05 February, 2006

Lowering the bar

Tottenham Hotspur 3, Charlton Athletic 1
Two incidents either side of half-time figured prominently. With 45 minutes played, Spurs led 2-0 and are anticipating the half-time whistle.

It was that period of a match where one side is thinking cup of tea, oranges or energy drink. The other - chasing the game - thinks "if we can get steal a goal now, we're back in it for the second 45."

A nothing ball lobbed up to the Charlton front line bounces of a Spurs defender, Marcus Bent lashes the ball in a looping arc goalwards. It dips at the last second, but rattles against the crossbar. The home side breathe easily.

Less than 30 seconds after the break, Jermain Defoe springs the offside trap and latches on to a through ball. The diminutive forward flicks the ball with the outside of his boot over the advancing 'keeper. 3-0. Game over.

Almost. Tottenham coasted. Charlton huffed and puffed. Substitute Jerome Thomas - a familiar irritant to Spurs - bagged a goal. A nervous 15 minutes ensued before the game finally petered out.

Liverpool lose. Wigan and Bolton draw. Blackburn lose. Tottenham securely in 4th place.


A postscript on Sol Campbell. On a personal level, Donutball wishes no ill to Sol. As a professional footballer, Sol has our every respect. What we disrespect is Sol's decision to snub the club that signed him, trained him and nurtured him. Tottenham gave him the opportunity to stake a claim as a great England player. His decision to leave for Arsenal was disrespectful to the club and to the fans.

It was a long time ago, but the bitter memory lingers.

Donutball hopes Sol comes to terms with whatever has caused him to go to ground and recovers to take his place with England in Germany.


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