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Could be worse. £13.90 for fish 'n chips

Maribor 1 Tottenham 1

Turns out it wasn't a must win game. Just a standard stutter our way through and gain a point type of game. Unbeaten in Europe and thanks to Lazio conceding a late goal, the group remains wide open. I don't have the energy or the inclination to read enough into our current performances in the Europa League as some form of progression gauge. We just don't have it going on in this comp currently. That sense of being underwhelmed plays heavy on the mind for most. I guess it's reflective from supporters to players.

Our 'lads' (official Tottenham Hotspur label for the players) don't look comfortable. The system has no identifiable swag and for the most part it's all untidy and complacent. Off the pace. I guess I should stop expecting the world and settle for a very small comet instead. A meteor. A hailstone. A melting snowflake. Okay, fine, a sweat bead from a flea.

Even though our line-up retains strength and experience on paper, a healthy mix allowing for key players (and some of the old men) to rest, not much happens out there.

Sure, we could have so easily beaten Lazio. And away in Athens, had we held on. But we drew both and we drew this one simply because we can't muster up enough urgency to boss the game. No disrespect to Maribor but I'm sure they really gave it a go. We just turned up, set ourselves to autopilot and came out the other end with enough shots over the bar to win us twenty rugby world cups.

But it's just a game. Best for me to remember it's also just the group stages. The two home games now are the ones that will define if the players truly want to see their way through to the knock-out stage. Hopefully we'll have players back for selection that we're unavailable this evening meaning a little more of that much required shape in the middle. Still no necessity to go full FULL strength, but something that little bit more direct and creative is desirable.

The only shape we had was Tommy Huddlestone that casted a shadow that resembled the titanic strapped onto the back of a ketmaine induced Godzilla. The only difference being that Godzilla would turn over in his sleep faster than Hudd moves. Easy there, it's just banter. Huddlestone is nowhere near being head fit let alone match fit. His defending for the goal conceded was akin to me forgetting to ask for chilli sauce on my kebab and turning back towards the counter to ask for some. No rush, it's going to happen no matter how slow I move.

Bang! 1-0. Bang! Chilli sauce over my doner.

Is it worth talking tactics? I'd love to know what Villas-Boas is telling the players in prep for these games and then before and at half time in the dressing room. I know there's no conspiracy (i.e. AVB not really that bothered with this competition) and it's also obvious that VB is aware of quality of opposition and is confident the players selected can 'do a job'. Have we ever really been in a position where we feared we would lose? Don't answer that.

As cited, Lazio could so easily have been three points and that performance was very controlled. But the two games after that have been lacklustre - or have they been calculated? Are the games just a lot more tricky than we perceive them from our lofty position of instant hindsight? By calculated what I'm referring to is, explicit instructions not to perhaps over exert ourselves (any less exertion and we'd be asleep - players and fans). Just that the execution is clumsy and without any sustained intent.

No argument, you could pull apart one or two performances from the games. Players isolated, ineffectual. Fluidity and passing erratic. Is it worth doing that? Are these games in isolation to the domestic bread and butter of the league? Are these perhaps missed opportunities by some to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and stand out from the rest? What am I doing? I'm trying to rationalise again when in the most simplistic terms the game can be summed up with:

Didn't play with enough conviction to boss midfield and game and failed to create enough chances to win. Poor first half. Better second half. Never in danger of losing but could have lost and never in danger of winning.

Nice movement for our equaliser. Nice until the scramble splat itself all over the penalty area for Sigurdsson to score. Not quite as comical as that first goal the home side gleefully accepted.

Sandro and Falque played well (I'm using the barometer here that I remember them more than any other players on the pitch, thus, they must have been quite involved). As for Maribor, they do love their dramatics. Ref more bothered with Naughton daring to fall after being fouled in the penalty area. Their home support more alter boys than ultras.

In conclusion, it's like having a beautiful woman in your bed only for her to ruin the moment by wearing red lingerie. You fancy her but you know your performance wouldn't be up to scratch. Red is simply not sexy on a woman, it's a massive turn off. Should always be black lingerie. Or something. That's all I've got people. Good night.

Reader Comments (38)

It's games like this that show the difference between good players and top players. Anyone think if we had a Van Persie, Aguero, etc we would have been so shockingly blunt?

Shame about Ade - hope his injury isn't one of those 'oh youre not playing me in the league, oh yeah my back hurts for this Europa league game' things.

