Thursday, March 13, 2008

Penalty Fare: Ticketless Chump Chimbonda

Well first up it was football match and not a bus crash we just climbed out of. We must start by acknowledging that Tottenham played quite well.

PSV weren't exactly crackerjack last night but they are Champions League punters and to beat them 0-1 at home was a credible deed.

Sure, the first half was too reverential in places. And ultimately we were only just unable to snap PSV in ninety minutes. Whilst just isn't good enough, the European Tour is only postponed. Not forever cancelled.

There was much to be proud of. A few of the lads floated in and out of the game, but no major hanging offences. Keane persisted in a game that had all the signs he might evaporate, so he gets a mention of sorts in dispatches. Everybody kept running and the defending was a task undertaken by everyone. Tactic? The substitutions were expert.

It's all over bar the shouting and I've a feeling that may go on for a little bit yet. The penalties. I am an old fashioned chap at heart. In the tetchy, driven words of Don Logan, Preparation preparation preparation. This mantra cannot guarantee a silk purse production line from a pallet of pig's ears, however it will absolutely increase the likelihood of success.

Jenas? Under hit, wet. Chimbonda? Slack, slipshod, useless. Pick an adjective.

It's my belief that every squad player in a team that plays in competitions where SUDDENLY the duty of penalty taking could require players beyond the two or three 'specialists' ought practise taking them.

If, after practising they are pants, which I would qualify as anyone unable to belt the damn thing AWAY from the goalie, yet still ON TARGET at the goal... they must be removed from the list.

I'll echo the sentiments of many and draw this to a close by asking where was the technical tour de force Steed Malbranque when Pascal Chimbonda was hitting the advertising hoardings? I could weep...

They're on the 3rd page of sale goods...


shanemac said...

few thoughts:

whatever happened to that jenas-tainio pairing that we were hailing after successive strong performances versus man u? marauding menace and mister mettle.

personally didn't think chimbonda had a bad game at all until the penalty. class defending and useful going forward.

zokora is such a jol player. he shows so much passion and energy that we so dearly want him to be good. sad truth is that he's just not a very intelligent player. case and point, that two-footed challenge at the end of the game. would've been a red in the prem.

Jared said...

I imagine the tour de force of steed was scared he'd miss and have all the the fans jumping on his back. Luckily we had a defender to step up and take a crack at it.

As Poyet said 'the only people who don't miss penalties, are the players who don't take em'. I usually detest the mercenary chimbonda, but last night he had a good game and probably created most of our chances (inc. the goal).

I realise it's the spurs way to grab a scapegoat and ruthlessly hound them out the club, regardless of whether their to blame or not, but for once can we just try and support all of the lads. Of more interest was chimbondas reaction to the missed penalty, he looked absolutely gutted. Whether it was because he's sad we're not in the next round or because he's missing out on his win bonus remains to be seen

shanemac said...

towards the end of regular time, i should've said.

i'd also like a verdict on boateng and taarabt.

onedavemackay said...

I am sorry but it is really easy to slag off players who miss penalties from the comfort of the keyboard but unless you have demonstrated similar bottle you really are in no position to criticise. Berba and Keano are two highly rated penalty takers and they have both missed one recently.

Gus is right it is a lottery.

We should have won it in 120 minutes we created enough chances but unfortunately most of them involved poor old Darren Bent who looks like a little boy lost.

I am really proud of the lads they showed a lot of fight and I am expecting great things next season.

Anonymous said...

onedavemackay excuse me but when did berba miss a pen again i certainly dont remember him missing one in a spurs shirt

theshelfer said...

For all those who keep saying that penalties are a lottery, please note the dictionary definition of lottery: "any happening or process that is or appears to be determined by chance".

Tossing a coin, or picking straws at the end of a game is a lottery, penalties are not.

It maybe unfair and harsh to blame Chimbonda and Jenas for the loss, but they missed because at that particular moment they were not good enough, not because they called heads, and it landed tails.

ChicagoSpur said...

The fact that it is a lottery is proven via the Jenas and O'hara penalties. jenas' was in my opinion unquestionably the better taken, but O'hara had luck on his side as it slipped through Gomez's paws. I hoped you Harry would be the voice of reason. Who put in the cross to Berba? The ticketless chump. I expected more from you Harry.

Stuart said...

["any happening or process that is or appears to be determined by chance"] Well, with a top-drawer keeper, the 'chance' is whether he chooses the right direction - left, right, or down the middle. If he'd chosen his right or down the middle for the Jenas penalty, JJ would be hailed as a hero. Unfortunately, we came up against a keeper who on the basis of these two games, has been on top form. Well done the lads though, couldn't have asked for more, after the poor performance in the first leg.

Anonymous said...

