Posts Tagged ‘Peter Crouch’

Sell, sell, sell…

September 1, 2011

It’s over. Closed. Not open for business till the winter season. Be warned that the following post was not written with any structure in mind… just thoughts racing through my head during the closing of the transfer window.

Hopes of securing the services of a certain Mr. Diarra never materialized. Instead, we finally sealed the deal (in how many windows has this rumor circulated?) for Scotty Parker from West Ham, with Bentley going the other way. I feel sorry for the latter, 27 years old and going to play for a relegated side on loan… it can’t be easy.

The shifting of deadweight didn’t end there with the permanent transfer of Alan Hutton and the season-long loan of Jermaine Jenas to Aston Villa. Not really a shocker there.

Over the past few weeks, rumors circulated that a two-man deal with the Potters was in the works for Crouch and Palacios. It was true with Sgt. Wilson’s transfer confirmed by the club within the final 2 hours, and Crouchie’s departure confirmed right after the window closed.

Gary Cahill was almost a Spur. I was gutted when Harry confirmed that the deal fell through as we are in desperate need of a reliable defender to consistently start alongside Dawson. I expect us to give Bolton a ring when January rolls around.

So what have we done exactly? Have we made room for Modric’s salary increase? Have we become a selling club?

Majority of the players mentioned above needed to move on. I must admit though that the Crouch deal was one I was not expecting. I’m actually still unsure how I feel about it. I think I’ll need to sleep and wake up to digest what happened this evening. One thing I can tell you now is I won’t be impressed with how little business we managed in regards to new signings coming in.

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Champions League… we’re havin’ a laugh!

November 26, 2010

Calm, relaxed and composed. An effortless win against a visiting Bremen side which led to a historic night. We are through to the knock-out stage of the Champions League!

I’m not going to lie.. I never thought that it was possible.

At first, I knew we had a good chance of winning the qualifier round and making it through to the group stages. However, when we were placed in Group A with champions Inter Milan, Dutch champions FC Twente and Werder Bremen, I honestly had very little hope.

Well thankfully, I was wrong. The history books have been opened and amended. Tottenham Hotspur… “we’re havin’ a laugh”.

I would like to take this chance to gloat a bit. To kick things off, Arsenal lost the other night, stiff as a deer caught in the headlights after the NLD. A day later, Bremen came to visit the Lane and were treated to a delicious display of football class. Take notes ze Germans: the Tottenham boys were at their very best that evening. Domination without aggression. Simply because we didn’t need to let it get to that point.

With Pav still looking a bit lazy on the pitch, it was nice to have the extra option of Defoe on the bench. He looks good so far, just needs a goal to his name quick. Crouch had another solid European performance + goal; glad to see the big man delivering.

The midfield were great as a unit once again. Creatively, we are a very hard team to match. Lennon added two assists to his seasonal stats. Bale missed a penalty kick but hey, who cares! Modric just gets better and more intricate every second he spends on the pitch. Pure genius this boy!

Gallas was once again given the captain’s armband, rewarding the team with a commanding performance. If he and Kaboul continue in this form, we could be looking at a good run of clean sheets.

Each unit – attacking, midfield and defence – contributed to the score sheet; one goal from each. That’s what I call diversity. Obviously we shouldn’t be laughing too much. We host Liverpool on Sunday and we all know how we perform after a successful CL night out. All I ask is for the boys at the back to do their job and everything else will fall into place.

COYS!!!

Frankenforward

November 16, 2010

I wish I was some sort of mad scientist. First job at hand would be to create the perfect striker to lead our attack. Thinking small, I know. So what qualities do we need to fill the gap up front? It’s easy to say we simply want a goal-scorer, but there’s a lot more to it than just that. So I’m going to take a quick crack at it and please feel free to throw in any additional qualities you deem necessary.

Height of Crouch

Our tall man gets a lot of stick. He plays ugly and looks, well… you know. His height has hindered his ability to build any sort of upper body strength, but boy does he use some tricky footwork for someone of his stature. We do dread the long balls delivered to the big man, but when he’s able to head the ball to an attacker’s foot in the box, it’s usually spot on. Plus, it’s usually a thorn in a CB’s ass to defend Crouchie.

Power of Drogba

Minus the dives and unnecessary drama, of course. You may hate the “Didier”, but you cannot deny that the guy is effective from any angle he attacks the goal. He can play as a lone striker, in a 2 & 3-man attack, and is also deadly from set pieces. His weapon? Sheer, raw muscle power.

Class of Torres

On his day, you would be hard pressed to find a striker sexier than Fernando Torres. He’s a goal-scoring machine when he gets the proper service. And boy would he get service if he was teamed up with Modric, Bale, Lennon and VDV! Torres has a subtle approach to his scoring, quite effortless. But when he lets the ball have it, his touch is nothing but quality.

Ball-Handling & Distribution Skill of Berbatov (circa. 2006-2008)

Obviously I’m talking about the Berba we all dearly loved, and not the Incredible Sulk! My wasn’t he exhilarating to watch. He seemed to have all the qualities anyone would ever want in a front man. His ability to distribute the ball not only meant that he could play off another striker, but he was a goal-scoring threat as well.

