From Tottenham To Ukraine To Norwich But The Result’s The Same For Spurs


Alan’s Season 2013-14 Diary (continued)

Sun morning 23 Feb 2014

Andrew Marr has just said on the introduction to his TV show that according to Norse mythology, yesterday was supposed to be the end of the world. From memory, that is called Ragnarrok. I’ve been interested in the legends since I learned that the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings are not totally original stories but re-workings of traditional Norse legends, going back to Beowulf and beyond.

To a 12 year old that was both a disappointment and the opening of the door into a wealth of literature and history.

Anyhoo, I digress. It had slipped my notice that yesterday was supposed to be the End of the World according to those legends. I didn’t realise they had predicted a specific date but according to Andrew Marr it was yesterday. Very relieved though. I would have been tremendously pi**ed off to find that I’d wasted the effort I’d put in to come back from the dead and spend all that money on season tickets for myself and her indoors.

I don’t fancy an End of the World where Spurs are 5th in the Premiership but still only the 3rd London club. That brings me to the quandary of the Europa League. I’m relieved to see that the squad got back from the Ukraine safely, what with Kiev in flames just down the road and protesters being shot in the streets. For them it was the end of the world and puts all this in perspective.

By coincidence, on last Sunday’s programme the Top Gear Team rather stupidly drove past Chernobyl, the site of the nuclear disaster, a permanent ghost town to the North West of Kiev, still oozing killer radioactivity. It is mercifully located north-west of Kiev. Mercifully, Dnipropetrovsk is located to the south-east and was “only” used to build secret rockets throughout the Soviet era.

Thoughts On Dnipro

So, to the match. Logan published a full report on Thursday night. I’ve had a chance to reflect on it for a few days since. Sherwood fielded a pretty strong team. Matheus had a couple of first half chances saved by the ever-reliable Friedel. Not the sweet Rose outcome he had hoped for.

Adebayor was rested because he has been playing with a dead leg, so Soldado was given another opportunity to fill his boots. Unfortunately he didn’t and added another glaring miss to his growing catalogue. His despairing look to the heavens is becoming as familiar as any trademark goal celebration.

Tim Sherwood was supportive in his after match comments – he has to be doesn’t he? He suggested the pitch was to blame but it wasn’t. A view of the replay shows it was a clean even bounce and sadly Soldado just didn’t adjust quickly enough and shanked it. See Logan’s report.

To be honest, Dnipro caught us on the hop. It was their first match back after their winter break but they outplayed us and deserved the win. We were lucky it was only 1 – 0 but could do without having to put in the extra effort that it is now going to need to pull it around on Thursday at the Lane, just a few days before the late Sunday kick-off against Cardiff.

There were chances at both ends and a crazy last 5 minutes which prompted a text from my nephew; “What the hell is going on?” Paulinho hit the post in the 87th minute.

Harry Kane on for Soldado; 3 feet off the ground, flashed a flick kick from a corner across the face of goal and just past the post.Then they went down our end again and nearly get a second, including a header that hit the post.

Konoplyanka looked world class throughout. Wouldn’t be at all surprised to see us fight Liverpool for him in the summer. As long as we don’t fall into the trap we have in the past; see an impressive partnership, bid for the number one striker, then settle for his partner instead and then wonder why he is a disappointment. As with Shevchenko and Rebrov, for example.

Premier League

Arsenal confounded everybody again, turning in by far the best post-Champions League performance. Wenger brought back Giroud from his front page sex scandal embarrassment and it worked, with him scoring twice.

Rooney worked hard following the award of his new contract and scored one of his occasional wonder goals. We all know he is not worth the money – not even a true world class player is worth that much but it’s not his fault.

United have got themselves into such a mess that as a business deal it even appears to make financial sense. It is disgusting that fans threw coins at him. They could do real physical harm and take someone’s eye out. Track them down. Imprison them. Ban them for life.

Now what would have been funny and ironic is if they had rolled up and thrown a fiver wrapped around a toilet roll or a ticker-tape shower of some monopoly money. That would have made the point but with irony and a sense of humour. Still, there is plenty of time for that…

To Norwich

So, Norwich this afternoon. Of course I want us to win well and secure the 3 points but I wouldn’t bet on it. We rarely do well on return from Europe whatever team we field out there. Also I feel for our old stalwart Chris Hughton.

Rumours are that Norwich are already checking out alternative managers. I expect it to follow the pattern of so many tired looking televised games recently, with Man United and Chelsea both looking notably lacklustre.

Sky picked the wrong game at lunchtime. Newcastle nil Aston Villa nil at half time. Cisse adds to the weekend’s catalogue of missed open goals. More like cissy than Cisse. I’m going to get some shut-eye before we kick off.

Zzz.. Huh? Woke up just in time to see Newcastle’s 92nd minute winner. Loic Remy. The French foreign legion strike again for Depardieu.

The Sky cameras move to Norwich. Delia hoping to give Tim and Sir Les food for thought… and Norwich certainly did.

Game of the weekend was Liverpool’s 4-3 victory over Swansea. There is a full report from Logan on our 1-0 home defeat to Norwich.

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