Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Tottenham v AC Milan

A mate of mine (lets call him James) was surprised that anyone saw the first leg 0-1 win - for Tottenham over AC Milan - as a shock. He told me Milan were a poor side, that Italian football is a dying art and tonight would be easy. He was wrong; it wasn't easy, and that's down to three things he forgot (or dismissed) - history, heritage and experience. That surprises me, because as a Liverpool fan, he must know how important those three attributes can be for a club.

Manchester United are not a great side currently but they are able to win games purely for these reasons - their aura or "who they are"- and they could win the title this season. Their experience helps them in the big games and for the big run-ins. Spurs are only the 5th best side in England - why should we assume they are better than the great AC Milan, a team topping Serie A, with an attacking line-up of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho and Alexandre Pato? They shouldn't, but much of the press (and James) assumed just that.

As I feared they might be, Milan were better than Spurs in an edgy, nervous game tonight. They had more purpose, they had more of the ball, and they looked the more likely to score. They didn't score, and we're through - an achievement I'm very proud of -  but I think we were slightly lucky, and it helps get my point across.

It had taken Spurs 10 years to beat Arsenal in the league, even though we were considered the better side on a number of occasions. Manchester United always beat us, even though we're often the better side, either in form or in the match, and we have similar records at Anfield & Stamford Bridge. So much of that is because of a mental block against more successful clubs, but tonight we hung on against a team who have won 7 European Cups and 9 League titles since Spurs last won the latter - that's a big deal.

It's normally exciting, fighting back from 3-0 down to Young Boys, 4-0 down to Inter, scoring 25 goals in the previous 9 matches, but this was an occasion for Spurs to show that they have other depths to their game against a bigger, more experienced & more successful club. We're there in the last 8 & we've beaten both Milan sides on the way. That's huge; please don't underestimate it.

Who next?

Cheers,
AM

p.s. How good was Sandro? Gem.

43 comments:

LC said...

1st

LC said...

Ive always wanted to do that :-)

Anonymous said...

well done spurs, just about deserved. 3-0 down to young boys, 4-0 down to Inter, who would've thought it!

markygoods said...

COYS

Anonymous said...

Nick, I hate Spurs, but this is a very good post. You should write more about stuff other than fantasy footy

graham (AFC)

DJ PIGG said...

Sandro was good but Gallas' clearance was the deciding factor.

Well done Spurs!

Anonymous said...

Congrats AM on your team doing what Thurman's team couldn't, get dominated and still hold on to eek through to the Elite Eight.
Looking ahead to the next Gameweek has there been any news of Szcz...Arsenal's GK situation and whether you think Heitinga will come in if Arteta is out for a long duration? Both Almunia and Heitinga (2.26 right now) look very nice given their value.
My team now:
Friedel
Walker - Luiz - Smalling - Heitinga
"Der Hammer" - Nasri - Dunn
Ba - Bent - Defoe

Still have +26 left in the bank so Friedel and Dunn may go. Smalling and Nasri may also be switches if ManU and Arsenal draw this weekend.

Still have lots of time so I will wait until your picks next week. Just vacationing in Maui right now and have a bit of time to write before I hit the beach.

-Toekicker

Doctor Teeth said...

Sandro was straight money.

If we draw Schalke or Shakhtar, look out.

COYS!!!

kellz said...

Bring it on spurs! ! Congrats!!

Anonymous said...

No doubting Spurs could win it as long as they don;t face Barca till the final. 2 games vs them and spurs lose, one off they could win.

p.s. I must admit i agreed wiht ur mate james but ur article nailed it tonight, very good

Ste99

Anonymous said...

fantastic writing as always, well done tottenham

chrisC said...

tell james to suck his balls with his stupid mouth

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Linesman said...

AM I really admire your view on the game and your humility after such a huge result for your club. I have too often seen people blinded by results they forget to acknowledge the quality of their opponents.

All respect to they way you guys played tonight, especially your two centre halfs and Sandro. What a game they had! Do you think Redknapp will bring King in for Gallas after his performance tonight?

I am a huge fan of AC Milan and their players. To see the likes of Seedorf and Nesta compete at the top level every year is testament to the great history and pedigree Milan offers. They play some amazing football and it always sad to see them lose in the CL.

Thanks again for the amazing post and time for some FA cup action!

Cheers!

kwyjibo said...

Hey, there was an EPL match tonight! Everton 1 - Birmingham 1 ... woo hoo!

Oh ... wait ... nobody cares ... ;)

Congrats Spurs!

Anonymous said...

