Archive for the ‘Premier League’ Category

No need to hit the #AVBout panic button

August 26, 2012

Cue the following hashtags:

#AVBout

#OnePointInTwoGames

#BringRedknappBack (God, please no!)

So we drew at home to West Brom in the final minute. Anything new about that? You could see it all unfolding as we were mere passengers in the trainwreck that was about to take place. And when I say “we”, AVB’s included. I’m sure we will all differ on his tactics, player selection and substitutions (Jenas especially); however, I couldn’t really fault much of what he had done.

Remember people, we are a work in progress. The transfer window has not slammed shut as of yet. Modric remains a lilywhite, and the two very players whose potential transfers caused much heated debate on the internet – Hudd (loan) and Daws (QPR) – haven’t even materialized.

I’m sure AVB would like to get down to managing a settled squad but we are nowhere near that. Deals are taking way too long to be finalized. Players don’t know if they’re staying or going. Players who know that they’re staying don’t know if their friends / teammates are leaving or not. It’s a bit of a mess now, but it should all stabilize soon… and by soon, I mean August 31st.

I hope that in the coming week Levy will hammer out what needs to be sorted and we send out / bring in whoever we need to really get our season underway. Otherwise, even Norwich City coming to the Lane could be a daunting affair.

COYS!

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The ugly head which belongs to history rears itself

August 23, 2011

History. Never been on our side at Old Trafford and unfortunately for us, that wouldn’t change this evening.

To everyone’s surprise, Friedel was asked to start. And thank goodness for that. We could have been down 5-nil had it not been for his experience between the sticks. Prior to the match, I was actually hoping that Harry would field the same unit which netted five goals at Hearts. Shows you how much I know about football, I’m not afraid to admit that.

It’s easy to play behind-the-tv manager, but the reality is none of us would have picked a winning squad against Sir Red Nose’s Red Devils. That single season game under their belt proved to be crucial. Throw in organisation, confidence and skill and that’s the winning combo right there.

There’s also the fact that these are the champions of the Premier League and not Heart of  Midlothian. The way we won in Scotland was wonderful, regardless of the lack of quality our opponents brought to the table. If anything, we tend to gag in front of those types of teams (remember Young Boys?). Most importantly, we didn’t. But as I was saying, this is United, a team which whether we like to admit or not, we are miles apart at this point in time. They clearly showed why they hold the title.

To be perfectly honest, I always thought that we would be faced with a major problem at the back. I’m going to say something and I hope many of you will be understanding. I don’t think Dawson will be capable of commanding the team. Players are doing what they like up front and I don’t see how he would have influenced the game whatsoever. Or many of our last matches as a matter of fact. Am I wrong to think so?

Oh well, a 3-nil result against an extremely young United side is what we’ll have to deal with as a start to our 2011/2012 campaign. Raise those heads boys and feel free to lash out on Hearts when they come to the Lane.

One request: no hangover when we face City.

Luka-zade!

June 28, 2011

Luka-zade. The element that will keep us hydrated through the 2011/2012 season. A must-have if we are to challenge for anything, silverware or a top 4 push. Lose him and we would lose our edge.

Now, I know I shouldn’t be saying that one player can make all the difference, simply because I’m not from that school of thought. However, if anyone comes close to making that kind of a difference at Spurs, it’s Luka! His swashbuckling slicing and dicing of opponents is and has been a crucial component of many of our best attacking moments. Sure, those moments are left with anti-climactic “blue-ball” endings (happy endings without the “happy”), not usually his fault as our forwards are almost entirely to blame. You can point the finger and say “well, the boy just doesn’t score enough goals” but then again, is that really his role?

One thing’s for sure, Modric is a world-class player and every big bully on the school ground wants him in his click. Simply because he could be the brains behind it all… the strategist, if you will.

Modric can dictate the direction, pace, swagger, and quality of our play all with a simple pass. He is a visionary on the pitch and he can preempt things most other players won’t comprehend. So what’s going to happen? Nobody knows. All I know is we need to match the boy’s ambition with quality signings. We need a mix of fresh blood and experience.

You cannot blame Luka for wanting to be a winner. He deserves it, even if it’s not with us. Levy and Redknapp need to make key signings this summer that state Spurs’ intent on tackling the top 4… every year.

After all, a classy player needs a classy joint to hang out in.

No title

April 3, 2011

For us… that is.

Man United are running away with it, with Arsenal clawing at their heels. Man City’s golden duo of Silva and Tevez seem to have the goods to keep them in the fight for the top 3 (for now). Chelsea have shown glimpses of quality, Torres not included, but are still struggling to look like the team that started the season. Where does this leave us?

I think it’s safe to say we’re out of the title hunt, not that I ever thought we were in it to begin with. We’re struggling to score goals, and it must frustrate the hell out of players like Modric who is not only doing his part, but is putting in 200% effort every match, carrying the load of others.

So if we continue on this dangerous path, the only chance at Champions League football next season will be if we take the trophy this year. YIKEZ!

COYS! Get your shit together.

Are we not sexy enough?

