Spurs match reports

Spurs 1-3 Man Utd: Why This Was All Modric’s Fault

Before beginning the gruesome business of the post-mortem I think it’s worth doffing my cap towards Man Utd – they were a quality act yesterday. I demonstrated in my preview that mathematics is hardly the academic subject of choice at AANP Towers, but nevertheless it really did seem that being reduced to 10 men made them play as if they had 12.The Luka-Shaped Hole

If absence makes the heart grow fonder my feelings for Luka Modric had turned into a complete man-crush by the end of yesterday’s game. The problems caused by his absence were two-fold. For a start – and admittedly it’s not rocket-science – we massively missed his contribution on the left. Robbie Keane was a square peg in a Luka-shaped hole, and came nowhere near replicating the class of the Modmeister, for which he can hardly be blamed I suppose. Curiously, by the second half it seemed that ‘Arry simply dispensed altogether with the whacky idea of deploying someone on left midfield, and left BAE to attack, defend, bat, bowl and keep wicket all on his own up and down the left-hand patch. Keane took up permanent residence in the centre, and even his replacement Kranjcar seemed only to station himself towards the left with reluctance.

The other problem caused by Luka’s absence was the very fact that Keane was removed from attack in order to play on the left. To date this season, Keane as a striker has been able to drop back as necessary to create a temporary five-man midfield. We could have done with that at times yesterday, as the Man Utd midfield bossed things. In fact they themselves made use of an attacker dropping deep, with the dastardly Berba occasionally sticking out a languid leg here and there in midfield. Our own attacking pair, of Crouch and Defoe, did not really offer that flexibility. Conclusion? This was all Modric’s fault.

The Second-Best Midfield

Anti-climactic stuff from Lennon, who could not have been more thoroughly shackled if he had been trussed up in a straitjacket with a ball-and-chain on his ankle for good measure.

The Hudd started fairly anonymously, and his influence waned thereafter. If the big lad wants to know the sort of standard he should be striving to emulate he need only look at the man whose shadow he chased for an hour yesterday. Scholes gave a masterclass in how to keep things ticking over in midfield. Tackling aside, mind.

I actually thought that Sergeant Wilson began the game in encouragingly bright and breezy fashion – as typified by the tackle that led to our goal – but once he received his yellow card his options were rather limited, and his half-time withdrawal was understandable.

And so, for the first time this season, to your hero and mine, Jermaine “Sideways! Backwards!” Jenas. Believe it or not I was rather impressed by the entrance he made, taking the fight to United as soon as he entered the fray and very nearly scoring a peach of an equaliser. However, that was about as good as it got. We’ve waited about four months to lay into Jenas, and had to wait another 20 minutes or so after his introduction yesterday, but once the poor blighter made a mistake by golly White Hart Lane let him know about it.

Discrimination at White Hart Lane. Despicable, In This Day And Age.

There was one curious incident in the second half when Crouch and his marker (I forget who) prepared to challenge for a header inside the penalty area, and the marker did his level best to yank the shirt off Crouch’s back in a most sordid manner. In hope rather than expectation I glanced towards the ref – and saw him put the whistle to his lips. Scarcely able to believe it I let out a celebratory yelp, only to see the ref award the free-kick to Man Utd. It’s a phenomenon that unfortunately follows Crouch wherever he goes, and one to which we will all have to become accustomed in future weeks and months.

That aside Crouch did what he is paid to do, and can hardly be blamed for his team-mates’ propensity to belt the ball at his head and yell “Go fetch”. I prefer him coming off the bench as an impact sub, and yestrerday’s evidence did not alter that opinion, despite the first-minute assist.

Elsewhere on the Pitch…

Nicely taken goal from Defoe, on just about the only occasion he touched the ball. Another good shift from BAE. Unfortunately the best player in lilywhite was possibly the one in green, Cudicini making two or three very good saves.

We had our chances, notably in that little 20-minute second half spell, and were only a couple of inches away from equalising through Jenas or Crouch. In the final analysis however, the scoreline did not flatter United. The sending-off of Scholes presented the perfect platform for us, but rather than relentlessly batter down the United door we knocked a couple of times and politely waited for them to open up. We have certainly not become a bad team overnight, but there was proof, lest it were needed, that we remain a work in progress. And a poorer one for the loss of Modric.


Graham Roberts is one of the players featuring in Spurs’ Cult Heroes, a forthcoming book looking at players who achieved legendary status amongst us fans for what they did at the club. Feel free to share your favourite memories of the man – or browse those of others – right here, while memories are warmly welcomed on players already featured in Spurs’ Cult Heroes – Jimmy Greaves here, Clive Allen here, Jurgen Klinsmann here

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24 replies on “Spurs 1-3 Man Utd: Why This Was All Modric’s Fault”

The ref had the biggest influence on the game. He was a disgrace. He gave united all the help they needed to beat us. He only sent off scholes to try and cover his tracks. We were had over by the w*nker in the black.

