Good evening and greetings from the ice bunker. If you’re suffering from an acute case of frostbite of the derriére, why not let the latest guff and tommyrot from WFRF headquarters pump some much needed warmth into your breeches.
First up, a word or two on the United game. A draw is a result most would’ve taken before kick-off; indeed, Rio Ferdinand admitted that it was a scoreline the Manchester club themselves would’ve settled on. But a cursory glance at the lop-sided stats would suggest it’s the least we deserved.
Far from it being just a tale of skewed numbers, either; Spurs were the cannier beast going forward for much of the afternoon and had the absurd reflexes of half-goalkeeper-half-alpaca been a little less sharp, the eleventh-hour equalizer mightn’t have been so desperately welcome.
Of course Rooney was hoodwinked out of a penalty but it’s not like we don’t know how that goes. Geewizz.
Good to see Scotty Parker back in the fold. He looked rustier than an old toolbox at times but for his first start in ages he did remarkably well. A tireless shift punctuated by one ore two bone-shuddering challenges and a well-honed fondness of running the ball in a perfectly straight line. Business as usual. Welcome home, old boy.
Tip o’ the cap to Villas-Boas’, too, for a tactical jigger which saw BAE on for young Kyle Anti-Virus; giving us much more balance on the left. With little room for manoeuvre in the way of offensive options, it was nice to imagine a manager capable of thinking outside the box rather than just sit there under a blanker and wait for the answer to reveal itself. And it was Disco Benny’s cross which finally caused De Gea to drop a pudding for the leveller.
Quotes on a Scandal
“He’s not a real left-back and I don’t think he has the same left foot as me, so I’m not worried about that,”
“I’m not worried because obviously I can do stuff with my left foot that he can’t do”
Everyone’s favourite African funster, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, on his rivalry with Kyle Naughton. LOLZ. He says what we’re all thinking!
“They’ve got a great fan base, but this over-celebration of anything Andre Villas-Boas does smacks of desperation from a set of supporters who need something to cling on to.”
TalkSport’s Adrian Durham. Ballbag of the highest order.
“There is a request from Tottenham. The offer is not acceptable.
But the transfer window is still open. Lewis has not become cheaper today.”
Schalke’s general manager, Horst Heldt, obviously new to the concept of ‘Levymanship’
“It’s a difficult situation but that doesn’t mean that we won’t do anything in the transfer market. We are also aware of the risk that it entails though, so we’ll just have to be careful”
André on the prospect of recruiting another striker.
No mention of Gary Hooper but I’m sure it’s implied.
There’s a line of thought which says we’ve exhausted every angle when it comes to finding new ways of trying to beat Manchester United. In short, we’ve tried everything and still they dish out the interminable hurt like Biffa Bacon.
We’ve done getting obliterated; we’ve done narrowly losing in the final minutes. We’ve tried shooting from distance for an entire game; we’ve tried placing the ball down and encouraging them shoot into in an empty net. We’ve tried collapsing after taking three-goal leads and we’ve tried giving them a three-goal lead. But then, naively, forgot about the coming back and scoring five bit. Which was somewhat of an oversight, if you ask me.
Sunday we attempted the old play really rather well but don’t score until late and make some dreadful defensive errors along the way routine. It’s a bit of a classic but, ultimately, United had seen it all before and took little joy in showing us why the crux of the scheme was indeed its downfall. Take your chances, in fact, is the name of the game.
On a positive note, the pairing of Sandro and Jake Livermore in midfield is one that appears to work. I was particularly thawed about the heart to see young Jake perform so assuredly. He could be good, you know?
The problem we have now is, what approach have we not yet tried? And how could we put it into action next time United roll into town? It’s got to be something pretty ballsy; something they won’t be expecting. Perhaps everyone could bleach their hair like Romania did at the 98’ World Cup, then set our formation up as a series of human wheelbarrows. Stick with me. With the numbers odd, obviously the keeper rides solo, but the rest of them should line up with their barrow partners in two banks of two (pairs) and a single pair up front. The shorter player must always play the part of the ‘barrow’ and the taller, in turn, must always be the ‘wheeler.’ Roles must never be reversed.
