Wednesday, 16 February 2011

The history boys


What a night. Take That win Best British Group to cap a triumphant reunion and Tinie Tempah is finally hailed by the mainstream as the most exciting new talent in the country. Amazing scenes.

Oh and apparently there was a game of football in Northern Italy.

You'll all have gorged yourselves silly on match reports already, so you don't need another one. Not a proper one anyway. Not a (literal) blow by blow account. Wiser souls (and, let's face it, some stupider souls) will be doing all that and more (by which I mean less) elsewhere. Instead, some observations and questions.

But first, an apology. The internet seems to be bursting with Spurs fans who were 'right' this morning. I was totally, wonderfully, happily wrong.

I didn't like the look or our central midfield pairing. I thought Pienaar was lucky to get the nod ahead of Niko. I thought Harry had boobed, basically. I didn't think our defence would hold out and I didn't see enough creativity higher up the pitch. I thought injuries and absences had weakened us to a damaging degree. I'd honestly have taken a 3-1 defeat. Lots of other far wiser and much less pathetic voices predicted more and expected better. I tutted quietly at them.

They, and Harry, were spot on.

Everyone said the first 15-30 minutes would be crucial. As it was, the first 15-30 seconds set the pattern for the first half. We kept hold of the ball, we looked dangerous when we swung in crosses, we controlled the tempo of the game and we should have had a penalty. We looked at home and we looked comfortable. They looked impotent.

That was the story of the first half.

In the second half, things got a little spikier and Milan looked a little livelier. They weren't hugely impressive, though. Gomes made two great saves ('worldies', as Paul Merson would say), but they came from strong headers off decent crosses; standard Premier League stuff. There's no need to be afraid, as Paul Young once warbled.

Flamini was disgusting. Not just for the tackle that looks to have lost us Corluka for goodness knows how long, but for his pathetic, pseudo hard man gesturing to the crowd immediately afterwards. That's what Van der Vaart picked him up on. We look forward to welcoming you to White Hart Lane, Matthew. There'll be no need to try and wind the crowd up there, don't you worry.

Gatusso was just a funny, silly little man. His antics are purely for show and frankly embarrassing.

Why was he punching the grass like that? Is it because the short arse twat is always so close to it that it was starting to get on his nerves?

Joe Jordan was top class. The removal of his specs at the end in anticipation of trouble was simultaneously dignified and menacing.

I think instead of letting the confrontation develop into the usual melee, our players and staff should have all taken two steps backwards and said Okay sunshine, there you go, what do want to do now? Gonna take a swing? Fancy your chances? No, thought not.

As Mr Blonde said: 'Are you going to bark all day little doggie, or are you gonna bite?'

Graeme Souness, it seems, is also a Reservoir Dogs fan. Here's his perfect summation on Sky: "He's never been much of a player. He's a little dog at best. That's all he is, a little dog. Go get the ball and scuffle around." Yiddo!

I can't remember who said it, maybe it was Harry, in fact, but another cute comment on the spat was, 'He hasn't done his homework, has he?'

Tremendous to see Woodgate back. Absolutely top class that lad. The best defender at the club, when fully fit. His little post-match speech about how he had to keep believing he'd play again was damn close to moving.

Also ace to see Modric put in a little cameo. Actually, fuck that, it was more than a small piece of Victorian jewelry, wasn't it? Did you see his contribution to the goal? Picks up possession and just slips it past his marker to set Lennon away. Obviously little Azza and lovely, silly, gangly, Crouchy were superb from that point on, and equally obviously I'm a teeny bit in love with Luka, but we honestly wouldn't have scored if he hadn't been on the pitch.

And finally, what does that tell us about Serie A? If we do have to move, can we move to Italy? If that lot are top, I think we'd clean up.

So, to the second leg. Well, yes, it is only half time, but as Spurs Simon, blogger at Rumbles and Grumbles, pointed out on Twitter, as half time scores go, this is a fucking corker ( I think he may have put it more eruditely than that).

And at 0-1 down, Milan didn't look like a team that could rally. Stomp about a bit and put some distance between toys and pram, yes, but not show any actual true grit. Not so much John Wayne, more Wayne Sleep.

At half time (sorry, the actual half time, last night's half time) I said that no matter what happened in the next 45, what we'd already learned was that, with Bale, Modric, and maybe Thud back for the next leg, we could rip this lot apart at White Hart Lane.

So, let's do that.

Now, return to your hangovers in an orderly fashion.

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