Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A repeat of last season's defining moment beckons

Despite still being in shock following Saturday's great result at Pompey, we followed up with the greatest performance of the season so far to ensure three straight wins. Not only that, but Spurs' result at Manchester City last night ended their 100% home record and it was achieved by playing with ten men for 70 minutes of the Carling Cup quarter final tie.

I was delighted to see Defoe start and for him to score early on was terrific. His night was then ruined following Steve Bennett's dodgy decision to send off Zokora. Personally I don't think it warranted a red card, and if it did then how did Malbranque manage to stay on the pitch? I may not be a huge fan of referees, but even their most ardent supporters have to admit that the lack of consistency between referees (and by a single referee during one match let alone a season) is so inconsistent that it can often spoil the Beautiful Game.

I hope Defoe will get over his disappointment. The fact is though that he "took one for the team" - he scored a critical goal and was then sacrificed for the greater good. And now we're in the semis for the second successive season. I can't help but feel that we'll end up drawing ARSEnal again, with Liverpool and Everton in the other.

If Spurs are pitted against the Nomads there will be a sense of irony/coincidence/poetry in the air. From my perspective, I think it was the first leg of last season's tie - when we went from 2-0 up to finish rather fortunately at 2-2 - that many fans began to question BMJ. I remained a huge supporter of his, but I'd still admit that that game in particular was perhaps the turning point for him. And now, Ramos' first real test in a big game for Spurs (other than Saturday's visit to the Emirates) will be in a two-legged Carling Cup semi-final.

Although losing Zokora through suspension will be a massive blow, it was a job well done in Manchester last night. We're one step closer to Wembley and more importantly, Ramos is beginning to prove that he's the real deal. It's been a long time since we've boasted that our manager is a tactical genius, but other than his mistake with the game-plan for the Birmingham match, Ramos has once again proved his tactical know-how.

Two consecutive away wins, two consecutive cleans sheets - what else could we ask for ahead of Saturday's North London derby?

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