Stevenage Vs. Tottenham Hotspur, 2012 FA Cup: Well That Was Lame

Lawrie Wilson of Stevenage and Louis Saha of Tottenham during the FA Cup Fifth Round match between Stevenage and Tottenham Hotspur at The Lamex Stadium on February 19, 2012 in Stevenage, England.

I'm going to be perfectly honest. I don't really care to write a proper match report for this game, and it's not because Tottenham Hotspur failed to get a good result. Coincidentally, this is exactly how I felt after almost every single Colorado Rapids match that I watched over the last two seasons. Stevenage played exactly like the Colorado Rapids on Sunday.

So yeah, I'm a little bitter. Before this game, Ryan Rosenblatt wrote a preview in which he expressed his distaste for Gary Smith's tactics. A few Stevenage fans abused him, called him a "yank c--t", and told him to "do your research". It turns out that he knew more about the way Stevenage would play on Sunday than the Stevenage supporters who abused him. Surprise!

Stevenage played a 4-4-2 with nine men behind the ball for most of the match, was extremely physical, and committed twice as many fouls as Tottenham. They did well on counter attacks and set pieces. They probably could have scored if their central midfielders stepped up when they had the ball in the box. It was the Gary Smith special.

Oh, I haven't mentioned it yet: This match finished 0-0. It was a bad game of football. There will be a replay at White Hart Lane. Stevenage got their seven-figure payday. Good for them.

Spurs started in a 3-5-2 that featured Gareth Bale as the most advanced player of the midfield three. Against a defensive 4-4-2, this setup made sense, but it didn't look like Tottenham had ever practiced it or discussed it in training. It was as if Harry just woke up this morning and decided to throw it out there. For the first 35 minutes, Tottenham's passing was abysmal.

They looked better in the final 10 minutes of the first half, but Stevenage did well to keep Tottenham off the board. I have an intense distaste for Gary Smith's team and tactics, but I have nothing bad to say about Stevenage's back line and goalkeeper Chris Day. They had excellent games. Our poor play and Smith's tactics take nothing away from that, kudos to them.

Tottenham's best chance came in the 56th minute, when Louis Saha appeared to score a goal. Incredibly, Scott Parker found himself on the line, offside, and the ball deflected off him and went into the back of the net. Even though a goal would have been scored if Parker wasn't there, he was offside and interfered with play, so the call was correct.

Saha had a couple of other opportunities, which he turned into a couple of bad misses. Jermain Defoe was ineffective, and except for a great shot that was saved by Day early in the second half, Bale was largely ineffective as well.

This wasn't a great performance, but it's not the end of the world. King, Modric, Benny and Manny all got rests ahead of the North London Derby. I expect us to win the replay. Well played Stevenage, but Gary Smith can piss off forever.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Cartilage Free Captain

You must be a member of Cartilage Free Captain to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Cartilage Free Captain. You should read them.

Join Cartilage Free Captain

You must be a member of Cartilage Free Captain to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Cartilage Free Captain. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker