Posts Tagged ‘William Gallas’

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.


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.

The road to…

October 19, 2010

Chugging along. Plugging away. Making ends meet. Doing the business. 5th in the table and a mere 5 points below Chelsea means the league is up in the air and the top 4 are as vulnerable as ever. I likey!

4 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses… and we’re still in 5th? Arse and Man United (3rd & 4th respectively) have dropped a few unexpected points keeping us in the mix of things. Thankfully. But it’s wins like the one at Craven Cottage, home of the Fulham sore losers, which mean we’re doing something right. Okay, it wasn’t a pretty victory but at the end of the day, it’s all about those three vital points. In the near future, those very points will be an integral part of a collective figure which will dictate if we play Champions League football next season, in-flow of money for the club, new bandwagon supporters and last but not least, the possibility of adding another VDV or “flair” player to the squad.

So now that we have the midfield doing the job our strikers are contracted to do, it’s safe to say that we are able to score (I was a bit hesitant typing that). Even more importantly, we are able to hold the ball for long periods of time; crucial to success in Europe, and potentially at San Siro tomorrow.

Still, something’s not right. Harry needs to address the defencive issues within the squad. We need to rewind back to a time when White Hart Lane was a sealed fortress. I think the main point of concern is the fact that we don’t have a consistent pairing at the back. It takes time and communication to build the trust between the center duo. “I cover you – you cover me” type of unspoken promises.

Ledley seems to be nearing the end of his career. It’s a heart-breaking matter and I don’t know how I’d feel without him on the bench. But it’s only a matter of time before he will have to give in to this chronic injury and take a bow.

So is Ledley the cause of our lag at defence? Not quite. He plays when he can (and is stellar at such efforts) but it is hindering any potential of a blossoming defencive partnership. Bassong needs time on the pitch. Gallas definitely does as well (it’s no secret he’s rusty). If the players don’t have time to strengthen their partnerships, it pretty much leaves us open and vulnerable in one of the most critical positions on the field.

Remember the “2 points from 8 games” season? Our fight to claw back from the dead was aided by the very fact that we went on a record clean-sheet run. Gomes was in superb form, having developed an understanding with the two center-backs and vice versa. That is what we desperately need today.

Kaboul should return soon from injury and Dawson needs a bit of time, but we have players who can establish themselves and secure regular selection. I am concerned that Ledley’s involvement in the team might prevent that to a certain degree. Do I want to see him go? Of course not! Am I sick of seeing us stupid goals conceded? Yes. Ledley does little wrong when on the pitch; he is naturally gifted like that. Since we have brought in Gallas, we have Bassong, Kaboul is beginning to flourish and it’s only a matter of time before Dawson returns, then would it be wise to keep throwing Ledley into the mix?

I’m not so sure anymore.

Controversy at the Lane… 4-5-1 away?

August 21, 2010

Controversy strikes Tottenham as “washed up” Gallas is on his way to the Lane. Whichever way you look at it, the move is sure to add a little flame to the NLD fire.

Players are players. You’ll hate them as long as they don someone else’s kits. They come and go making goosebumps appear across our bodies the day they sign, then disgust or relieve us when they sign for someone else. A French-speaking player by the name of BAE once honestly admitted that he “plays for the money”. Period. A fickle sport you say? What isn’t?

And now on to today’s fixture at Stoke. Their’s a possibility we could face the Potters without Keane, Defoe, Gio or Pav. Apparently, the battle scars from Young Boys have yet to heal. So a 4-5-1 formation is in order then, eh? I don’t know if I see Crouch up front on his own. Can Kranjcar play off of Crouch as a make-shift striker?

It will be a struggle.

Stoke have added Kenwyne Jones to their squad and he wants to prove that he was worth it. Their midfield will be parked, leaving little room to move forward. We’ll have to ooze our way through like goo. A friend of mine says to “expect the long ball”. All I can say is we’re in for a long one.