Oh come on it can't be just a cock up,
there must be more to it than that
Of course we were unlucky to lose Lennon before the game even began; and Crouchy was very unfortunate to be sent off; Real Madrid kidded the ref. big time there; and they didn't really dominate because we gifted them three goals; and we held them to 1-0 until.....
Nope, it's not working; I can't even convince myself with this line of argument let alone anybody else. They chased and harried and closed down Modric and Bale, our potential match winners, from the start. They were patient and totally dominated the game. They were better than us in every department and Casillas didn't have to make a save for the whole match. Even if Crouch hadn't been sent off they would almost certainly have won.
It's a curious coincidence that there was a Conspiracy Theorists Convention in Madrid on the day after the match and they were able to use some of the issues arising from the game as material for the Wednesday morning session. I reproduce below the programme of papers presented to the assembled delegates
9.15 Coffee and croissants and welcome address
9.30 Opening session: Why didn't Harry Redknapp realise
that Lennon wouldn't be able to play until they were level
with the grassy knoll
(Sorry, in the tunnel) prior to the game?
10.30 Why was Jenas, good engine but not great at marking and heading,
delegated to mark Adebeyor an Internationally renowned deadly finisher?
Were the coach's notes tampered with?
11.30 What substance was Peter Crouch on to turn him from
an easygoing, smiling robotic dancing dude into a
snarling taller version of Joey Barton?
Were his and Lennon's medication switched.?
12.30 Was Gareth Bale the victim of a right wing coup at the beginning of the match?
1.30 Lunch and free time to whisper about the other delegates behind their backs.
As soon as the summary papers are published I will return present their findings.
Quite what an experienced player was doing making that kind of challenge in the opponents' half I am not sure. Which bit of, ' Stay on your feet, break up their play, keep the ball, hit them on the break, and stay calm' does he not understand? He gave the referee no option whatsoever.
Crouch went off to a chorus of 'tonto, tonto, tonto' which is a kid's playground word in Spain which means 'stupid'. This just about sums it up. Unless there are deeper forces at work..It was only Crouchy's second tackle of the season I hear. Throwing yourself at Sergio Ramos is not advised in any case at any time.
Actually I am not one for conspiracies: more a 'cock up' man myself and this was a right royal one. Appropriate you might think at Real Madrid. But that incident certainly sealed our fate. From then on it was one way traffic and Real showed their quality and professionalism by probing patiently until errors were made. Dawson was a hero once again but cut a lonely and dejected figure at the end.
Of course it's statistically possible for us to overturn this result but I'm not holding my breathe or betting the house, or even the garden shed, on it. We weren't humiliated by Real, not quite. We humiliated ourselves. We panicked from the start after the loss of Lennon. Time and time again we hoofed the ball back to Real or were pressed into giving the ball away.
And so the dream has ended and hopefully things will not deteriorate into a nightmare of anger and recrimination and calls for clear-outs of players and manager. Most fans after the game were sad and disappointed at the way things had panned out but conceded that we didn't deserve to win; hat we were beaten by a better team; better players; better manager and better tactics. Conceding an early goal and going down to ten men in the first 15 minutes just made it inevitable.
It's been an exciting ride and in some senses we have over-achieved. We have tried to self destruct a couple of times in this competition already but tried it once too often at the Bernabeu. The tactic of lulling the opposition into a false sense of security by appearing to disintegrate didn't fool Real. They know easy pickings when they see them.
On Saturday it's back to earth with a resounding thump. Stoke at home, Delap and all. Will Lennon recover? Will Bale, Gallas and Corluka be fit? Will Crouch start? Will Van Der Vaart play or be having a hissy fit in the dressing room? Will Harry notice Pavlyuchenko and give him a run out?
Will we score for the first time in 7 games? Will we win for, well quite a while?
All we do know is that the Spurs faithful will pack the ground and sing their hearts out, as they did in the Plaza Mayor and almost all will be forgiven if not forgotten if we win. If we don't, the recriminations and whispers will continue to grow.How many cock ups make a conspiracy?
Finally a big 'thankyou' to all the fans that visited the 'Irish Rover' in Madrid from daughter Liz. You are all welcome to return at any time as she says you were the best fans she has had at the bar. I bet she says that to all visiting fans. She thinks that the singing could do with a bit more practice and it was a bit loud for an upmarket Madrid location but, as she didn't have a hope in hell of stopping it, she let it go.
Apparently the takings for the day were excellent and more than covered the additional cleaning cost in the toilets. You know who you are. Well perhaps in the circumstances you don't. Anyway, thank you again.