“Scarcely able to believe it I let out a celebratory yelp, only to see the ref award the free-kick to Man Utd. It’s a phenomenon that unfortunately follows Crouch wherever he goes,”

It’s nothing to do with Crouch and everything to do with Manure getting everything in their favour every single time

Yesterday you had Berbatov dive for the undeserved equaliser, Evra allowed to get away with a headbutt, and Lennon getting booked after a terrible tackle on him amongst other things

wtf?? why dont u all accept that united defeated spurs!
wats bad about it!! last time man utd won 5-2 to spurs and then it went to the penalty story and now they won it as they deserved it, and scholes red card is a wrong decision but manU still managed to get the Killing goal.
Proud to be Red Devil

you forgot to mention alan hutton on else where on the pitch part of your article mention how uselss he is at defending

and an elbow from vidic on crouch, but i’m afraid they were simply better than us. rooney was fantastic and our passing was terrible at times. no excuses im afraid. yes the ref was shit, but they outplayed us and we didnt look balanced. 12 from 5. i’ll ave that. COYS

Good post. United were very good – the best they’ve been all season – and we were poor – the worst we’ve been all season. If you saw the last 35 minutes against Birmingham after Moddle went off you’d have had a sneak preview of yesterday’s game, albeit without the annoying losing-the-game bit.

But we still have twelve points from five games. We’ve still got a Big Four scalp to our name already this season. ‘Arry ‘ardly ‘ad a chance to work with the squad before this match, let alone set about coping with the loss of Modric, the induction of Krancjar and so on. Plenty of players were tired, none more so that Sgt. Wilson who understandably got relieved of duty at half-time. There’s no question that Keane on the left wasn’t a success and perhaps also that Crouch starting up front with Defoe isn’t the ideal solution. But we have the squad strength to rebound from this and to come again. Chelski without Modric – not good. But after that we have a good five weeks to regroup, rebuild and come again, before ‘Alloween’s trip to the Woolwich Scum. COYS.

KEANE has to be in midfield, if anywhere, so all those chances don’t get missed. Well done HARRY, only took him 8 months to work out what SPURS as a club have been pondering since the turn of the millenium.

I dont know how UNITED get these decisions away as well – hang on, yes I do… they bitch and moan on and off the pitch, players and manager alike. They are the South Americans of the Premier League.

Well, like closing down and tackling, thats something we can do as well. I wanna see more SPURS players having a go at the ref.

First six games, three of them are against CL qualifiers. We’ve taken 3 points from two of those games. A draw would be great from CHELSEA, and would keep us TOP 4 with a whole set of easier games to come.


HUTTON is a guaranteed nightmare, NAUGHTON has to come on in that position if Corluka comes off. Why buy these players if you dont play them? Will GIO get a look in soon? Reports said he had a stormer in MEXICO.

Is it only me or are we trying too hard to accomodate Keane in the side? Huddlestone clearly isnt the midfeld general we require and Palacios is trying to cover up Hud’s defensive deficiences, hence the rashness and subsequent substitution.
We fell for it, the ref fell for it, and Utd got away with per usual, that is making a mountain out of a molehill and badgering the officials into booking players who are causing them problems, Palacios would have been sent off if HR didnt sub him, and it’s simply because Hud isnt a top drawer midfielder, needs far too long on the ball and turns about the same time a tanker in a stream would take..Sorry but Keane and Huddl must be replaced in the side, but as some other guy said 12 out 15 is better then I expected thus far

We lost because Man U were better. Although i think they were helped
by Harry not having the courage to drop Keane. If Keane had to play
it should have been instead of Crouch or not at all,the team was unbalanced because he played where he did.Also,although Cuddicini
had a good game, i think that Gomes would have done better on the goals.
at least we have learned a lesson over this (i hope)

How many times do hi have to come on these sites and rant on about energy . Because no fucker wants to believe footballers take drugs well let me tell all you fans they do and are taking Ephedrine energy boost .And in spite of what KevinBlackwell said about Paddy Kenny mistakenly took cough mixture he is lying it got banned because it causes heart and stroke attacks and when he said it is not a enhancer hi nearly choked . When this drug first came to my notice two Leeds RUGBY LEAGUE players were caught kieth senior and ryan baily both said they had colds and got fined and warned to me and you let off.The next time it was danny caddamateri ex everton he got 6 months ban the third time it was my wife’s nephew and is amateur rugby team they were rubbish 6 heavy defeats until a chance meeting with a prem medical physiotherapist he laid a wood floor and in return he gave him 1000 energy tablets called PURE Ephedrine is team wet on to get two promotions and finished second last year the team he got the tablets from were in the top four thats the shocking truth .Because hi no what to look for hi new we would struggle to cope with utd energy .These are what to look for red faces and down the neck chasing the ball like scholes and lastly the massive weight loss in the face like fletcher ill looking thats what beat spu and failed a drugs test now that to me is a enhancer .So if you se a team with player over thirty running the legs of players a lot younger stop and think is he fit or cheating .

