Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey - Spurs got the bird on Saturday (Crystal Palace v Spurs - 22.01.05)
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Spurs got the "Bird" on Saturday

By kind permission of the author Keith Palmer as published on The Spurs Web

The Birds

Since adopting the life of the Cockerel as my lifetime passion, I’ve been followed around by another large plump bird. No, Lenny Henry’s missus isn’t a Spur, but her namesake, one ‘False Dawn.’ may well be - and just when I seemed to be losing her, up she sprang, flapping her feathers for all she’s worth, leaving odious stains over my favourite club shirt – and just when optimism was at its peak.

And so it was on Saturday. With the mighty Cockerels hovering over Selhurst Park, promising to soar ever high, but landing tamely with a chirrup, tamed by the fighting Eagles. Swallow hard fellow men of Spurs; this is a flighty tale.

With more than a single costly starling aboard, our expectancy was sky-high, as ever, yet the vulture of mid-table doom soon hovered over the Arthur Wait Stand - a stand, I might add, akin to a glorified pigeon loft….£35 quid? You’re ‘aving a larf!

The first half was like the curate’s egg; good in parts, but clearly missing someone to crack the shell. Make no mistake, our crowing was loud, and how disappointing that the Eagles’ backing seemed asleep on its perch. And despite dominating, Spurs looked lightweight in almost every area, yet England’s number one had a poultry amount to do. That first forty-five minutes were an excitement free zone, bar one Dean Marney shot that bought a momentary [th]rush of excitement. Had our fledgling midfielder caught in right, our first score may well have nestled nicely in Palace’s net.

It was poor fare overall, which had the crowd exiting for their half-time [mag]pie and chips long before the referee’s whistle, with more than one single Grouse in mind.

But how long can the Tottenham management play Ostrich?

I’ve been saying this for months; Keane and Defoe simply cannot play together, and never looked like Robin’ a goal, aside’s one second half shot that was but a chaff’inch from opening the score. They play miles away from each other [as the crow flies] and both have a penchant for self-glorification. Personally, with our French-Malian target-man unavailable, again [who was apparently 50-50 for both of our last two games!] I’d have pushed Atouba forward to unruffle the feathers of the un-worked home defence, and told him to put his not inconsiderable weight around. That formidable presence may well have plucked a chance out of nothing.

Someone was desperately needed up front, craning his neck where others feared to tread. Without that threat, Palace rarely looked in trouble, although in truth, they are a poor side bolstered by pluck and phenomenal work-rate. Whatever they were, they made us look like Turkeys. The stuffing was to come.

And it wasn’t just up front where the expectant Spurs proved bantamweights, missing a physical presence in midfield, with a defence lacking concentration and commitment. While Pamarot regularly went missing, we lacked cohesion, spirit, and guile, losing our way when confronted with average, yet battling opposition. We also had little to offer on the wings after Ziegler’s sad demise. Until then, he’d been cock of the roost. .

We spent the second half largely on the back foot, especially after conceding the first goal. With no Roc in defence, we were left with egg on our face, and for a dozen embarrassing minutes resembled eleven, Puffin’ drunks racing to take advantage of the new licensing laws. In essence, Spurs capitulated to effort and guts, proving that they turn Chicken in our hour of need. We all gull-ped, leaving us with a gut wren-ching journey home.

It left many questions. Would Martin Jol now have to join the European transfer market? Not since E.M.U. have we looked so bereft of fight. Maybe he’d have to Buzz’ard on his phone, alerting our Continental cousins to our need for a winger. Maybe storking an Italian club or two might end our plight.

So, has [another] false Dawn returned, or will Robbie be hawked around Maine Road in an effort to entice SWP down the Lane? If we truly court European ambitions we must buy, and buy well. From my lofty position in pigeon heaven, Wayne Routledge did not look the part, although I accept that one swallow does not make a summer. We have to get this defeat out of our systems. Come May, I can see us, once again, looking like great t*ts. At the risk of getting the bird......bring on the Throstles…!

South London Spur

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