So there I was. Popcorn. Cold beer. Hooker on speed dial for half-time. Remote control sat beside me on the sofa so that I could avoid the half-time tactical punditry from the ITV team. In hindsight, I wish I had avoided the forty five minutes either side of the interval. Monumental let-down, but then again, I was naïve to think that Chelsea would allow Barca to run rampantly all over them. Would be suicidal to go there and attempt to out play the Catalans. Hiddink was wise to have his team play defensively deep and man mark players. I only noticed Lampard when he found himself sitting on the bench. Chelsea’s tactic was too soak up the pressure, nullify Messi, Henry and Eto’o and possibly, cheekily grab an away goal from a counter. It almost worked.
In the end, neither side found a way through. I was not only bored and despondent that I had not seen a masterclass of epic Champions League football, I also found myself screaming obscenities at the tv everytime the ball went near Drogba as I preferred to be in full vocal colourful flow when treated to the inevitable dive. Alves was no better. As for ITV, just how giddy are they when they host these live games? They drown in the hype of their own mediocre coverage. How ironic that their big night would end with no fireworks. The only person who scored was me and for that, I’d like to thank Louise from the agency for her prompt services and ample abilities.
As for my Barca fix, roll on El Classico.
Elsewhere, Harry has apologised for slating Darren Bent earlier this season when he told the world that his wife could have scored the chance Bent squandered. How we laughed. And cried. Bent has now scored 17 goals, which isn’t too shabby for a player that nobody rates. Unless you rate him? Bent has been the subject of discussion half a dozen times this season, and subjected to various ‘What does he do?’ articles on this here blog and practically every Spurs message board out there.
He isn’t a dynamic fox-in-the-box (Defoe) forward or a classical goal-poacher (Lineker) and arguably, he only plays well when Spurs are forced to play a certain type of style (usually, away from home, on the counter, long ball over the top for him to run onto). He struggles with movement and all-round play. But, he scores. He finds himself in the right place at the right time. But there’s no doubt that if Defoe was up there instead of him, Defoe would also score – but would also contribute a lot more than Bent. It’s all very subjective, and one Spurs fan would find himself disagreeing with the next one. For the time being, Bent deserves both our support and the managers. Cometh the summer, he will probably be someone else’s conundrum.
And finally, Howard Webb. Remember him? He’s been demoted, relegated and dismissed from the Premier League. For this weekend at least. The FA have punished him for his penalty cock-up by giving him to the Championship to officiate the crucial top of the table Reading v Birmingham game. That ought to teach him!