Apr 5, 2007

Sevilla 2 Spurs 1

Disgraceful scenes during the Sevilla v Spurs UEFA Cup Q-F. How fucking hard is it to pronounce Chimbonda? If it isn't bad enough watching Robbie Earl stutter away pitch side with a cotton bud cello-taped to his cheek we also have to listen to David Pleat creating players that don't even exist. Shimbonba? Shimshombo?I mean fuckin 'ell. Can someone at ITV not take him aside for a couple of minutes and explain how to break words down phonetically?

Leaving aside ITV's 'skills' with showcasing football, the match it self was anything but uneventful. Sadly, off the pitch too. Man Utd fans suffered at the hands of over zealous Roma riot police the other night, but at this point in time it's difficult to know exactly what kicked off the trouble this evening. When the camera moved over to the part of the stadium where the Spurs fans where, a pocket of riot police were doing what they do best, smacking people with their batons whilst supporters screamed for some kind of composure. Though there were one or two idiots who looked like they preferred not to turn away but to incite a little.

I wasn't there, obviously, and I'll take it with a pinch of salt what I heard on the tv ('Police officer fell 4 or 5 tiers' -I'm sure they meant 'rows'). I'll also take with a pinch of salt everything else until I hear a majority tell the tale of the evenings events.

What I have heard is that the Tottenham Hotspur stewards who were present had everything under control but the police ignored them and decided that cutting open a 17 year old girls face and beating a man in a wheelchair was the best way to make everyone feel welcome. This then drove one or two Spurs fans towards the police. You know, to have a word or two. Which led to the mayhem.

Seems heavy handed police action is what we (the English) have to put up with because of 20 year old history. 'Hooligans' rang out the chant from the home fans. And like Man Utd found out it seems we still have a stigma that just wont go away.

Why the fuck don't they have several rows covered with nets (like in the Prem) with riot police either side, but have them 'sitting' down rather than getting into the faces of the fans. IMO, its blatant that they are geared up to fight. And hit anything that moves. It's just so unnecessary.

We don't see this in England much, yet twice in two nights we get it on the continent. And sadly, they (the police) will be above and beyond suspicion or criticism that should lead to action from UEFA. Have a go at the cops, might lead to strike action that will lead to no presence at games which means no football match can take place.

Of course, ripping up seats and throwing them doesn't do our name much good. Shame that had to happen, and not a proud moment. But not to defend this type of behaviour, if the police were just hitting people for the sake of it, I'm not too surprised some fans reacted this way.

Enough with this for now. Until I speak to friends who were out there and other witness accounts I can't really form too much of an opinion. I'm gonna be bias obviously. Like any supporter. But if Spurs fans were given grief in the city prior to the game....well, it's not surprising that someone may have been a tad naughty with the cops possibly inciting them. What doesn't help is having ITV blame Spurs fans just because were English.

As for the game....

I'm actually quite pleased. Sevilla, for all their La Liga form were not as impressive as I thought they would be. Quite soft in defence, but still dangerous in attack. Have to say I'm confident we can score a couple against them at home.

What a start though. Nice goal. Good away goal. And if it wasn't for some quite diabolically bad referring, things may have been even better. Their second goal - no complaints. Bad defending from us, but fuck me.....penalty?? No way. Robbo takes the ball, ref admits to this, but still gives a penalty. Criminal decision, but then what can you do about it? Cool penalty from Fredi. The git. Second half saw us a little bit more in control resulting in few chances for the Spaniards. But we didn't create too many chances either.

Lennon and Berbs were awfully quiet. Shimmabondierlo did ok, but need King back there. I see what Jol says when he mentions needing one or two more players. Anyone can see that if we add some more quality then the team is more of a whole instead of having one or two holes. Lee still makes me nervous, and more so the Canadian with the giant eyebrows. Sevilla will have to come to WHL and attack. This will allow us space. And Space = goals.

Other general observations. The ref blowing his whistle for anything physical. The ref giving some questionable decisions against us (not just the pen - but why was Berbs penalised when he got sandwiched by two Sevilla players?). Oh, and La Liga at its best with Renato doing his best to allow gravity to keep him firmly grounded while we attacked forcing us to kick the ball out and Palop suggesting to Lennon he dived. The irony burns. But these are the usual knee-jerks.

It's a defeat, but as far as defeats go, it ain't too bad. We didn't play that well yet got a decent away goal and maybe, with another ref...a credible draw. Instead its a '1-0 defeat'. Time for one of those glory glory nights at the Lane next week......


Pics taken by superyids from GG.net

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