The Scenic Route to Wembley

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The road to hell is paved with good intentions. The road to Wembley, it seems, is littered with potholes big enough to hide Tom Huddlestone’s lunchbox in. Another round and another case of being tethered to the docks rather than plain sailing in its bountiful, calm waters.

The good news, of course, is that we’re still in it. Rather less so is that Bolton are too and we’ve got another testing rendezvous to put in our diaries before we can even think about a quarter-final at The Cottage. Or further still.

A replay it is, then.

As will probably be the resounding sound-byte for the campaign, we could’ve done much better. A wobbly cack opening forty-five spent almost exclusively in our own half was followed, to some relief, by one injected with considerably more urgency. As a result, we were treated some sporadic bouts of eye-catching ‘pingy’ football and some decent chances to turn the game on its noggin. Thankfully at least, one was taken courtesy of Jermain Defoe’s rapacious instinct for a bit of space and the quickest route to net as he thumped home a timely equaliser. I don’t know what’s come over our resident goal-smith; years of work on the training ground, refining the art of eye-of-the-needle finishing, seem to have been usurped by means of putting a good old fashioned pair of laces through it. He can generate the power of the cosmos through that right-foot and I genuinely fear for anyone who’s daft enough to get in the way.

A foot like a traction engine.

Elsewhere, there were some familiar plots unfolding. Mainly in the confines of the eighteen-yard box. Just when Gareth Bale had shirked that unwanted jinxed simian off his back, the whole team appear to be under the grips of another. Penalties. England are better than us at penalties. Keane has rolled in a couple, albeit with the conviction of an ME sufferer, but in they’ve gone. A dreadful scuff from Thudd at the weekend- preceded by a run-up reminiscent of Wile E. Coyote scuttling on thin air over a canyon- one to be added to the ever growing list of twelve-yard fumbles we’ve notched up over the course of the season. The aforementioned Bob needed several attempts against Everton in the Carling Cup, Defoe went one better (or worse) against the Toffees and twanged his effort against Howard’s legs before repeating the trick against Leeds. And now Tommy, to the surprise of few, has done likewise.

The right honourable Kaybee dug up some interesting quotes on here earlier, straight from the lips of our fleet-footed Welshman via Global News:

““We don’t practise penalties really and it’s disappointing we missed one but things like that happen.

“Tom was down to take it before the game and he was unlucky. Will we practise them more now? You never know.””

Buh?

What, not ever?

Seems a trifle odd.

The long and short of it, then, is that we’ve found another means of shooting ourselves in the foot, in the form of no-one in the team being confident taking penalties. While it hasn’t cost us in any kind of terminal sense, (every occasion we’ve missed we’ve drawn rather than lost) it is becoming quite a nuisance. When I hear the ref blow up for a spot-kick I want to feel excited by the prospect, not awash with a sense of deflation that we’d have a better chance scoring direct from a corner.

Still, Spurs are on their way to Wembley

We’re just taking the scenic route.


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60 Responses to The Scenic Route to Wembley

  1. avatar KennYid says:

    Yes, used to think that penalty taking was just an English national disease, but now we seem to have caught it.The Germans always seem so good at it. Perhaps we need Stefan Freund. I bet even he could have scored from the spot or perhaps we need Teddy Sherry on the coaching staff. How about Gomes, Alex Stepney used to take them for Manure?

  2. avatar Enorme Nuez says:

    I can’t remember whether Modric was taken off already as he’s Croatia’s penalty taker, but looking the stats, he had gone off 8 minutes earlier. Why couldn’t Bale had taken it, what about Kranjcar or Bentley? I think it is strange that we don’t practice them, but I find it strange that we try and place them rather than blasted the fcuk out the ball. Jaaskelainen is a decent stopper but we make it easier for them by putting it a height that is ideal. This is the second round where a penalty would’ve sorted out the score for us and we now have another game to play which most likely will see the exact same team playing again. Three matches within 7 days which will see us drop points. We have Everton four days after this replay.

  3. avatar DAVSPURS says:

    I picked Tom after Defoes misses and his side foot should be kept for summer pitches practicing penalty’s are no good unless you do it before the game starts with a full crowd booing and ask the other keeper to go in Goals .Gomes has only saved one penalty from Jenas at Psv .So scoring against him would be no good Davies is goal was like a penalty and Gomes never dived he was fooled by old clips of 14 and half stone Davies bullying headers past goalkeeper and is quick energized feet fooled Corlookathat he mugged me croation. and Moderic has forgot how fast these weakened struggling teams play.Some stats for the statistician among you Bolton had 9 free kicks to Spurs five Bolton had 3 shots on Target and 6 off we had 2 on and 2 of Bolton played with a makeshift nose at Centre half and a thicker version of Crouch Night rider who has bean sent to the scrap yard by a few managers for being big but having no engine a Gardner with a big Hoover bag sucking the ball away from Spurs every second and Karate Kid chopping our full backs to pieces he run with Bale and also done is own running till he run out of gas. The best one Mr Davies 14 stone of trouble a rugby player playing Football with some of there Energized habits is interview was eye opening kinda popye opening like stair crazy and like a boiled Lobster all red.. Cant wait for the return We should beat Burnley sorry Bolton in extra time and silents them Bloody energized drummers.COYS