Who can fill the gap?

Having said all that, I know that none of this genetic make-up is even remotely possible. Greed is a nasty character trait and I only want the best for our beloved Tottenham. I need to be more realistic, so I’m throwing all my cards on the table here:

I WANT ANDY CARROL!

He’s a troubled boy, although a very tasty prospect. He has size (check), power (check), some sort of intelligence which can be manipulated and strengthened with the right type of management (check), he’s English (check) and age is on his side (double-check). I say we give them Robbie, and possibly even throw in Giovanni dos Santos to sweeten the deal.

Now, I know that most of you think that I recently came up with this notion of having Carrol at Spurs, especially after seeing how he’s performed so far for Newcastle this season; however, I actually followed his progress in the Championship and was excited to see how he was developing. I think you could all agree that the kid looks the business.

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!

 

Super dooper party poopers!

November 3, 2010

Frustrated? Are you Inter? C’mon, admit it. You were abused. Out-played. Out-manned. Out-marked. Out-muscled. Out-managed.

Us, dare you ask? Out-standing!

I’m sorry, but you asked.

What a night! As “glory-glory” as they ever come. The fans were electric and had just as much a hand in this victory (I refuse to call it a “win”). We were one, fighting spirit and all. Sitting somewhat close to the Inter support area, I must give them a cheeky thumbs-up on their attempt to instill some of that Nerazzuri belief into their players. Their attempt obviously was left unrewarded.

This post won’t be one about our tactics or analytical by any means. There’s plenty of that out there for you if that’s what you’re seeking. I want to just type away what I’m feeling, and what I remember of certain players’ performances.

Carlo Cudicini’s full-stretch save defined our performance on the night. We were not letting Inter off the leash with this one. They were going to have to run, fight and even beg their way through our Italian “stand-in” keeper (more on this later).

The boys at the back, all four of ’em, were a wall. A brick wall layered by some sort of magnetic force-field. Gallas was barking away; Kaboul was forceful; and the two wing-backs did their best impersonations of Lennon and Bale, while holding down the fort in the back. Who are you people and where have you been all my life?

The midfield was oozing with class and sneaky footwork. They have taken my foot fetish to a whole other level. Did I just say that? VDV and Modric in the middle were clinically moving the team forward. Ball out to Lennon, nowhere to go, it’s okay, send it back and we’ll figure something else out. “VDV, here you go. Modric, take it back. Oh Tommy, you want some? Have a go”. VDV scored again, with a perfectly-timed demolishing of the off-side trap. Best value for money ever. I’ll leave anything I have to say about the Welsh wizard till the very end.

Crouch was effective once more on the grand European stage. He deserved a goal and got it before being subbed off for Pavyluchenko. The Russian seems to mosey on through, in a world of his own; only to switch on and realise he’s playing against the World Champions and score. He gets away with murder that boy!

And now onto Gareth Bale. Wait… not yet. Let’s clarify something important first. Inter were without Julio Cesar and Cambiasso. That will be their argument if they decide not to give credit to our performance. Here’s my argument. Gomes: out. Captain Daws: out. Former Captain King: out. Defoe: out.

Spurs were the better side from the very beginning. Yes, Inter had some beautiful chances and a goal, but if you can honestly say Tottenham did not deserve this win, you should have your head checked. It may be hemorrhaging.

Bale. Oh Bale. You make me want to give you man-lovin’! You absolutely embarrassed “the world’s best right back”. Some think that you would have been stopped had Rafa Benitez added another man to the mix… I think they’re absolutely bonkers! It showed that you were having an out-of-body experience, seeing things no one else on the pitch thought could be possible. That last ball you shot away from Maicon and chased wildly down the left, resulting in our 3rd goal, will go down as one of the most memorable moments in football; I guarantee it! We were all chanting “call a taxi for Maicon” because you almost convinced him it was time to retire. I kid you not. All in all, thank you. The “man-lovin” offer still stands whenever you want to take me up on it.

COYS!

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.

No celebratory title here in the name of diplomacy

March 27, 2010

Unimpressive stuff off the bat. The initial point of interest was young Walker’s start in the squad, at the tender age of 19. Not to get ahead of this match review, somewhat, but I think the boy can go home tonight with his head held up high. I wonder if the supporters will get creative and prepare a cheer for him similar to Bale’s? Say it with me now… “Bale, Bale, Bale”. Gareth deserves better in my opinion.

The 1st half was looking to be a dull and disappointing affair, until a little gem appeared close to the half hour mark. Bale, Bale, Bale maturely crossed the ball, covered by 3 Pompey players mind you, to Crouch who gave us our first. A couple of cock-teasing crossbar moments and within minutes, another one of our former Pompey beloved, Kranjcar, gave us a cheeky, diplomatic and non-celebrated 2nd. A guy could really get used to this. Lovely stuff.

That must have really hurt the poor Pompey fans. To see two players you once dearly loved, kick you hard when you’re down. Enough of feeling sorry for our opponents, I was still hungry for more goal-scoring madness in the 2nd. Sadly, that wasn’t going to be on the menu for the evening.

