‘Tinkerman Mark II’ escapes to victory at Stoke

THERE is nothing more exhila-rating than an injury time winner — the explosion of emotion and joy — especially when you have all but given up hope.

That said, I’m not sure one of our better-known supporters would agree as flying joyous bodies managed to dislocate his shoulder when Malouda found the net in the 94th minute of Saturday’s game against Stoke. I hope he just thought of the three points as hospital staff popped his arm back into its socket!

As painful as that may have been, it was probably akin to watching the first half. It was a frustrating 45minutes and it looked to me that our boys were not up for the battle.

We pummelled them though in the second half and were very unlucky not to score earlier — it was no more than we deserved considering the thuggish behaviour of many of the Stoke players and the special brand of officialdom meted out by Mike Read.

Got a text just after the team was announced on Saturday from one of my mates — it read:

“Ancelotti is the ‘Tinkerman Mark II’.”

There does seem to be something in that which is worrying. Footballers need to put their egos to one side and understand where their place is within any given squad. There will always be those who are the first on the teamsheet, and there will be those who are merely part of the larger squad – if the latter cannot accept that, then they need to find another club.

The manager needs to put any sentiment aside and play the best/strongest team for any encounter and on Saturday I just don’t think he did that.

Perhaps the quality of our squad will see us through but we only barely got away with it at Stoke and I’m not sure we could pull that sort of result off again and again.

On to more light-hearted matters. You’ve got to laugh at Arsenal fans, haven’t you? Their hypocrisy is simply astounding. They spend the majority of last season abusing Adebayor — to the point where he was more or less hounded out of the club. They then do the same to him as an opposition player at the weekend and, would you believe it, come over all morally indignant when he gives a bit of it back! Even funnier was the scenes we all witnessed of the Gooners wrestling with each other NOT to get onto the pitch.

Truth be told it’s not just Arsenal; in recent years football supporters in general have become a sensitive bunch.

There have even been instances of ‘fans’ reporting players to the police because a particular goal celebration or comment has upset them – it’s pathetic.

AT A TIME when every last bit of spontaneous emotion is looking to be curtailed in our game by one governing body or another, isn’t it about time supporters behaved like adults in instances such as these? All we seem to be doing these days is handing the FA the baseball bats to beat us with.

Give Adebayor and others like him pelters by all means (we all know where the line is), but equally take it when a player gives it back.

And I really don’t want to hear the lame excuse of him being paid x amount of thousands, or the “I’ve paid for my ticket I’ll say what I like” lines of debate.

Let’s all agree that the game needs more banter not less and that it is partially what made us love this game in the first place.

So, Tottenham this weekend and it’s good that someone seems to have briefed Ancelotti on what this game means.

It was Guus’s only real slip-up last season so loads of brownie points at stake here.

United put them in their place last week, and we want to make sure they stay there!

* Contact Trish on Trizia_f@hotmail.com


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