Hugo Lloris’ worrying brain-thump was the major talking point from Sunday’s visit to Goodison Park, which is reasonable enough when you consider that the usual outcome of a collision with something with the weight and dimensions of Romelu Lukaku’s lower-thigh, is instant vaporisation. Of anything in a two-meter radius.
Whether Villas-Boas and the Spurs’ medical team did the right thing in allowing the dazed French net-guardian to continue his afternoon- and the consensus is, by and large, to the negative- you have to appreciate the resilience of someone who can tangle with 100 kilos of cleaved Belgian oak, and live to tell the tale.
My view, in all seriousness, is that Lloris should’ve been hooked off immediately. You can admire the resolve of the man, but Hugo probably has designs in the future to remember things like how to drive, where eggs come from and the name of his daughter. Maybe not straightaway but, you know, this information can be useful. The second it was obvious that he’d been knocked-out, the next course of action should’ve been removal. No question.
One does wonder, though, as suggested in the Football365 Mailbox on Monday, what the press reaction would’ve been had, say, Joe Hart taken a skull-clobber, in, say, a World Cup semi-final? Hard to imagine, obviously. But what if the England Number One stubbornly refused to trot off down the tunnel, despite all good medical practice telling him otherwise? What if, instead, he returned to the action, all bog-eyed and spoony-legged and valiantly made a series of match-wining saves? The default setting of some of the tabloids has been AVB HAS DONE ANOTHER STUPID! but how easily does idiocy turn to bravery in the right context. Indeed, not too much was made of Lukaku himself soldiering on for half-an-hour or so, after he was sparked clean out against West Ham some weeks back.
Another day another supposed Euro-jolly marred by the news that some tooled-up degenerates have smashed up a bar in Lyon filled with travelling Spurs fans. While it might be wrong to speculate on the motivation for the attack, the details about the masked thickies performing yes-you-guessed-it Nazi salutes strikes me as a bit of a giveaway. You needn’t be a rocket surgeon to work out what keeps them up at night.
Read the full grisly report here.
On to the football and Spurs face a Lyon side still recovering from Gareth Bale’s thighs. It wasn’t a stellar performance from He Who Can Do No Wrong last week but in part to the ludicrous quality of his two free-kicks no-one took the time to care. For the French Samuel Umtiti (snarf, quack!) reached similar levels of absurdity with his labours and it’s with that goal OL will see a chance to rescue the tie. Away goals, as experts will tell you, very much the must-have item for the Spring.
**If you’re interested in such things, I wrote a little thing for the Huffington Post about Swansea (heathen!) and their chances of reaching the Top Four. Shortly before they lost 5-0 to high-flying Liverpool. #professionalfootballblogger**
Bello! Apologies for the shortage of, you know, stuff in the last few days. I’ve been putting my scribbling hand to good use elsewhere. And not just one-line hate poems on the back of store receipts. The boy’s branching out.
Carlisle United, then. Up there somewhere. With all the wholesale changes at Spurs this summer, it’s difficult to remember whether we’re taking this latest incarnation of the Semi-Skimmed Cup seriously or not. It’s been so long since we have.
My view is that we certainly should as there’re few things that compare to a day out at Wembley and even fewer that match the feeling of getting your paws on some good old fashioned tin handles. Still not convinced? Imagine Villas-Boas delighted little face as he’s lifting the trophy. Imagine that honest smile; imagine the hope in his eyes. And you want to take that away from him? Bah. You’re worse than those rotters who tarmac pensioners’ driveways with sawdust.
Super serious or not, we can afford a little room for manoeuvre here, with regards to personnel ins and outs. Dempsey needs game time as much as he needs studio time for his latest album. Hugo Lloris will probably get minutes, too, with Brad Friedel being all old n’all.
Elsewhere, you might expect to see one or two younglings drafted in for some healthy Big Match Experience™ (whoever’s not out on loan) and it’s not beyond reasonable to hope that Gylfi Sigurdsson will given a starring role to assist with any issues he might be having with confidence and whatnot. You might say it’d be a…Capital idea?
That’s some grade ‘A’ material right there.
Predictions? Ooh, let’s say 0-8.