Football - Spilt Milk
The papers this morning focussed on the confused and fractious ending to the late Sunday game.
Spurs' manager Martin Jol appeared to have been given a red card in the closing seconds of the match after Hossam Ghaly also saw red for a leading elbow against Michael Gray.
What's of more concern for this Spurs' supporter is that a third of the way into the season Tottenham are mired in the lower half of the table. They should be hammering the likes of workhorse teams like Blackburn who, but for Tugay thumping strike in the first half, were devoid of ideas in front of goal.
It was another poor match and Tottenham played their part in making it poor viewing.
Ok, there are injuries. Jol has not been able to field a first choice midfield for most of the season. Steed Malbranque is back, but Aaron Lennon is out again.
The sight of Edgar Davids and Lee Young Pyo in the side rings alarm bells. With Davids running amok, there was a lack of fluidity in midfield for most of the match. Lee is a liability at the back.
And, then there's Mido. The Egyptian striker was lucky to be on the pitch at the end of the game. He's physical. He argues. He has a tendency to be a lightning rod for trouble. In the second half, I was surprised that Jol didn't lift him for Berbatov. After the Tugay red card - very unlucky, but it was a penalty and Tugay was the last man in defence - you could sense that there'd be another flashpoint and possible sending-off. Mido, already on a yellow, was favourite.
In the end, the inconsistent Ghaly got the red. He had no business launching himself into Gray, but he did - to my eye - turn to avoid making contact with the elbow. To this biased viewer, he deserved a yellow card. That's why Jol was incensed. He felt, as I am sure all Spurs' fans did, that the referee was looking for an excuse to "even things up" after the controversial Tugay incident.
Meanwhile, a third of season gone. Hope of a Champions' League place all but disappeared. Spurs' will progress in the UEFA Cup. But, the promise of last season has faded in poor performances, injuries and a lack of character.