I wrote the last post as soon as I got back from watching the game and, as my blood was still up, I didn't see everything as clearly as I do now - or, at least, as i think i do now.
Firstly, I maintain that the Sp rs' goal resulted from gamesmanship. The ref has come out today and said that he made a sign to play on, but this is how i see things:
Eb+gilbs knock into eachother and both go down injured; everyone pauses, including Carrick; instead of following his instinct, and the spirit of the game, he looks up to the ref to see if the injuries are severe enough to stop the game for; the ref checks and waves play on - as Carrick has asked him if he will be penalised for disregarding PL ettiquete; Carrick passes to Tainio, who lays it off to Davids, who can now take full advantage of our a) absent r-b and b) our general dissaray; Spurs score.
We should have played to the whiste; but we shouldn't have had to. That is the essential point for me. Furthermore, the clip on Arseblog today shos that Jol can clearly be seen to be shouting 'play, play' to Carrick, and following the ball. It's no wonder Arsene got so upset.
What has particularly annoyed me is the guff Sp*rs have come out with along the lines of: 'well we outplayed you for 45 minutes so we deserved to be ahead anyway'. Er, no. If they'd deserved to be ahead they would have been: Defoe would have passed to Davids when he was clean through; Jens wouldn't have stopped Defoe's effort from going in; Carrick would have scored and not hit the side netting; Lennon would have made something more productive from his repeated skinnings of Flam and Phil. Sp*rs did out play us in the first half but we were missing more first choice players than them, and we still managed to keep it at 0-0.
Having said that Sp*rs have come on a long way in a year. They played well . Robbie Keane is a dynamo up front and a player I'd love to see at our club. He can score a variety of goals and was a constant thorn in our side . Lennon looked a real prospect as well, and, hopefully, him and Theo will be competing for England places soon. I still think, however, we are the stronger club on balance. We've played far more games this season than sp*rs, and, if we didnt have two of the most important games in the club's history 3 days either side of the game on Saturday, we would have won.
Arsene perhaps shouldn't have rested so many players- but then if he'd played a full strength team on Saturday, and we'd lost in Villareal on Tuesday, we'd all criticise him even if we'd beaten Sp*rs. I think he made the right team selection yesterday, but the replacements let him down. Djourou was poor at r-b; Diaby clearly didn't didn't understand he was playing in a derby, letting Carrick run wild; and Rvp looked a shadow of his former self. My concerns about him are growing. He needs to get some goals because without them you wonder what he brings to the team. The same can't be said about Adey.
The game also hammered home, even more so, how much trouble we'll be in if Tel leaves. He was incredible, and no-one else could have scored his goal. [awful pun time] Without Henry we are like a blunt knife: we have no cutting edge. Without him, and Fabregas, we look like a mid table team.
But there's a lot of football until the end of the season. Spurs have two tough games, while we have 1 difficult match - in the graveyard of our form that is the NW - and two games we should win. IF we get through to the CL final then a draw yesterday will be forgotten.
Still, the last North London derby at Highbuey did bring back to me that wonderful aphorism of Alex Ferguson: 'Football. bloody hell.'
2 other matters relating to the site:
1) Comments. I, and it seems a lot of other people, are getting fed up with some of the comments that are being left. Ones which seem to revolve around just abusing arsenal/spurs, making homophobic remarks, and generally just lowering the tone. I want people to leave comments, but I want to have a degree of rational debate on here, not just mindless, childish banter. Although, this problem in the comments only really happens when I get put on the Sp*rs newsnow thread - which inevitably leads to banter such as this; usually the comments are great and we debate things as I hoped. Hence me writing Sp*rs - it seems to stop me being listed on the Sp*rs thread. I'm not just being childish! An anonymous poster suggested i take action over this: short of moderating comments, can anyone else make any suggestions? I could turn on only registered users/members of blog? If I could get some feedback that'd be great: I like eastlower's comment system. Overall, please leave comments! I don't care if you don't agree with me, but lets try and make this a nice site eh? I don't want to have to spend an hour every day deleting pointlessly abusive/offensive comments!
2) posting will be rather intermittent for the next month as I have rather a lot of work on at the moment. I hope this dissapoints some people - if so, fear not! by June I will have less to do, and near hourly updates will begin.
Take care, and try and stick to these new rules,