SORRY ABOUT. my rant at the bottom what i meant to say was kennys saves helped sheffield to the play off finals that stopped preston going to wembley no wonder kevin blackwell came out in his defence saying it dident help him .I no its an enhancer 100 percent

Modric is at fault LOL

I blame Harry… obviously Keane was not working out on the left… why not have Gio on the bench just in case? Why not shift Lennon to the left (away from Evra) and bring in Bentley on the right? All we would need from Bentley is the long ball placed perfectly on Crouch’s head… no need to drive in. With 1 man down, that would have pulled Evra out from near the box and created some gaps for us to attack. Why bring in Kranjcar against United? He’s pretty much only had one training session with the squad.

But I have to give it to Fergie and United… they played really well! They were even better when Berba was off the pitch. That was a delight to see. Let’s not dwell on the loss. Let’s build on the positives instead and mentally be prepared for an even tougher match next week.


I really do not understand Harry. Dos Santos should and must be given a chance!!!!!! Robbie Keane was making a big fool of himself on the left of the wing against MU. And Dos Santos was not even on the bench. We need at least one other exciting player, other than Lennon, on the pitch. Used to be Modric but he is now injured. As such, Dos Santos must be given the chance to impress.

Hutton cant even pass the ball well. He is a tall lad, but he falls easily and he didnt even cover his own left back position.

Harry should consider Gio on the left and not Keane. Keane on the left? doesnt work at all. I hate it when during counter attack, when the ball gets to him, he is too slow to pass it upfront, and yet he brings it to far left and put on a show near the crowd with his not so impressed ball dribblings.

Hope Harry will do something on the trip to Stamford Bridge. COYS.

look we lost to the winners of the premier league, get over it, what do you expect when huddlestone hides on the pitch, jenas comes on , has a great 5 mins then does his usual and dissapears, and then we have a defender who lets people walk past him, and that person is hutton, who was absolutely useless, these three players were total liabilities, and not good enough to play for spurs, they kept saying weve only got ten men, well i thought we only had 8 men against their ten, dont worry though harry will have seen this, and will remedy it, and get rid of these players in jan.
chelsea will feel the backlash of our defeat, i dont think theyre as good as utd ,no way.

davspurs youre right, they werent even tired after the match, and definetely a few red faces to go with their shirts, the news will reveal it one day, when football players will suffer for taking these enhancing drugs.

I want to say: 1. I thought the ref had a fair game. 2. We lost because, despite our early goal, we really weren’t up for it. That’s sad. 3. Our worst spell came when United went down to 10 men. 4. Hutton is a sorry excuse for a human being. I’ve heard others say this and now I’ve been converted. 5. We clearly missed Luka Modric. 6. Crouch gets blown up because he always uses an arm to hold his opponent down when jumping. 7. It might all have been very different if Crouch had scored instead of hitting the crossbar. That’s all.

Cobra i don’t no if your taking the piss but if a goaly is caught taking this heart attack drug then there’s your answer. And stoney yes my grammar is not up to scratch and don’t fucking insult my intelligence iam not against anybody like yourselve stoney having a spliff or sniffing head wrecking charlie but when a team takes energy drugs to win against my team then hi care .If my statement is wrong then why is mister Ferguson objecting to the new drug laws that should already be implemented .These new laws would stop fans like me having to make excuses every time we get beat it would have meant 30 top players would have to tell 5 times a year instead of random some players don’t get tested this is the same tests that athletes have to do.Sol Campbell also voiced is objections and said footballers are a special case and he is right they get away with it .This would stop players like UTD captain running away from testers maybe that’s why Fergie objects . One last thought chelsea new manager one of is players is serving a 2 year ban for taking the latest steroid no bulk but all the power that year for the first time ACMilan finished outside the champions league spot there treatment room was called the laboratory so expect chelsea to run a lot and like malouda and Head case Droga .The only tactics Harry needs to in ploy is help these new laws get implemented and then ma by the top cartel will be broken and teams that are rubbish will be relegated and me and stoney can be proper fans talking tactics and not energy cheats like DAVSPURS ME NO WAY

All the people banging on about Gio, he was playing for Mexico last week so will of been knackered… If Harry had the option he would of rested Palacious as well. Expect to see Gio play a part against chelscum tho.

I’m very surprised we are not being more harsh with Keane. He was useless and is blatantly not cut out for that position. What with Gio being knackered I would’ve put Krancjar straight into the fold – alright he hasn’t trained with the rest much as yet but he knows the premier league and knows man u and can actually play in that position. What Keane is good at is dropping into space behind and that is exactly what we needed. Harry should’ve played him in that position instead of Crouch or dropped him.

As for moaning about Berbatov’s dive I despise the way he left as much as the next fan, but you just can’t go lunging in from behind on the edge of the area, ok it was to the sort of from the side but we would have been in uproar if the same happened at the other end. I was in no way surprised to see it given and in no way surprised that it resulted in a goal.

It was plain to see that we have a problem defensively at right back. Charlie is good defensively but his pace is laughable (soemone should tell him to take bigger steps when running) and Hutton is great at going forward but was caught out several times in half hour defensively.

On a good note to finish BAE looked awesome from where I was sat.

Have to agree with the match report. MU – unfortunately – found their best form and we couldn’t live with it. The ref let them make a mug of him – what else is new? – but we were outclassed, simple as that

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