Right, I’ll scrawl down the details of the plan on the back of this bus ticket and post it off to Hotspur HQ. Like I said, we’ve tried everything else.
Follow me on Twitter and I’ll share the royalties.
I don’t care if Monday’s blue.
Tuesday’s grey and Wednesday too.
Thursday I don’t care about you.
Well I blame Stuart Pearce for ruining Wednesday. How is anyone supposed to take international football seriously again when Frazier Campbell is pulling on an England shirt against the World Cup runners-up? I mean, really. I’m all for reaching out to the community and all that but his brief turn at Spurs was one of the most depressing mini-sagas in human history. Don’t bother trying to prove me wrong. I’ve done my research.
Memory is its own research.
Talking of depressing sagas, how’s about our recent league record against Man United? As the French would almost definitely not say, the figures are tres non magnifique. In fact, the last occasion we ousted the Manchester rouge, Willem Korsten netted twice in what would be the final game of his muddled career. Way back in 2001*. True enough, our home form against United isn’t nearly as repugnant as it is at Old Trafford- where we might as well jettison the team bus into the Thames, rather than make the petrol-wasting 194 mile journey up the M6- it’s still nothing short of sewage.
Maybe it’s not what the kids on the street think is cool these days, but my only wish for Sunday is that we put out a team which contains our best players in their best positions. A straightforward policy which, for the main, has put us in rather fine stead this season. Apparently it’s when we start to over-complicate that things tend to go a bit awry. What I’d like to see, then, is Bale and Lennon hugging the touchline, burning the living heckingtons out of their fullback’s behinds; Van der Vaart back in the hole (easy there) providing support for Adebayor; and Brad Friedel betwixt the posts where his heart belongs. Okay, if we insist on tinkering, maybe the follically hindered American can play as a deep-lying playmaker in the second half. Just for the LOLs.
In other news, Wayne Rooney has returned from his bout of the sniffles for United and will play, so says Alex Ferguson. And, for us, Sandro will almost certainly start in place of the suspended England captain, Scott Parker- who had a rather costly leak in his mind-tank last week. You live and learn. You live and learn.
Right let’s be ‘aving them. 2-1 to the Hotspur.
I sometimes do the Twitters
* It’s also worth remembering that United had already sewn the League title up at this point, so it probably wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to imagine their minds were elsewhere. And by ‘elsewhere’ I mean some cocktail bar in Gran Canaria.
Well I guess the first thing is to mention the news that Luka Modric’s been declared unavailable for tonight’s trip to Old Trafford, as his head isn’t in the right place. According to ‘Arry via the wireless yesterday evening. Quite why no-one hasn’t told the wee Croatian that it’ll probably be attached to the spindly bit of flesh between his shoulders where he left it, one can only speculate. These bloody foreign-types, eh?
The concern for many is what effect this nonsense might be having on the rest of the camp. This brand of heel-dragging is not exactly new to us; The Great Bulgarian Sulk of 2008 is still garden-fresh in the memory and there’s no reason to believe Modric will be the last of his kind. A rebel without a clause. Just a gentleman’s agreement and considerably less humility than we might have first thought. The sh*t.
Still, moving on. As mentioned we’re up to the poor half of Manchester this evening; a belated season opener at the (in no way pretentiously named) Theatre of Dreams. A place where our record not so much speaks for itself, as whispers something half-heartedly about not having the best of luck with referees and Pedro Mendes woz robbed. Spurs have an abysmal CV against United. The last time we beat them at Old Trafford the War of the Roses raged on in the background. Don’t bother checking the facts. I didn’t.
So what will be different about tonight, I hear you ask? Well, no surprises here, that very much depends on those that turn up and what course of action they decide to take when the inevitable happens and United get a decision go there way or we make a monumental balls-up. It’s about how we respond. Whether we decide to buy into talk of hoodoos, conspiracies and mental flimsiness. Or whether, instead, we think we might fancy taking something home from this fixture. Something more than just that familiar feeling of being schooled by Sir Alex’s lot.
Do that and we’ve got half a chance. COYS!