May 08, 2006

Tottenham Not So Hotspur: Health officials in England are investigating the sudden food-related illness of 10 Spurs players at a hotel right before their match Sunday, which they lost 2-1 (along with their fourth place Champions League spot).

posted by rcade to soccer at 09:19 AM - 14 comments

That was tension yesterday. Arsenal and Tottenham must have swapped fourth place a number of times throughout the match. I'd say Henry made a memorable farewell to Highbury and I'm delighted with how it all turned out. The funny part is that some people insist the food poisioning incident was a deliberate act of some crazed Arsenal fan.

posted by trox at 12:37 PM on May 08, 2006

That's life as a Spur's fan, I guess.... It might not be that bad for them, though. If they entered the CL qualifier with no points in Europe (as Everton did this year), they could have been drawn against a Spanish or Italian 3rd or 4th team for the qualifiers, and then miss out on Europe alltogether except for 2 games. Now, they get the UEFA cup, will hopefully have a good run, gain some experience and points, and have a run at it again next year...

posted by sauril at 12:46 PM on May 08, 2006

Where was Terrapin?

posted by tselson at 12:48 PM on May 08, 2006

I was sharing a lasagna recipe with some chef at the east London Marriott. Why do you ask? ;) Let's hope the 4th place finish is moot and that the Gunners win on the 17th and can defend next year. I can understand some of the concerns apparently expressed by the police, but I still wish the FA had allowed the teams to postpone the game 24 hours.

posted by scully at 03:20 PM on May 08, 2006

I'm amazed that Premier League football teams don't have their own chef who prepares food for the players. It would avoid exactly this situation, surely? I know most cycling teams employ their own chefs... and they obviously work on a much, much lesser budget than Premiership teams. With all the emphasis on healthy eating and nutrition, I'm just surprised they don't have someone who takes care of pre-match meals. Also, why are they staying in a hotel the night before a match in London? If they were playing in a different city, then fair enough, but doesn't it make more sense to let the players sleep in their own beds when they're playing relatively locally? As for the postponement, I don't think that would have been fair on Arsenal. As it was, neither team knew how the other was doing, so both had to play for a win. As trox said, it was very tense, and all adds to the drama. Want to postpone the match? Then get a 3 point deduction like the Boro did.

posted by afx237vi at 04:01 PM on May 08, 2006

Lasagna! I knew it. The fourth place finish was beautiful. Nice way to say "hey, you may want to take care of business first." It was a tough situation for Tottenham to be in, however, I don't think it would have been a good idea to postpone. As long as they could field a team, they needed to play. Ten players suddenly being ill is tough, but claiming the need to postpone the match, simply because your team isn't at full strength is a stretch.

posted by tselson at 04:04 PM on May 08, 2006

Arsenal would have won anyways. It wouldn't matter if they got food poisoning or not.

posted by united-soccer at 07:43 PM on May 08, 2006

united-soccer, wow, way to show your fanlove is bigger than your brain! But not really since a true fan would have known that Arsenal did not play Spurs and fourth place was all dependent on whether Tottenham beat West Ham.

posted by billsaysthis at 09:57 PM on May 08, 2006

I agree with afx - why were they staying in a hotel anyway? It probably takes 25 minutes to walk to Highbury from White Hart Lane.

posted by owlhouse at 01:45 AM on May 09, 2006

owlhouse: the Spurs game took place at Upton Park, notwithstanding your very valid point. As to the "should they replay it" question: no. This is what squads are for. If you have sixteen players at the club who are fit then you have to play. Arsenal have had a makeshift defence with no left back for most of the season, but they're not asking to replay any games. The fact that Spurs chose to field half-fit players instead of members of the reserve and youth team is fairly irrelevant, but the point is that they do have an unreasonably large squad to call on and can't start crying if they failed to take enough points over the season to make this result irrelevant.

posted by walrus at 03:18 AM on May 09, 2006

Don't Spurs have 11 midfielders? Just kidding.

posted by worldcup2002 at 03:20 AM on May 09, 2006

owlhouse: the Spurs game took place at Upton Park Not if you got in my cab... But that's another story.

posted by owlhouse at 07:54 AM on May 09, 2006

Part of the beauty of the final day of the season is the simultaneous kickoffs. Everything is happening at once. Had the game been delayed two hours or a day, wouldn't Spurs have been given a bit of an advantage in knowing exactly what had to be accomplished?

posted by trox at 08:52 AM on May 09, 2006

They can't replay the game. West Ham have the FA Cup final, and with Liverpool getting all of the rest, it would be unfair for West Ham to have to play again. Besides, West Ham have nothing to play for in the game. You could argue that on this past weekend, they were playing for league positions, hoping to jump ahead of Bolton or to stay ahead of Wigan, but now that those games have been played, West Ham would know that they'd finish 9th regardless. It sucks for Tottenham, but that's how it goes.

posted by blarp at 11:04 AM on May 09, 2006

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