I cannot recall a time when I have watched us spend so much time on the floor writhing in agony.
Admittedly since the word got out one or two of our lot were quite good at playing football, the fouls have been flying in thick and fast. But today’s game was a masterclass in wincing and clutching that even left Drogba looking on in awe.
Once the territory of ‘foreigners’ on the telly, then the domestic domain of Chelsea and Manchester United it seems to be a Top 4 affectation. And so if that’s the case, Spurs are good at impressions.
Hutton went down easier than a Leith brass. Defoe got a free kick when it was he who backed into a Chelsea player who was barely aware of him until the whistle went. And Sarge made a three course meal of a challenge late in the game that went on for so long that Arry just threw Sandro on in order that we could resume playing 11 vs 11.
One of the things that has always left me cold about players like Nani, Anderson, Drogba & Co was the ham acting. The aim, for anyone joining us late, is not simply to break up play, but to put into the referee’s feeble mind that there is pattern of ungentlemanly conduct emerging. It’s an element of ‘gamesmanship’ I’d be happy to see us distance ourselves from.
The Tottinghams came out flying and the opening half hour was exhausting just to watch. Come the second half, the tempo ebbed and Ancelotti unsurprisingly threw into the mix the two players that have been most noticeable by their absence.
We were missing Van derVaart’s intelligence and the inclusion of 3MP for the burnt out Pav pretty much heralded the end of the entertaining football. A stream of balls walloped up on to his head took us from being in possession to wrestling 50/50 balls.
In the final analysis it was difficult to work out if Spurs were lucky to get a point or if the luck had been with Chelsea. Spurs are almost there. But it does look a little bit like an impression at the moment.
Gomes? As Arry once remarked, ‘people want goalkeepers who don’t make mistakes. Unfortunately, they don’t exist.’