  4. avatar DAVSPURS says:

    Sorry lads forgot our second half stats SPURS 6 free kicks Bolton 1. Spurs 8 shots on Target 8 off Bolton 0 on Target 5 off .We gave the ball away ten times without being pressed King 3 Bale 3 Hudds 2 Corluka 2 .Bolton went slower around sixty mins allowing a beter side on paper to play only because the bloody testers came in the changing room and aaked for Gardner Moderic Riggot to have some piss ready and dont drink energy drinks or it will mess our readings with the caffine Davies could be seen during hudds injury sucking orange drink down is red neck only joking god i sound like therumourman. HOPE THIS HELPS..COYS

  5. avatar YIDsince82 says:

    Me the Old man and a few mates Travelled under blind optimism and false pretences
    to both Old Trafford (carling cup)and the Reebok (Yesterday) In true belief of my beloved. THFC. Both occasions led to painfully familiar visions occuring to me on the way home. ‘WTF did I just do that for. ‘ having resonated the loudest ….
    ON that (money burning exercise)To Old T. I found myself ,with around a couple of
    hundred others. All mysteriously glaring downward towards the floor whilst dragging
    our frozen and tired heels in disappointment ‘ but not shock’ ( As though Cheryl Cole
    had just crept out from beneath the safety of my thighs and asked …Is it me, am I the problem.) What the F*** was that !!!! ….i Know It is a real slam in the face when watching a game from the plasma /iphone and having (Mates)take chunks out of you
    on the blower or bumping in to them ‘ at the shop’, but leaving the stadium ! £100
    poorer …with Pri**** all around you laughing and jeering and (thats just Bently)
    definately does put thngs sharply in to perspective. ‘We should of done better’
    does not quite cut it for me. less tabloid interviews and sky co;umns and appearances
    (I mean when was the last time Fergy who has one everything already….had time for
    a sun column)maybe in the near future we will as spurs lovers feel that bond with
    serious footballing matters be reunited with our club once glorifyingly again.
    not with (twitchy)and his private members club at the helm……Crouch and Defoe
    (dont care about stats…they can be used to draw any picture u want) Are easily a
    country mile short of what weve had over the years …..(when winning ) not aiming to win, or what it takes to (Truely) challenge the best. Of that I am certain….
    I fckni used to love Hoddle , Stevens , Waddle , Classen , Falco, Linekar, Allen ,
    Crooks, Klinsmann, teddy, Popescu, Dumitrescu, Ozzie, Perryman, Barmby, Berbs?
    Lennon, Dalmatt , Proper ……….no excuse …….ballers.
    We will tuck them in at home (Bolton)
    COYS
    Are jason Dozzell and Hudd realated…..just a punt ??

    Was able to find time to laugh and joke with his marker (on the edge of our box)
    never been one for snitches , but this guy sums us up at present. ‘ All bark and
    no BITE. ‘ truely flat and disturbingly average without Lennon.

  6. avatar KC says:

    They don’t practise penalties? Why the fuck not? I thought every team would’ve practised them at one point or another, especially when you’ve missed more than you’ve scored.

  7. avatar tonytott says:

    Defoe’s left foot generates a lot of power too – as we have just seen! We would be idiots not to practise penalties now. But Mr Defoe need to get the Monkey off his back. Either work on putting it in corner OR sending the keeping the wrong way.

    • avatar who framed ruel fox? says:

      True dat, true dat. Twas his left-foot wasn’t it.

      I reckon you’re right- Defoe’s probably the best candidate still. He just needs to work on transposing his target hitting skills in open play to the poxy penalty spot.

  8. avatar Spiritual Advisor says:

    I mean seriously there no way our form could have dropped that quickly could it? Kinda hoping its a Mr Levy inspired ploy to mantain financial stability through extra gate reciepts…… Has to be the reason why Jenas is still playing surely…..

  9. avatar Trembly says:

    WFRF. What’s this ’bout you checking out Big Tom’s lunchbox! I thought that was more the realm of KayBee, but to each their own I s’pose.

  10. avatar Trembly says:

    As for pens, I agree in general.

    LACE IT !!!!!!!

  11. avatar KayBee says:

    Niko, Baler, Bentley for pens, in that order of preference, until such time as we have a striker who can take them again.