February 1, 2011

What’s wrong with Tottenham? Do we not show enough promise? Granted, the FA Cup thrashing at Fulham was probably enough to turn any player off from joining our side; however, we play sexy football about 90% of the time. Is it really the winning history which appeals to players?

Two major targets of ours have gone off to Liverpool and left us with nothing at the end of a dull and loan-filled January window. Andy Carrol – who some of you might say is my man crush – and Luis “my hand has broken many hearts” Suarez have both opted for the Reds.

Frustrating stuff.

Especially since I am a true believer that we do not have a strike force capable of taking us back into the 4th position. We are now in the 2nd half of the season and scoring goals will matter most… and of course a captain who doesn’t hand opponents two goals in the span of 5 minutes. I love Dawson, but what was that all about?

Equally frustrating.

Then we get news that Charlie Adam, a midfielder, almost signed for us in the dying minutes before the window closed. Another midfielder? Why? For the love of God, we need goal-scorers! Proven goal-scorers! On top of that, Gio has gone off on loan until the end of the season.

Oh well… it is what it is.

Now that the window’s closed, Harry needs to reassure the players that Spurs have the quality to win games and that Wednesday at Blackburn will be the right test to prove it. Everyone in the squad knows they’re not going anywhere, at least for now, so it’s time for them to step up and prove their commitment to the manager, the team and to the fans.

COYS!

NLD (Never Lose Determination)

November 20, 2010

I’m going to keep this short and straight to the point. We showed up to the Emirates and almost had our little tushees beat.

Harry made some bizarre calls. The one that really had me scratching my head was gifting William Gallas with the captain’s armband. Huh? Was Harry serious? How could he? Then I began to think, if anyone knows how to crawl under someone’s skin, the gaffer can. Was he taking the piss? A genius and unexpected move?

First half saw the Arse go up 2-nil, a sight we have been used to seeing for the past 17 years on their home ground(s). Gallas was sensational, although he and Kaboul had communication issues which resulted in our negative start.

The second half may have taken a short while to go our way, but when the pendulum swung, it came through like a wrecking ball… all over Arsenal’s parade, especially Wenger’s. 3 goals in a single half. Brilliant!

Harry may have been tactically off the mark at the start of the match (or not), but he thankfully took quick and decisive action by bringing on Defoe at the half. It changed everything and added a threat to the dimension of our game.

Van Der Vaart started the match looking off the pace and was constantly frustrated in the middle of the pitch, which was quickly rubbing off on the other players. He managed to turn it around in the 2nd half with two great assists and a goal (a penalty from a rare Fabregas mistake). Some individuals at Real Madrid must be kicking themselves.

Bale did his thing. Wasn’t dangerous out on the left flank, but when he dipped in the middle, he caused a lot of problems for the Gunners. Quality touch for his goal as he continues to score for our side.

Enough said… the curse is broken. If you hate Arsenal, stand up.

1 point, Howard Webb, and other things to make you cringe

November 10, 2010

Howard Webb. Webby. The Webster. What’s your problem exactly? Giving Bentley a yellow card for a dive when he was obviously judo-chopped by Zenden? Not giving Kieran Richardson a yellow for that cheeky time-wasting heel flick when we were trying to take a quick foul kick? Huh?

I should have known things wouldn’t be any different tonight. Not ever! Who do you work for exactly? “Who does number 2 work for”?

So many overlooked “potential booking” moments were there, laid out before your very eyes and you still didn’t take them. You just love the controversy, eh? I wonder if it gets you laid. Hmm…

We took the game to Sunderland. It was only a matter of time before we would score. A lovely persistent play by BAE pushed the ball out to Bale, he crossed to Crouch’s head, who deja-vu’d it to Van Der Vaart’s arm chest for a wonderful turnaround goal!

You missed that one, did ya Webbon of Mass Destruction?

Then a blunder at the back resulted in a Sunderland goal. Miscomunicado extravaganza. Don’t Kaboul and Gallas speak the same language? FFS! They were doing so well too.

We were sloppy in the second half. The team looked tired.  We were looking for that explosive moment when we would take the game back, but you know how the story goes: we didn’t. Bale’s final ball was never really there but Michael Turner was. It’s not to say Bale was completely subdued, but he just wasn’t as effective on the evening.

Bentley had some great touches off the right wing, but he began to piss off the supporters with his erratic long distance shots. Speaking of “long”, I am so sick of the long ball passes to Crouch. It just really makes me cringe and I’ve had enough!

1 point. 1 effing point from measly Sunderland at the Lane. Without their leading goalscorer, Twitty.

I’m just sick of it all. Bring on Blackburn.

The curse of Champions League success

November 7, 2010

Will we ever leverage success in the Champions League as a catalyst for the Premier League? Okay, we did it once after beating FC Twente when we won against Aston Villa at home, but if past trends are anything to judge by, our chances look quite slim.

Hence the misery at Bolton. Many will argue that Harry’s squad selection was the main problem. 2 CDMs, Sandro and Palacios, got the nod for the start and it was the former who’s mistake handed them the opportunity to go up by 1. Message to Sandro: don’t worry kid, they were probably going to score anyways, especially Kevin Davies. Seems that’s always the case, doesn’t it?

