Yeah, this is a little late. My brain is still full of fail. There were so many awful and terrific things that happened in this match. I'm still finding it very difficult to summarize my thoughts and round them up in any kind of coherent manner. So, for a complete change of pace, I'm not even going to try. This is a match review about the ups and downs of following sports, as well as a look at the mental ramifications of this match and future matches.
I'm going to be honest. When Gomes got sent off, I was very tempted to turn off the TV. In retrospect, that would have been a really good decision. I sat through the entire first half and turned off the TV at halftime when the score was 4-0 to Inter Milan. It was the most pathetic half of football I have ever seen Tottenham Hotspur play. That is the second time I have said that this season, since the first half against Young Boys is the second worst half of football I have ever seen Spurs play. Even the start of the years where Martin Jol and Juande Ramos were fired didn't have anything quite as inept as those two halves of football.
I actually felt like I was going to throw up. I contemplated quitting writing about football altogether. There are very few times in my life when something that didn't directly happen to me affected me in such a way. This actually wasn't as bad as the away leg against Young Boys, since it wouldn't have taken us out of the competition. This was on my third level of suck for sports occurrences, along with the final game of the 2005-2006 Premier League season and all the shenanigans that surrounded it, Super Bowl XXXII, and the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals, Game 7. The second level is the first 30 minutes of the away leg against Young Boys, just because we eventually got a respectable result out of the match. As much as I love association football, or soccer, 4th and 26 stands alone as the worst moment in my life regarding sports. The Brewers have never been good enough to seriously break my heart.
Usually, I like to talk about tactics and individual player performances on this blog. For the most part, that discussion would be absolutely useless in the context of this game. Zanetti came out of nowhere to score the opener on a brilliant move and Gomes ended the game by himself in the 7th minute. I've been a harsh critic of the tactics and team selections of Harry Redknapp, but not today. We have no basis for praise or criticism. We have no idea whether or not his tactics and team selection were good, because Javier Zanetti and Gomes absolutely nullified them.
I didn't see the second half of yesterday's game, obviously, but I saw the highlights. Bale's goals were insane. That was some Michael Jordan-level ish. It gave us reason to hope going into the home leg and showed that we do belong in this competition. They were a much needed lift to the team's spirit. If we qualify for the knockout stages of the competition and go into Boxing Day in the top seven, we're going to look at that half. That was the half where Gareth Bale stopped the bleeding and proved that we belong. I think it's going to be a massive momentum shifter.
We're going to come out guns blazing this weekend, and Everton is going to be jacked after winning the Merseyside derby. It's going to be a huge game that could be a turning point in the seasons of both clubs. If you live in the United States, you need to wake up early for this one. Spurs fans, Everton fans, and neutrals alike. I know this is going to be an absolute cracker, and I can't wait. Let the best team win. I'll have a serious match preview tomorrow.