Kanouté's blunder is forgiven by Jol
Friday 03 December 2004
Martin Jol yesterday forgave Frédéric Kanouté for the "unforgivable" aberration which cost Tottenham a place in the League Cup semi-finals on Wednesday night. But Kanouté's eccentric behaviour was still grating with the Dutchman after Tottenham had lost their best chance of qualifying for Europe.
Tottenham, who should have killed the game off by half-time, finally took the lead 18 minutes into extra time through Jermain Defoe. They were on the brink of a semi-final against the Championship side, Watford, when Kanouté inexplicably handled inside his own box.
Florent Sinama-Pongolle kept his nerve to slot home the spot-kick and Liverpool's youngsters then edged the penalty shoot-out as Kanouté and Michael Brown both failed.
"I was angry with him but we have to go on," Jol said. "I have seen it on television and it is even more unbelievable. Nobody can understand it, but it's not the first time in football.
"He was disappointed and so he should be. But it is after the game, so what can you do? I said yesterday it was unforgivable, but I have forgiven him. I have to. We have to move on and we have to learn from this.
"I am not worried. If we had scored two or three goals no one would have been talking about it. You have a chat and tell him not to do it again. But it has cost us dearly."
But once again, Jol's men were let down by individual mistakes as Kanouté, Robbie Keane and Rohan Ricketts all missed great chances.
"In every team there is someone like Fredi. You think 'what is he doing?'," Jol said. "I think it's a good group of players, but I have told them we need a top mentality.
"Jermain Defoe knew it was a booking [to take his shirt off in a goal celebration] and he still did it. It is the same for Anthony Gardner [who was lucky to avoid a sending-off on Wednesday]. Other referees may have punished him. You have to learn from that. We are punishing ourselves.
"I am frustrated because the Arsenal game was the same, the Aston Villa game was the same. These
mistakes you can avoid and you have to learn from each other. We don't make it easy on ourselves and to make life better for yourself is the quality of a good team."
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