Spurs lose on penalties (5-3): a black mark against Ange?
Before the match, Ange Postecoglou said he wanted to win all the games, which I thought was refreshing after our previous European managers who were more interested in just European Cup competitions. They regarded our domestic Competition as nothing worth fighting for. Then Ange goes and makes nine changes and fucks up our hopes – or lessens it – of winning something this season.
The last trophy we won was in 2008, when we won the League Cup. It’s the only trophy under Daniel Levy’s domination. Before that, it was 1998/99 when Sugar was in control. The last time we won an FA Cup was in 1991, again under Sugar’s reign. As for the League title, that was won when we won the double in 1961. We’ve only won two League titles; the first was in 1951 under Arthur Rowe. So, when Ange Postecoglou said he takes all competitions seriously and likes winning things, we took him at face value. Then he goes and lessens our chances of winning a trophy for this season. WTF!
His excuse was that he needed to try out new players… does that mean he will use such competitions as trial runs, or is it just for this season? Doing exactly what Mourinho, Conte and other European managers did? And what about the FA Cup and the January transfer window? Another test run for new recruits?
As Mel said after the game… “We got what we deserved. We disrespected Fulham with our selection & got Sanchez to take a penalty. Yet again, another manager lets a cup opportunity slip by. Really pissed off with us disrespecting trophies.” However, another point of looking at it (this time from Janette): “It is disappointing. But Ange is building a squad… who to sell, who to keep! This match was part of that screening… let’s give him this season to build.” As an afterthought, she added, “Although maybe he went too far.”
To be fair, he did say that this would be a transitional period… which means trial and error. Whatever way you look at it, it sucks. Another competition we’ve been knocked out of, another season goes by with the possibility of no trophies. We certainly won’t win the League this season… and we aren’t in Europe, which leaves the FA Cup. I wonder what the readers think? I was there, and it was a very disappointing night. We had such high expectations.
And what did Ange Postecoglou make of his side exiting the Carabao Cup on penalties at Fulham: “Obviously disappointed with the outcome, getting knocked out of the cup. We weren’t at our fluent best, particularly early on – which was not surprising considering the changes I made. It was the first start of the season for a lot of the boys.
“We lacked cohesion and fluency, but I really liked the way we hung in there. There are many different ways to grow as a team, and we showed some real character.
“We had our moments in the second half to maybe go and win it. We weren’t able to get over the line and lost on penalties.”
He then was asked whether he thought domestic cups were important or not: “There is no European football, so how am I going to find out about our players? What opportunity would I have to do that other than the game? They are all part of our club.
“From my perspective, we’re very much at the discovery stage, so we need to find out and give the players the opportunity to contribute because that’s why they’re here.
“They’re not just here to make up the numbers. They keep working hard and deserved the opportunity to go out and play.” True… but was being knocked out worth it? Couldn’t he have experimented against a lesser-quality Premier League opposition? And if we had gotten through this round, we might have been drawn against one of the lower league teams, chances to test away our players who are on the sideline, to Ange’s heart’s content.
As for the match itself:
Richarlison scored. Hip, hip, hooray! Finally!
Micky van de Ven’s first-half own goal gave Fulham a deserved lead and levelled in unusual circumstances. Fulham were temporarily reduced to 10 men when Kenny Tete had to change his boot, and we took full advantage when Richarlison headed in. We scored both goals to help Fulham reach the penalty kicks stage.
Davinson Sanchez’s penalty was saved as Fulham won the shootout.
It was Tete, with his new boot, who scored the decisive spot-kick to send the Cottagers through to add the final nail in our chances of progressing further.
Fulham ultimately deserved it; who should have been out of sight before Richarlison levelled with his first goal of the season. They were against a very sluggish Spurs side.
As for one of the nine replacements, Forster made an excellent save just before the break to deny Rodrigo Muniz, who also had a couple of decent chances before then.
We did improve after the break, and Manor Solomon almost got a dream winner against his former side late on, but his curled effort from the edge of the box was saved.
Then Maddison was brought on to save the day, but his free-kick went into the wall. Finally, penalties were needed to settle the tie, with Fulham successfully converting all of theirs to send us out.
We have had a good start to the season in the Premier League with an opening-day draw followed by back-to-back wins against Manchester United and Bournemouth.
Richarlison was one of just two players, along with Van de Ven, to retain his place in the side from the 2-0 win against Bournemouth. Ironically, it was those two players that ended up scoring. Van de Ven for Fulham, Richarlison for us. And this was a chance for the Brazilian to finally get off the mark for the season as he looks to fill the absence of Kane.
Incongruously, for Richarlison, another opportunity would pass him by as he was largely anonymous in the first half, having one shot of note that was easily blocked by the Fulham defence.
A miserable night… but a joyous trip up to Craven Cottage with Mel. We had a bit of a problem working out how to use the road parking app (to pay). Then we found somewhere to eat…
At the ground, we saw old friends… Beverley and Rick, Janet and a few others. Went to our seats, hoping and wishing for a victory that would eventually send us all the way to the League Cup final, but it wasn’t to be; we finally got home at 12 p.m. Another one bites the dust… oh, well… next up is the FA Cup 3rd Rd in January. At least the year ends in a “1”, that is, one plus three other digits (2024) … oh, we laugh! (as the tears trickle down our cheeks!).
Now we brush ourselves down, do a shake and prepare for our trip to Burnley and just hope lessons were learnt and Ange got what he wanted out of the Fulham game. Let us end optimistically and look on the bright side of life.
Two quotes from Philsopher Matshona Dhliwayo on optimism,
“Whether the glass is half empty or half full, you have the power to fill it up.”
“If the storm forgets to bring a rainbow, paint your own.”
What have we Spurs fans got left but optimism!
Up the Spurs!
My name is Glenn Renshaw.
I am currently a Premium Season Ticket holder (West Stand) in the new stadium. Before that – at White Hart Lane – a season ticket holder in various parts of the ground (mainly in the North stand).
Before becoming a season ticket holder, I stood on the shelf and various other parts of the ground since the 1960s (the season of the double). In 1987 I became one of the first to hold a Spurs Membership card. I was also a life long member of the Spurs supporters club (now defunct).
I go to all home, away and abroad matches.
I was born in 1955, Edgware, London. I currently live in Berkshire.
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