A look back at Inter


Gareth Bale

Compliments regarding the fortitude of the side, Gareth Bale’s extraordinary hat-trick and the ten man almost comeback against an Inter team that nearly eased off the pedal a bit too far have helped obscure the fact that we were four nil down after half an hour on Wednesday and but for a couple of Cudicini stops could’ve been even further behind by half time.

One of the oft-quoted sentiments going into this season’s Champions League programme was that we ‘hope we don’t get embarrassed’, well in five games, we have been twice so far. Any lessons learnt in Bern when we looked square at the back and slow everywhere for the first half hour looked to have been forgotten on Wednesday when we were square at the back and slow everywhere for the first half hour.

Bale’s left peg strikes have taken the heat and the focus away from Redknapp’s tactics and team selection. From the start of last season Harry’s response to any challenge has been to attack and his breezy assertion in this week’s press conference that we were going to ‘have a go’ is typical. But this was the home of the European Champions. We have kept only two clean sheets this season the last of which was in August. To leave a defence that fragile with the protection of only Modric and big Tom in front of it smacks more of naivety than a gamble.

Les Ferdinand explained the poor opening as ‘people weren’t doing their jobs’. What? That means ‘people’ aren’t good enough. Jenas wasn’t good enough two years ago according to Redknapp, hence the purchase of Wilson and Sandro. Similarly with Hutton, hence the purchase of Corluka, Naughton, Walker and the repositioning of Kaboul. Gallas wasn’t good enough to be offered a new contract by the smuggers.

If it is possible for Michael Dawson’s stock to have risen even higher then it has done. As the situations with Ledley & Woodgate become less and less tolerable, the fact that we’re not able to field a stable reliable centre back pairing becomes more and more stark. It’s been like this since Redknapp took over but not been properly addressed.

I trust Harry, don’t get me wrong and hindsight is a wonderful thing, but the Spurs website’s description of Bale as ‘San Hero’ should have special resonance with the manager as the Welsh wonder has done more than spare the blushes of the whole side, he’s allowed Redknapp and his staff’s preparation for the biggest, most glamorous game Spurs have played in years to go largely unnoticed and uncriticised.


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  1. It has been largely uncritcised because Harry has been 100% open about the league being priority. If the Inter game would have been priority then King would have played in Italy instead of in Fulham. The added experience, composure, and leadership would have made a better performance for us. The fact that King was missing for both the Inter and the Young Boys capitulations speaks volumes of his worth. There is ample cover at centre back, but for Kaboul and Dawson to be injured on top of King & Woodgate is hard to cater for. Besides, we clearly saw the shell shocked Spurs team come out in the second half more composed – thanks to Harry. Yes, Inter backed off, but there still was an immense difference on our side. The only critcism I could have said would have been that we should have completely been defensive in the first few mins – just to take the sting out of Inter – but then again, that is with hindsight. But after the first goal, then that is more of a sign to do such a thing – then gradually venture more forward.

  2. Simple fact is, for us to make the step to the top level we cannot afford to have such a poor defence. Yes Bale was wonderful and a credit to the team well actually Bale really gets all the credit, nobody else did themselves any favours. However the stark reality is we are woeful at the back and lesser teams have found us out in this area. We need a settled back 4, yes injuries are unfortunate but Woodgate has been injured ever since we bought him and Ledley truly has to do the decent thing and accept his playing days are over. Offering him a new contract was madness in my mind no matter how good he is. So on the january list is a centre back and one of quality – a right back and cover for Benoit. For me Corluka is pedestrian, Hutton too Gung Ho, Naughton too inexperienced and Walker likewise.

  3. In an ideal world, would your starting 11 for this match normally include:
    Defoe, King, Dawson, van der Vaart?
    Would those four contain our most predatorily blessed attacker, our most skilful playmaker and our first choice centre back pairing?
    Given that 40% of the outfield picks were not available and that 75% of the first pick back line are injured, it could be considered that we got off lightly to only be 4-0 down against the European Champions by half time…
    My next point is somewhat highlighted at the end of the last sentence, Inter Milan are the reigning European Champions, we are a team that bobs around the top half of the EPL and after nearly 20 years of working at it, we finally managed to finish 4th and get into the Champions League through the qualification round… put our team back into perspective and then look at theirs. Look at their results/titles in the last 20 years, look at ours. Look at their team and look at ours… Eto? mmm… would he make a Spurs 11… er yeah… the list could go on, but why waste the time typing the next 5-6 names that would follow. We need to finish 4th at least 2-3 more times before we can consider ourselves 'top 4' and unless we focus on the league there is no chance and as we saw in the summer, finishing 4th once does not unlock the door to infinite players wanting to play for us…
    Redknapp did not get it wildly wrong, he was forced to make the majority of the selections he made. The team could have been better prepared maybe, the occasion was immense, it could be argued (good comment Tony), that we could have parked the coach for the first 20 mins, but I have not returned home having watched the match feeling ashamed or embarrassed, yeah, we got lucky in the end and the score line flattered a first half shocker, don't forget though that the second half was 3-0 to us and they are no chumps. Whatever Harry said at half time worked and that is the key… give the guy a break! Would Jol have inspired such a turnaround?
    Harry has the correct set of priorities in hand:
    1) League
    2) CL group (focus on home games)
    3) FA Cup?
    4) League Cup (played the weakest team possible while still being respectful)
    To suggest that Harry and his team have 'got away with it' is pretty daft too, he has a boss who is generally regarded as one of the most savvy business men in the country, let alone football, surely you can't be suggesting that he hasn't called Harry into the boardroom for a very specific conversation??? More than that, Harry is an old hand and will be personally flogging himself over the first half, he's no mug and will not be sat around smirking, thinking that no one noticed…

  4. Bales performance covered a sub-standard team performance. If we are honest Inter players were more technically able than the Spurs players, with a couple of exceptions. The really sad thing is that Spurs are one of the most technically gifted sides in the premiership.

    Sad to say Inter will win at White Hart lane.


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