So Harry was wrong. I was naive. We got nowhere. Had Hutton and Pav not scored those two goals, a 4-0 win for Bolton would have sounded just about right. They held us back in almost every way, and as our “triffic” manager said, we can’t always rely on Bale. How I wish that wasn’t true.

What did I learn from this match?

4-4-2 ain’t too bad of an option for Spurs. It’s not that I don’t believe that we’re not effective with a 5-man midfield, but I just think there are certain teams we would fare better against if we reverted to the system we know best. Pav had a cracker of a goal and it makes me wonder how different would the match have been had he been starting up front with Crouch.

Speaking of Crouch, he cannot play up front on his own in league matches. The only time we should ever risk it is when VDV or JD play off of him. That’s it.

It was nice to see Niko have a go, but the overall team performance will not do anything to instill some much needed confidence in the guy. He really needs to get some playing time under his belt; letting him rot is just a pure crime Harry.

5 teams are tied with 15 points. Last week, Liverpool was facing relegation but after tonight’s Chelsea-bashing-Torres-resurrection match, everything has changed. Arsenal lost to Newcastle (I want this Andy Carrol kid) and United’s win was a slimy effort as usual.

Sunderland visit the Lane on Tuesday (sheesh… another former Tottenham player seeking revenge) and if they win, they will jump us in the table. Not a sight I want to see as I’m sure you’re all thinking the same.

It’s all up for grabs and we need to pull it together quick! Otherwise, we’ll be left wondering what hit us and why we’re not in top 4 contention.

COYMFS!

 

Behind enemy lines

October 31, 2010

Oh if they only knew. A fellow Spurs supporter and I were in the midst of Manchester United fans, lurking with nothing but fake smiles, unmeant “cheers” and unnecessary laughter. Little did they know that we were cursing their very existence under our breath.

It was my first visit to Old Trafford. From the outside, I was a bit disappointed in that it wasn’t the historic looking venue I had imagined. First misconeption “busted”. It’s a squeeky clean ground with proper facilities, wisely divided seating sections where at the 45-minute whistle you have enough time to grab a drink, have a bite, use the bathroom and return to your seat (something I have never mastered at the Lane).

The second misconception – “BUSTED” with capitals B, U, S, T, E, D – is the fact that United fans aren’t as intense as I first thought. Our 21-year submissive opponents proved yesterday that their chanting isn’t even up to par with Macclesfield Town’s 6,300 home support. For a stadium that can hold up to 76,000 (approx.) individuals, it’s quite wishy-washy at best. 

Third thing proven is that there’s something really hypnotizing about Old Trafford for match officials, almost like deer caught in headlights. They just can’t go through a full match without tossing a controversial call into the mix… in United’s favor of course.

Having said that, I wasn’t expecting to go there and pick up a win having predicted a 3-1 loss. We actually came off quite solid yesterday, but once again failing to score (should have known better). Had VDV nailed that screaming “no-look” attempt which hit the post, it would have been a different match altogether. Once again, a set-piece in a similar area got the best of us; note to defenders: don’t do it again please. Down 1-0 but we never looked out of it. The score really doesn’t do us any justice.

Some thoughts on my mind (in bullet points, getting a bit lazy as I’m typing):

  1. Where the hell is Niko Kranjcar? Has there been some sort of a falling out between our Croatian “looker” and Harry?
  2. Why did Keane start exactly? You could tell we were in desperate need of Crouch in the center. Any balls crossed from the wings were mostly placed low and easy for the Man Poo defenders to clear.
  3. VDV hurt?
  4. Mark Clattenburg blind?
  5. United fans, lame?

I’ll answer the last two with a mighty quick “yes”.

Goosebumps

August 27, 2010

When the players walked out onto the pitch, all I felt were goosebumps accompanied by the occasional shiver. What a brilliant night it was going to be! I could feel it. White flags graced with our cockerel waving in unison, almost communist in display.

Rain and a slippery pitch were in order for what would turn out to be our return to “glory, glory nights” at the Lane. Spurs were in control from the start and really never looked back. Peter Crouch nabbed a hat-trick using his head, physically and literally, and Defoe had a controversial “handball” which led to a goal (it didn’t matter, Spurs were going to win regardless). Bale put on another blistering display and had a hand (or foot) in every goal scored. Breathtaking stuff!

So our club is no longer part of the “underachievers” ranks. We’ve weathered the storm and molested Young Boys on our path to placing the Tottenham Hotspur name between the elite teams of Europe. How about that?

Making history will be no easy feat though. Barcelona and the Arse have walked away with the easier group fixtures, while we’ll have to face none other than the European champions, Inter Milan (who also completed the treble last season taking home the league, cup and Champions League titles), Dutch champions FC Twente, and German powerhouse Werder Bremen. Wow! This is one rude welcoming party!

Congratulations to the squad and Harry Redknapp on this achievement. Nobody can doubt Tottenham’s desire to play amongst the elite. Nobody can doubt Harry’s ability to bring out the best in our squad. Right man for the right job at the right time.

Goosebumps again.