of a referee.
Yes we all knew when we saw his name down as the man in the middle, like we do when it’s Howard Webb’s name there, that he would do something to be the centre of attention and that it certainly wouldn’t be in Spurs’ favour.
But don’t let that goal act as a smokescreen. So it was 2-0 instead of 1-0, didn’t make any difference it was yet another defeat away at the so called “top 4” and at the time of that goal Spurs weren’t going to score, weren’t going to drag even a draw out of it.
They were pretty much finishing how they were going to start as soon as ‘Arry decided to give up before the kick-off when he signalled his intentions with the team selection. Seemingly bowing to the mob he benched Crouch for Keane, a player who has struggled for a couple of games being replaced by someone who has struggled since his return to the club. Keane had very little service but he in turn did himself no favour with his play.
But worse, far worse than trying to live past glories from Bob was the inclusion of the worst player to put on a Spurs’ shirt – Jenas. yes you may point to various other players to hold that title but in 6 seasons and nearly 180 games no one has been as consistently shite for so long, for Spurs, as this player. He epitomised everything that was wrong with the performance, just as you should have known he would as soon as you knew he was playing. If I see his name down against Inter on Tuesday I might not even tune in, his presence just totally spoils any enjoyment.
Against a mediocre ManUre, Carrick and Park aren’t exactly the first choice for big games they used to be, who really were there for the taking, there was no fight, no passion as Jenas consistently gave the ball away and then allowed the ManUre player to have easy passage past him. Jenas set the tone, others followed. Surprisngly Spurs had more of the ball, they just did very little with it.
Yes Modric had a bit of life about him, still not back to the way we want but you can see it is coming just very slowly. Though how many brilliant shots does he have that actually score and how many hit the post, are saved or just go wide? Bale was obviously feeling a touch of jet lag after his trip abroad for a few days rest, it’s a fair trip back from Cardiff, though he obviously needs to work on his right foot after that Milanesk run and shot. Van der Vaart tried his best, great shot after getting up off his arse.
This though is the real downer on the day, forget that goal, forget losing away at Old Trafford, it was seeing the Dutchman walking off the pitch holding his thigh after 77 minutes. Hamstring, likely to miss the Inter game, which in reality is probably more important, and more than likely even more games, with the way our luck’s going. Huddlestone can’t return quick enough, if not that’s the real spine gone for the Champions League game – Gomes suspended, Dawson, Huddlestone, van der Vaart and Defoe injured.
So there was that goal. Well first off what a surprise Clattenburg didn’t give a penalty, he could have easily given it, for Kaboul’s tug. That thoygh didn’t cause Nani to go to ground, it was down to a dive that. Now if he didn’t think it was a penalty and that Nani was trying to cheat shouldn’t that have been a yellow but then Nani held onto the ball, so that’s intentional handball, now ain’t that a yellow card as well.
All you have to know about if it was a goal or not is would it have been given if the other way round. Of course not, he would have listened to his linesman telling him it was handball, which Clattenburg was seen acknowledging, and agreed. We also know that Modric wouldn’t have been booked for remonstrating as he was the captain, unlike Captain Beaky Rio Ferdinand who ran how many yards to get involved and was the only player allowed to stand there and harangue ref and linesman through their discussions. That’s the difference with the Huddlestone goal at Fulham, he was directly involved and so could see what happened, not miles away, and was captain.
Yes Gomes should have played to the whistle but that shouldn’t negate Clattenburg’s deficiency in not blowing the whistle. Where was the advantage Mark? Of course in days gone by Nani would have been booked for unsportsmanlike behaviour. And it would have ended 1-0, heads had dropped before the 84th minute.