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Fulham 0-0 Spurs: Tottenham’s Going To Do It Again

Well I would have settled for a draw beforehand – that it was such a memorable, high-octane, pulsating spectacle of a game was a bonus. As against Bolton in the last round, the AANP view is that our opponents have blown their best chance of victory by failing to beat us on their own patch. Back at the Lane and under the floodlights I fancy us to come out on top, injuries permitting. Fulham at home and Pompey at Wembley in order to make the FA Cup Final? Now there’s a thought…

A Good Day For Bullies

It’s not big and it’s not clever, but it appears that sometimes bullies finish first. Sergeant Wilson refused to let anyone have their way, and spent his 90 minutes ruining things for any Fulham player who came near him; while for the other lot, Bobby Zamora made himself a complete pain from start to finish. The well-behaved kids, like Modders, didn’t stand a chance. Too nice by half, our Luka was given the opportunity to boss things from central midfield, but again gave reason to conclude that he is best deployed as a left midfielder, drifting infield and linking with an overlapping full-back.

A Nagging Worry

There remains a nagging frustration here at AANP Towers that the central midfield berth remains an area for improvement generally. I humbly suggest that Hudd needs to offer more than just his passing-range; and less humbly decree Jenas a lost cause; while as we saw yesterday Modders does not appear to have the requisite muscle and feistiness for the role. Until the end of the season we will have to plough on with the resources we have, but come the summer I fervently hope that we beg, steal or borrow a top-notch, attack-minded central midfielder. Admittedly there are precious few of them out there, and ‘Arry will probably just persist with Hudd, but to become a Champions League-standard team we need a midfielder who can run the show.

Bale’s Midfield Adventure

Back to yesterday’s game, about which many a sage has ventured that a draw seemed about right. Our heroes started fairly well, but by golly the Fulham defence was well-organised, and within about fifteen minutes I had already started mentally clearing the diary for the replay date. The game became a little more stretched in the second half, with Fulham hitting upon the novel idea of trying to win the thing, and Gomes was called upon to go leaping around once or twice, but the closest thing to a goal was probably Corluka’s coronary-inducing slashed clearance in the dying embers of the game, which drifted horrifyingly close to his own net.

As ever, all that was best from our lot came from the ever-wondrous size nines of Gareth Bale. Worries that his creative juices might be sapped by his new midfield role proved fairly unfounded, as he increasingly became our default attack option – the only man capable of getting behind the Fulham defence, frequently drawing two opponents towards him and occasionally also haring infield. I’m not sure too many women want him, or too many men want to be him, but I have a healthy dose of man-love for the guy, and sincerely hope that his every whim is indulged by those in authority at the Lane, to ensure he remains in lilywhite for years to come. Every now and then I allow myself to drift off and imagine how ruddy unstoppable we might be with Bale pelting down one flank and a fit-again Aaron Lennon on the other…

Elsewhere On The Pitch

Less impressive were our two full-backs. Assou-Ekotto was a little too casual at times, while not for the first time Corluka’s distribution was rather wayward. Bassong however probably deserves a nod of approval, for sticking manfully to his Zamora-containment duties throughout, a blinking hard task by the look of it.

The Crouch-Pav pairing did not really have me slapping my thigh and ordering champagne. There was huffing and puffing a-plenty up-front, but not too many clear-cut chances amidst the suffocating line of Fulham defenders.

So a replay it will be. We may yet rue failure to capitalise upon the absence of Danny Murphy in the Fulham ranks, and there is also the very ominous possibility that injury or suspension might deplete our midfield further; but as things stand we are jolly well-placed to reach the FA Cup Final.

AANP’s first book, Spurs’ Cult Heroes, is now available in the Spurs shop, all good bookshops and online (at Tottenhamhotspur.com, as well as WHSmith, Amazon , Tesco, Waterstones and Play).

All are most welcome to leave memories – and browse those of others – regarding the players featured in Spurs’ Cult Heroes: Danny Blanchflower here, Dave Mackay here, Cliff Jones here, Martin Chivers here, Alan Gilzean here, Pat Jennings here, Cyril Knowles here, Steve Perryman here, Glenn Hoddle here, Chris Waddle here, Ossie and Ricky here, Gary Mabbutt here, Graham Roberts here, Jimmy Greaves here, Clive Allen here, Jürgen Klinsmann here, David Ginola here, Paul Gascoigne here. Also featured in the book are Sandy Brown and the late, great Bill Nicholson.

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8 Responses

  1. spud Says:

    I wanna be Bale regardless of the monkey’s head and what not!

    Still think he’s more effective from full back as it’s impossible to mark him let alone double mark him as Fulham did. I find my mind often wondering how deadly our flanks will be with both the Baler and Azza…MMMmmmmm.

    The draw has us against Pompey at Wembley which is probably the most favourable however we need to turn over Fulham at the Lane. I’m quietly confident as their away form is poo and they have a beast of fixture list in the run up.

  2. Mauriccio Tarrico Says:

    The semi-final draw couldnt be more favorable – we MUST beat Fulham at the Lane!!!!!!!!!

  3. Shelf side yid Says:

    Also well done to the fulham at the end of the match who unknowingly played the Andy Williams classic,your just to good to be true in a homage to our hero Heurelho Gomes,which in turn started the away end off singing the Gomes chant! absolute classic COYS

  4. Spang Says:

    Have to stick up for BAE and Corluka again – don’t remember Fulham getting round the back of them at all. BAE should hoof it clear a bit more often perhaps, if just to decrease the number of heart attacks suffered by supporters. He’s still the default choice to play it out of defence though.

    Like Lennon, Bale shouldn’t get depressed that he’s going to be marked out of the game. When they put 2/3 defenders on him, that means someone’s not on Defoe, Modric, etc. For the team.

  5. spud Says:

    Spang

    Agree that Benny and Charlie didn’t do a lot wrong defensively however they were not challenged that much offensively with Duff and Davies neither offering the pace or directness to worry them.

    I think the main issue was with poor distribution throughout the game. Charlie was especially from crosses and should have been delivering better balls into the box with two big men to aim for.

    Bale was often isolated with Bennys reluctance to push further forward which I think hindered our game down that left side.

  6. elwehbi@ibleedhotspur Says:

    Palacios and Gomes were by far the best players on the pitch. A touch of class to the both of them.

    As far a as a replay goes, I’ll take it. Winning at the Cottage is never an easy feat.

    COYS!

  7. SpursLA Says:

    Never thought I’d hear we’re afraid of Murphy for christ’s sake.Even without any of the injured guys returning with Defoe starting as the only change we’ll do the job

  8. budoushi Says:

    Still think he’s more effective from full back as it’s impossible to mark him let alone double mark him as Fulham did. I find my mind often wondering how deadly our flanks will be with both the Baler and Azza…MMMmmmmm.

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