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Nige - I have to take issue with your point about Manure wiping the floor with everyone. That was hardly the case yesterday given they couldn't score in normal or extra time and it had to go to penalties. We put up a good and brave fight to force it to go the whole way and were unlucky not to convert the chances we had. Credit to Ben Foster for the saves he made.
As you've said before, going out on penalties is a harsh way to lose and I'd expect at least Bentley to put them away during a normal league game. Perhaps the occasion got to him and O'Hara, but neither should have taken the first one - that should have been Bent as the only recognised Spurs penalty-taker on the field, especially as Jenas was subbed. Missing Keano and Defoe hurt us badly in that respect.
With regard to the keeper remembering about penalty-takers and where the place the ball, the great Gordon Banks had such an organised memory that when he was preparing to defend a penalty he would allegedly open a "book" in his mind and go to the "page" for that particular player to recall his notes about him. It helped save a good many penalties. While I feel that Foster using an iPod to study our penalty-takers is somewhat unfair all credit to him for preparing in that way. I seem to recall that Gomes was a hero in last year's UEFA Cup match v PSV so he has it in him to do well in those situations.
I'm glad to see that the diving winker didn't do his customary run, stop, run, kick this time - I reckon he should be warned about that or made to take them again (as I think happened in the CL final in Moscow, correct me if I'm wrong?) until he does it properly. Definitely designed to put off the keeper and very ungentlemanly.
Wiping the floor Mel...
A loose phrase, for cleaning up all the silverwear.
This has to be a contensious issue with me, a classic Rich get Richer, while the poor get poorer,
Teams like yourselves and one or two others can compete with ManUre, Chelsea, Ar senal, Pocket dipper's, occasionally, but it is now getting farcical that most teams consider getting a draw with the likes of those team's on par with winning the cup itself.
I cannot begrudge ManUre success, but I am very dispondent in the way the leagues are going now. What we have developing is a SPL 2 in England, with not who will win the league, but whether it will be M U, or Chelsea. Mel, the interest will die out as per Scottish football if steps arent put in place to try to level out the playing field a bit more. Seems almost pointless hoping for success in one of the Cups, all the majority of teams are doing now is hoping to stay up. What a prospect, judging success on whether you can stay out of the relegation zone.
Sadly for me, and you, we can remember the glory days, when Nottingham Forest , Ipswich, QPR, Watford, Villa, Spur's challenged for the title or cup's or won it. The playing field was level, but too much money in the game for the richer club's, has ruined it as a contest. Don't want to sound pessemistic, Mel., but I cannot see it happening again. The dominant teams will stay dominant and the rest will have to make do with the scraps., ie the League Cup if someones lucky, and ManUre/Chelsea put out their youth side to compete in it.
That's what I mean Mwl, still amount's to the same for everyone else, near enough.