What a wonderful afternoon of cup action on Sunday. Fluid sexy movement, push and run football from the visitors and gallant efforts from the lower tier hosts who battled bravely to defend their pride against the hot-shots from North London. It was a majestic occasion.
That's basically how I hoped this match report would start in an ideal post-game world, however what we got instead was abject hoofing, fragmented selection and quite possibly Tottenham's most below par performance of the season. Seriously, 0-0? You sure? Credit to Stevenage, but that was poor. This wasn't Spurs, it was bizarro Spurs trying to out-crap the previous cup game away day at Watford. It's like we're trying to be the anti-cup side this season and do as little as possible as we muddle through each round just to prove how nonchalantly we can be and still win in the end. Although the win is on ice until the replay. Compounding matters further was the ITV coverage that included in-game interviews. Pleasantly surprised they hadn't booked in Haye and Chisora to make an appearance to spice things up a little.
I could have written up a match report citing said hoofing of the ball and the general lack of botheredness and focus along with our initial formation (and the eventual shift to 442) and questioned why we took such an apparent risk in not playing a strong cohesive side. Be thankful I'm not going to make you re-live the match in blog format.
We've since been told one or two of our players are 'injured' and not match fit. Hence the selection. But in all honesty, the team we did field should have been more than capable of dismantling the hosts. If we want this FA Cup (Bolton at home once Stevenage are dispatched in the reply) we need to start treating the competition like it matters. But then what do I know. I'm a fan with an internet connection and Harry Redknapp is the one being touted as the next boss of England. Damage limitation on a dodgy pitch away from home, job done is probably the reasoning (excuse). Second half was better than the first, if only for the apparent discovery of shape the team managed to embrace.
The only positive I can draw from this experience is the fact that you can still count on one hand (a finger or two) how many below par performances we've had this season. And still not lost (I'm ignoring the pre-Parker defeats, they don't form part of our new history).
If (I'd state when but I've already cited dispatched, and trying to avoid a karma jinx) we get past Stevenage and play a stronger side at home to Bolton...we'll be in with a chance of making the semi-final.
Might as well book that open bus for the parade.
Hold up, you mean if we beat Stevenage then Bolton we have to play a semi-final? Can't we skip that altogether? No?
Oh well. The dream is already practically over then.