losing the 2012 fa cup semi-final

there are so many ramifications that might arise from having lost to chelsea in the fa cup semi-final.

sam mitchison looks at what might have been behind the defeat and what might be the result of the loss.



So, a big defeat, but one that might not have been by such a wide margin had things gone differently. 

But why did they go the way they did ??  That's what I asked myself ... and here are some of the tihings that sprang into my mind as to why it did and what might happen next ...


Martin Atkinson is a secret Blue. 

He is probably the founder member of the West Yorks. Pensioners Supporters Club. 

He might well have a tattoo of a heart with JT and an arrow through it on his chest.  Have you ever seen him take his shirt off to swap it with a linesman after the game ?  No ... I didn't think so.

There was the dodgy goal that never was. 
There was the incident in which he could have sent Cech off when he brought down Adebayor. 
There was the Beckham style retaliation by Mikel who flicked a kick at Scott Parker and didn't get sent off. 

There are plenty of questions to be answered there I think.

I have a conspiracy theory as to why Atkinson awarded the goal when the ball didn't cross the line. 

I reckon that the FA had instructed him to make sure Spurs lost as they want Harry out so that he can take over as the England manager and with nothing to play for, Spurs might let him go now.

Also, his disastrous run since Capello resigned has been aided by dodgy decisions to depreciate Redknapp's reputation and thus reduce the amount of compensation the FA would have to pay Daniel Levy.

But on a more serious note ...

Harry made some mistakes in his team selection.  Sticking with those players he has given FA Cup appearances to, such as Carlo Cudicini, came back to haunt him.  The keeper wasn't at fault for most of the goals, but the one from the free-kick was shocking ... for a keeper not to be able to see the ball and for the wall to leave a gap for it to go past meant an easy goal for Chelsea.

Picking Ledley King might have been a bit of a emotional choice, but our captain no longer has the ability to just turn up and play, especially if it is twice in the week.  I hope that he will step down and take up a coaching role, as I would like to remember him in his prime and not as someone who went on too long.

Wouldn't it have been better to have a fully fit Nelsen in the side rather than a less than half-fit King ?

The core of the Spurs team has seen the players having played too many games.

Parker, Modric, Bale, Assou-Ekotto.  All had below par games against Chelsea.

Rotation at the right time could have kept the team fresh for the latter stages of the Premier League fixture list.  As it is, we go into the last five games, needing to win most of them with a squad who are tired in limb and mind.

Now is not the time to be drafting people in when you need a big finish against sides who still have something to play for.  And they will play in the style of Stoke and Norwich, giving it lots of energy to close us down and we won't have the stamina to stay with them.

Too many players had an off day - Benny, Gallas, King and Luka were all below par and Lennon tried, but failed to deliver the telling crosses when he did get into a wide position.

Adebayor was too isolated up front and when Defoe came on it was too late and we hardly got the ball to him.

We were dreadfully square at the back and too slow when played around, leaving Chelsea to slip balls past our defenders who could not turn and recover quick enough to stop their forwards getting through.

It appears to me that Harry has been picking players on reputation and not on form, which might affect the view of the FA about him taking over as England manager.

Some of the team are living on performances from earlier in the season and if Harry is having to stick with them because of injuries, then the squad is not as deep as we thought it was at the start of the season ... or might have been if everyone wasn't out on loan.

Then there is the Semi-final hoodoo - now six on the trot that we have lost and no sign that it will be broken in the near future. 

With the team we have, it should be possible to win at this stage of the competition.  Admittedly, Chelsea was a harder proposition than Portsmouth two years ago, but we couldn't even beat them.

Maybe the legs were heavy, but the heads were not clear and the mental toughness to get through did not appear to be there in many of the players approach.  Big game players were either missing or lost it.

And then so did we.

So, where to now ??

Fourth place is the aim, but it will be tough to hold onto it, with Chelsea reinvigorated and Newcastle on a roll.

Conversely, we are in a trough of despair and the management need to shake the players out of it and if they really want to play in the Champions League, then it is in their hands in the coming four weeks.

However, if they get there, will it mean another season where we run out of steam in the Spring ??

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