Oct 25, 2012 at 10:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterMrSpang

Yeah. That's the gist of it. Surprised you could be bothered. Where you found the inspiration for that wonderful title, though, I'll never know

Oct 25, 2012 at 10:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterrosie47

Now i know how Billy Murray feels........not quite as frustrating as lets say his 4th morning waking up but i really am wondering when this feeling of Groundhog is gonna break....night spooky....SHIT.......just dropped the chilli on the ground from my Doner.

Oct 25, 2012 at 10:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterIrishSpur

Fair play to Defoe who put a real shift in..but worries me that he gave one hundred per cent physically for very little impact on the game... Great to see superjan not being afraid to carry ball. Also fair play to falque...tried hard Hudd would have been great in the eighties....not now..mobility sucha large part of game nowadays Win the return and the world will be brighter

Oct 25, 2012 at 10:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterColsey

Fucking hell so u middle class new age football fans finally realize that fatboy huddlestone has no place in todays game because its all about movement off the ball! Still, seems a bit quiet on these sites after fatboy being so blatantly shown up for not being good enough even as a squad player for a team that wants to be challenging for top four. There's a reason why stoke wanted him and not a better team, its real life not champ manager! And the same goes for Dawson as well.

Oct 25, 2012 at 11:07 PM | Unregistered Commenterhackneyid

That was a cheap shot at Hudd. I'd like to retract it.

Oct 25, 2012 at 11:17 PM | Registered Commenterspooky

hudd was really off the pace again. Shooting averagely,but with power, seems to be about all he has to offer us now. Forget sentiment, life goes on etc.

walker had me screaming at the tele again. He isn't a natural footballer imho. He's quick and occasionally shows glimpses of intelligence, but they are few and far between. Can't pass, doesn't beat his man and generally i preferred the brain of a player like corluka. He could unlock lennons pace and involvement in a game in a's embarrassing watch him run passed lennon in to brick walls.

Critique aside, love the spurs and am just knit picking. Need to get ade back in the team and hope bale is up for it next game

Oct 25, 2012 at 11:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterSPURSINCE82

I'm in agreement 'hackneyid' T Hudd has had his chances and he just can't hack it. What worries me is that AVB doesn't seem to be generating any vigor or urgency into this team. He has said he wants to win this competition, but I don't think the players are of the same mindset. That was a truly a fucking frustrating and boring game of football and Harry used to send a very similar performance like team out in the Europa, only he said he wasn't interested in the competition. I'm worried that AVB hasn't the knowhow he's been credited with, after all this team 'Maribor' were about the equivalent of 'Enfield Town' and he couldn't motivate the team to win the game. There was nothing akward about Maribor, they weren't good enough to trouble Tottenham, and Tottenham (had they been in the slightest bit interested) could and should have won 4-0 or 5-0, but they couldn't be bothered. Very worrying. Where's David Moyes.

Oct 25, 2012 at 11:41 PM | Unregistered Commentercookiebun

Bang on about walker as well but he's worth persisting with, he just needs to slow his game down at times and at the moment just stick to the basics, he keeps trying to show everyone he's a right sided Roberto Carlos and getting caught with his pants down defensively. Adebayor will make such a massive difference to the whole team when he starts starting games, defoe has done ok but really ain't good enough to be a main striker in a team that plays with width, still top man though and should get plenty of games over a season to keep him ticking over

Oct 25, 2012 at 11:49 PM | Unregistered Commenterhackneyid

Spooky - as always I agree with how it felt during the game.

But I think you are underplaying how many men we have missing. I can't remember such a long period with so many down - today 7 (I think) who Andre can't choose from. No wonder he is forced back on using Hudd.

Falque looks promising though ...

Oct 25, 2012 at 11:57 PM | Registered Commenterhunter

Yeah agree with ya cookiebun, my mate said the same thing but made another good point bout maybe a lot of the players from redknapp don't fancy the competition after hearing that wanker saying what he did about it being a worthless trophy even though it would of been his biggest achievement as a manager! That wound me up so much last season, yeah I've wanted moyes since before arry, that's the sort of game we would of won playing as shit as we did if we had moyes. Still I'm not blaming avb for nothing this season, levy is gonna be the focus for criticism coz he's the one who signed the players and didn't get the two players u can truly say avb probably wanted moutinho and willian. I was fuming we didn't get moyes but that again was levy goin for the cheap option just like dempsey to replace vdv

Oct 26, 2012 at 12:03 AM | Unregistered Commenterhackneyid

Even though I might fit the description "middle class new age football fan" I do agree that fatboy doesn't cut it.