  12. avatar KayBee says:

    Good news: Lennon’s in the running to make his return against Wigan at the weekend, if you believe all the guff in the usual media outlets.

    That’s made me so happy, I want to recreate the one scene out of When Harry met Sally.

    • avatar Trembly says:

      I had my dream again where I’m making love, and the Olympic judges are watching. I’d nailed the compulsories 🙂 so this is it, the finals. I got a 9.8 from the Canadians, a perfect 10 from the Americans, and my mother, disguised as an East German judge, gave me a 5.6. Must have been the dismount

      • avatar KayBee says:

        I’ve just drawn some funny looks from my work colleagues laughing out aloud at this post.

        • avatar Trembly says:

          You do know of course that I was simply reciting a line from the film and can’t take any credit away from Billy Crystal or his writers. Perhaps I do admit to be able to handle a shickflick or two, but do not actually memorise the lines – it’s just that when you mentioned the film, i remembered it had some good gags in and saw this one in particular which also made me chuckle. Toilet humour that I have. Anyway, how do your big O go? Or was it just a little o?:)

          WFRF I do hope you’re reffing this, I don’t wanna be acused of harrasment. I don’t mind it personally, but I certainly don’t wanna be accused of it.

          Blimey, this post now makes me sound like I’m some kind of gay sex pest. Mrs T will be pleased… 🙂

          Can we start talking about football again. Much safer ground, unles you bring to the fore the penalty practice issue, the conceding goals, the inability to score more goals, and loss of style and panache (not eth perfime) when playing the game recently.

          Oh. And recent reports say that Azza might not be ready for Sunday after all. Perhaps that was a but premature? Wow a female doing a premature? That’s got to be a first! Certainly in my lifetime, usually I try and beat my own personal best – doesn’t seem to result in rounds of aplause or cheers like them athletics people. But then again, I don;t do a slow clap clap clap to get the crowd going befire I go in… Perhaps Billy Crystal has nothing on me after all?

  13. The Fred Flinstone tippy-toe shuffle had me reaching for the bin… I knew it was a miss 🙁

    That’s the Tottenham way though. We must destroy Bolton at the Lane!

  14. avatar sambo says:

    Morning Mr Fox et el

    Thought I’d have a go at bloging or what ever you call it..

    I have followed the yids for the best part of 23 years now all be it from a distance firstly from the West Country (not too far from your good self Mr Fox) and for the last 7 years from the norf. I was unfortunate to miss all the glory years, 91 FA cup and 99/07 Rumbalows not withstanding – mainly just the dark days, so when ‘Arry got the job I was less than impressed, an average manager with a less than average record in my opinion. But considering the position we were in “2 points from 8 games” I didn’t grumble too much. He did what was asked and duly kept us up, cheers son, take a bow.

    Now he has us playing like Portsmouth did when they were good, except we haven’t got a very small intimidating ground and a twat with a bell. No, we have ambitions to be a top 4 club, why? Because we have had to listen to our chairman banging on about it for the past 5 years and now ‘Arry thinks he can reasonably have a stab – saying he’d love to manage in the CL – if we turned in a performance like we did at Wolves last Wednesday we would have been humiliated in the CL. I’d love us to be in the CL but not with Mr Rednapp and his lack of tactical insight at the rudder.

    As I said before I’ve spent many seasons feeling utter despair so in comparison this season is fairly good, but I would like to see a manager who could match the ambition of the club and guide, probably the most talented squad of players we’ve had for a long time, to the heights they should be reaching.

    • avatar KayBee says:

      Heya Sambo, welcome to the fam!

      I’ve never been a fan of Harry, and share many of your concerns.

      However, my feelings are somewhat tempered by being sick of us chopping and changing managers every time things get a little sticky (I was fully behind getting rid of Ramos, though); I often wonder just what we could have achieved under Big Martin Jol if only he’d have had the full backing of the Powers That Be.

      I think, on balance, despite my reservations about him, I’d like us to stick with Harrence for at least another season, just to enjoy a bit of stability, or else I can see us being locked forever in a perpetual state of building, sacking, restarting, rebuilding, sacking, restarting… etc etc ad nauseum.

      It’s a conundrum for me, as I really don’t like the bloke, nor do I particularly rate him as a manager, but at the same time, I just want some continuity and stability, and, more than anything, year-on-year progression.

    • avatar who framed ruel fox? says:

      Afternoon, Sambo.

      Thanks for a quality post.

      Stop by anytime. 🙂

  15. Mornin’ all.

    This blog seems to have a lot of sensible souls, but in perusing the web-o-net, I’m amazed that so many have written off our chances at the CL. We have dropped points we shouldn’t have–no argument–but so has everyone else. Liverspew just lost to the scum, Villa can’t beat 10 man MU, and Shitty just drew with Stoke in game they deserved to lose.

