The Blog that's not always wrong.

Friday, 4 November 2011

A steppe too far.

 Straight on at the traffic lights in Moscow Central.

Well the boys finally ran out of road, sank without trace and hit the buffers in the Europa. Actually that's a metaphor too far because it wasn't quite a train wreck although without Cudocini's performance it might, from a distance, have looked like one.

Certainly the trip to Russia was a steppe too far. Ironically they scored the only goal of the game from a well taken free kick just as we had done at WHL. Unfortunately it was the result of a careless touch and clumsy foul on the edge of the area by Bassong who did little to endear himself to sceptical Tottenham fans.

This was not designed to assist Harry's recovery from a double stent operation and we can only hope that he wasn't watching at that moment. He was rumored to be returning fresh for the weekend game at Fulham but this has been put back until after another International break.

Conspiracy theorists are already reading dire implications into this setback and theorising as to the possible implications for Harry's England career. As operations go it is at the minor end of the scale according to my medical encyclopedia but that won't stop the doom-mongers fretting.

It was a game of cat and mouse, in which we were cast in the the role of the rodents. Rubin watched us from the safety of the sofa as we wrinkled up our little noses but every time we sniffed the cheese they cuffed us back into our own territory and then gradually advanced more effectively themselves especially down the flanks.

We failed to make a single strike on goal or force a single corner. Cudocini made six excellent saves and we endured eight corners. In hindsight we were well beaten but in real time it didn't seem quite so bad.

Carroll and Livermore combined well in midfield and Fredericks made some good breaks later in the game. Townsend is no full back but with Rose injured we had little option if we were trying to conserve our best players for the Premiership. Falque did OK and might have scored or set up an equaliser late in the game.

Livermore, now very much a senior, went to centre half when Gallas went off after putting in a good session in midfield. But everyone's passing went off as Rubin put us under increasing pressure as the game progressed. Disappointing in the end but not a disgrace by any means. This was another seminar in the educational progress of our youngsters and some of them are still showing signs of making the grade.

Defoe did well to wrestle the ball from two defenders and put a ball across the six yard box that cried out for a tap in but Pavlyuchenko had given the chance up and responded too late. A part from a signature 30yd blast that was well wide these were the only chances that came our way.

There was little service to the two experienced front men and they are not the types to make things happen on their own. Gallas played well until he downed tools and did that sitting on the pitch thing which is clearly a signal to the bench that he has had enough. Exhaustion rather than injury according to reports.

Piennar returning from injury played the full 90 mins. But an hour might have been a better idea and he showed little that he will turn out to be anything but ordinary. He was lucky not to receive a yellow card as I counted at least six fouls. He was more off the pace than combative but clearly needs more time.

We have an away game at Shamrock and a home tie with PAOK and should make the next stage but it's finely poised with th top three teams within apoint of each other. We may have to include some of the big boys to ensure progress in the final game though Harry might be content to let the second eleven finish what they have started.

Thoughts turn to Fulham on Sunday and if the table doesn't lie then we should take the three points even away from home. The managership of Martin Jol will give added edge to this derby. The team that won at QPR will almost certainly start with Sandro on the bench to come on if things need shoring up later.

So 2-1 Spurs it is then.

No videos of the game available but here is a short animation of a heart stent operation .
Our thoughts are with you Harry.

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