What's wrong with red lingerie btw?

Oct 26, 2012 at 12:18 AM | Unregistered Commenternycyid

I would have settled for the UEFA cup this season and a top four finish. On reflection. I'll settle for the Milk, no, Littlewoods, er!!!!!!, Coca Cola, errrrrrrmmm, Worthington's, Carling, Oh the what ever cup. Good grief!

Oct 26, 2012 at 12:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterOne Terry Naylor

Oi, less of the fatboy if you don't mind...!

There was a lot of regulars missing tonight. Sandro was easily our best player. Defoe & Lennon both put in plenty of effort. Nice to see Lennon getting the captains armband.

Too many shots from miles away tonight. Far too much coming inside. Get to the byline and put a cross in. It ain't rocket science.

Oct 26, 2012 at 12:36 AM | Unregistered Commenterfatbloke

Yeah sorry no offence intended! I've got a little belly on me but still move quicker than huddlestone! Gotta feel sorry for white people fat people and ginger people these days, still unprotected from the pc brigade!

Oct 26, 2012 at 12:44 AM | Unregistered Commenterhackneyid

Have to say from tonight performance it can easily tell that we missed VDV to open there defence Rafa had that extra class. I was one big fan of Huds but that injury had took about 100 meters of his pace the man is slow then a double decker bus Spurs need to pull out some top class midfielder because there are lacking the cutting edge I iike demebele but we need a mountino type player. Can be said tht Mr Walker has lost his game the man is poor and we should have kept Charlie can't believe we lost some top players and brought average joes.

Oct 26, 2012 at 1:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterARFY_D

Lennon, Dempsey and Thudd shooting from 30 yards, nurse can I have another sedative please ?

Oct 26, 2012 at 1:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterRazspur

Honestly I can't understand why so many people rate that useless, slow-arsed donkey Corluka.
Was elated to see the back of that useless moper.

Oct 26, 2012 at 1:24 AM | Unregistered Commenternycyid

Don't like the derogatory comments about Hudd. At least he still has a decent pass in him, which is a bit more than some of the other players. I don't really think he was responsible for their goal. Their player came into the box at speed. The slightest touch and he would have gone down.

We had most of the possession yet couldn't break them down. They simply defended very well. Unlike us against Chelsea. We looked lethargic and at times uninterested. Defoe had a decent game, again, but he has no one to work with. He needs someone else up there with him to create some space for him and allow him to use his speed.

It was a game, that despite our possession, we never looked liked winning. I know certain players were injured etc. But this is a repeat of the end of last season,. when we bossed games and failed to score.

The only positives that I took from the game was that the younger players at least had a run. We didn't lose, but by and large it was not a performance that was memorable in any way, other than for its ineptness.

Oct 26, 2012 at 4:46 AM | Unregistered Commenterkingdom of sod

i think you have been to harsh on the hud.
imagine you not drinking for a year and then all of a sudden you have to drink week in week out with the lads. and they never stopped drinking every day.
that was hud on the peach the first half. he was shaking and not too confident holding the pint. but once he got couple of those he started taking them with confidence. give him some time. he will be back after couple of visits to the pub.

Oct 26, 2012 at 5:00 AM | Unregistered Commenternik

I agree that some of the derogatory remarks of Hudd is not very nice.
However, I am afraid that he is to slow and does not fit our New system.
When Parker comes back from injuri, I would lige to see him protecting our
back four, allowing either Sandro/Dembele to push forward.
Bring on Southampton....

Oct 26, 2012 at 5:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterAllan

kebab sauce, red lingerie... lol

Oct 26, 2012 at 5:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterFab

confuddled. Read a bit, and looked at some highlights - Walker's assist for Maribor's goal was quality, he stuck to his man like Araldite, give him time, he'll come good, one day, somewhere, even if it's within the close protection industry. Dawson? Apprantlly, Dawson got a migraine? I Googled this, turns out to be a female version of a headache. So I took some advice form a female that just happened to be at arms reach. She reckons that migraines ain't headaches, they're much worse: Flashing lights, temporary blindness, nausea and vomiting. This happens every time I leave Weatherspoons!

