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The Jol verdict

Posted on 16 November 2004  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Martin Jol sums up Saturday's derby clash in a sentence: "The first half was a dream, the second half a nightmare."


Few would argue that for 45 minutes of the first half we played as well as we had all season.


We dominated possession, Noureddine Naybet put us 1-0 up and Arsenal's big guns were misfiring.


But as the game ticked into injury time, Thierry Henry got goal side of Ledley King and handed the visitors a somewhat undeserved equaliser.


The second half was a different story as a host of mistakes were punished. Arsenal went 3-1 up but we continue to fight back as the amazing game went 1-3, 2-3, 2-4, 3-4, 3-5 and finally 4-5.


What a day for Martin's first Premiership match as Head Coach and first North London derby.


"In the first half we pressurised them all the time and to be honest, Henry didn't look good, Bergkamp, Reyes, Ljungberg were quiet, even Vieira looked a little tired," he reflected at Spurs Lodge.


"We did everything right. We played football from the back, we pressurised in midfield, we kept our strikers high up the pitch and we went 1-0 up.


"The only time we didn't pressurise they managed to score just before half-time time and that was disappointing.


"In the second half they pressurised us and we needed to get the ball to the strikers because there was more space.


"You can't keep the ball at the back and we made mistakes. I can accept that you lose the ball in midfield because it's more difficult but at the back you can't lose any balls. In the end we punished ourselves.


"Ten minutes into the second half it looked like a nightmare but we didn't give up.


"It could have been a legendary match because if you score four goals against a team like that you've played well and done something right.


"People said afterwards that maybe this was the style we wanted, attacking football, but when you play eight or nine behind the ball as we did, the mistakes we made were nothing to do with organisation.


"The positive thing was we kept coming back and we gave them a real game but of course in the end I was disappointed."