Posts Tagged ‘away’

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!

 

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50 seconds to shag it all up!

April 3, 2010

Looking for a hint of positivity? Look elsewhere.

We were the “blunder” at Blunderland. Bent had one of his oldest wishes come true at around the 50th second. 50 seconds. That’s all it took. And at who’s expense? At the expense of our frail and uninterested squad.

The team were horrible. Modric was sadly the worst in my opinion. Unfortunate, but maybe it’s best we had our worst outing as of yet. A fucking wake up call to the whole squad to take every match and every opponent seriously from here on out.

I can’t be bothered to write. I think I need a break from Spurs for a day or two.

Draw at the dumps (ratings & video)

October 4, 2009

A cold & windy visit to a garbage infested Reebok stadium saw our players constantly challenged, dodging Bolton players along with plastic bags, cups, minced pies… you name it. Not a pretty display of football last night as the squad seemed to be out of sync. What is so tough about the Reebok? We never depart with 3 points (note: Spurs have never won at the Reebok since the start of the Premier League). I think I know the reason why. His name is Kevin Davies. A God to the Bolton faithful. The devil to all others.

Ratings:

Cudicini (6.5) – He could have done better with the second goal, but to be fair, the defenders were horrible

BAE (6.0) – subdued on attack

Bassong (5.5) – not outstanding

Hudd (5.5) – unfair considering he isn’t a true center back

Corluka (6.5) – his clinical header saved us; great run to break away from the defender

Kranjcar (7.0) – good effort from the boy, quality touch… one goal and set up Charlie’s header from the corner

Palacios (6.0) – Neither myself or the Bolton fans were impressed by his dramatic dive; ‘Arry should let him know we don’t want that at Tottenham

Jenas (7.0) – hardest working player on the pitch IMO

Lennon (6.5) – will the real Azza please stand up? Some moments of brilliance but that’s all they were… moments

Keane (3.0) – horrid and should have been subbed earlier; he wasn’t himself

Crouch (7.0) – great effort from the big guy; quality headed assist to Niko for our first goal

A draw at the Reebok is not a bad thing people. Relax. If anything, with the way we played yesterday, we were blessed to walk away with a point. Lucky for us that Man U also drew yesterday against Sunderland (Bent had a beautiful goal), Chelsea face Liverpool tonight, and Man City face Aston Villa away tomorrow. This means that we shouldn’t be so far off from the top performing teams in the league after the final match on Monday. Never thought I would be saying that by October.

COYS!

Up the road to Stamford Bridge

September 20, 2009

Not quite up the road from the Lane but you get my point. Chelsea currently lead the league and Drogba looks quite the menace (it has something to do with the hair… I know it). Their squad is filled with experienced players who have the skill to pull together when needed, forcing their opponents into making crucial mistakes. Ancelotti has done a great job so far and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them win the league this season if they manage to stay healthy. As good as they are offensively though, Chelsea have faced problems maintaining clean sheets against teams that bring an all-out attack. This is something we know a thing or two about and Harry has comforted us all by saying that we “have attacking players who like to play and express themselves. We’ll attack them and give it our best shot.”

Should Crouch start? Keane and Defoe seem to create way more chances up front and I will back any plan that sees Keane far from the left side. He cannot and should not be expected to play there. The problem with playing Crouch is we automatically go into long-ball mode and forget that we are a huge threat on the ground. Crouch is good with his feet… why not utilize those skills? Crouch gave Man United a headache in the first 15 minutes but that was that. It also took Defoe out of the game who is a crucial element in us challenging any top team. Another thing I’ve noticed is Keane and Defoe seem to sustain the attack over a longer period of time. It’s like a wave that eventually comes crashing down on our opponents. Go back and watch the Hull and Liverpool performances and it’s clear: sustainable and tactical attacking. Not the “ball in the air prayer” we tend to play when Crouch is on the pitch.

Start Nico? Poor Bentley. Will Gio get a crack? Probably not. Harry seems to fancy slot machines more than the poker tables… in other words, the man doesn’t gamble much.

My starting XI:

  • Gomes – Cudicini has been great in his place, but Gomes has greater coverage… would Giggs have scored that free kick against him?
  • Corluka – his lack of speed may be a problem
  • King – his presence on the pitch is priceless
  • Bassong – I’m happy with Seb… maturing every match when King’s at his side
  • BAE – Man U gave him a hard time… hope he regains his “pre-international break” form
  • Nico – on the left side… we need someone to creates plays; this shouldn’t be asked of Keano IMO
  • Palacios – keep those studs facing the grass please
  • Hudd – we’ll need muscle and height against the Chelsea midfield
  • Lennon – come on Azza! Take it to them every time and eventually they will break
  • Keane – much better in the forward position and is effective when aiding the midfield
  • Defoe – was robbed of a cracking goal against United… time for revenge

COYS!!!