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Slipperduke

The Camden Cad
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
4,333
Location
North London
Michael Dawson summed it up best in the post-match interview. Most players, having secured a place at Wembley would bound onto the screen with a broad grin, congratulate, "the lads," and then scamper off for a late night on the bubbles. Not this time. Instead Dawson hung his head in shame. How did he feel?

"Disappointed," he murmured. "The way we played was not acceptable."

Harry Redknapp was rather more colourful in his appraisal, as well he might be. He had to stand in the wind and rain and watch his players attempt the impossible. No-one had ever thrown away a three goal lead at this stage of the competition before. Spurs were three minutes away from an unwanted record.

"I was stood there with a couple of minutes to go thinking that this could be the most embarrassing night of my footballing life," Redknapp scowled afterwards. "It looked game over, I couldn’t see a goal coming for us."

After a dream start that included wins over Liverpool, Manchester City and Blackburn, as well as 'That Draw' at The Emirates, Redknapp's world has turned sour. The deep-rooted problems at the club are becoming all too apparent.

"It’s a hard job here," he explained. "I keep saying we had to bring in stronger characters. It’s a club that’s been thrown together by I don’t know who, with a load of mish-mash players that has ended up with no back-up goalkeepers and players who play where they want to play."

Redknapp's insistence that he has 'no back-up goalkeepers' is bad news for Ben Alnwick. The former Sunderland goalkeeper was culpable for two of Burnley's goals and, if he was looking for encouragement from his manager, he'll be searching for some time. He may well play on Saturday at Old Trafford, but only because Redknapp has written the game off already and will be sending a scratch side.

The most troubling aspect of this humiliating win is that it came about, not through a shortfall in talent, but through an almost total lack of heart. Redknapp has claimed that some of his players are sulking about the prospect of new arrivals, but if they're that bothered they should be working even harder to make sure they keep their places. The lethargy and indecision in the team was extraordinary and it could have been even worse. David Bentley might have been sent off for his 20th minute assault on Chris Eagles and Benoit Assou-Ekoto almost scored the finest own goal of recent years shortly after the kick-off.

The only positive that Redknapp can take from this miserable affair is that he'll be able to replace one failure with his new signing Wilson Palacios. The Honduran midfielder completed a move, subject to a work permit, this week and should bring a welcome dose of work-rate to the team. That said, even Redknapp seems unsure that he'll fit in with the present crop of players.

"He likes tackling," smiled Redknapp grimly, "so I'm not sure that he'll like playing for this team."

ELECTRIC -

With a number of Premier League managers at Turf Moor, the performance of Chris Eagles will not have gone unnoticed. Many players, Arsenal reject Steve Sidwell, seems determined to claw his way back to the big time. He may get there before Burnley at this rate.

LIONHEARTS -

Owen Coyle had called for the fans to lift the roof and they most certainly did. The club are going to have to get some structural engineers in to check the load-bearing supports this morning. Burnley’s supporters never stopped singing, even when all was lost.

CLUELESS -

The entire Tottenham team with the honourable exception of fiery Jamie O’Hara, who withdrew injured after an hour. They assumed that the game was over, they refused to take it seriously and they were so nearly humiliated. Make no mistake, Burnley should have gone through instead of them.

PUNTERS RANT -

I’m told that one Tottenham supporter, convinced that this was a formality, staked GBP20,000 on their progression to the final in order to pick up what he described as, “a free grand.” I would have given anything to have been sat next to him as he watched Burnley slot home their third goal.

MAN OF THE MATCH -

There are so many candidates in the Burnley side, but goalkeeper Brian Jensen stands out above them all. On a wet, windy night at Turf Moor, he held his nerve and dealt with almost everything. So many shots fizzed in at him over an uneven, muddy surface, but he kept them at bay right up until the end.

MATCH STATS

Crowd - 19, 533
Yellow Cards - McCann, Duff (Burnley), Bentley (Spurs)
Red Cards - None
Burnley -
Brian Jensen 9, Graham Alexander 8, Mike Duff 8, Wayne Carlisle 8, Stephen Jordan 7 (Christian Kalvenes 7, 39th), Wade Elliot 7, Joey Gudjonsson 7 (Jay Rodriguez 7, 81st), Chris McCann 8, Chris Eagles 9, Martin Paterson 8 (Ade Akinbiyi 100th), Robbie Blake 8
Tottenham -
Ben Alnwick 2, Benoit Assou-Ekoto 3, Jonathan Woodgate 3, Michael Dawson 4, Chris Gunter 4 (Abel Taarbart 5, 95th), David Bentley 3, Didier Zokora 3, Tom Huddlestone 3, Jamie O'Hara 7 (Gareth Bale 4, 63rd) , Luka Modric 2 (Roman Pavlyuchenko 6, 65th), Jermain Defoe 5
 
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