Panathinaikos 1-1 Tottenham
Highlight of the match was half-time when I cooked a rather delightful fry-up consisting of bacon, sausages, two fried eggs and some fresh buttered bread (not toasted) to soak up the golden yolk. The mug of tea (Yorkshire Hard Water) another bright moment in what was a completely satisfying feast. Unlike, unfortunately, the football that slept either side of the fifteen minutes it took me to serve up.
A half-empty stadium with no atmosphere and our hosts looking rather limp and ineffectual, whilst we bossed it without really trying too hard for forty-five minutes only to then mimic the Greek side by not really bothering to do much more in the second. Which meant it didn't take much for them to hold onto the hope of an equaliser, which came by way of a pass deserving of one. The high-line, Dawson looking lethargic, all the defenders looking lethargic. Sigh. It was generally a performance of much ado about nothing and thank **** we didn't end up with nothing. Honestly, I was begging for the ref to blow the whistle towards the end because I thought they might end up nicking it in injury time. That's insane considering how easy things looked early on. Daws did score though. That's the script the tabloid hacks dreamt about last night.
Sure, we should have had a penalty, once again we were sort of robbed but still, that's too apologetic a reason to accept as for the disappointment. Effort gentlemen please. Bit of emotion? Passion? Even some arrogance would have been acceptable. If Andre Villas-Boas is taking this competition seriously and if the players and side being selected is pwoper norty in terms of bullish strength, why so lacklustre? International break after the Villa game, right? I'm left scratching my head.
Far too many below average performances, a few cameos and plenty of homework for VB to chuck at his Powerpoint presentation for the flight home. Careless possession too. Walker remains lost positionally, Dawson - love him, but just because I want to slap his back and hug the big lad doesn't mean he's good enough for our team. Nice gesture to give him the captains armband but on this evidence you can understand why QPR was a viable option for him during the summer. I'm trying to be gentle here.
Huddlestone looked like he cloned himself pre-match then ate his clone and decided to run around without burping first. Yet still he manages to produce the odd sweetly hit volley or pass. Damn you Tommy, if only you were born in the body of Zidane. Lloris played. So bored he was, he even let the ball slip out of his hands just so he had something to do in the first half, correcting his mistake.
We should have just steam-rolled them. We should have come out for the second half and steam-rolled them. Judging by our coach on the touchline seeking players to push up more, we lacked urgency and lacked common sense. Really need to want it more Spurs. I guess perhaps that was the crux of it. Should of steam-rolled them but instead, slowed down in body, the soul and spirit. We could have done with a Shamrock or two on our shirt.
It's still tricky to be too critical of the selection. Had VB selected a less 'first team' heavy side would the players in the side been more enthused and prepared to impress enough to claim the win with comfort? Won't ever know. Redknapp played youth and we got nowhere because everyone at the club wasn't that bothered about it. Seems we need to be trying that little bit harder. Too many players with their mind on the Prem? Probably.
Andre citing 'heat and tiredness' post-match. I think he's being too kind. But all part of the learning curve I guess. This wasn't quite a wet and windy midweek away day at Carlisle. But at least he's honest and upfront about it all. You get the feeling he's noting everything down and that mistakes made are going to be processed on the training pitch, rather than being tagged with a 'one of those days innit' label.
Another point gained but we'll have to do better at home in the next Europa League game by actually winning otherwise dreams of Amsterdam will go down faster than a sassy brunette in a kamer. Maribor double header up next.
No injuries either. I guess bundles of energy stored up now for Villa at the weekend. So, no excuses right?
AVB resignation on hold until then.