Here's a little quiz to set you up for the weekend. It's just for your amusement so please don't phone in.
Q) 1 Small rectangular bundle of straw.
Q) 2 A quantity of cotton wrapped up for transportation.
Q) 3 What you do if your rowing boat is filling with water. ( Trick question alert ).
Q) 4 Welsh football prodigy currently plying his trade at Spurs and rated as the best left side player in the World having reduced to rubble the best right back in the World.
But back to Wednesday. If this wasn't the Mother of all Games of Two Halves to end all Games of Two Halves then then that animal isn't born yet. Unfortunately as far as we were concerned it was a game of one half for which the DVD should be available shortly. Harry's game plan of letting them get four goals up by half time and playing with ten men for 80mins. seriously backfired. At least Modric is rested for Saturday.
We were convinced that a draw wouldn't be a bad result but secretly wondering whether we couldn't nick all three points. Within minutes we were privately praying that it wouldn't be total annihilation and feeling at half time that it probably would. At the end we were disappointed that we didn't equalise and carried away on a rush of love for our wonderful team. The other result in our group went some way to convince us that this had not been such a bad night after all. Such is the varied lot of the dedicated Tottenham supporter: a season's emotions in the space of 90 minutes.
You can spin this any way you want: magnificent recovery after disastrous start again; humiliation avoided by Bale's brilliance; Resurrection Man saved own career and now Spurs blushes. This morning, after sober reflection after last night's euphoria, I am tending towards the downbeat. We were outplayed for virtually the whole of the first half but surged back in the second with ten men to take on a bemused side who thought that we were dead and buried at half time. They could have seen this one out with ease but chose to just take their foot off the pedal, seriously under-estimating not just Bale but the spirit and quality of the whole side which as we know is depleted by the absence of key players.
But nothing can quite dispel the anger and frustration of those first 15 minutes. I can't decide whether we showed them too much respect or not enough. We certainly turned up at 8.00 pm for a 7.45 start, not for the first time and not just in this competition. The catalogue of errors by Hutton, Jenas , Gallas, Huddlestone, Ekotto, and Gomes, and the failure to press collectively from the start left us without much credibility. We were still admiring the view, savouring the experience, when they scored their first.We were so slow out of the blocks we must have nailed our boots to them instead of our blocks to the track
As Swiss Tony might have said, playing Inter Milan in the Champions' League at the San Siro is like making love to a beautiful woman. Unfortunately we only watched through the window as she revealed her charms and found the door locked when we naively tried to gain entry. She toyed with us and treated us with disdain. Gareth smashed down the door later and ravished the maiden though he was adamant that he took no personal satisfaction in these events. No, I don't believe him either.
And yet there is something magnificent about a team, our team, losing 4-0 and down to 10 men coming out with heads up,showing resilience, determination and no little skill. Bales 70yd solo effort is yet another Bale contender for 'goal of the season'.The 'olays' rang out as Spurs surprised and even out-passed their opponents; a thirty pass move ending with a good chance for Hutton. Gareth's Mum will no doubt cherish the match ball in pride of place on the mantlepiece in Cardiff.
We kept the ball well and Milan continued to play open football instead of sitting on their lead. They had written us off but had reckoned without Bale. He was released by Jenas for his second and cleverly by Lennon drawing the defence to him after a strong run for his third. He ran back to the half way line with the ball exhorting his team- mates to go for the equaliser.
Curiously the referee cut short the game at the end of both halves, to our relief at the end of the first: to our despair at the end of the second. He allowed no time for the lengthy substitution of Modric for Cudocini or the five substitutions in the second half. But these are details. We can't blame him for the first 15 minutes which sealed our fate.
That look on David Moyes' face which sometimes passes for a smile must have rapidly drained as he realised that this would be no exhausted and dispirited side that he would face on Saturday but a team that will be surfing on the adrenaline of this performance. A win is on the cards as no team will relish taking us on after that performance.
So we went to Hell and returned unharmed even boosted by the experience. If Ledley, Kaboul or Dawson is available for the return and Modric, Bale and Van de Vaart are in full song we have more than a chance of winning at home. Lennon is almost back to his old self; beating his full back on the outside several times and setting up the third goal.
It will be a different Inter performance though. A draw will suffice for them and they will be more cautious and compact. Harry must again take some credit for our spirited second half showing and I am not forgetting the traveling fans who were dignified when were getting beaten and who played no small part in raising the team. One of our more glorious defeats.
Will he stay? He owes a debt to Harry which he acknowledges and has pledged himself to Spurs for the moment. But as the Rooney saga shows ten days or even minutes is a long time in football. If someone offers him Champions' League football on twice of three times the wages even a modest young Welsh boy might be consulting his agent. If we fail to make the top Four this year all bets are off. He will still be a Spurs legend though whatever happens on the strength of Wednesday's performance and his resurrection from his own 'hoodoo' hell to be the architect of the 'Comeback at the San Siro'
Quiz answers: Bale ,Bale, Bail, Bale.
O/1 Are you sure you are on the right blogsite?
2/3 Depends on which ones you got wrong.
4 Welcome, an educated Tottenham supporter.