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Spurs 1-2 PAOK: Foul! Offside? Touchdown? Erm…

Well what a relief that that has been cleared up. Apparently the Defoe goal was disallowed because of a foul committed by Pavluychenko in the fixture played back in Greece in September. Or perhaps for a foul by Graham Roberts in our ’84 UEFA campaign. Or maybe it was Mackay back in ’61. Well, whatever the incident, it was definitely a foul. Or maybe offside. Or Leg Before Wicket.

Mind you, Defoe appeared almost to castrated the chap, so it would have been a bit much to have profited with a goal. Whatever the verdict, that second half was certainly more exciting than the usual Channel 5 fare from our lot, and not too many tears will be shed in this neck of the woods if our Europa campaign coughs politely and sidles off the premises in the coming weeks.

The First Half – Only Marginally Better Than Having A Foot Chopped Off

After the remarkable juggernaut of unstoppableness produced by our lot in recent weeks, our Europa lilywhites came over all misty-eyed and nostalgic, and sweetly reverted to the days of Gerry Francis and Christian Gross. Adopting a formation of sixes and sevens, the back-line in particular displayed quite spectacular ineptitude in that opening 45, viewed at AANP Towers with all the morbid fascination of that scene in the first Saw film when the chap looks at the saw, looks at his foot, looks at the saw, looks back at his foot, and finally decides that if David Beckham can carve out a career as an international superstar with just the one foot then it might be worth the risk.

Ah, that wretched first half. Bassong looked every inch a defender soon to be sold to QPR. Corluka looked every inch a footballer whose pained lumbering is no quicker than the steps of an inebriated rabbit. Rose looked every inch a promising schoolboy decathlete shoved onto a football pitch and told to be a left-back. Pienaar looked every inch the runt of the Predator pack, banished to earth by the cooler Predators on account of his heavy-legged first touch.

On the bright side, Defoe and Modders tore about like a pair of dogs on heat in that first half, while Livermore also earned an approving nod, with that Sandro-esque combo of technique and energy.

Second Half – An Improvement Of Sorts

In the second half, our wily old fox of a manager deduced that the best way to avoid further embarrassment would be at all costs to avoid letting the ball go anywhere near the defence. Thus we spent the entire 45 camped around the Greek area, which at least spared Gallas, Bassong et al any further Chuckle Brothers moments. Alas, PAOK reasonably enough stuck all ten of their remaining men in a neat formation around their own penalty spot, and just about every one of them cleared off the line at some point.

Defeat is never much fun, and the use of 90 minutes’ worth of Modders, Defoe and Lennon is regrettable – but if we make the Top Four this season, an early Europa exit will hardly be lamented.

8 Responses

  1. Ashley J. Collie Says:

    Great report, very funny. Blessing in disguise going out? Let’s call it that. And, let’s blame it on PAOK for using those high energy/high tempo substances (their fans sure were on something as they sounded like Gerard Butler and his lads in 300). And let’s move on to Saturday!

  2. Paul Says:

    When I saw the defence I got a very uneasy feeling esp with the clown in goal, mistakes could never be far away. Both goals were absolute shockers and replays should be played to the guilty parties to remind them of why they will be moved out a seasons end. Lets hope our first choice defence can avoid injuries for the rest of the league campaign. COYS

  3. qwert Says:

    SPURS TO WIN THE LEAGUE AND THE FA CUP.

    TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR – PREMIER LEAGUE WINNERS 2011/12

    TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR – FA CUP WINNERS 2011/12

  4. ped Says:

    oh dear!!
    back to the bad old days of last season.
    by the way are we trying to turn into the arse???
    how’s about trying to teach our strikers to shoot for that big white rectangular thing with a net on it instead of walking the ball into the thing!!!

  5. abe Says:

    And poor young Kane, totally out of his depth. Like the like of falque though

  6. . Says:

    We could have done with a Graham Roberts Rocket goal last night. Fannyin’ around with tiki-taka for half an hour, Corluka seemingly playing left wing-back, William Gallas as a false-nine and Seb Bassong playing as trequartista.

    Roberts would have just leathered it in from 40 yards.

    Blame Pav.

  7. . Says:

    And The Nobel Prize For Self Awareness goes to Jim Rosenthal.

    During the half-time analysis Rosenthal questioned the role of the goal-line officials:

    “We’d all love a job like that, travel around europe first class, seeing the action up close, and doing next to nothing…”

  8. Shannon Says:

    But seriously, we never seemed to be quite sure whether we wanted to be in this competition or not, or whether we even wanted to win it. A sort of “we’ll take it if it’s easy but don’t ask us to actually be bothered” attitude. And you never, never win anything without the commitment of wanting to win it. We got what we deserved, not just from the match but from the entire campaign. I hope lessons have been learnt and I’m fervently hoping there’s no hangover in the league. Also, I know our Euro sponsors, Investec, were keen for us to be in the competition. They might not be too pleased.

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