    We are having a downturn in form now. It happens. 6 points from 6 games isn’t good but we are still up there and if we beat Wigan and Pool and MC draw we are back in 4th. The way this season is going, would you bet against that outcome?

    • avatar who framed ruel fox? says:

      Not I, sir. Not I.

      We’re due a pruple patch I would say, which could throw us anywhere if it coincides with one of those around us taking a dip. Writing us off now is, as Dizzie Rascal might suggest, Bonkers.

    • avatar KayBee says:

      We’ve made things unneccesarily difficult for ourselves, but it’s a crazy ol’ season, and we’re not out of the runnin’ for a CL spot just yet.

      There are kneejerkists all over t’internet: beware!!

      • avatar Spiritual Advisor says:

        Yup, someone’s due another 9 – 0 thumping, I predict Pav to score 5 on Sunday. I for one have had enough disappointment over the last few weeks so I’m resorting to blind optimism.

        • avatar Spiritual Advisor says:

          In all seriousness, we have a fairly intact squad for this time of year, with lots of 4th spot rival teams starting to pick up Injuries and with Lennon about to make a timely return and some of the new faces starting to gel together more we should be able to keep on course for some CL action. fingers firmly crossed……….

  16. avatar who framed ruel fox? says:

    I thought I’d share this.

    I’ve been asked by the good people at adifferentleague.com to write a thing about England’s 2006 World Cup in Germany. The deadline’s Friday and so far- with my memories of the tournament- it’s not a particularly happy read. Plenty of anti-climax, shoddy football and Lampard spooning it as I remember.

    Does anyone have any recollections that aren’t quite so, well, gloomy? .

    Much kindness and gratitude in advance.

    • avatar Trembly says:

      WFRF. There are a few angles you can use. Personally, I wouldn’t write anything that solely reflects on the 2006 WC without reference to the upcoming tournament.

      Theres the controversial waste of a golden generation – why couldn’t we have done better with that lot. Is the current crop better than that team? The golden generation are older now an our then illustrious captain isn’t even guaranteed a spot on the bench.

      Perhaps we can focus on the growing cynical side of the game. I know down in S.America they call it something like catenaccio (sic) where playing the ref is as important as playing the game, Obviously we got done by a smarmy Portugeezer, and although not as directly obvious as the Maradonna handball, the dive by cronaldo to get Rooney sent off was probably the most key moment for us in the whole tournament.

      Perhaps you can put a Spurs slant on it? Lennon down the right wing? Penalties or the inability to take them? Ingerlahhhhnd’s number one flushed down the pan the next season. Klinsi in charge of the home team? Personal pub anecdotes asides, it’s all rather grim stuff. Perhaps it’s a case of you really should’ve been there…if you were licky enough to get a feckin ticket to a game!!! 🙁

  17. avatar KayBee says:

    Sorry, I have only misery and heartache to share.

    Not recent, either; i stopped following Engerland under Sven.

    Regardless of your self-critique, I bet you’ve put your excellent writing skills to good use and crafted something super.

  18. avatar sambo says:

    Most of what sticks in the mind from ze Germans jamboree are events that happened off the pitch, wags etc and walnut getting the nod over our beloved Mr Defoe. The highlights for me were having a tournament in Europe so games could be watched at a reasonable hour, the lovely German stadia and the way a world cup galvanises the country – world cup fever if you like. On the pitch highlights are thinly spread, apart from Joe Cole’s belter against the Swedes nothing jumps to mind.

    From the Spurs angle; seeing the Postie score a pen against us was a dagger in the heart, didn’t quite hurt as much as Euro 2004 when he came off the bench to grab that equaliser…

    On a happier note – how funny was it seeing that gooner clown gift Porto two goals last night? Almost as funny as seeing Alumnia scrabbling about in the mud trying to get that Pienaar lob last month!

  19. avatar who framed ruel fox? says:

    Cheers, peeps.

    You’re a wise and generous bunch.

    WFRF will be back to normal tomorrow once I get this out the way.

  20. avatar KayBee says:

    Bill Turnbull: Legend

    SO… there I was getting ready this morning, with BBC Breakfast on TV in the background. Yeah, I know; s’a bit bland, but it’s less brain-mincing than GMTV.

    Anyway, they had some head honcho from a phone company on promoting their new scheme to call older customers once a week to provide the lonely with a friendly voice kinda thing. (awww)

    Bill Turnbull, the main male presenter on breakfast, asks them what sort of thing they’d talk about.

    The honcho guy says “Well, after last night’s goal against Arsenal, I might talk about what a travesty that was.”

    Bill says “Well, I’m a Spurs fan, so…”

    *awkward silence*

    What a star.

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