Yesterday, Early Doors said that if any Premier League side could
throw away a three-goal aggregate lead against Burnley,
it was Tottenham.
events at Turf Moor first proved ED gloriously right, then tragically wrong.
But it was classic Spurs that their qualification for a
Wembley final was overwhelmed by the complete humiliation of getting thrashed
by a team that, since Christmas, have lost to Barnsley, Doncaster Rovers,
Swansea and Preston.
A rainy midweek evening at Burnley
is meant to be a true test of a player's
ability - and by that standard Spurs are truly rubbish.
But surely the mere fact that you are playing Burnley means you are involved in a two-bit competition? Wouldn't it be better to be good against Manchester United?
Luckily for Tottenham's
critics, Harry Redknapp has already laid the groundwork for another embarrassing
capitulation at Old Trafford on Saturday.
He griped: "I'll
go to play United with the weakest team I can possibly find." Which, given
Tottenham's recent form, shouldn't be difficult.
Redknapp has had 22 matches in charge of Tottenham, yet he
still seems rather too keen on telling everybody how useless they are.
physically or mentally strong enough," he whined last night.
football club that's been put
together - I don't know how, by I
don't know who, but it's
got a load of mish-mash players. It's
Pull the other one, 'Arry.
They might not be great but they certainly aren't
the joint worst team in the division.
most hopeless players last night were only in the team because Redknapp put them there.
Cesar Sanchez has played in a Champions League final, so
there's every chance he is better
than the truly appalling Ben Alnwick.
Benoit Assou-Ekotto wouldn't
have forced Alnwick into his best save of the night with a Lee Dixon-esque 30-yard curler of a backpass if Gareth Bale had been playing. (The Welshman, with his long-range shooting prowess, probably would have scored.)
And Roman Pavlyuchenko's
truly stunning miss from a couple of yards might have been avoided with a dose
of Darren Bent - who scored seven goals in five games earlier this season
before his spirit was crushed by Redknapp repeatedly saying how crap he is.
Tottenham announced yesterday they were freezing season
ticket prices, which might not seem like such a generous offer if they are
playing second-tier football next season.
- - -
It is nice to see Peter Reid starting to make his mark as
manager of Thailand.
While some thought he was only there for the money, the weather and all the
Chang beer he could drink, it appears the former Sunderland
boss has resolved to bring his unique brand of football to the kingdom.
Or at least that is the logical conclusion after yesterday's friendly international against Lebanon. Here's what Reuters had to say:
King's Cup match against Lebanon
descended into chaos on Wednesday when the Middle East side twice walked off
the pitch in protest at foul play that prompted two on-field brawls.
Team staff and stunned security guards twice
had to enter the field to stop fights triggered by repeated scuffling between Lebanon's Zakaria Charara and Thai defender Suree Sukha
during the hosts' 2-1 win in Phuket.
With 14 minutes remaining, in an apparent
case of mistaken identity, Charara struck Surat Sukha in the head in
retaliation for his twin brother Suree's
After the ensuing brawl, Lebanon stormed off the field in protest
and were told to remain on the sidelines by incensed coach Emile Rustom, who
had to be talked into resuming the match by Thai soccer president Worawi
Five minutes later, Suree escaped a booking
by the Thai referee after another vicious tackle on Charara, who started another
melee by slapping Suree and captain Datsakorn Thonglao in the face.
Lebanon again left the field in protest but returned five minutes
later, only for the embattled referee to blow the final whistle prematurely to
prevent further brawling.
ED can see the appeal to the Thai FA of appointing a man
from the birthplace of football who has enjoyed no little managerial success in
the Premiership, but their impression of the English game might just be a
Moustachioed gents in long trousers no longer populate our
pitches. They do not celebrate goals with a mere handshake, nor do English
abide by the Corinthian spirit of sportsmanship by passing a penalty kick
straight to the goalie. Not on purpose, anyway.
After the game, Reid said: ''We must not lose concentration in a game. I will
talk to the players about this." Almost certainly in sentences consisting
entirely of four-letter words beginning with 'f', 's', 'c' and 'w'.
- - -
Hot on the heels of swoops for Vincent Kompany and Shaun Wirght-Phillips, Manchester City's
£19 million signing of Nigel De Jong yesterday confirmed that the club's scouting network consists entirely of Mark Hughes
playing a four-year-old version of the Football Manager computer game.
ED confidently predicts the next additions to City's galaxy of next-big-things-who-never-quite-were
will be Javier Saviola and (if there is a god) Antonio Cassano.
- - -
QUOTE OF THE DAY: Brawling might not be acceptable in Thailand, but it is fine
on the Newcastle training pitch judging by Joe Kinnear's
assessment of the Andy Carroll-Charles N'Zogbia
barney: "I won't be taking any
action. I can't stop players being
passionate and I wouldn't want to. It
was just handbags. It was a very intense, excellent training session."
Carroll and N'Zogbia traded blows
after a late challenge, and had to be dragged apart by team-mates. It is
understood the scuffle continued in the dressing room and car park and security
staff had to intervene and march the players to their respective vehicles. Excellent.
FOREIGN VIEW: With German football still on its winter
break, Bild continues to find alternative sources of amusement. Following
Russian ice skater Ekaterina Rubleva's
wardrobe malfunction, they unveil a greatest hits slideshow of the greatest
breast exposures in sporting history. It's
here and it does contain partial nudity. So, in the words of Matt Stevens,
you can take what you want from that