At least Chimbonda took a pen, rather than Woody, Lennon, Steed, and the rest.

The only bottlers are the ones who step back.

Not the ones who jump over the trenches and get shot.

theshelfer said...

Hey Stuart,

A "top-drawer keeper" who "chooses the right direction" is not doing something by "chance". He is making a conscious decision based on his level of talent and skill. Sure, sometimes he can get "lucky", but as either Lord Harold or Gary Player once said, the harder I practice, the luckier I get.

There were many reasons why we failed to get through the other night, and it is wrong to focus on Robbo, Chim, and Jenas. But it is also wrong to ignore what we learned from the penalties and just write them off as some form of village raffle.

We learned some players did not appear to have the heart to take a penalty - Steed and Lennon?, we learned that Robbo is not an expert penalty saver; we gained more evidence that Jenas often underperforms because he is not as mentally strong as he needs to be, and as for Chimbonda - Harry has already spoken.

Should the evidence from the penalty shoot-out be used to condemn these players without a fair trial in a court of law - NO. Should we completely ignore what we saw as if it was nothing more than the weekly drawing of the National Lottery - NO.

You can bet that Juande has noted what went on and has added the findings to his list.

Harry Hotspur said...

Must say that shelfer bloke is on the money AGAIN.

Penalties a village raffle? What load of rubbish. And who is calling the guys who didn't take them cowards all of a sudden? Did I miss statements from players or are some folk LEAPING to conclusions??!!

Anonymous said...


Seriously. I don't normally like to be critical of other people's posts, but yours is priceless.

How can you possibly say Jenas' pen was "unquestionably the better taken" compared to O'Hara's, and that O'Hara had luck on his side cos his slipped through Gomes' hands?

As was pointed out before... O'Hara smashed his pen. Smashed meaning he hit it f#cking hard. That is why it went in! The power from his pen carried it over the line. It was well struck.

Jenas went for a "casual placement" approach, with much, much less power. His bodyshape not only gave Gomes clues to where the ball was headed, but the lack of pace on the strike gave him more time to get to it which added together = a greater likelihood of him keeping the ball out.

And please, why go on to then defend Chimbonda? Any player that f#cks off to the dressing room sulking in a Cup Final (when we are losing and the Manager wants to make a tactical substitution), who then breezes onto the pitch to join the team mates he deserted (when he should have been on the bench supporting his fellow comrades during their fightback) in celebration of our victory can absolutely p1ss off to another club. He's a c%nt.

To be fair to you though, chicagospur, you seem to have some qualities Pascal seems to lack. You can defend, you're loyal and you are dedicated.

Anonymous said...

Still gutted about this loss. Really thought we could do a double this year with the Carling and UEFA cup. My only hope for the season now is that Le Arse get trampled by Liverpool and miss out on the prem title as well.

Coming back to the PSV game it is pointless to argue about the penalties when this tie was lost in the first leg. Gilberto was played when he was not match -sharp, forget about match-fit. One mistake cost us and we could not even play well enough to score a single goal at home that would have made our game in Eindhoven much easier. Chin up though - the Ramos Revolution continues and I am already excited for next season. Let's forget this painful loss with a resounding win over Citeh. COYS.

EL said...

Never fully understood the - what I would consider - exagerated diatribes against Chimbonda; a player who always appears to work hard; always makes things difficult for opponents and plays better, I would argue, than any other defender we have, in all four defensive positions. Maybe King's the exception though Chimbo's rarely out injured. His attitude could be better but I've seen worse. Sulking down the tunnel could as much be seen as a passionate desire to be involved as disloyalty; which I personally think is a silly suggestion. The fact that he came out a little while later to enjoy the win, which he'd played a big part in, and apologized to the fans made the whole affair seem pretty tame.

I hope we keep him. He's one of the most consistent, quality players we have (When he's not on a wander).

As for the psv match: Penalties shmenalties. We should have enough about us to put that lot of raggedy misfits to bed without breaking a sweat. Not surprised they got dumped out of the champions league, they were all over the place!

Now how about a back-lash on sunday fellas.

Go on the Spurs!

Anonymous said...

For a few weeks we were excellent. Then Robinson was allowed back into the team. The whole nature of our game changed. The long kicks up towards Berbatov (lets face it no one else is going to be big enough to compete for the long hoof) draws the midfield up the pitch.
After the inevitable head away from the centre backs the ball is hurried away to our centre backs who (without the support of the midfield) hoof it back again.

For a few weeks with Cerny in goal we were playing FOOTBALL not HOOFBALL. We worked the ball down the pitch and midfielders got involved.

I am not anti Robbo as he is a great shot stopper but he needs to stop hoofing it upfield.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Robbo is a liability but Cerny is hardly a major improvement. I bet we will buy at least 2 new keepers in the summer.