Has Micheal always been afflicted with this debilitating illness? Can't recall him having this problem previously... Ade's injury? Any clues!? Swollen ego!? Confuddled!

Oct 26, 2012 at 7:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterWisk Tom

Why pass the ball back? When you can loose possession instead.....

Oct 26, 2012 at 8:06 AM | Unregistered Commenterfillar

In my defence, the first Hudd comment was a reference to the scapegoating on Twitter. The second was partly self-depreciation of myself.

In a court of law, this argument would stand up.

Oct 26, 2012 at 8:42 AM | Registered Commenterspooky

Great piece Spooky , but I like red lingerie (on women) , well , off women , oh shit you know what I mean .

Oct 26, 2012 at 8:46 AM | Unregistered Commentermaturin

Very dissapointing night. Apart from Defoe, Lennon, Sandro and Falque everyone else didn't give a fuck. Townsend looked like a loanee from Altringham, drafted in and he didn't know any of his team mates. Walker was simply awful, he tried to show what he could do and made a bollocks of it every time instead of playing it simple. This Professor AVB isn't getting the best out of this group of players. In fact he looks more clueless than Redknapp.

Oct 26, 2012 at 9:06 AM | Unregistered Commentercookiebun

No red ever, even my mrs knows thats against my

On the game, how frustrating?? Ugh. Wish the boys played more without having to look at VB on the sideslines telling them when to push/pass/chase/harry (the running aroung kind my old mucker)/go to the toilet/choose the mrs lingere.
A little bit of poking/prodding/positional change is ok by my book but 90 mins of getting told what to do...would surely cause perfomance issues...?

Oct 26, 2012 at 11:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterDMAC

I fell asleep and missed the goal scored on us. Woke up and fell asleep again, missed the goal we scored against them. That brand of football was aggravating my fever somewhat. I have as much to contribute to this comments section right now as Spurs seem to the Uefa cup. Roll on the weekend and lets hopefully see a massacre of the saints. Bale is back from paternity leave.

Oct 26, 2012 at 11:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterBimspur

Kingdom of sod learn a bit about football fatboy should not of backed off into his own area when he's got his defence behind him. I've had enough of u clueless idiots from now on any of u that want fatboy there I'll assume u think Charlie Adam is a quality player as well coz there ain't no difference apart from that dirty cunt would of at least hacked that maribor player down before getting in the box! So yeah anyone who rates fatboy wants Charlie Adam at spurs

Oct 26, 2012 at 11:59 AM | Unregistered Commenterhackneyid

Huddlestone did alright. We all know he's not at top form, nowhere near it. We also know he's hardly the most aggressive player which means the midfield can pass him by. Maribor got in our faces, hassled and pressured, Hudd tried to make things happen but he's hardly got much to aim for.

My derogatory comments were simply about that one incident.

Oct 26, 2012 at 12:32 PM | Registered Commenterspooky

Well it was obviously a very frustrating game to watch as have many been this season WBA, NORWICH, QPR, PANATHANIKOS, Etc

But I can kind of see what we are trying to do, it just seems we struggle to change gear. Which means we need to start with a bit more tempo, we also need to start getting people in the box. I would rather JD do some goal hanging than, come short and play lay off passes.

It should be remembered we have quite a 'new' team this sesaon. Last night for instance Lloris a couple games, Naughton back from injury and has a handfull of Spurs games, same for Caulker and Vertonghen. The only player in our whole back 5 who has played consistantly is Walker and he only has one season under his belt and happens to be out of form, so some perspective needed there.

Midfield - Townsend youngster going to be frustrating to watch as he will have good and bad games, Hudd out for a whole season, Siggy new signing not settled yet. Its not surprising our most lively players have been Sandro, Lennon and Defoe as they are the only others who have played for a season or more. We must have the least experienced team in terms of playing together in the league. Having said all that im not sure I fancy Lennon as captain.

I expect us to get better as the season goes on

Oct 26, 2012 at 12:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterNunsandwich

I think everyone's being unfair to THudd. Did anyone else notice how often he was playing back at the center of a 3 man defense? That's right. AVB has us playing three deep with Thudd in the middle and Naughton/Walker pushing up the wings. And while he was back there, especially in the 2nd half, Vertigo and Caulker were oft-times attacking from deep which, although brilliant, left Tom as the only man back on more than one occasion. He was playing deep more often than not and that doesn't suit his game. He needs to play in an advanced role fizzing balls into the box and down the flanks. But he's a team-player, our Tom, and does what he's asked to do. He's getting fitter and quicker with each game. We'll need him down the stretch and he'll be there for us, wait and see.

