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"Amadeus" writes for Spurs Odyssey
Welcome to "Spurs Odyssey"'s latest columnist Anton Lang. Anton provides his views after the Man Utd 4-0 defeat. Unsurprisingly "Old Mother Riley" comes in for some stick!:-

What more needs to be said about a match most of us hoped we'd win but realistically expected to lose?

Old Mother Riley in charge of a match that clearly was beyond him. His pace up front was about as sharp as Les's shooting. 20 yards behind play and he awards a penalty for what really was such an innocuous incident that IMO Scholes played for as much as Shezza played for the penalty at Cardiff.

In the days when we have professional referees isn't it about time we had professional standards? Of course it bloody well is!. And for the fans who travelled the many miles north of the border to watch this match it must have been a pitiful journey home. Their hit lists now including one Mike Riley and his myopic assistants steadfastly being sent to all potential assassins around the country.

Our own display in the first half must have warmed the very cockles of those fans hoping that our stylish play would see us through. Sadly it again has proved not enough to win matches. Which realistically, we could have done so in the first half had it not have been for that humungous error of judgment. Treacle played his part in tickling Scholes who, upon receiving the penalty award and the bonus of a player sent off, fell about the floor in hysterics at what was unfolding before him.

True, Tarrico did touch Scholes and in the rules of the game it is a free kick. OUTSIDE THE AREA REF!!! However, wasn't that King I saw moving into the last man position? So why the sending off?

From this moment on the house of cards that has been built around our resurgence as a 'stylistic' footballing team fell about us as we struggled to hold the ball for more than 10 seconds. Once again, Les proving that statistics mean nothing. The statistics advise us that he's a striker. Well this theory was shot to pieces again tonight, wasn't it. He worked so well to get the header and then, with nothing more than 8 yards, he blasts the ball into a high enough orbit that Old Trafford have now since put a message out to NASA for the space shuttle to give them the ball back.

It was nice to see old Rebs playing from the start and who knows, maybe this is the sign of a fine romance between him and Hoddle but I shouldn't imagine there were much hugs and kisses in the dressing room at half time. Though I do have to say, from what I saw and only from the TV mind, he was more effective than Sir Less (not a Freudian slip).

Thatcher? Where the hell was he? Presumably he was out roofing whilst his team mates were having to cover for him. The last two goals came as a result of his lacklustre movement back towards goal or in marking the opposition tightly enough. How did Keane, with a deft Irish jig, get past him? I'll tell you! Because Thatcher was sleeping in defence and when he woke it was too late to stop Keane's Riverdance around him.

Perry and Richards, one considered an England hopeful the other, well the less said the better, eh? We all know the skills that VN has in getting past players but it was given to him on a plate when they both collapsed like a heap of straw from one of Thatchers previous building projects in front of Sullivan to allow VN his opportunity without even really trying.

But for the efforts (???) of Forlan and the mastery of our own Sullivan in goal we could have conceded quite a few more. If our side deserved a MOTM award, I would have to give it to Sullivan.

The removal of Poyet was understandable, you can only embarrass so many players at once. If we clear the field of our better ones we can at least say that we fielded a second string in the second half. And in truth, I would rather see Poyet take on his old chums on Sunday without a red card recieved tonight; which he was in danger of receiving from the card happy Riley.

All round this was a poor performance but not an unexpected result. The second time in a season that the phrase "A game of two halves" has actually comfortably referred to us.

Hoddle defended the game, for me, in the best way he could. Even Sir Fungus accorded sympathy which IMO was fully deserved. "The penalty incident killed the game for us" Hoddle told the reporter. So the epitaph for Hoddle's army at Old Trafford reads "Spurs - a team in the ascendance killed by the stray red card of Old Mother Riley and the sharp shooting marksman Van Nestle Egg"

Mr. Terry Venables, a one time saviour of THFC, acknowledged that referees have got to be professional about their game. He is a strong advocate of the TV replay saying, "I don't care whether it takes 15 - 30 seconds of stoppage. They need to get it right. In my opinion, that was disgraceful and it shouldn't be allowed to happen". Too bloody right El Tel!

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