Young Boys 3-2 Tottenham – ‘Great Defeat’ On Evil Astroturf Pitch

Ollie Irish

18th, August 2010


WRITING as a Tottenham fan who damn near shat himself last night: We waited almost 50 years for this? Still, I know events at the Stade de Suisse provided much comedy value, for Arsenal fans in particular. You’re welcome. We aim to please.

As Spurs were 3-0 down within 30 minutes and facing a nightmare scenario, to escape from the evil Wankdorf Stadium with a couple of away goals – tucked into a fat brown envelope, in the Redknapp fashion – was a huge relief.

Arry was right to call this a ‘great defeat’, even though his team played like donkeys – Roman Pavlyuchenko, for example, was terrible for 80 minutes before he woke up and scored a triffic and vital goal. Michael Dawson was way off the pace (slower than John Terry, if such a thing is imaginable), Bassong looked outclassed… I could go on. Only the introduction of the Zen-like Tom Huddlestone seemed to settle Spurs.

I think it’s fair to say most of Tottenham’s players – and most of their fans, including me – underestimated BSC, and without using it as an excuse, the artificial pitch did also play a part. As much as it will inevitably sound like sour grapes, I agree with Redknapp when he said afterward that ‘I don’t think Astroturf should be used in a competition like this’; I don’t think it should be used at all, except in more Siberian parts of Russia and other icy hellholes. Not because it gives a big advantage to the teams that play on it all the time, but because in this era of ultra-athletic players, the surface puts huge stresses on ankles and especially knees – Redknapp admitted that several of his players, including Huddlestone and Aaron Lennon, didn’t feel comfortable on the Astroturf.

Still, what to make of Arry’s decision to play a rather cavalier 4-4-2 away in Europe? It might work at home in the Prem, but for a match like this it seemed rather naive. I hope he has learned his lesson: horses for courses.

Tottenham are still favourites to progress, though it won’t be easy. They are a better team than BSC – on grass, at least – and those two away goals should serve them well.

(The commemorative DVD is coming soon to a bargain bin near you, of course.)

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Posted in Champions League, Featured, Photos, Tottenham Hotspur

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  1. Ty says:

    Love the new way that you’re displaying photos! It was a bitch and a half to click on next everytime!

  2. Redknapp was as much to blame as the pitch was. His startint 11 and going with 4-4-2 smacked of narrow mindedness. He really needs to start training for these type of games with a loan striker and 5 across the midfield.
    Modric can slot in behind the lone striker or possibly Keane. Dos Santos also plays there and I´m pretty sure Kranjcar can too. So no excuses, plenty of options…

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  4. Baggees says:

    Oh dear you were wankdorf by the young boys… but I DO like Spurs

  5. Haaaaaaaaaaahahaha says:

    This is what happens when a mid-table side sneak into a champions league spot with one overachieving lucky season. Embarassment to the EPL.

  6. Temjin says:

    Good thing at least someone in england admits that mid-table (sorry Ed.) english teams DO tend to underestimate continental sides that don’t have a VIP pass to the champions league.
    It’s almost grotesque how some people go around calling “pub teams” to european sides that have amassed 3 or 4 times more honours than the ones they support (Everton fans spring to mind)
    Anyways, I’m sure spurs will turn it around at the Lane. After all, they’re not Celtic.

  7. dc says:

    ollie, havent you heard, redknapp doesnt believe in tactics

  8. Connor says:

    The turf wasn’t astroturf, which awful, it’s field turf, which, other than making the ball move a little faster, doesnt really affect the game. nice try spurs, im not buying the excuse.

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