A Point from a Frustrating Day
Monday 29th September 2014
There has been much discussion as to if that was a decent result on Saturday. Certainly at one nil down with time getting on it’s not a complete disaster but by analysing everyone’s pre-match thoughts it’s easy to accept who is the happier. When asked before a ball was kicked if you would be happy if your team came away with a point I think every single spurs fan would have said yes. On the other hand I don’t think you would find any Gooner giving the same reaction. That alone probably sums up how we all feel.
For many many years now our geographical rivals have been forced to not only watch us win trophies but accept that even in seasons they’ve considered to be hugely positive for their team, the club they dislike most has always come out on top. Despite this, the historical rivalry lives on and the atmosphere in London N5 on ‘Derby Day’ is still unique and filled with a whole different kind of tension and passion.
Saturday was no different of course but it was to be a day where a combination of everything working against us and one oh so costly mistake prevented us from taking a deserved three points.
The first half was very stop start I felt and demonstrated a side to our visitors we haven’t probably witnessed in the past. They came to defend deeply and ‘spoil’, it is as simple as that. Once again you need a strong referee to deal with this by punishing constant niggling cynicism and time wasting early on to prevent it from supposedly ‘illegally’ dictating the game’s progression. I am a strong believer that referees have an extremely difficult job but I feel there is a bigger picture here. There is a strong opinion that the reason referees don’t deal with these kind of situations is they have never actually played the game. In other words they don’t even notice it or understand it exists.
Having reached half time level I would normally be extremely confident we would go on and win the game, especially given how much possession we had enjoyed. To see two of our midfield limp off and another quite obviously struggling with an additional knock could not have been any more unlucky. When dominating the game and pushing to get the win this warrants, losing key players always feels a little unfair, despite it being part of the game.
We started the second period on fire I felt, quicker in both the tackle and in our passing we poured forward creating an intense spell of pressure. When in total control however, then came the mistake. Flammers got caught in possession close to our own box and our visitors grabbed the opportunity to sting us where it hurts. So so frustrating.
Having defended well in numbers so deeply and taking even more of an opportunity to waste precious minutes the chance to equalise looked extremely difficult. At nil nil our patience would have been perfect. We always look like scoring at some stage and if we did just that we would win the game. But now our costly error meant we needed to score just to get back on level terms.
The BFG seems to like scoring against spurs and he was inches from doing it yet again, his towering header seeing the goalkeeper make a stunning save. Still we poured forward and eventually we were to get the reward we richly deserved, the Ox slamming home at the far post producing the kind of noise and jostle you would expect.
There was time to get a winner and just as with the rest of the game there was only one team that both looked like and wanted that to happen. Banging on that door as much as we could however, it’s very difficult to keep that momentum going when your opponent uses every single opportunity to stop, break up and spoil the flow of the game. When you get a winner in that situation it feels even more satisfying but on this occasion our opponents will argue they got it tactically right as they escaped with a point.
Not the greatest result and with our injury list getting ever longer its hard to be massively positive. The fixtures dictate we can’t be negative however, as our next huge game is only a couple of days away. We need to stick together as the depth of our squad is severely tested.
It’s a long time since we faced Galatasaray in a competitive fixture, that penalty shoot-out defeat in Copenhagen still one of the more disappointing nights in our long illustrious history. Having lost our opening group game out in Dortmund a win on Wednesday night is hugely important. With a noisy away support guaranteed we can certainly play our part in helping the team achieve what we all want from the night.
So sing up!