Monday, December 03, 2007

Lost for words

Well what can I say? I really do feel that yesterday's result was my lowest point yet as a Spurs fan. Now that might sound melodramatic, but after our dodgy start to the season I thought we'd turned the corner. On a six match unbeaten run, and then facing a struggling side at home - surely it was going to be straight-forward? I just can't believe we were beaten at White Hart Lane by Birmingham (and Phil Dowd).

So what went wrong? As far as I'm concerned there were three contributing factors to yesterday's debacle. Firstly, what was Ramos playing at starting with an unconventional 4-3-3 formation (and with attacking midfielders at that)? I thought this was just cocky and unnecessary. It's not like he was forced into it because of injuries (we've plenty of midfielders fit, it's in defence we're struggling). I criticised McClaren (remember him?) a fortnight ago for starting with such a negative 4-5-1 formation at home to Croatia (and how right I was). Now Ramos has done the opposite and not shown our opponents enough respect. If I was McLeish, as soon as I'd heard the Spurs line-up I'd have gone into the dressing room and wound up the Birmingham players with the news.

It wasn't just Ramos though. Once again we witnessed ropey defending that consisted off reckless lunges, not playing to the whistle, giving the ball away in our third, and so on and so forth. Why was Dawson one of the best defenders in the league last season and now suddenly one of the weakest? Why persist in playing Kaboul when he is so out of form and so error prone? Yes we might have injuries, but we've got plenty of youngsters chomping at the bit for a taste of first team action. Can they really be any worse than Kaboul?

And the third factor in yesterday's slump was obviously the man in black. I would call him a referee but he's not deserving of the title. Sending off Keane ruined the game. I am certain we would have gone on to win if he hadn't been dismissed. And as for the tackle - in my opinion it was a strong, but fair challenge. Keane won the ball, although the follow through, which was unavoidable, did look a little nasty. I would have thought a booking was harsh, but sending him off was ridiculous. And as for today's comments that Dowd wasn't taking instruction from the fourth official, I'm not convinced having seen the incident played back on TV. It struck me that Dowd was asking a question into his microphone, and even when he said "red" I thought it was a "red?" not a "red!" Anyway, fingers crossed that the sending off is rescinded this week.

Anyway, writing this is making me angry, even though it's more than 24 hours since the fiasco. I'm going for a lie down...

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