Whatever the result had been tonight, it would have been secondary to
the disgraceful goings on off the pitch. For once, it was not the
fans or the Spanish police making the headlines, but our own shameful
board of directors, as they made Martin Jol endure another 90 minutes of
lacklustre football by the players who contributed to his demise, that
Daniel Levy put a lingering end to before the match began.
The players were said not to know the news,
but with texts arriving and radio stations announcing the rumours of Jol
being axed, it must have got through to the staff of the club, despite
the board's best efforts to keep it under wraps. Jol played the
straight man, but the men poised with the knives behind him were up in
the Gods, laughing the laugh of the unjust.
With Jermain Defoe giving Tottenham the
lead when he jumped between two defenders to head home Berbatov's
knock-back from Chimbonda's lofted cross, it looked as though the team
might salvage some credibility after Monday's capitulation at Newcastle.
But once more, the inability to hold onto a lead, this time for more
than two minutes, left them chasing the game after a free kick floated
into the box, Chimbonda let De La Red (it had to be didn't it) ran
across the six yard box and barely get a touch to fool Cerny as the ball
went into the net and then in the the minute, a low ball in from the
right wing saw Kaboul lose his man, Braulio, who knocked the ball past
the Spurs keeper with a cheeky back-heel.
A late rally almost brought a late
equaliser, but the huff and puff saw Getafe get behind the ball and keep
Tottenham out, with a little help from the woodwork when Michael
Dawson's header thumped back off the angle of cross-bar and post, with
it dropping just behind Jermain Defoe. the little forward
also fluffed another opportunity as time was running out, but Getafe had
shown a glimpse of the technical ability that Sevilla used to knock
Tottenham out of this competition last season. A good touch on the
ball, players willing to run into space and a work ethic that saw them
get men behind the ball when they didn't have it.
They failed to get an early goal as Cerny
stopped a dangerously dipping ball that hit the turf just in front of
him, but he gathered the shot safely and then Albin was set up to fire a
shot on goal, but luckily for Spurs, it was off target.
The game saw Tottenham playing a more
direct game, with Getafe passing the ball around well, with the Spurs
players not getting close enough (most of the time) to prevent them
making progress with the ball.
The goals were preceded by a break on
goal by Defoe, who was defied by the goalkeeper, who injured his arm in
the save and he did not re-appear for the second period.
It looked as though Spurs had regained
the lead when Berbatov flung himself at a cross from Tom Huddlestone,
only to see it wiped out by the German lineman, who flagged Defoe
offside Aaron Lennon looked in good form now he has returned to fitness,
with good speed shown to beat the Getafe right and left backs time after
Just before the half-time whistle,
Anthony Gardner tried to clear a loose ball and as he fell stayed down
for medical treatment. It looked a bad one, but appears to be only
a sprained ankle, but it brought Michael Dawson into the game.
In the interval, the texts and rumours
started flowing. The two minute standing applause for Jol was as
fitting a farewell as you could get. I doubt is the singing of his
name will disappear for a while yet.
Steed Malbranque was well set up by
Berbatov and the midfielder's powerful shot was pushed out by the
substitute goalkeeper, Defoe fired a shot just too high, after Berbatov
put a header off target.
The ball was falling nicely for the
visitors, whereas it was not doing the same for us. When a
clearance dropped into the path of Casquero, he hit it straight at goal
and just missed getting it into the angle by a foot or so. When
Berbatov pulled a low ball back across the penalty area, he managed to
avoid picking out Defoe, Huddlestone and Zokora out in the process.
That was just before the second Getafe goal, which sent their 80- fans
Just five minutes remained when Teemu
Tainio hit a low shot straight at the keeper and then Defoe nicked the
ball past Abondanzieri, but as the ball was going towards goal, it was
hacked away. This replicated an earlier incident when Diaz got
back when Jermain beat the Argentinian keeper to the ball.
As the clock ticked down on Martin Jol's
reign at the club, Berbatov's volley in added time hit a defender and
the game was lost.
Not only that, but a good man had gone
too. Will we live to regret it ?