The Blog that's not always wrong.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Duel in the sun

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.


Anonymous said...

I am not quite sure why there is so much negativity around on Spurs sites. I am confident that 11 vs 11 and we would have given them a game. We played 75 minutes with 10 men, a few of whom were only half fit any way! Pressing was therefore made that much easier. Even so, it took a wonder strike and a basic goal keeping error to make the scoreline unacceptable. Problem was that, without Crouch and with Bale unfit, we had no out ball, particularly in the second half when JD came on and gave his normal half-hearted performance, which meant that we were effectively playing with 9 men.

Most fans seem to agree that Dawson was heroic! Unfortunately, although Dawson has a big heart, he appears to only have a small brain. He is our captain and a key component of our defense. Surely, it is part of his job to make sure that our defense is organised at corners and that the main opposition danger man is effectively marked. For this reason, I blame him for both the first and killer second goals. With an effective captain and central defender, we might have got out of this one with little damage done, even with Crouch behaving like a certifiable stick insect. Unlikely, I will admit, but we might have at least held out until tiredness really kicked in during the last 10 minutes or so.

Most people

elwehbi@ibleedhotspur said...


I must admit I was furious after the 2nd goal... however, when I calmed down, I realised that this was a massive achievement in itself. Spurs were at the Bernebau playing Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League! People need to realise this. They also need to realise that we are not on the same level. We are worlds apart, and there is no harm admitting that.

What would really please me is if they come to the Lane and we give them one hell of a match. We need to enjoy it and just go for it. The players need not stress and worry about reaching the semi-final. Just go for it and play that Tottenham-style of footy we all love.

It really is amazing that we have made it this far, honestly speaking. The boys and the managers deserve a round of applause for this moment in history.


Northern Spur said...

Everything about the trip was excellent apart from the main event. The pre-match visit to the Irish Rover was a highlight (Thanks to you for the tip and to Liz for the 2-for-1 drinks offer) as was the afternoon spent with the travelling hordes in the Plaza Mayor. My only regret (apart from the scoreline) was the fact I didn't have the courage to wear my colours to the ground - spurs fans were there in great numbers and almost outnumbered the home fans in my section. COYS !!

IKnowAlanGilzean said...

There are always more questions than answers Jimmy.

Too many players not fit or in form, too wary of the big night in Madrid perhaps, and oh yes, playing a very good side very much up for it as they say.

I agree with elwehbi, let's have a right go at them next week. I have read fans wanting us to rest players for an assault on 4th, but I think some pride and verve being restored without the concern of league points will aid the race for 4th. Unless Real batter us again :))

JimmyG2 said...

First poster.
I'm not so sure myself. They looked a very formidable side.They made us look ordinary.

11 v 11 obviously would have helped but we should have coped better with the loss of Crouch.Huddlestone,Kranjcar and Pav were alkl available instead of Defoe and might have been better calls at 3-0

Negativity amongst fans? It's clear our high hopes are finished now and this will turn out to be a very disappointing season despite our successes.

If we have any pretensions to be a top team we need to get used to playing at venues like the Bernabeu and not be overawed; neither fans nor players.
I admit that it is a fabulous venue and as I always say 'My other team is Real Madrid'

Northern Spur.
Yes that seems to be the general view; great trip shame about the football.
The Plaza Mayor looked fabulous and Liz was immpressed by the Spurs fans.
As nice a bunch as you could hope to meet.

Not usually problems at the Bernabeu unless you provoke them.

I agree, no point in not having a go. Early goal,second before half time and who knows.
Take each game as it comes as they say.

Anonymous said...

I cant believe how fans have not seen the bigger picture . Moreno is not called the special one for nothing. He new the only way he can win over the Madrid fans is by winning the Champions league. In is ranks he has Alonso and Arbeloha who played for a team who where great at pressing teams and won the cup in a second half comeback from three nil down. We would hav struggled against any team when you have the wrong set up, How would Madrid have coped if Ronaldo had listened to his doctors and cried of a minute before kick off and ady slimmer had bean sent of and Alonso was missing plus we had Huddlestone playing. I will tell you they would have struggled like we did throw in loads of energy and this is why we struggled Defooe is 5ft7 and Pepe and the Madrid back line pressed High up the pitch adnjust headed the ball back at us or passed it till Ady lokked for a small defender to out jump Tia Maria just lobbed the wandering Gomes who leaves is line a lot lately except when he should that is. All three Four Goals could have bean saved but like i say Gomes has lost is area and he keeps getting wrong footed by looping headers and long shots and when he does like the one against Stoke and the header against Wolves he is what i call wandering of his line making the goals 11ft instead of 8ft. The missing link is the best passer Tom Huddlestonewho proved against stoke we score when he plays and he is not yet fit unless he takes the same medicine has these two and Tours used Mascherano and Alonso and Aberloha when they got reported three seasons ago. Now both these teams and Man City are energised and the rumours are flying about energised pressing especially Barcelona. So JG2 when you say the showed us how to play we had no way of getting out of a pressing game without the proper tools Moreno new he got Lucky that Bale was fould twice and missed a chance a fit Bale would have taken and our play maker who can beat any pressing with a missile pass was missing and our Lennon and Crouch where gone .We can climb the mountain if Ramos get sent off ronaldo breakd down and Alonso is missing because Ady 6FT3 HUDDS 6F4 Kaboul to help stop him heading instead of 6f jenas and one legge Gallas yes they gave a lesson to a damaged in balanced side against a side energised Alonso playing for them is a player i no well and is ex team and Barcelona Mascherano means we would have to play two energised sides with ex Liverpool players who where nicknamed the Duracell bunnies and that's a fact i no is true

JimmyG2 said...

As always some telling points about the performance of some of our players.

I think you are a bit harsh about Gomes but certainly the first and last should have been saved.
I hope you get a good commision from 'Duracell'

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