Posts Tagged ‘Roman Pavyluchenko’

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!!!

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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!

Man of the match: Redknapp

August 18, 2010

Young Boys weren’t the little pimple-faced children I thought they would be. Turns out, they command their home field quite well. How well? A 3-1 lead at the half. That’s how Young Boys do apparently. So why didn’t anyone tell our boys? They were headless chickens, running with no where to go, lost and not coming to terms with the astro-turf.

Scoring their first at the 4-minute mark, you could tell that Young Boys were muscling their way in. They were all over the ball and our players balls. Dirty dancing in Switzerland. The second came at the 13th and the third at the 29th minute mark. What? Nobody told me this was remotely possible. I could do without these surprises when watching Spurs.

So three goals down with our full backs on the wrong side of everything. Mr. Redknapp was having none of it. BAE was somewhat poor, yellow-carded at the 4-minute mark (same time they scored their 1st), and ‘Arry wanted him off. Huddlestone was brought in and Bale shifted to left-back. Next thing you know, Bassong scores a brilliant header off of a corner at the 42nd minute. At this point, I didn’t know whether to celebrate or remain praying. Okay, I celebrated. Hard! It was the perfect time for a goal.

The match official whistled to end the half, prompting me to sit back down to try and calm my nerves. A cup of tea was summoned, delivered and eliminated in a few swigs.

The second half was a different match altogether. Spurs began controlling the match with the pass, managing to hold the ball for longer periods and minimizing the counter attack. Huddlestone was brilliant in his control of the midfield. Modric was later subbed and Niko Kranjcar was called for duty. And this is where Spurs began to operate at their very best: the touch & go passing game, controlled build-up and attack. Young Boys managed to have a few good looks at goal; some sloppy defending by Spurs and horrible back-passes (Palacios) to our keeper could have ended our hopes, but luckily nothing was to come of their attempts.

In the 83rd, Roman Pavyluchenko pulled one out of the hat and nailed a cracker of a goal in a tight top-right corner strike. It was a narrow opening, symbolic of the chances we had on the evening. Super Pav, Super Pav, Super Pav. Roman frustrates me then amazes me at times. He holds the ball well, but his attempts at goal are sometimes lazy in nature. Then the Russian comes up with a goal like this and you begin to love him all over again. What to do with this boy?

Harry Redknapp probably tore into the players at the half. Most importantly, he made them realize that we weren’t playing football this evening. It was monkey-in-the-middle. His tactics and substitutions were spot on and it shows that this isn’t the Redknapp of last year. He knows this squad inside out. Every move he makes will have a different outcome, and this my friends is why we should be thankful that our squad hasn’t changed drastically overnight. Continuity could have possibly saved us tonight. Let’s hope it does the same against Stoke on Saturday.

3-2 in Switzerland. I’ll take that scoreline back to the Lane. COYS!

Возьмем, что Kh’arry!

February 22, 2010

“TAKE THAT HARRY!”

You know that was the first thought that crossed Pav’s mind when he scored! He was proving a point to everyone in the DW Stadium last night: opponents, supporters, teammates, and most of all: Harry!

The relationship has been a rocky one from the start. Pav’s inability to come to grips with life in London and the English language (food too apparently) pushed him into the dark pecking order abyss. Defoe was paired with Robbie Keane, while Crouchie was eventually brought in and, almost instantly, given a shot as starter. Naturally, that would destroy anyone’s morale.

Numerous reports circulated the news that Pav and Harry were heading towards an ugly divorce. Fans were not happy.

His last performance should have been enough to warrant him a shot at a starting role. Unfortunately not. I actually thought that Gudjohnsen would get the nod somewhere at the 60th minute mark last night. But the fans wanted none other than Pav and they made it very clear. Apparently there were chants from the away supporters (I love you) for “Super Pav” way before his introduction. Now, whether Harry listened to the fans is one thing. If he did, it was a noble move; swallow your pride and give a chance to someone your supporters want to see on the pitch.

Well, it is now time to give the boy his chance. In his last two appearances, he has scored 3 times (I think that’s correct). Crouch has been sort of ineffective in the last few matches and we need someone else to aid with the scoring. He must start alongside Defoe against Bolton on Wednesday. HE MUST HARRY.

Note: If there is anything wrong with the Russian title, I blame Google Language Tools

Firepower

January 15, 2010

The canceled Liverpool match stained my week with a bit of poo, so I decided to take a break from Spurs blogging all together. But then thanks to TOMM, Alan got me thinking again. Defoe and Crouch are doing well together. Without them, would Keane and Pav work in their place? Fill in their shoes? Even to a minuscule degree? I honestly don’t think so. Keane is in a slump. Pav is just not feeling it. We would be in a bit of a pickle.

