anonymous said...

Go back to South London? Gypsies?
At least we have always been a football club!!!
Remember, Sp*rs started their feeble, pathetic existance as a cricket club.
Why dont you try another sport to get some success! Howsabout knuckle dragging or window licking............. pathetic, halfwit idiots!

IKnowAlanGilzean said...

Anonymous: 23 Sept 10.42: "If all Spurs fans were more realistic like you, don't think things would be so hostile between the two clubs? Gooner"

What a dick.

Anonymous said...

Good, balanced article, and like others have said, I would hope for the same from Arsenal blogs if the scores were reversed.

The arguments over who played a "stronger" side, or who had more reserve players are rather pointless. The average age of the squads was virtually identical (both around 24), and both included some borderline starters (Nasri, Rosicky, Koscielny for Arsenal; Pavlyucheko, Ekotto, Palacios for Spurs) fringe first teamers (Djourou, Vela, Denilson for Arsenal; Bentley, Dos Santos, Bassong for Spurs), some youngsters (Gibbs, Wilshere, Lansbury for Arsenal; Naughton, Caulker, Livermore for Spurs) and some impact substitutes (Arshavin, Chamakh for Arsenal; Keane, Lennon for Spurs). All in all it's relatively balanced.

I think the difference was that our fringe players and youngsters are more accustomed to getting and taking these opportunities because Wenger has slowly but consistently integrated them into the 1st team. On the other hand, despite their similar ages many of the Spurs players were making their debuts. This is a credit to Wenger's youth philosophy.

And to those claiming the game was turned on the Nasri penalty, you could just as easily say the game was turned on two incorrect offsides decisions.

Simply put, Arsenal were the better team on the day, but let's be honest - this match, nor any other CC match, indicates which is the superior club. That will be determined in November and February, and I can't wait.

Anonymous said...

LOL at the Arsenal fans down playing the rivalry between the two clubs. Classic stuff. LOL even more at how no matter the improvement Spurs make, they remain the only fans in the country (along with West Ham fans who are simply Arsenal fans living in East London)to persist in childish 'you is shitz innit guv, lolzzzz' type comments.

You stain the name of the decent goons who at least try to discuss it.

Also, great to see you all out and about, what with you disappearing under that rock after last season 2-1.

Ooh low blow and such.


Anonymous said...

That penalties?what a king of cheating! Cheater,cheater !!!

Anonymous said...

I think Tuesday shows that Harry was right to want to buy to strengthen the squad in the summer and that Levy was wrong to tie his hands with such penny pinching budget restrictions.

Harry is a genius at spotting transfers so please Spurs stop tying his hands. Even if the budget is very tight he can recycle some of the deadwood at the club to improve the options and balance of the squad while spending very little net.

But if we continue to dream of making a profit on EVERY DEAL then we will be left with players at the club who just have not worked out and cannot deliver even on a lower level.

Marianne said...

All said and done, been far too much of a love in on here. Wait until the government retract the squatters rights, you`ll be refugees looking for another plot, here Liverpool is a nice place. There, that`s better.

Marianne said...

That should have been `Hear Liverpool. :)

JimmyG2 said...

We do have bigger fish to fry this year and that's why Wenger, usually, and Harry this year are prepared to cut the squad some slack.
It backfired.

And the big wooden spoon prize for stirring up agitation goes to.....opens SPOOKY

Anon 15:52
Good post some interesting facts and comment.I think Arsenal have a more developed scheme for integrating youngsters and a better club policy on method of playing which young players can fit into.
Anon 13:19 makes a similar point

galvin was god said...

I'm a spurs fan who married into a family of arsenal supporters. jokes are made and taken within the spirit that they were intended. the rest is bollocks. self inflicted wounds are a ticket home but do no credit to the culprit. we should have gone full strength against our rivals because the club has that responsibility towards its paying supporters. I don't think we learnt anything on tuesday. if the club had billed it as a 'come and pay to watch the kids get blown away' then no-one would have tipped up. PS I'm divorced now and my new girlfriend support Spurs. nuff said.

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