I hope your writing will some day take you further than this blog as it is observational and often words things that only a true football fan can say, marvellous, good luck to you and your club

FootyTube.com said...

i see your point Nick, we are are a Spanish site but are looking for people to write for us, please contact us on the mail address on contact

reno said...

as a milan fan it hurts but i expect this to be the best thing i read on the subject in the next 48 hours and thats why i follow the blog, but it really hurts that we fail again

Anonymous said...

20th

Anonymous said...

22th

Anonymous said...

23th

Anonymous said...

fuck, my single week team wouldve got 87, but my dger tea did worse but got 99, you nailed it AM, cheerss

Anonymous said...

Foster slightly redeemed himself by getting 14pts in the Everton game, still a poor purchase though unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

Oh I hate DGW...

the last player I changed was from Hitzlsperger to Jiranek and I lost 19.5 pts and discount!!...

Anonymous said...

well games like Barca played are why i love football, spurs game--- sure if you're a fan of spurs or have money on the game, otherwise-- nhl hockey is routinely more exciting.

congrats to spurs, couldn't have happened to a more deserving club.

AdmiraLord Nelson said...

I agree it was a boring game. Arsenal sure could haved used William Gallas against Barca.

Anonymous said...

29th

Anonymous said...

I've been playing around with my teams quite a lot and here are a few that I've come up with...for your viewing pleasure ;)

Howard
Kolarov Walker Rafael
Hitz Young Nasri VdV Adam
Bent Suarez

Howard
Kolarov Bale Heitinga
Hitz Young Nasri Silva Valencia
Suarez RvP

Howard
Kolarov Walker Jiranek
Hitz Young Nasri Silva VdV
Suarez RvP

Obviously I can switch Young and Nasri with Adam, MGP, Fabregas and so on, but I do have a slight discount on them that I'd like to keep.

I hate two week breaks as much as the next person so lets hope for minimal injuries over the weekend and the return of some key players.

Cheers

Chaos said...

Woo Hoo, I won the week on the whole game!!!

174.5 points.

Am now 51st....

Well done Spurs.

Tayo said...

Did anyone remember this post????

Dear AM and AMers,
I'm torn between: Ridgewell + Carr vs. Coleman/Osman + Hitzlsperger...
Any advice much appreciated.
By the way, please rate the proposed team below:

Howard / Baines, RoJo, Ridgewell, Carr / Arteta, Neville, Bentley / Beckford, Saha, Zigic

Many thanks as always!

OF COURSE, I DROPPED Coleman, Osman and Hitzlsperger FOR Ridgewell, Neville and Carr....
Ggrrrrrrr!!!!

Congrats to Spurs and their fans!

Tayo said...

By the way, I scored 71.5 points with 11 double gamers. That has to be the worst score for a full double-game week.
Post your score if you did worse...

lipantata said...

i'm totally agree with u nik...

Anonymous said...

now then i agree with your mate milan are fucking shite, spuds got lucky, who cares, vote JAMES

Anonymous said...

I hope next rival with Schalke.

Anonymous said...

Dr teeth, surely your post about who spurs could get in the next round totally contradicts and devalues the whole point of AMs post?

Other than barca, I feel confident spurs have a great chance against anyone in the competition, especially after their performance last night.

Anonymous said...

Who is this Sandro guy? He is dirt cheap in YFF

Anonymous said...

i hate DGW!!!

Anonymous said...

Meh. AC Milan are a poor side and Spurs were lucky to hold on. They will be humiliated by one of the true top sides. Enjoy the CL while you can because you won't be there again next season.

Ken said...

Just a useless point. This past week I went off the trail somewhat and picked against the "double gamers". My winning shot was picking up (both) Torres & Tevez, EACH with great match ups.

Totals for the year between the two were....

Goals...27
Assist...8
Shot on targets...70
Corners won....56
Tackles......36
Fouls won.....83
Pass intercepted....32
Total points.....511.50

TOTAL POINTS FOR (BOTH) THIS PAST WEEK.....4.5!!!

Best laid plans....????

Anyone need advice? I (may) be able to tell you where to go...In a nice way of course.

greginho said...

the difference is tottenham won there group stages, still got drawn with milan. spurs shut out a great attacking milan team. i don't think spurs were lucky, milan was better, but they had lost at home so they had to attack.
arsenal finished second because they started bendtner and denilson in two group matches and lost. playing barcelona is the penalty wenger gets for playing average players in the champions league group stages.
well done spurs. i am rooting for tottenham to be the only english team in the semis and maybe finals.

Anonymous said...

agreed Greginho. all 4 grp winners have gone thru' to the qtr's so far. and i see no reason why chels, man u & madrid won't follow them. maybe inter have a chance vs bayern, but bayern will be faves, and could easily make it 8 out of 8 !

S.P.

Anonymous said...

stupid saha..stupid ridgewell...

fronaldo said...

congrats spurs...

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