As Michel Platini watched on his little fiefdom

Tottenham Hotspur 0 - 0 Lazio - UEFA Europa League Group J - September 20th, 2012

was putting up a stink.

Now I’ve never met the ex-Juve and France man but I’ve come to the conclusion he smells, just by looking at him. He looks like he stinks of stale fags and booze.

Now I know Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy always leans over to the side in his seat at White Hart Lane but sat next to Platini there seemed to be extra distance between himself and that adjacent seat. All honesty I don’t know if the little fella could lean any further.

It should have been the UEFA boss that was looking uncomfortable in his seat but as the perfect replacement for Sepp Blatter once the FIFA job becomes open he looked oblivious to what was going on. His big thing is the two new officials behind the goal, he’s very proud of introducing them to the European competitions. The only problem being for the most part they’re a useless waste of time. Last night they joined the line runners in that.

Platini’s officials stopped Spurs winning their opening Europa League game, quite comfortably, and despite what those brains of the British game Andy Townsend and Gordon Strachan, deservedly.

True to his word AVB played a strong team, the one against Reading in the league a the weekend with a few required changes. Getting the likes of Caulker and Dempsey game time as well as the need to appease Lloris with a start. For what dolts like the previous manager or indeed Gary Lineker think about the competition – the latter obviously spending far too much time around Hansen and Shearer.

Winning trophies is what it’s all about. Even if it is Thursday night ITV4.

Surprise choice of Lennon as captain seemed to give the player a bit of a boost unfortunately while he was receiving the type of ball he should – behind the defence on the run – he was wasting it. Could have, should have had two goals. His frustrating worse, not going for goal and dithering.

Spurs were playing in a controlled confident manner of a side that is getting pretty comfortable with the way the new manager wants to play, ball on the floor, keeping control and pressing when out of possession. New boys fitted in well, though Dempsey understandably maybe looked a little rusty. Lloris was acting more a sweeper ‘keeper than Brad does, showed good hands coming for a the odd ball. Distribution was hi and miss, though might show a bit more promise than Friedel’s humps up the park. Caulker looked very comfortable, few errors on his European debut, alongside Vertonghen it looked like the partnership for the future. Dembele again showed what a bargain he is at any price. The ease with which he glides past players is a joy to watch.

The officiating howlers didn’t take long to come. Just past the 20 minute mark and Bale puts a cross from the right onto Dempsey’s head. The Italians are playing like Italians, quick step up and the Spurs number 2 is incorrectly flagged offside.

They then came regularly throughout the game. Three from set pieces, one where I can’t remember which Spurs player it was but hey were rugby tackled inside the box by Klose, penalty not seen by the three officials in the area. Sandro missed a clear header from in the box mainly because he was on the end of a massive shove in the back, penalty missed by all the officials again. Then Caulker has the ball in the back of the net only for the goal to be chalked off because of an apparent foul by the Spurs defender. Except of course it was him being fouled as the Lazio player played the old if I fall down I’ll get the free-kick routine. Which they only do because it works, as the three officials in the area fell for it.

They did get one right. Defoe had the ball in the net but in the build up Dempsey hesitated and by the time he played the ball through for Bale’s cross the winger was offside. So 4-1 in the decisions and quite frankly hat wouldn’t have flattered Spurs no matter what the aforementioned pundits reckoned.

Lazio by the end were being very Italian, plenty of fouls, very cynical fouls, more cards should have been shown, maybe even red ones the way it was going. And while the players were playing up to their national stereotype on the field the fans were playing up to theirs in the stands.

Monkey chants you could clearly hear aimed at Defoe and mention of it being aimed at others. What will Platini do? Cock a deaf ‘un. We all know their history in cases like this, you get a bigger fine for showing some advertising by a company not associated with UEFA than you do for repeated offences. While they’ll stand there pointing the finger at the F.A. over John Terry.

Platini, UEFA, the officials, the Lazio fans, the Lazio cynicism, the pundits. Which stank most?

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