Filed: Monday, 15th November 1999
By: Chris Tye
Well done P.Jones of Loughborough. You've joined an elite band of jumped up tossers whose pathetic administering of reds and yellows in order to enjoy a little bit of limelight has ruined a game for us. Ruined a game for everyone, really, but especially us who've lost a man. You can book a table for 5 in London's West End, invite fellow conspirators Keith Hackett, Rob Harris, Rudi Glockner and Paul Danson, and compare tales. It'd be something like this....
'You should have seen me...tight game at 0-0, and I book Lomas for something that wasn't a foul, the Spurs player didn't even appeal and he's a diver. Then, minutes later I gave him a second yellow for a slightly clumsy mistimed kick...at least I think it was anyway, my view was obstructed but hey what the f**k, off he went. You should have seen his face, sent off for effectively committing one foul not even worth a yellow. Just for a laugh I then let the Spurs lad Perry commit 3 blatant bookable challenges from behind, for one yellow. Bet you can't beat that.'
'Oh yes I can. They were in the FA Cup semi-final, again finely balanced at 0-0 when young Crosby of Forest was through on goal, well not really through on goal, sort of half through with a covering player, but Tony Gale and him tangled and fell over....50-50 really, but I sent the West Ham lad off, brilliant to watch as their Wembley dreams crumbled....'
'Don't forget me. I nearly got them relegated. They were at home to Sheffield Wednesday, deep in relegation trouble, badly needing a win. A Sheffield lad was clean through, well not actually clean through he was sort of partially throiugh near the half way line but well covered, he stumbled and fell over - no real contact, but I sent Alvin Martin off for....violent conduct. Fantastic...they duly lost, but escaped relegation. Had to retract my red card later, and got kicked out of the Prem, but it's reassuring to see you lot carrying on my good work.'
'You lot are pussies. One off, that's just playing at it. 3 off in one match, thus what us real refs can do. You should have seen me, I was fantastic, my book was in and out so often I had armache the next day. They lost 5-1, I thought I had scuppered their European dreams, buit they got in anyway.'
'Talking of scuppering European dreams, I have. What a star I was. No need to resort to the unnecessary clumsiness of a red card. I simply picked up the ball as if to give a drop ball, and threw it to an opponent in on goal. You guys need more imagaination - there's more than one way to skin a cat - never forget the old drop ball trick.'
Having got my refereeing rant out of the way, I have to say I am as happy as a hog in s**t. Why?? It was only a 0-0 after all, and we should beat these guys. Well I am always looking for evidence, confirmation, that we have left our yoyo days behind and are now among the top half dozen in the country. That we are now way ahead, in playing terms, of clubs like Spurs. I'll put last night down as a big milestone in that journey. One that will be recalled every time a Spurs fan begs to differ. Last night, Spurs at home played us with one up front and five across the midfield. That says it all to me. George Graham knew that in a match up of football skills, man to man, his side would be carved open like that juicy T bone I'm after now that the beef on the bone ban is lifted. He had to outnumber us midfield, overload it with crunchers and battlers, because he was scared of what Joe Cole, 18, and Frank Lampard, 21, could do to his expensively assembled side.
To be fair Spurs battled, grafted and played at 100 miles an hour, and were broadly successful in bringing us down to their level. We produced some nice passing movements, much complimented by the commentary team and usually with young Joe at the hub, but no real chances. Having gone down to ten men I feared the worst for the second half, but Spurs remained with one up and rarely threatened, a few Ginola cameos aside. We almost caught them when Foe found himself free 3 yards out, his shot cannoned off Walker and over. Late on Spurs had a couple of chances, a bullet header from belatedly introduced second striker Chris Armstrong was fantastically tipped around by Shaka.
Watching from TV it is hard to rate each player, but the defensive three caught the eye: Ruddock seems at his best in a 'battle', Rio looked solid again and Margas made some superb tackles before he went off. In particular a couple on Diving Dave himself - first he is not fooled by a trick from the long haired one, steals the ball, shimmies to embarrass him and then slips the ball inside. Minutes later the pair face each other again - this time a perfectly timed, thunderous challenge deposits the ball out, and the diving one on his backside. Shaka a star again, I've forgotten what having a dodgy keeper is like, perhaps I'll ask one of the Man.U supporters in the office....... The midfield worked hard, but we had litle joy up front.
Still, above crisis club Chelsea now ( I LOVE saying that),and my impression of Spurs that I had from the first game of the season remains: we are a country mile ahead of them on the pitch. They cannot beat us, unless we do something monumentally stupid or take the game lightly. Not only that we have young team that will get better if we can keep it together, whereas they have a solid, mature side which cannot get better unless Chairman Scrooge gets his wallet out.
Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.
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