Beaten By A Better Team But Lets Finish the Season With A Bang!
How are you feeling today? Depressed? Disappointed? Angry? Experiencing the feeling that only a 4-0 hammering can bring? I’m assuming it’s a mixture of all four but it really shouldn’t be.
There are pro’s and con’s of being a know-it-all. The con’s are you spend the day you write a piece about how it’s not really possible for this Spurs side to beat what’s a very good Real Madrid side being told you’re overly pessimistic and you don’t have a clue because they’re not as good as Inter Milan and we beat them. The pro’s are you don’t feel like killing yourself the day after losing 4-0 because you didn’t get your hopes up.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m as disappointed as you but from some of the comments I’ve seen anyone would’ve thought we’d just taken a beating to Bolton. Oh wait, that’s already happened and the backlash wasn’t as bad as I’ve seen. Ok, how about losing 2-0 in an FA Cup semi final against an already relegated Portsmouth? Nope, same again. The reason some of us are so bitterly upset this morning is because we started to believe the hype that the press were spouting which no good can ever come from.
Lets say for example you watch very little Spanish football and you don’t realise Real Madrid had not yet conceded a goal at home in the Champions League or that the quality of the Italian Seria A comes somewhere between the Premiership and Championship you might have started to believe we could beat Real Madrid over two legs. I even had someone trying to say the same thing to me as the team sheets were announced, when clearly on paper Mourinho’s team are a class above ours.
There’s nothing wrong with that either. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Sometimes you have to accept you’re not as good as the other team. It’s not an easy thing to do but we should be learning from last night and aiming to compete with them in the future. On another day could we have got a result against Real? Of course we could. They’re not a million miles better than us. I like to think of them as a Man United type team. A team if we played in the same league as we’d get the odd win against and be fairly competitive at White Hart Lane but would usually lose in the Bernabéu. That’s football and you can’t win them all.
Should we have given them a better game and not gifted them 3 of the 4 goals they scored? Of course we should’ve but look at our current form. We haven’t played well for a long time now and when you consider that form why did we think it was possible to turn it around in a very tough environment. I said yesterday possession was the key as was closing them down and stopping Alonso from dictating the match. As you’ll see from the few images in this pieces you’ll notice we did none of that. If anything they closed us down better than we did to them. They kept a high line and made sure when one of our midfielders got the ball they were hassled. When a defender had it they allowed them to hit the long hopeful cross field ball. This is exactly how we should be playing in every game and is usually how we do play when we face the better teams in the league.
Then of course there was the Crouch sending off, which according to many and the majority of the press it was the turning point of the match. We’ll never know if the result would’ve been different had he been on the pitch and we’ll never know if with him on the pitch we would’ve managed to increase our successful pass completion beyond the pitiful 70% and get out of our half more but judging by the first 20 minutes or so while he was on the pitch I doubt it would’ve made much difference. We were already 1-0 down and Madrid were in cruise control. Having 11 men on the pitch is always going to make things easier, of course it is, but judging by the performance up to his second yellow the result would’ve still been the same, albeit maybe not quite 4-0. Let’s settle for 2-0 and we would’ve still been out of the tie, the only difference is we would’ve felt like there was still a chance and rested players against Stoke.
After the sending off Real were in first gear and could’ve paid for their complacency with a couple of chances for Bale and vdV but with an obvious “talking to” from Mourinho at half time they upped their game and so began the onslaught that lasted the entire 45 minutes. With Crouch on the pitch we would’ve had someone to hoof the ball to but it would’ve come straight back anyway.
The one thing that disappoints me about the sending off was the stupidity of it. Most of us would’ve known the referee was card happy. He had previously sent off a player in all his games except for one. Now if I knew that surely Crouch, the rest of the players and the management knew that so at what point after he received his first yellow did the thought to go careful escape his pea sized brain? Something we’ll never know is whether the conversation of discipline and attitude was ever discussed before the game. Judging by the obvious lack of organisation for set pieces it wouldn’t surprise me if it hadn’t and that’s a bigger problem than any stupid leaping tackle.
What didn’t help matters was the last minute removal of Aaron Lennon from the starting 11. After he was rested against Wigan too!! Mr Redknapp didn’t seem too pleased in his post match interviews about that. This was more important and had a biggest impact on the result and performance than the Crouch sending off. For the majority of the game we had no-one on the right of midfield and it took 25 minutes for Redknapp to put Modric back central instead of on the left with Bale on the right. Sky tried to compare Mourinho and Redknapp in the pre-match build up. There wasn’t much comparison after the match but only one of those managers would put Modric on the left and Bale on the right for a quarter of the game.
The obvious sense of doom from sections of spurs fans is also down to where we are in the league which is why many of us have been saying all season that the priority should’ve always been the league and getting back into the champions league for next season. There are rumours coming from certain sections of the press, albeit not in any big articles just yet, that the Spurs board also feel the same and have asked why we’re not currently in the top 4 when they, like us, can see the teams above us have decreased in quality since last season. The rumours are Redknapp isn’t feeling as appreciated as he believes he should be getting us into the quarter finals and that’s my problem. It’s the same problem that’s divided fans all season. No not the stadium problem, but the what should we expect from this season debate. I see nothing in the teams around us that makes me believe we shouldn’t be comfortably in the top 4 at the moment. If that was the case would some feel as deflated as they do this morning? I doubt it.
The Champions League was always meant to be something to enjoy this season, and how we’ve done just that. As I said there’s no shame in losing to a better team and at this stage in the competition that’s what we’ll come up against more often than not. Would Man City have competed quite as well? It’s impossible to say but I don’t think so. We can hold our heads up high as the team has entertained an entire continent in their first ever expedition into the promised land. Unfortunately back home it’s not been the same story but we’ve now got 8 games left to change that. Get into the top 4 or not, lets finish the season with the type of bang that at least gives us hope of payback against Madrid in the near future and not when my unborn is my age.
PS, don’t forget it’s still only half time Chin up and all that.
Submitted by THFC1882
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