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Kaboul's late leveller keeps Jol in Spurs job

It was as if Bill Nicholson Bill Nicholson can refer to different people:
  • Bill Nicholson (footballer) (1919-2004), English football player and manager
  • Bill Nicholson (baseball) (1914-1996), American Major League Baseball player
 was looking down from above. A night that had been chosen to mark Tottenham's 125th anniversary and commemorate the life of the greatest manager in their history ended with the most improbable of comebacks as Martin's Jol's side recovered from a three-goal deficit to pilfer pil·fer  
v. pil·fered, pil·fer·ing, pil·fers
To steal (a small amount or item). See Synonyms at steal.

To steal or filch.
 a point with a stoppage-time equaliser that will surely keep the Dutchman in a job, for now at least. How extraordinary to think he was facing the sack with 30 minutes remaining.

Tottenham were losing 4-1 at that point, Craig Gardner Craig Gardner (born November 25, 1986 in Solihull) is an English footballer, who plays for the English Premiership club Aston Villa as a midfielder. He grew up in the Yardley district of Birmingham and was offered the chance to play for Aston Villa's rivals Birmingham City but  having drilled in a free-kick that appeared to drain the last vestiges of belief from a Tottenham side staring humiliation in the face. It was the cue for some Tottenham supporters to leave and Jol to put his head towards his hands. How different the mood was when Younes Kaboul Younes Kaboul (born January 4 1986 in France) is a French football player of Moroccan origin, who plays for Tottenham Hotspur, and the French under 21 national team. He plays in a central defensive/midfield position. , having brought parity with an extraordinary late goal, ran towards the Dutchman along with the rest of the Spurs team to celebrate.

It was a show of unity and spirit in keeping with the last half-hour as Spurs somehow gleaned reward from a match that promised nothing but another chastening chas·ten  
tr.v. chas·tened, chas·ten·ing, chas·tens
1. To correct by punishment or reproof; take to task.

2. To restrain; subdue: chasten a proud spirit.

 home defeat and a P45 for Jol. The Tottenham coach must have feared for his future as Villa, inspired by Gabriel Agbonlahor Gabriel Agbonlahor (born October 131986 in Birmingham) is an English footballer for Aston Villa, of half Nigerian and half Scottish descent due to his Nigerian father and Scottish mother. Agbonlahor is a recent product of the Aston Villa Academy system.  and Ashley Young Ashley Simon Young (born 9 July, 1985 in Stevenage, England) is an English professional footballer of Jamaican origin who currently plays as both a midfielder and a striker for Aston Villa. , threatened to embarrass a Tottenham team that was severely undermined by another unconvincing display by the England goalkeeper Paul Robinson Paul Robinson is the name of:

In sport:
  • Paul Robinson (goalkeeper) (born 1979), English football goalkeeper, currently playing for England and Tottenham Hotspur

Memories of Villa's first two goals will cause the Spurs keeper, as well as the England coach Steve McClaren, to wake up in cold sweats. The first came after Robinson had inexplicably failed to collect Gareth Barry's corner, the loose ball pin-balling between Didier Zokora and Martin Laursen before the Villa defender lashed home. Eleven minutes later Barry released Young and the winger crossed to the far post where Zat Knight nodded back across goal. The former Fulham defender's header struck Laursen on the chest before rebounding between the hapless Robinson's legs and over the line.

At that point Tottenham's chairman, Daniel Levy, must have wished that the club had picked another fixture to welcome back the great and the good of Tottenham's past. Indeed by the time Agbonlahor had taken advantage of Kaboul's poor header before turning Michael Dawson inside out and spearing a low shot inside the far post, the memory of Dimitar Berbatov's early header and the carnival atmosphere that had greeted the players was long forgotten.

The boos at the interval were loud and predictable, as Jol walked forlornly to the changing room for what might easily have been his last half-time team-talk. Spurs survived a penalty scare within two minutes of the restart when Robinson appeared to haul down Agbonlahor as the forward pounced on a save the Spurs keeper should have pushed behind rather than sideways, but Villa nevertheless swiftly grabbed a fourth. Craig Gardner was the scorer, the midfielder arrowing a free-kick past Robinson and into the far corner.

The contest should have been over but Spurs, showing impressive belligerence bel·lig·er·ence  
A hostile or warlike attitude, nature, or inclination; belligerency.


the act or quality of being belligerent or warlike

, fought back. The goal that planted the first seeds of doubt in Villa minds came in the 69th minute when Pascal Chimbonda, who had been tormented by Young earlier on, showed that he can more useful in the opposition penalty area, the full-back steering a 12-yard shot beyond Scott Carson after Jermain Defoe's first-time effort from the enterprising Gareth Bale's cross thudded against the upright.

Hope coursed through three quarters of the stadium as Tottenham fans, creating a sea of blue and white with the flags they had been given beforehand, willed on the same side they had rejected at half-time. Villa appeared nervous and uncomfortable, with Marlon Harewood's introduction as a substitute proving pivotal. The striker, loitering Loitering (IPA pronunciation: ['lɔɪtəˌrɪŋ] is an intransitive verb meaning to stand idly, to stop numerous times, or to delay and procrastinate.  in the wrong penalty area, upended Darren Bent, gifting Robbie Keane the chance to convert from the penalty spot in the 82nd minute.

The whole complexion of the game had changed as Villa faced a tidal wave of late pressure. When the fourth official indicated there would be three minutes of added time, there was a sense that Tottenham still might prosper. That proved to be the case as Kaboul, swinging his left boot at a ball Defoe appeared to keep alive from an offside off·side   also off·sides
adv. & adj.
1. Sports Illegally ahead of the ball or puck in the attacking zone.

 position, hammered an emphatic shot into the top corner. And to think Spurs are still in the relegation RELEGATION, civil law. Among the Romans relegation was a banishment to a certain place, and consequently was an interdiction of all places except the one designated.
     2. It differed from deportation. (q.v.) Relegation and deportation agree u these particulars: 1.
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Date:Oct 2, 2007
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