"Never in recent memory has the Carling Cup made a group of supporters so absurdly happy as it did Tottenham's yesterday," writes Sam Wallace of the Independent. Why, because Tottenham supporters have reason to believe that yesterday's 2-1 triumph against Chelsea is the sign of many things to come from Juande Ramos, the former Sevilla coach who arrived at a club languishing in the relegation zone. Four months later, Spurs are fighting for a spot in Europe, thriving in the UEFA Cup and are now Carling Cup champions. Indeed, Wallace says that Ramos, in lifting the Carling Cup, cut an eerily similar figure to that of Jose Mourinho when the Portuguese began his reign at Stamford Bridge three years ago.
Ramos led his team in every, issuing instructions from the sidelines throughout, and making the game-changing move of bringing on Tom Huddlestone in the second half while moving Aaron Lennon to the left wing. Meanwhile, Avram Grant, his opposite number and Mourinho's predecessor, cut a silent, bemused figure on the Chelsea touchline.
Rumor has it, says the Independent's Jason Burt, that pressure either from the players or from above, forced the Chelsea manager to change his plans prior to the match to include the recently recovered John Terry and Frank Lampard in the starting 11. There was more evidence of Grant being undermined by his players, as Terry gave the final team talk prior to the second period of extra-time, while Grant sat silent.