We finally allowed Columnist Ed to watch another Spurs game, as regular Columnist James was traveling:
April 5, 2011 / Santiago Berbabeu Stadium / Madrid, Spain
Well the Spurs really dropped an egg last night against Real Madrid. Awful stuff. Crouch’s yellow cards may have been deserved, though if I were officiating I might not have given the second one. Unfortunately, Crouch's early red (as well as a weak first goal) ruined what might have been an interesting game. Regardless, it was a poor showing by Spurs across the board, from execution to coaching to lineup selection. Here are some thoughts from the match: - Why Jenas out wide? He’s a central player and was nearly non-existent during the game. Losing Lennon and Pienaar (hah!) for the game was big blow, but Kranjcar is the natural replacement. He’s not much (if any) of a step down from Pienaar, and he might be the freshest guy on the roster. - Putting Bale out right was also an obvious mistake, which fortunately Uncle Harry ultimately changed. - To Crouch’s credit, he’s been a force in the Champions League. But not only did he lose this game, his two yellows put them out of reach for the round. - Dawson is solid, and Assou-EKotto has played well in every Champions League game. The problem is that Gallas is running on near empty, and at right back Corluka is a level below. Hutton’s injury has also hurt the team. - Hey, why have there been SO MANY injuries to Spurs? Is there something wrong with their training regiment? Or their trainers? I realize it’s a long season, but methods must be questioned. - Last year’s Jermaine Defoe is nowhere to be found. Spurs are desperate for someone to play forward at the top level. They’re plenty solid at midfield for now and probably into the future. - Gomes had some good saves and a botched save. I’ve said before that he’s not the problem – and he’s not – but it would be nice to have someone less odd leading the troops back there, and I think there are other keepers available at his level. As has been pointed out forcefully by SpursNationNewYork, Spurs need to step away from the whole “what a magical season we’re having” nonsense. 4 - nil is pathetic. This is a team that’s full of talent and yet now are looking to exit the Champions League this year and, unbelievably, next.