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Spurs pay the penalty too often

You may ask why I am using pictures (Ed: since deleted)taken from the Worthington Cup Final of nearly 18 months ago. Well, it just demonstrates how these decisions can affect the future of a club, and the career of a manager. Had Graham Poll awarded this penalty (and I am not debating the rights and wrongs of the decision here), then Spurs MAY have gone on to win the game, and had a season in Europe last year. That's just how crucial penalties can be. Hence the following article.

I have been doing a little analysis regarding the concession of penalties by Spurs over the last year, and have been concerned regarding my findings. I have found 9 penalties conceded since the first day of last season, and by my judgement, 7 of them have been crucial, costing us at least fifteen points. I have not included the one conceded by Chris Perry at Middlesbrough in May this year, as we were already one down, and on our way to defeat anyway. Losing the player did not help, of course, and now I realise where Perry got his one-match suspension that kept him out yesterday. The only non-crucial penalty was that conceded by Gus Poyet in last season's home match against Birmingham, when he redeemed himself with a dramatic winner.

What should Glenn Hoddle be doing about this? Is it indeed a particular problem, or just a symptom of any team that is defending badly and under pressure in their own half? I have not gone further back than last season, but the number of times this has happened does seem higher than in previous years, so maybe Glenn can try and coach unnecessary concession of penalties out of the players. It's costing us too many games!

Here is the list, that I have come up with:-

16.08.03 - Gardner adjudged to have pushed Savage to the ground at Birmingham. The penalty goal by David Dunn meant we lost 1-0. (Referee - Rob Styles)

03.05.03 - Chris Perry is sent off at Middlesbrough for a professional foul on Nemeth. Junhino's penalty was saved by Keller, but 10-man Spurs capitulate to lose 5-1. (They were already 1-0 down) (Referee - Uriah Rennie)

12.04.03 - at Elland Road, with fifteen minutes to go,and Spurs sitting pretty 2-1 up, Kasey Keller is adjudged to have pulled down Harry Kewell on the edge of the box. Up stepped Mark Viduka to equalise. (The referee that day was a certain Mr Styles!)

05.04.03 - Spurs are 1 goal up at home to Birmingham, and that was only because of Robbie Keane's cheeky goal from behind the keeper. Gus Poyet climbs all over Dugarry in the box to concede an obvious penalty (scored by Devlin), but redeems himself with a cracking volley three minutes from time. (Referee - David Elleray)

24.03.03 - at Bolton, live before the Sky cameras, Gary Doherty pulls down Juri Djorkaeff, and Bolton hero Jay-Jay Okocha steps up to score the winner in the very last minute. (referee - Graham Poll)

15.12.02 - Kasey Keller is the guilty man again, as he rashly hauls down Henry going away from goal on the edge of the area. Pires puts the kick away to give the gooners an equaliser. The game finished 1-1.(Referee - Neale Barry)

26.10 02 - at Anfield, Dean Richards had scored a smashing equaliser, and we looked like going home with a point.However, Stephen Carr brought Owen crashing down to give the referee an easy decision, and Liverpool a late winner. (Converted by Owen) (Referee - Mike Riley)

21.09.02 - at Old Trafford, and Spurs are valiantly hanging on to a 0-0 scoreline. Gary Doherty has just got away with a questionable challenge on Van Nistlerooy in the box, before referee Rob Styles (!!!) decides that his next challenge against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does deserve a penalty, which the Dutchman fires home in his usual style.That was the only goal.

11.09.02 - at Fulham we were 2-0 up at half-time, and we thought we were coasting. Fulham made a marvellous come-back, to score 3 second half goals, one of which was an 84th minute penalty by Malbranque, effectivley given by referee Mark Halsey's assistant. Spurs then succumbed to a last minute winner.

... and how many penalties have we scored in that time? Three only

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