Left Suncorp feeling morose, bad-tempered and downright angry. The company was good - nice to be sitting with some fellow listees and meeting others at the bar, but the evening never took off. First the highs:
1. Good fish n'chips at Gambaro's.
2. Pleasant drink at The Caxton
3. Spotting someone wearing a Fulham shirt - had a good laugh over that. Might not be laughing come Tuesday morning though!
4. Seeing Dave Marshall turn up with an old-fashioned rattle. Brought back many fond memories of the glory days at White Hart Lane - sigh!! Will have me scouring Brisbane looking for one now. With 2 rattles we'll make more noise than the rest of the crowd!
5. Seeing Harper on the bench (oh joy)
6. Seeing Kasey and Wayne start the match.
And now the lows
1. Frank not playing - is he injured or just bored?
2. Missing numerous chances in the first half to seal a convincing victory.
3. Missing the Strikers goal (20 seconds into the 2nd half). It's the first time in over 35 years of attending games that I've ever missed a goal. Boy, was I pissed off. We were still in the bar and as an indication as to how dire the atmosphere is these days, we had no idea the teams were back on.
4. Watching Harper warm up. Here I am really torn. The last time I actively booed a home player was back in the 60's/70's when most Spurs fans booed Venables with gusto, our most unpopular player - how times change. I didn't feel it was right to boo Harper to start with but when it became apparent that he was going to replace Wayne Knipe, then my feelings took over. This one man has done more to disrupt the rhythm and style of the Strikers than anyone. Players visibly sag when he has the ball. He is a waste of space. Farina must realise this and if he doesn't, then it's time for Farina to go. Harper had a chance to redeem himself but tamely shot at the keeper when he should have buried it. From that point on, it was clear we were going to lose.
5. Farina's substitutions - the wrong players at the wrong time. Frank, you lost this game for us!
6. The lack of bite in midfield - Kasey stands head and shoulders above all others. Meredith has lost it - if he ever really had it. His tackles are frequently mistimed and his passing is woeful. There's no point in being aggressive if the end result is to our disadvantage. Winning the ball and then giving it away cheaply is a waste of time. Back to the basics, Nik. Unfortunately, Rod Brown must also cop similar criticism - gave the ball away far too easily. Not sure about Andrew Packer - a mate of mine thought he was utterly useless. What do others think? As for the Cranneys!!!!!
7. Having a useless night's sleep thinking about how bad things are - both for the Strikers and my beloved Tottenham.
Frank has got it wrong. He made some poor choices in the close season, with Harper being the number one mistake. He now feels obliged to play him when it is blatantly obvious he's not up to it. There is little leadership in the club at team level. The Strikers are in danger of alienating their fans. Not many kids hung around for autographs - even Thor copped some mild abuse from the crowd and began to look a smite disheartened. When we had the chance to score a massive marketing coup with replica shirts, merchandise etc. the club was slow to react. Now there is plenty of merchandise but unless the team begins to perform considerably better than they have been doing so, most of the merchandise will end up in bargain bins. What a dreadful waste of what seemed to be such a promising season. And if Spurs lose on Tuesday morning.........