Sat, twitching, in the home technical area overseeing a tactical masterclass of ineptness, watching his team in white and blue fall to pieces while the officials make one of the most god awful calls in the game.
What better qualifications can a man have to get the England job?
After almost getting it right in the away league fixture against Cheatski with two holding midfielders in front of the back four ‘Arry had to change things with the old lineup, that used to play 4-4-1-1, but here was the idea of a more packed 5 in the middle with van der Vaart roaming all over. So basically like before.
So even with that so called packed middle there was no control as the first half tactics seemed to amount to nothing more than aimless humps up to Adebayor and general giving the ball away. The use of width was the winning formula early on in the season but again here it was rarely seem as it should. When Lennon got the ball he always seemed destined to come inside, run into a couple of players and lose the ball. Bale had Bosingwa on toast, he could have Maicon’d him all afternoon. He did it once, gave the fullback a good few yards and skinned him. Never to be seen again.
Few chances by Spurs in that opening 45, though Terry blocked a van der Vaart header off the line – the ref of course was never going to give that one – Cheatski had the best possibilities to open the scoring, mainly down to some slackness with the back four and the lack of cover in front of them.
Of course they did manage a classic piece of Spursism. As van der Vaart curled a ball in from the right, all Adebayor had to do was get a touch. Of course he didn’t as the ball curved it’s way past Cech to bounce off the far upright. Now as soon as it hit the woodwork only one thing could happen. And it did. Within, it seemed seconds but was a couple of minutes, they humped an aimless one up the park which of course Drogba collected expertly. He completely bullied Gallas, here and all evening, flicked the ball round into the box and smashed past Cudicini. Was a hell of a well taken goal. The sort of clinical from nothing that Spurs so desperately miss.
Three minutes into the second half and the moment that changed it really. From a corner after a good Cudicini save, Terry completely takes out Ledley, Benny and the ‘keeper. It was a foul, whistle, free-kick, get on with the game. But no. No whistle, game carries on and Cheatski are celebrating. For what only they oh and the ref seems to know as he’s given the goal. Now from all the visible angles it hasn’t crossed the line, from most it hasn’t even reached the bloody line. Hours later an angle may emerge showing something but at that moment the ref didn’t have that and he didn’t have a view that meant he could will all legitimacy give a goal.
Again you come back to the question – because it wasn’t human error, it’s not human error to give something you haven’t an absolute clue about – it was a concious choice to award the goal was this due to ineptness or something worse. And the more you see this kind of thing going on you believe it is worse.
As I Tweeted at the time at some point a manager has to take his side off the pitch after a decision like that. Make a point and take a stand. Shame the officials, shame the FA who employ them, because demoting Atkinson for one game down to the Football League isn’t the answer – why should their livelihoods hang on his whistle? This after all is the dolt who couldn’t retrospectively do anything about Balotelli’s tackle the week before because he’d seen it at the time and thought it wasn’t worth any punishment.
Some seam surprised that Cheatski ran away celebrating the goal when they later admitted it wasn’t. Well they claim for throws they know they were the last to touch so why would a goal in a cup semi-final be any different?
Ahh but all the goals that followed meant it didn’t make any difference. Yeah right. Because going two nil down makes no difference than being one down. It did kick Spurs into some sort of action Modric plays a nice ball to Parker, butcher moment you figure, but no Parker actually passes a ball forward to a Spurs player in a dangerous area. Adebayor is straight through the middle, he rounds Cech and is taken down. Penalty!. No Bale has tapped it in.
Now the questions start pouring in. Should Cech be carded, if so what colour? Should Bale have not scored so Spurs get a penalty and Cech is red carded? Would you prefer a pen and them down to 10 or the goal?
Well with the way things were going/looking and our record of missing penalties I wanted the goal. I also wanted Cech sent off. He intentionally prevented Adebayor having a goal scoring opportunity, Bale’s tap in is irrelevant. Of course I knew he wouldn’t get it. I also knew if bizarrely he had been sent off Atkinson would have found the slightest excuse to even up the numbers.
From there though they blew it. It had been headless chickens for most of the game, I don’t know what comes after that but that’s what it was. But it got even worse when – Caution Tactical Genius At Work – ‘Arry decided to change things. A week after lamenting 4-4-2 leaving them far too open against Norwich he brought off van der Vaart – the only real attacking outlet all day – for Defoe and went 4-4-2. Dear god you could see it coming and it did.
Those in blue having the freedom of the centre of the park weren’t duly bothered by anyone in white as the ball is chipped over the back four. Walker is playing everyone onside, Benny is dozing and Ledley is slow as Ramirez makes it three. It’s game over pretty much there it’s the insults to the injury to come.
Four minutes later after more desperation from Galls concedes a free-kick, Lampard smacks it in. Cudicini is getting all the blame, for a ball that was swinging away from him all the time. It was poor keeping but he wasn’t solely to blame. No the wall should have been facing most of the criticism ah but who was really at fault, yes the golden boy.
In the first half Drogba hit a free-kick, and he can’t half hit ’em, in the wall was Modric – you know the
dirty traitor, who should never wear the captain’s armband. He jumps and blocks the shot. Whereas with Lampard’s it’s Parker on the end of the wall – you know
captain marvel, the born leader, the heartbeat, who jumps and completely ponces out of having the ball get anywhere near him. Hero!
Christ I saw talk of him as Player of the Year again because he played a game of
hold me back – when person makes sure there’s plenty of people between him and his intended target – when facing up to Mikel after the Cheatski player had kicked him. After butchering most of the play he was involved in when it came to the real crunch he bottled it, maybe he really is a Spurs player.
It’s funny when you see pundits on the telly criticising a player for headless chicken chasing the ball and yet they lavish all the plaudits on a player who can only do just that.
Well after that they scored another and ‘Arry’s audition had surely sealed the deal. Now if only the F.A. could announce he has taken the job with immediate effect then maybe Spurs can get a new man in and benefit from the new mangeritis and save this late-term abortion of a season before it gets even worse…