Monday, November 06, 2006

Not "So Easy" Now

What a day. Spurs beat Chelsea, the Gooners lost to West Ham and plenty of fireworks were seen, both actual and metaphorical. Spurs didn’t just beat Chelsea though, they smashed them. By the end of the game Chelsea were a mess, down to ten men, substitutes being substituted, players woefully out of position and Spurs carving them wide open. It was beautiful to watch, if rather nerve-wracking, and if you weren’t there, I’m afraid you missed a treat.

Chelsea are very dislikeable these days, more so than ever because of their new found arrogance and disdain for the opposition. Even before the kick off they displayed their lack of class by making Spurs change ends and attack the Paxton rather than the Park Lane like we always do. A small thing but typical of Chelsea. The less subtle referee goading, not retreating for free kicks, diving, dirty little fouls and abuse of opposition players are also nasty traits of theirs, as well as Mourinho’s constant moaning and “mind games” of course.

John Terry’s sending off yesterday was for two bookable offences and on the replays it was difficult to see exactly what the second one was for, but if you look at Ledley King’s reaction to what Terry said to him, and the subsequent melee involving Chimbonda, Zokora and BAE its obvious it was down to what he said rather than what he did. Ledley isn’t someone that would hurt a fly normally, so for him to have to be restrained by Robinson meant that it was something very upsetting. The reactions of Drogba and Essien also suggested they were trying to restrain the Spurs players rather than get involved in a fight, and Wright-Philips’ attempt to remove Terry from the scene and the complete acceptance of the card by Terry suggests that it was bad, and everyone knew it, Spurs and Chelsea alike.

The chant that then came out of the Park Lane of “That’s why you’re w*nkers!” summed them up perfectly. The Spurs fans were on form all day, telling Lampard he had let his country down as well as telling Mourinho where his place was, both politely are rather more fragrantly. The fact that we were all so chipper stemmed from the excellent Spurs performance after Michael Dawson’s equaliser. Prior to that it looked like it was going to follow the usual Spurs-Chelsea game pattern, but once Daws grabbed the goal, a lovely header from an excellent Jenas free kick, Spurs were a different team, full of confidence.

Jol’s formation change mid way through the first half worked a treat, and full credit must go to him for having the balls the change his tactics so dramatically. The 4-5-1 or 4-3-3 depending on how you class Keane and Lennon’s roles worked well, matching Chelsea’s midfield as well as putting our two best dribblers against their full backs. Ferrera was booked and withdrawn for Bouhlerouz who was then given an absolute roasting by Keane and subbed after only being on the field for 20 minutes. It was the Keane-Lennon combo that combined for the winner, and it was great skill from Keane to roast the full back (twice) then cross for Lennon, whose first touch took him away from Cole, and with his second steered the ball into the net. Cue the Lane going into raptures.

The rest of the game then involved Spurs soaking up the pressure and trying to counter attack, which is how BMJ likes it for some reason, but yesterday it worked and bar Robben’s shot that hit the post, it was always going to be Spurs that took the spoils and ended the curse of 19 years. Great stuff and long may it continue.

The Waddler.