I wouldn’t mind if we brought in some added firepower to energize our attack. I’m talking about experienced forwards. Tested ammunition. For once, it seems that we do have players, other than forwards, contributing to the goal rush. Quite an important factor if we are to be of any threat in this second half of the season. But I honestly feel, we do have the quality in terms of play-build-up. The type of play-build-up which would hand any poaching forward an opportunity to celebrate.

Keane used to be a striker who could sense the ricochet of the ball. To a ridiculous degree. Obviously, his lack of confidence has destroyed his “Spidey” senses. When he’s on form, he is a potent weapon. Just ask Liverpool management. Approx. 20 million quid’s worth of potency. True, he wasn’t destined for legendary status at Anfield, but Robbie does have it in him. Can we wait around for him to shine again? I’m afraid not. There’s just too much at stake Mr. Keane. I would love for him to come back stronger than ever. To rightfully claim that captain’s armband. To declare himself a living legend at the Lane. But dreams are one thing, and reality is another.

Would a Van Nistelrooy type be attractive? How about Diego Forlan? Julio Cruz? How about Kanoute back at the Lane? I’m just throwing names out there with no type of footballing reasoning or logic to back it up. All I’m saying is, we need finishers to kill off opponents early. Simple really. Our defence has the ability to shut out teams. Our midfield, one which we complained about constantly in recent times, has the potential to be one of the most potent in the league. Our striking core seems a little weak in comparison. Defoe skews the graph definitely, Crouch is the support, Robbie needs his confidence back, and Pav is beginning to remind me of Berba “The Incredible Sulk”.

Do we need to add firepower to our core? Am I crazy to think “yes”?

What do we do with Keane?

August 13, 2009

Robbie Keane left Tottenham in the summer of 2008 to join his “boyhood dream” club, Liverpool. At the same time, we were engaged in a war with Manchester United for the transfer of Dimitar Berbatov, which we knew was going to happen sooner or later.

But the Keane move hurt much more… it hurt so bad that it left a scar. It’s partly the reason why I started bleeding in the first place. It wasn’t just me either. Spurs forums and blogs were erupting with disbelief and anger; HOW COULD HE LEAVE US? In my heart, I always thought Robbie would remain a Spur until his retirement. But he happily left for Liverpool and there was no turning back… so we thought.

On the 1st of November in 2008, Keane and Liverpool paid a visit to White Hart Lane. It was a fierce match that saw our side persevere and take it to Liverpool coming out on top 2-1, thanks to a thrilling goal by our new signing, Roman Pavyluchenko. But I wasn’t happy because of the score – OK, I was ecstatic! I was really happy because Keane looked out of place, eventually being subbed in the 66th minute. Revenge was on my agenda. The thought of “I hope it hurts you like you hurt us” consumed my head at the time.

From then on, our savior Harry Redknapp did a fine job of turning our season around but we were still clawing our way out of the relegation zone. In December, Spurs lost to two soon-to-be relegated teams, Newcastle and West Brom. Harry had to move quickly in the January window and bring in some players to give us that much needed boost. Players like Pascal Chimbonda and Jermaine Defoe returned; faces we never thought we would see in a Spurs uniform again. The real shocker though was Keane, only 6 months later, not wanted by Liverpool’s manager Rafa Benitez, and being traded back to Tottenham.

I must admit, at the time I didn’t know whether to be happy or to be angry over the news. Why would we bring him back? After what he put us through? Why should we rescue him? The blogs and forums were on fire once again. Some fans were distraught at the news and others were confident of his return, happy to see him in our colors again.

It turned out to be the right decision for the time. Keane came back and was handed captaincy over Ledley King due to the latter’s chronic knee problem. He actually started off with some decent performances, although not the Robbie Keane grit I was expecting. Then he slowly began to fade away and disappear on the pitch. Was his ego hit by the Liverpool saga? Was he unhappy?

So now here we are ironically, preparing to face Liverpool on Sunday. What do we do with Captain Keane? Wouldn’t you say that after the summer friendlies and international matches, Defoe and Pavyluchenko deserve the starting role more? Do we play a 5 man midfield and accomodate Keane there? I don’t believe we have that luxury. Can Keane play in Jenas’ position? Maybe, maybe not.

So the season is about to kick off and Harry will have to answer a question he’s probably asking himself this minute: what do I do with Keane?