1. Blaming a referee for defeat is often the recourse of rubes and knaves who cannot bring themselves to acknowledge deserved defeat by a superior opponent. However… The decision by Michael Oliver to award a penalty for handball with 10 minutes remaining was utterly abhorrent. The ball did strike Elmohamady’s hand as he sought to block Vertonghen’s cross, deflecting off his thigh, but to believe he intentionally used his hand is simply absurd.
2. We’ve not had the rub of the green in successive games now. There’s every chance that City would have brought something back from Everton had Gareth Barry received a deserved red card, while Tottenham really didn’t look like scoring until Mr Oliver’s crass intervention. That’s seriously bad luck. But it’s not so long ago we were the beneficiaries, against West Ham – we acknowledged that at the time, now we have to man up and accept that the breaks can go against us as well.
3. That realisation won’t make Ahmed Elmohamady feel any better however. The Egyptian has been criticised at times this season for shirking defensive responsibilities, but that cannot be said of Sunday’s game, Elmo did exactly what you’d want him to do and fell foul of what Steve Bruce described as a “brutally unfair” decision.
4. There’s little fun in picking over the bones of defeat for morsels of positives, but there were many to be had. All but five of our starters at White Hart Lane were with us in the Championship last year, Curtis Davies was playing at that level with Birmingham and Steve Harper was a rarely used back up. Yet City matched their much fêted opponents throughout the game and were thoroughly deserving of a point.
5. Losing Allan McGregor for six weeks is undoubtedly a blow, but the Spurs game showed we have a very competent back up in Steve Harper.
6. We really could do to get some absentees back soon though. We have – according to the League table – two of the most winnable fixtures of the whole season in November, Sunderland and Crystal Palace at home. Losing manfully in trying circumstances at home is all well and good, but those are games from which points are essential.
7. Back to Tottenham on Wednesday. Steve Bruce will probably want to save weary limbs and the half-fit for the Sunderland match, and that’s understandable enough. However, the League Cup is not without importance, providing as it does our best hope of silverware and that priceless route into Europe. Please, City, don’t just chuck it away.
8. Amber Nectar has been invited to meet Dr. Allam along with representatives of other supporter groups this Friday. No agenda has been set so far, but we’re presuming it relates to the planned renaming of the club. We see this as an immensely positive step towards a conclusion of a matter that (understandably) divides support at a time when unity is needed.
9. We’ve accepted this invitation, and will of course report the outcome. We’d be interested to know what supporters would consider an acceptable compromise if both parties are willing to give ground.
10. Meanwhile, the No To Hull Tigers campaign will continue. City Till We Die is selling scarves (they’re ace, go get one here) and took receipt of another 3,000 badges, which will once more be handed out for free at forthcoming games.