Monday, August 27, 2007

We Know Where You Live Howard Webb

Opiniated football report follows.

Let's review Law 12 of Association Football:

A direct free kick is ... awarded to the opposing team if a player ... :

* handles the ball deliberately (except for the goalkeeper within his own penalty area)


A penalty kick is awarded if any of the above is committed by a player inside his own penalty area, irrespective of the position of the ball, provided it is in play.

Penalty dude. We're coming to get your guide dog.

On the positive side, Tottenham defended well for most of the game. There was only the occasional panic; much-maligned 'Keeper Paul Robinson had to make one outstanding save and only had one misjudgment that the Donut can remember. Anthony Gardiner - blimey - was strong, solid and hardly beaten. The patched up defence kept Spurs in the game.

Ricardo Rocha gave the odd heart flutter, but no costly mistakes (except in front of the Man U goal). Gareth Bale made several good runs down the left flank, but when presented with golden opportunity to put in a killer ball across the goal in the dying minutes he cut it back straight to a defender.

Dmitar Berbatov looked disinterested or frustrated for 87 minutes, then nearly turned the game with three pieces of sublime skill. The goals will come.

The midfield held firm in front of the back four. Yet, distribution was irratic throughout.

A good performance, but Man U (for once) were there for the taking - no Rooney, no Ronaldo, no bite in front of goal. Can it help coach Martin Jol avoid the sack? In the long run, probably not. It's Champions League or bust. What purpose would that serve?

Jol's guided the team to consecutive fifth place finishes. He's restored European football to White Hart Lane, helped attract great talent like Berbatov and Bale to the team and has the faith of the fans. This is a work in progress. I don't expect Champions' League football next year. Tottenham need to build for the long haul; assemble a better squad and develop younger talent. Jol's a vital part of the development.

Hot-Spur: Anthony Gardner (for once not the Cardiac Kid)
Tottering Clotspur: Ricardo Rocha (two misses: Row Z volley and free header wide from a corner)

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:: Posted by pete @ 20:36