THE JOL VERDICT
Back at Spurs Lodge, Martin Jol looks back at the FA Cup victory over Southend United and ahead to part two of our Carling Cup semi-final against Arsenal on Wednesday...
Back at Spurs Lodge, Martin Jol looks back at the FA Cup victory over Southend United and ahead to part two of our Carling Cup semi-final against Arsenal on Wednesday...IT WAS A good performance from the team in overcoming Southend United in the FA Cup on Saturday, with good individual displays as well up front. That is what you want, you want to play well for the crowd and then take it into the next round away to Fulham.
I feel if anyone had told us at the start of the season that at the end of January we would still be going strong in all four competitions then we would have been encouraged. We are a side that is still building and improving, starting to get ourselves in a position where we can consistently challenge for top honours.
Many people don’t realise that we have seven or eight different players in the squad at times in comparison to the end of last season. It was thought that we would be the finished article with two new players but as the season has developed we have developed a completely different team. The two full backs are different, the whole midfield is different and Dimitar Berbatov has given us a completely different dimension up front.
Cup football is almost addictive, players can get a little tired with so many matches, but it is great. Every time we play in the cup, especially at home, it is a special occasion. The Arsenal game last week was quite an experience in many ways, particularly in the first half, while Southend was different with all their supporters behind the goal at the Park Lane end.
We still had a great atmosphere in the stadium and we were pleased to put on a good performance and score three goals.
Southend gave us a tough match in the Carling Cup not too many weeks ago where we needed extra time, but this time around we finished it off in 90 minutes, with them not having many opportunities. The only thing is, if you are 2-0 up you want to score a third without the opposition scoring and that is what we wanted against Arsenal before.
It can be difficult when you find yourselves under pressure, but you have to do it, you have to stand up and be counted, keep the ball and try to score a goal. If you don't, you can have problem against a team like Arsenal.
We were down after last week after being in football heaven in the first half of the game, while the atmosphere in the stadium was incredible. There were a few questions to answer from the second half because we made some mistakes, which we have to learn from.
The players know how important and different the North London derby is and we are far from beaten. Observers will take into consideration our last match at the Emirates but I think that game was an exception rather than the rule. Over the last couple of years we’ve had narrow results at Arsenal.
It’s a one-off and we will give it everything in our attempt to be the first opposition team to win there.