As predicted the novelty is over by the start of game 2. At 7:30 it’s not the drama or the excitement to follow that’s on my mind. I’m just thinking about how shit the transport links to the lane are. It’s bad enough normally but tonight there’s a bonus Champions League delay of 15 minutes from the train to the bottom of the stairs at White Hart Lane station. First task of the night is to meet Bagel’s friend Doros to give him a spare ticket. I’ve promised Doros a mention. Doros has promised me he will check out the blog and let six other Spurs fans know to boot. Doros puts you to shame. It was nice to meet you Doros. Now weave your magic and sell my blog to the WORLD. Remember, it’s Oog. O-O-G.
By the time we’ve got half way across the Paxton road, been forced to turn back, and finally made it into the east lower via Park Lane, the Champions League music is over and the game is about to kick off. The ground isn’t any fuller than normal so why is it so much harder to get in?
Slow burner this one. The first twenty minutes feel like a Europa Cup tie (I would imagine). We’re playing some nice stuff against tough but limited European opposition but nothing much is happening in front of goal. The main plus point is that my initial prediction of “season-ender” is only a “next three minutes ender” as an unstoppable Gareth Bale run is stopped by an uncompromising advertising board.
As the half wears on Twente begin to reveal their true colours. Huddlestone clearly doesn’t elbow anyone in their face but the player goes down in agony. As I type I’m watching the sky+’ed game again with Oogfather (currently 2-0 – I reckon we’re gonna cruise home) and its clear the Jumbotom is a lucky boy but let’s not allow the truth to get in the way of a match report – Twente are cheating bastards and will time waste at any opportunity. I mention to Dave that they flock and flap around the referee like angry seagulls. For some reason this particularly tickles him. He doesn’t agree. “Mention that on your blog and see if anyone agrees”. It doesn’t really matter but ok, Dave, I will. Does anyone agree they flocked and flapped around the referee like angry seagulls?
Spurs in the Champions League. The 43rd minute always goes badly. The first of two very soft penalties (either side of a stonewaller) as Crouch takes ages to go down. Understandable. The keeper picks up a yellow and incurs some White Hart Wrath with his timewasting antics but they worked. Just one incident in a mixed night for the excellent unlucky silly silky charismatic Fvondefvoort.
The rest of the half finishes with the seagulls adding to their repertoire of flapping and flocking with some fine feigning. Robert Rosario (surely he’s in his mid 40s by now) goes down fully five seconds after being hit on the head by the ball. I’m worried. If we don’t break this lot down by 80 minutes or so then they will break the flow of the game up and claim a draw.
So that’s the first half. Let’s fly through the second half because not much really happened. In what was to prove just one incident in a mixed night etc. etc. VDV took his goal beautifully. Gareth Bale carried on being just phenomenal. I’m running out of superlatives for Madrid’s future star. We all know about his pace, but his composure in front of goal is impeccable and his delivery is consistent quality. Enjoy him while we can, Yids. I just hope he goes somewhere we don’t have to boo him. I always find it hard to give too much credit to penalty takers but Pav’s were beautifully put away (Vaughan, who travels down from Hull for every game, can’t watch either of them, Zokora style).
We needed Pav’s cool goalscorer’s tonic to calm us down as well. A lot of the decisions went our way. The VDV sending off – just one incident in a mixed etc. etc. – could have been THE turning point but luck was a lilywhite lady tonight. We gave far too many chances away and Inter will crucify us if we play like that against them. Hell, Twente will crucify us if we play like that against them again. Hutton in particular got caught out of position too many times and has to shape up or ship out. JJ came on and although it was but a cameo, it looks like we may have got our crap Jenas back. But enough negatives. Goal difference could be crucial, and the result in Italy was good for us. The draw in Bremen now goes down as a point gained. Most importantly, this was top class entertainment.
And I don’t just mean Crouch’s comedy turn in the 53rd minute, gliding through the Twente half with the grace of a giraffe in callipers. It could have made you cry, but you ended up laughing. Story of the night.