These sort of games
dishearten me. Not the manner in which the meaningless friendly is
played out these days, but the nature of the people who watch
them. You would think at £15 a pop to see the team you support,
you might just about be able to do that. Support the team.
But no ... a constant stream of moans and groans rain down in the
sweltering heat, as Spurs concede two in a minute to lose to
Cagliari. Nothing at stake apart from pride (and that might have
had something to do with it) and a result that means Spurs have lost six
out of eleven pre-season friendlies this time around.
But so what. These games are for
trying things out and if they don't work then it has been a good
exercise, although exercising in this 90° heat is not to be recommended
when sitting watching the game makes you feel like you have been through
the ringer !!
There isn't a lot to write about apart
for the notoriously "fickle" transient crowd.
A wildly wide Taricco drive and one a bit
closer but a little too high followed later, while Robinson was called
into action to beat out a driven free-kick which was straight at him,
but was a mite powerful and low to his left. It was a well worked
free-kick from Spurs that saw the Cagliari keeper make his first meaningful
save on the half hour. A back-hell to Jacko saw his low drive
palmed round low at the post and another dead ball situation nearly
opened the scoring just before the interval, as Redknapp bent his kick
to go just inside the right hand post, but the keeper tipped it around
with a good diving save.
The break brought a chance to catch our
breath from the unbelievable nonsense being heard from the mouths of
part-time fans around us. It also enlivened Spurs, who came out
after the break looking a bit more up for it.
Defoe brought the keeper into play with a
smart shot, but the Taricco went off holding his thigh and on came Phil
Ifil. After a couple of Cagliari shots - one into Doherty's block
and another pulled wide from a good position, Spurs went ahead.
Jackson put in a wicked cross from the left wing and although it evaded
David, Fredi was on hand to side-foot volley home from a couple of yards
out. In fact, a minute later it could have been two, but Kanoute
prodded wide when put in by Davis' header.
And then there were tow goals in a couple
of minutes ... both at the Tottenham end. Doherty again blocked a
fierce shot, but the ball fell to the left and it was pulled back in
front of goal for Conti to drill the ball home for the equaliser.
Then straight after, a cross from the right saw Gobbis get in font of
Ifil to head goalwards and Robinson made a sharp save to beat the ball
away, but it fell to Albino, who shot home low at the near post.
Two lapses and two goals conceded. The mistakes are still out
Bakari came on and showed that he can do
some things right, with a neat lay-off to Defoe and a header on, but a
couple of other touches went for four, such was the ferocity of his
first touch. The Italians put a couple of crosses into the Spurs
box and they went a long way without being dealt with before the game petered
out with Redknapp's and Brown's high efforts signaling that we would not
secure an honorable draw.
Edman put in another competitive 90 minutes (sometimes too competitive),
Defoe wouldn't give up, Redknapp linked play without dominating and
Mendes did get more involved, but has the ability to put in nasty late
tackles which will get him in trouble. Robinson had s ound game
and dictated to the defence what they should be doing.
I just worry about next week. While the players appear to be
fitter now, the understanding is not totally there and they look a bit
off Premier League pace. Liverpool have shown in America that they
are up for it. Tough times lie ahead.
MEHSTG TOP MAN : - ERIK EDMAN