Then the “Tottenham cliche” struck again. Another player subbed off to injury. Worst of all, it was our captain. By the looks of it, it didn’t look too good. Let’s hope its purely precautionary and he just needs to shake off the knock to come back and lead the boys next week.

One area of concern, and I thank the technical Windy for bringing this to my attention, is Modric’s laziness when returning to help defend. Lazy might be harsh, but what I really mean is that he needs to be reprogrammed to think like a true Premier League midfielder. It takes him quite a bit of crucial time to figure out that the ball is going the other way, it seems. This needs to be fixed if we are to use him in the middle against the likes of Man U and Chelsea.

As far as Crouchie’s celebration against his former club, I’m sure people will be moaning about how unsportsmanlike it was. I think the lad was just happy to finally score after 2 months of being in a rough patch. It’s a hurdle he has been waiting to get over, and he managed to effortlessly leap over it tonight. Some touches of class tonight in his performance.

So 4th place remains ours for another week. Villa received a 7-goal bashing at the hands of Chelsea; it worries me that we have to face that lot some time soon, but we are more confident than ever playing at home these days. Liverpool and City get their day out tomorrow, so the table will be much clearer come evening time after mañana.

As I said, a guy could really get used to this. COYS!

Who dares draw?

February 6, 2010

A bit of a contradiction, but this was a fantastic match to watch. It ended in an unfortunate draw for a Tottenham side which assumed the Tony Soprano role of bossing the opposition around. The opposition here being a quality Aston Villa.

The 1st half was intense right from the start. Villa’s counter-attacking was constantly met with clinical defending, instantly mirrored with a wave of Spurs counter-attacking. Unfortunately, to no avail.

Crouch was a major weapon in the 1st. Villa had little or no answer for our long range passing game to the lovable giant. They seemed to rarely get a touch on the ball. We had a foot in every direction they attempted a pass. On the attack, Spurs were much more composed and tactical in the build up of play. A 4-touch combo involving (in order) Bentley, Crouch, King and Defoe at the 40th minute was Spurs best chance of the half.

When the 2nd half whistle arrived, I was praying for more tenacity over the next 45 minutes. Was it too much to ask for? Am I a greedy supporter? Not if you compare me to the 30-odd thousand fans at the Lane. Greedy and smug bastards. I love each and every one of you.

A resurgent Villa side came about. Not so much on the counter attack as one would expect, but trying to use their forwards to draw fouls in dangerous places. Two close set pieces and they were left with nothing.

Defencively, they accomplished all they set out for. Keep a clean sheet and maintain momentum for their 4th spot run.

Palacios was doing his job in the midfield. On the attack though, his passes were quite weak. He managed to be at the right place at the right time, but then he seemed to taint it with Zokora-esque decision making. His role is all about heart and intimidation. Check on the list for both of those attributes.

Modric was a delight, but needs to work on his finishing. Add a little more muscle in his shots and he could be a major threat within shooting range.

“Boy wonder” Bale was super-impressive. BAE must feel nervous watching these spectacular performances he’s putting in consistently. Bale made Ashley Young look amateurish at best.

So at the end of the day, was today’s match a disappointment? We did enough to warrant the win, but without goals being scored we sealed a brilliant display but not a brilliant victory. Still, this could have been one of our best performances in a long time. If we manage to play like this week-in week-out, we could very well be on our way to the Champions League. That’s if we score, of course.

What did we lack? I can’t say it enough but there is a need for another instinctual finisher. I’m not going to go on and on over this issue; the window is closed and we must make with what we have. We can do it.

What did they lack? Defence being the exception, they lacked everything. “Are you West Ham in disguise… Boring boring Villa.”

Classic.

Same old story… taxes and blue balls

January 18, 2010

I don’t understand it. Let me rephrase that. I don’t want to understand it. How many times will we let the same old cliché have its way with us? The fact that we cannot beat teams like Hull, Stoke and Wolves is quite annoying to be honest. How we are aiming for a top 4 spot baffles me at this point.

So what’s the deal?

The tax man is comin’ to getcha!

The decision to play Keane once again left many frustrated. He actually had a few chances and put in some good runs, but it just wasn’t working. The Crouch and Defoe partnership is definitely our most potent form of attack. We needed the 3 points, especially with everyone in the table around us losing or drawing. We needed to win this Harry! And we most definitely needed the full 3 points before our trip to Liverpool.

Harry promised that his sole focus would be football and not his tax issues. I clearly didn’t see it. Excuse my case of blue balls…

A case of blue balls

The level of frustration was comparable to a high school makeout session!

I haven’t had a chance to go back and look at the statistics, but Myhill single-handedly took apart our attack. When are we signing him by the way?

In a previous post, I asked the question “do we need a proven and experienced striker”? I believe it more than ever now that we desperately do. We need quality other than Defoe. We are not going anywhere in this league without more quality up front. FULL STOP.

And that just seemed to add to an even more frustrating issue which was the negative support. Unfortunately, instead of getting behind the squad, they just started booing and yelling quite early in the match. How does that make sense?

The positive

Another clean sheet.