I was never convinced that Robbo was a top-class keeper but I have been surprised at his decline.

In particular, he isn't thinking straight either because his confidence is shot to pieces, or he has no brain. His positioning for the Drogba goal in the final was schoolboy stuff, and his efforts at this weeks penalties suggested he had no strategy for trying to outguess the PSV boys.

My guess is that DC and JR are deciding how to maximise his sale value for the end of the season. Do they hide him from further embarrassment, or do they keep him in the team and hope he is motivated by the fact that he is in the shop-window and better perform or he will end up back at Leeds.

Harry Hotspur said...

El ~Penalties Schmenalties. Your way is THE way. Let's move on. Shouldda done 'en in 90 minutes.

Let's bash Shiteh!

Give'em El!

daytripper said...

jared, shanemac & anon 1.55 - excellent comments. Been a while since somebody's had decent posts here.

Very disappointed with Harry's comments, the non-stop rants against Chimbo are becoming really childish. I'm not a fan of his either, but he really has been our best defender the last month+ & was dominating against PSV.

The pressure on Chimbo was 1000 times more than what it was on JJ - it takes a hell of a lot of guts to step up when you know that if you score nobody will remember because it's only all even, and if you miss than you're the "chump".

After watching JJ choke on his breakaways and every pressure free kick this season, did anybody think he had a prayer of scoring?

With regards to the idiotic PK lottery comments - Go to YouTube and watch Fiorentina's PKS. Not a keeper on the planet that could have stopped those, no matter how they guessed.

dannyboy said...

"Any player that f#cks off to the dressing room sulking in a Cup Final (when we are losing and the Manager wants to make a tactical substitution), who then breezes onto the pitch to join the team mates he deserted (when he should have been on the bench supporting his fellow comrades during their fightback) in celebration of our victory can absolutely p1ss off to another club. He's a c%nt."

Anonymous - does that include the legend Ricky Villa who did exactly that in the 1st game against Citeh, FA Cup Final 1981? Are you old enough to remember it?

Anyone who gives his all while wearing the lilywhite shirt is fine by me. When he stops, that's a different matter.

As for the penalties; get over it. We're out, end of. We lost the tie in the 1st game, at home, when we couldn't score, no-one had a decent game, we were shit. How many home games have we not scored at least one goal in this season? I can't be bothered to check. Not many, if any. That's the REAL travesty. Stop singling out individuals. Who mentioned backlash against Citeh? Now, that I do like.


dannyboy said...

I knew it, I checked my own question! The number of games we have failed to score in at home this season? Answer? one. Team? Yep, you got it, PSV Eindhoven. I rest my case.


Anonymous said...

Is Chimbonda mercenary in his attitude? Maybe. Yet he does deserve plaudits for many of his performances. He created the goal in the PSV match. He makes errors, yes, but which player doesn't?

Bent, on the other hand, could have revealed a mercenary attitude by transferring to Spam (a club which, by accounts, offered him more money). But he chose Spurs - a creditable attitude. Furthermore, he seems a nice bloke and a team player. Nor have I heard any whining from him. Yet he's criticised for not performing well.

We can't have it both ways.

We see the effects but not the causes. We draw conclusions about the centre based on the circumference.

Losing was tough to swallow, but in climbing a ladder there will be slips on a few rungs from time to time. The higher the prize, the deeper the pain. Winning sides accept losing as an occupational hazard. Defeat isn't a disaster - it's but one feature of the overall package. On this occasion, it was the prominent feature. It won't always be.

Victory in the Carling Cup Final was not nothing. It was something. It mattered. It was a step up that ladder. Despite the UEFA Cup exit, the momentum remains one of ascent. Other steps can positively be taken between now and the end of the PL campaign - steps not measured by any cup success, and perhaps harder to quantify superficially and at a distance.

But, if players are earnest about staying at Spurs, we can surely expect a few more signs of progress between now and the end of the season.


9.37 Anon

shanemac said...

I agree with El again.
I think some of us have fallen victim to some of the baseless buzz that the tabloids have disgorged. Okay so Chimbonda walked off in a huff in the Carling Cup. Immature? Granted. However, I think it's in line with his other actions that evince a confident player who believes he can do a lot of good for the club on the pitch, e.g. volunteering to take a penalty in a European quarter-final. Moodiness isn't always a negative quality in a player. Thierry Henry, Nicholas Anelka, bloody Eric Cantona, anyone? They're just French, what can you ask for, really?

Bottom line is that I'm not sure that Alan Hutton can be much better at right back than Chimbonda has generally been.

shanemac said...

Quality, mate. Wish I was old enough to remember that.