Martin’s Musings on SAFC v Tottenham Hotspur: we never gave up

After two successive victories, Martin O’Neill had once again to find the positives in a home defeat in his personal e-mail to M Salut. With yet another re-shuffled defence, the ineligibility of Danny Rose saw Kilgallon who had played well at centre back being moved into the fullback spot, it may have been an easy option for the manager to find excuses, but he praises the team’s efforts and the backing of the crowd.

Jake's imagination

Martin O’Neill in his post-match e-mail

Dear Colin,

We fought really hard to get ourselves in front in the game.

Tottenham hit the bar from a chance we maybe should have cleared, but I don’t remember them causing us a great deal of problems in the first half.

We got the goal and it gave us something to go for in the second half but then we came out and conceded two goals in two minutes. It was a major blow.

The own goal changed the momentum of the game.

We should have done better leading up to that corner. It went into the net off Carlos’ head; we can’t do much about that, but the second could have been avoided.

Jake salutes the fight, rues the result
Jake salutes the fight, rues the result

Two goals in two minutes deflated us and it took us some time to get back in the game.

There were moments when we had really decent possession and it’s from there where you need to choose the right option.

That is the making of real big players in this league – making the right choices at the right time.

We were rushed and harried somewhat but that makes no difference, we should be able to make the right decisions.

It was a good effort from the players. Maybe they were feeling the effects of Boxing Day a little, especially with 10 minutes to go; we needed a second breath to get at them.

We stuck at it right to the end, still putting pressure on Spurs.

The team never gave up, nor did the crowd.

All the best,

Beware of forgeries


Martin O’Neill

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9 thoughts on “Martin’s Musings on SAFC v Tottenham Hotspur: we never gave up”

  1. I haven’t seen MOTD for years and that’s not just because I’ve lived in Canada for the last several of them. I didn’t watch it for long enough because I was tired of hearing the sound of Hansen’s nonsense. I don’t recall Mr Hansen advocating opponents to dive them whenever there was any physical contact as a player. He was a very good player who didn’t take long to become a very irritating pundit.

  2. I thought we were beaten by the better side. Just too much pace on their wings. Bale and Lennon tore us apart, and the likes of Kilgallon simply could not cope. I shudder to think of the pace of Bale against Bramble!
    Perhaps we were a bit leggy after giving so much against Man City?
    Spurs were simply better.

    • Also, I felt we looked light in central midfield. This has been a long time problem. Hopefully, a January signing [ or loan ] plus Cattermole’s return will resolve this.
      In general though, we are much improved in the last 3 games, and are playing with more conviction.

      I notice that Meyler is scoring reguarly for Hull. Another midfield option?

  3. I was at the game Colin and without the benefit of the commentators expert knowledge, thought we (SAFC) did look the more threatening in the first half. Although Spurs had a couple of decent chances and it was fairly even we just about shaded it. We were unlucky with the first Spurs goal and defended poorly for the second, but Spurs are a decent team and there was never much in it.

    As for Bale’s booking you would agree with Alan Hansen then, who seems to think any time a player is touched he should fall over. The incident was at the other end of the ground from me so I had to wait to see the highlights on MOTD to get a second look. Having seen that, I agree there was some contact and Gardner may have been lucky to get away with not conceding a free kick, but in my opinion at worst it was obstruction (indirect free kick) and should not have caused Bale to fall over. When he did it was (IMO) simulation and referees are told that is a yellow card offence.

    Defoe’s in the first half was much more blatant and he should have been booked for that. It is unfortunate that so much goes on in games that is cheating because it is against the laws of the game, but is condoned because it is deemed “professional” as in “professional foul”.

    It has become part and parcel of the game and all teams indulge. There are times when it will be beneficial to your team and times when it won’t. Personally I don’t like it but that’s the reality.

    • I agree Defoe’s was a dive, no argument there, and yes that should have been a booking. in the highlight I saw over here in Aus, Bale had his shirt tugged and the side of his knee knocked as he was passing the defender. Both commentators agreed the contact merited a foul which would have meant a penalty (as it was within the 18 yard box). No I don’t think the slightest touch should automatically cause a foul however any push, knee trip on a limb that effects the momentum of a player is and always will be a foul. As I said the previous two ‘dives’ were also on review both actually fouls.
      I used to play rugby a lot and was fast I hated tap tackles then as an opposition player would tap my ankle and in turn I caught the other foot then fell, the smallest tap can knock a player over. This of course is not allowed in Football, however the referees penalise the person for falling not the one that tripped them?

      • The ” diving ” issue will only be resolved by the referee giving cards if he believes there is simulation. He [ the ref ] can only call it as he sees it. The players have brought this upon themselves with the insidious use of this tactic. They all do it, to one degree or another, and it is laughable that players who spend 90 minutes trying to fool match officials, then complain if the official gets it wrong!

        I would like to see a more proactive attitude from managers and the FA. If they are genuine about ” respect ” surely it should start by showing some honesty toward the man charged with ccontrolling the game?

        Or am I just old fashioned?

      • As William C says – it’s not easy and won’t be because honesty will never be uppermost in the minds of players and coaches, whether it’s illegal contact or simulation. Sunderland have had a couple of penalties against them this season because of players falling over. I have just looked again and there was some knee to knee contact which looked accidental and may or may not have been given – although it would IMO have been a harsh call. The arm across the body more obstruction.

        If Spurs feel hard done to at least it’s Reading he’s missing and not Manchester United.

      • That’s true Malcom, unfortunately for us we need to push our goal differential up to cement a top four position. Bale stretches defences and not only opens up space not only for himself but other forwards,when he is double marked Defoe has more space etc. As you say there was contact that may have impeded his movement towards the goal (in the penalty box). he fell over ( he contends due to this) and being as there was contact the ref books the victim and subsequently he is stopped playing the next game?
        This to us is a double slap (not from Sunderland but the officiators, who have done this to us twice in previous games) a missed penalty and a ban on one of our better players for their wrong decision. Bale has had a lot of time on the sidelines due to hideous fouls perpetrated on him and he avoids mush of this by jumping over these various incoming horrors. As I said his last three ‘diving’ bookings have been errors by the ref, he seems to be tarnished by popular opinion rather then fact. So to say he uses this as a constant tactic would also be wrong. For example earlier there was a great tackle by one of your defenders with lots more contact (but after the defender had the ball) and Bale didn’t bat an eye.
        Anyway Malcom thanks for not being one of those abusive football fans that are completely biased. It has been good talking to you and good luck to you and yours this festive season.

  4. I don’t remember them causing us a great deal of problems in the first half.
    I do not think he was watching the same game as me. the match commentator clearly stated the Sunderland goal was completely against the run of play. It was a good game and Sunderland took their few chances well and as a Spurs supporter I can not complain at all about their goal.
    The referring sometimes went against Spurs and the yellow on bale was wrong the replays showed the tug on the shirt and the knock to the knee. so all the subsequent booing by the Sunderland fans was just silliness. If the end result reflected the possession and attempts at goal the score line would have given a greater differential to Spurs, but that is football. All in all it was a good game apart from the (third erroneous) Bale card.

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