Posted by: Paul | August 21, 2010

Lucky

You need a bit of luck to be successful in football.

Spurs should know – season after season there have been times when crucial decisions have gone against us. Stone-cold penalties denied. Fictitious penalties granted against. And perhaps most famously, the goal that never was – a clear metre over the line at Old Trafford in 2005.

Today however, karma decided to give us something back. Under a concerted assault close to injury time against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium today, Peter Crouch blocked a ball with his chest, falling backwards, about a foot behind tthe goal line. The post blocked the referee’s view and the linesman was too far away to give it, so the goal didn’t stand – much to the chagrin of the Stoke players.

We were lucky – though I thought on the whole that we still deserved to win. We put in another decent, if unspectacular performance (bar Gareth Bale’s amazing second goal), with several important first-teamers injured. Encouraging signs – now all that remains is to thump Young Boys at the Lane on Wednesday night and get into the Champions League proper.

We played poorly in Switzerland – plastic pitch or no plastic pitch – and we were lucky (there’s that word again) to cut the defecit to a single goal. Those away goals are going to come in very handy I think. And come Wednesday night we might be looking a bit more solid at the back too, courtesy of the unlikely figure of William Gallas.

I have very mixed feelings about Gallas’ signing. Clearly Harry and Levy have done good business – free transfer, lower wages than Arsenal – but even without Gallas’ past at the wrong end of the Seven Sisters Road, I’m not convinced of the sense of this. Unless he has had a total character transformation, Gallas is a highly strung primadonna, prone to fits of pique and attracting, nay, inviting, conflict. Who can forget his threat to score an own goal when at Chelsea if his transfer request was not granted? Or his infamous sit-in in the centre circle after the Birmingham-Arsenal game. He has it all to prove – if he does a job for us and shows that, at 33, he has finally grown up, then I will cheer him as loud as anyone else wearing the Lilywhite. Maybe Gallas signing will be our lucky day.

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