There's the signpost fellas!
Welcome to the 'World of Blip';The Bad Day at the Office Roadshow; the Cosmos of Hard Luck; the Empire of Ineptitude Come on, be honest; your not really telling me that you thought we would beat Blackpool on Tuesday night and go 5pts clear of Chelsea, climb above Man.City into third and coast through until the end of the season. I know I predicted a 2-1 victory but that was whistling in the dark. A confidence booster for any of the Tottenham squad that happened to drop into the 'Musings' office.
But you know in your heart of hearts that that is not the Tottenham way. Black to win, the green baize rips and the white shoots off the table. Double top to clinch the World Championship and the final dart hits the wire and and sticks into the floor, just in front of your foot if you're lucky. Final lap of the final Grand Prix, you just need to finish to win and you clip the rear of a tail-ender and end up rolling backwards into the sand trap. This is known throughout the known universe as doing it the Tottenham way.We don't do easy.
We were offered third but we walked all round it like farmers at the cattle market; poked it with a stick; examined its teeth, and said we'd have to think about it. We shrugged our shoulders; sniffed, and politely declined. Too easy; there must be a catch.
Pundits predicted a high scoring clash between two attacking teams with Spurs quality clinching the encounter. Well Blackpool kept their part of the bargain, with generous assists from ourselves but we reverted to type and scored a belated goal when it was too late to affect the result.
It was all very unfortunate: it always is. Three efforts cleared off the line; 25 shots, some of them on target; two point blank saves by the keeper; a couple of shouts for penalties, denied. At the other end we gifted them two goals by lax defending and irony of ironies got caught on the counter attack. I thought we'd patented that at the San Siro. One of their goals was probably offside but was nicely crafted so we'll let it go.
We started too slowly without any apparent enthusiasm or belief and froze a bewildered Modric out of the game by overusing the long ball. Once he got into the game things improved but despite Lennon having been granted the freedom of the City of Blackpool, Bloomfield Rd. section, we couldn't break down a stubborn defence which knew when to pack the area and when to release the ball.
Charlie Adams who only just escaped our clutches in the transfer window played very well: strong on the ball and with a dose of that 'vision' thing that we value so highly. Pity that we got Piennar instead who looks only slightly better than average to me.
In the second half we were back into the 'total domination but failed to score' scenario. Defoe who apparently used to actually play for us, failed to score again. Pavlyuchenko missed two chances from headers but at least they were on target. His link up play was again good and he did manage to score. It was not the devastating effort that I read about in one of the papers but a deflection that Defoe would chop of one of his legs for at the moment. Not that I am suggesting that this would be a good idea but it wouldn't make a lot difference to his current effectiveness.
Kranjcar weighed down by the responsibility of being our saviour again got all four of his shots wrong. Bassong looked scared from the start and was caught on the ball early on. His tackle in the area on a player going nowhere in every sense of the word was pointless. Alongside Dawson last year he looked an excellent prospect. Looks can be deceptive. D J Cambell has scored more than all our strikers put together.
Jenas on for the struggling Palacios made a difference at first, until he was promoted to right back to make way for Crouch. I'm not sure what Harry was thinking. It smacked of desperation and a straight swap for Defoe would have made more sense.
However in the Middle East ordinary people are standing up virtually unarmed to bombs and bullets so our lads trip to the warm sun of Dubai may give them and us a sense of perspective. Some of you may think that a trip to Libya might be more appropriate. They could act as human shields for the General. Not that I wish them any serious harm. Well not now that I have had time to think about it.
There is nothing like the feeling of going into a pause in the fixtures after a win. The reverse is also true. Whether we have peaked or are just pausing for breath is not clear at the moment. Perhaps some or all of Bale, Van Der Vaart, Woodgate, Ledley, Hutton, Huddlestone or Kaboul will be available when we return.
But that was only our third defeat in 21games in all competitions since we lost at Bolton at the beginning of November. We are still a point ahead of last year after 27 games, and with 11 games to go anything could happen. See I can do rational and calm as well as knee jerk. The 'tram to third' (see last blog) was cancelled but there's still quite a lot of the journey to go but it's not going to get any easier.