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+The Monday Verdict

Posted on 16 May 2005  - 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).

Our bid for European football came up a little bit short in end the following the conclusion of the season with a goalless draw against Blackburn.

It turned out to be pretty academic with Middlesbrough securing the required point away to Manchester City, although it would have been interesting had the boys netted a few goals and news of Robbie Fowler about to take a penalty for City had filtered through. Imagine the groans when it transpired that he missed...

So we end up ninth in the Premiership pecking order, but no-one should doubt progress has been made. The vast majority of the 35,797 crowd who stayed behind to salute the squad after the game made this very clear. Strides have been taken and the Lane faithful will reflect on the campaign with optimism in their hearts over the next one and beyond.

The atmosphere in the ground was fair on sizzling before kick-off with perhaps the most popular winner of a Player of the Year award in recent memory. Paul Robinson was handed the Spurs Monthly gong to the delight of the crowd and Robbo reported he is in discussions over a new contract to extend his stay.

Earlier, Reto Ziegler was presented with the JSM Young Player of the Year prize and we readied ourselves for the final fling of the season, one we hoped might just sneak us into a UEFA Cup spot. Eyes on events at the Lane, ears on that at the City of Manchester Stadium, so to speak.

Robbie Keane was preferred to Jermain Defoe in attack while Michael Dawson, struggling with a tight calf, was forced to make way for the fit again Noureddine Naybet.

It was Keane was caused the first major stir of the game on seven minutes when Michael Carrick set him running to the right of the Blackburn area and the striker unleashed a raking first time drive to the near post of Brad Friedel that the USA keeper could only keep out with his chest.

Radek Cerny showed very good reflexes six minutes later when a corner cleared the rising heads in the centre of the area and fell to Andy Todd who was lurking at the back post. He crashed his shot into the ground and it flew up onto the Czech keeper who managed to parry to safety. Simon Davies then had Friedel at full stretch with a low shot following a quick break.

The lively Fredi Kanoute went close with two chances of his own making but the breakthrough was proving elusive as news filtered through that Middlesbrough had taken the lead against Manchester City.

Play got a bit edgy as the half progressed, the need for a big score placed a bit of a weight on the shoulders of the players who, you could tell, would have most likely been off and running had an early goal been recorded.

Davis tried his luck with five minutes to go in the half, but Friedel was equal to his powerful hit.

The was a fair bit of gusto shown in the opening minutes of the second period, with both teams launching into tackles in a bid to claim midfield supremacy. There was still a bit of anxiety in our team's play though as the demands of the afternoon were not being met from this end - no matter what was going on in Manchester, with City having levelled a few minutes into the second half.

Keane nearly weaved some magic on the hour with his effort flying just wide, before Defoe made his entrance in place of Reid. It was all to no avail as a determined Blackburn stood firm and saw out their season with a hard-earned point.

The players went on to thank the fans for their support, with both Martin Jol and Ledley King offering personal messages. Both stated their desire to achieve things next season and we'll all drink to that.

Have a good close season!