Hell, even Sandro was pushing-up the field chasing the game in the second half. So I don't get the comments about playing boring football. Maribor defended very well. Lennon and Townsend/Falque always had 2 or 3 purple shirts in front of them when they approached the box. We needed crisper passing to prevent Maribor getting into deep defensive positions and someone with some height to aim at in the box. The ingredients are all there, but they just need to be there together AT THE SAME TIME!

On a more personal note...I too wish we'd kept Corluka, because he's so much more gifted than Walker technically and has a better footballing brain. Plus, he backs-up the Center-Back position admirably. Can't blame him for leaving though when it was obvious that Kyle was going to be the starter. He deserves to start too. AND, by the way, I know for a fact that he looks stunning in Red lingerie!

Sigh! Bring on the Saints...COYS

Oct 26, 2012 at 1:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterCaterham7

Looking at match comments on a few boards it would seem to me that to criticise our great team is to show that you are intellectually challenged and fail to see "the big picture", so no criticism from me.

However big the picture is though it can only be a representation of the artist's view at a point in time, and then the viewer puts their own spin on the meaning of the artwork.

I can only assume after last night's performance that in Spurs' case the big picture shows a very large supermarket, an up-market hotel and a large number of new houses/flats. Somewhere in the background you may just be able to recognise the remnants of a once-proud football club.

Can't really say any more than that.

Oct 26, 2012 at 2:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveK

Good post Spooky.
Spooky I Have to disagree with you on the colour black lingerie . I like the colour lilly white, it gets my chirpy (the mighty cockeral :-) ) up and ready for action.
Also if any of you players that could not be asked yesterday and are reading this... "PASSION for FFS" !
COY MIGHTY SPURS (when it suits you)

Oct 26, 2012 at 6:07 PM | Unregistered Commenterkoko61

Spooky you`re spot on with the red lingerie, but for the sake of your ticker please progress to chicken shish. Far healthier and more tasty.
@nycyid - What`s wrong with red lingerie? It`s red. I hope I`m not alone in saying that the mere sight of red induces my vomit reflex. I don`t think I own anything red. Although when it comes to scantily clad women they could be wearing any colour - my eyes would be firmly on their badly packed doner!
Lloris - WTF is he doing with those red gloves on? Someone needs to tell him to burn them.
On the game - decent possession, but how many times did we want to get within 40 yards of goal and stop, foot on ball?
On Walker - not a full back and if floppy chops had made the simple choice of playing him RM when Lennon was injured last season that would now be his established position. And Bale could have stayed on the left, Modric in the centre and we`d probably now be playing CL against clubs who aren`t national champions, rather than EL against clubs who.......erm.....are national champions.

Oct 26, 2012 at 9:50 PM | Unregistered Commentermoe

I dint think that performance deserves to be spoken about at all. But Spooky... that reference to the scums in the title was genius !

Oct 26, 2012 at 11:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterSpurs4life

may i just remind you all these teams lost a game the bookies and a good few on her and in Europe said they would win Chelski oil stealers. Man City Oilers. Cod Madrid . Arsenal title pretenders Utd second half swallowers just won. So dont be shocked if we where stopped by eleven defenders a shambolic bobbley pitch not bean cut for a few weeks and watered heavily. By the time Lennon got going he had five in front of him and six waiting Townsend looked like Bales wife in labor Tom did what he does best on this shit pitch pass sublime to players who passed back to the opposition or fired way over the bar or wide of the goal. The morol of this is Football is now a simple game you look at the other team and if they are a lot better work out how you get a result even if you resort to Lance Armstong tactics and trust me the hidden energy shame in football makes cycling look clean. So if you slag Big Tom off remember this his gift is real the fuckers we got beat by last week skill is real but the way the ran for 90 plus mins is not and the reason i no is one of there players is from a team just like Lance Armstrong team was using supplements to win . So when you are predicting a Spurs win make sure you allow for this work rate stopping us i do even Maribor

Oct 27, 2012 at 12:20 AM | Unregistered Commenterdavspurs

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