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Apr 302011

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp has told reporters that he doesn’t really want to be in the Europa League next season.

Redknapp claims it acts as a distraction and is nowhere near as glamourous as the Champions League. A lot of teams now opt to field weakend teams in the Europa and Harry is no different as he chose this route when he first took over as Spurs boss. However he still wants fifth place if Tottenham can’t manage to finish fourth.

Redknapp said:

“The ­Champions League takes its toll. But the ­Europa League takes a bigger toll.

“It’s one of those competitions that teams get in and they try to get out of.

“You look at the English teams and they all seem to play the ­reserve teams in it and change.

“It’s a million miles away from the Champions League, isn’t it, unfortunately.”

But he added: “We’ve got to try to finish fifth, if we don’t finish fourth. We want to ­finish above Liverpool. My chairman would want fifth.”

 Posted by at 08:48
Apr 302011

Harry Redknapp admitted that his aim is to bring in a top striker in the summer but has also admitted they don’t come cheap and are hard to find.

Spurs have been desperate for a striker since last summer but have dwelled on potential transfers to either let rival clubs in or see the player’s price take a huge rise due to good form or nearing the end of a transfer window. Some Spurs fans dislike the way Daniel Levy leaves deals until the last minute in hope of a bargain when a lot of the time it just adds to a players value as the selling club has no time to find a replacement.

Redknapp admitted one striker he tried to sign was Villarreal’s Guiseppi Rossi but admitted Tottenham wasn’t happy with the £35m price tage when in the previous window they were quoted just half that amount.

Redknapp said:  ‘I’d like to get another frontman, if I can. They’re difficult to find. They’re big money. We went for Rossi last year and he was ­suddenly £35m.

 “We could have had him before for £18m. But we didn’t do it and it ran on and suddenly … it’s a lot of money, isn’t it?

 “For us to pay that sort of ­money is frightening.

 “But if your ambitions are high you’ve got to be up there.

 “We’re looking for strikers, not £35m, but they’re hard to find, everyone’s looking for them. That’s why Torres was £50m. The good ones cost fortunes, don’t they?

 “It wouldn’t be up to me, it would be up to the chairman.

 “But we’ve been chasing all around the world, looking for people. They all cost big money.

 “You go all around the world. If you want to go and buy ­Rossi, he’s going to cost you £35m.

 “You know you’re getting a good player, but it’s an awful lot of money.”

 Posted by at 08:37
Apr 302011

Italian 1982 World Cup winner Claudio Gentile thinks that Tottenham winger Gareth Bale is nothing but an over-rated player.

The Italian has warned Italian clubs to steer clear of the £40m rated Bale and insists he will be a waste of money. Both Juventus and Inter Milan are thought to be interested in signing Bale but Gentile says it will be a bad move for any club to pay that sort of money for Bale.

Gentile said:

“I do not think Bale is a champion. He’s over-rated.

“His name appeared in the limelight only because he scored three goals in the Champions League match against Inter.

“This is not the kind of player that makes you step up to another level.”

To be honest, I hope more people think like this and they will leave him alone.

 Posted by at 08:25
Apr 292011

Peter Crouch, Spurs striker…what an enigma.

England International record – Excellent! [22 goals/42 caps]

Champions League record for Spurs – Excellent! [7 goals/10 apps]

Premier League record for Spurs – SHOCKING! [12 goals/67 apps]

In terms of whether Spurs fans generally rate him as a striker, he’s like Pavlyuchenko – splitting opinions across the fan base. It might be because he scores more often in one type of competition than another.

In this case, Crouch scores much more prolifically in the Champions League and international matches than in the Premier League. It’s just strange. A striker should be ready to…erm…strike in any match where he features.

Personally, I’m incredibly fickle about Crouch’s frequent presence in the Starting XI. At times he’s a guardian angel! At the San Siro he scored what was one of the most important goals in our season…and with his foot too! He also scored a vital goal at Manchester City to get us to the Champions League in the first place.
For the first few games where he played alongside Van der Vaart, Crouch became a perfect partner for the Dutchman.

For more observant/objective fans, he seems to have a nack for controlling the ball with skill and flare, which is entertaining, but not always productive. At other times and as far as his striking qualities go, he has been capable of frustrating me no-end.

This is the crux of the debate. Does he really fit our style of play? Or is he only playing because of Redknapp’s favouritism, which is gradually coming to light as some players indicate they would like to leave Spurs to gain more first team football.

Some would say he does fit our style of play; and perfectly. A lot of Spurs’ attack appears to be supplied from wingers bombing down the flanks, ready to whip the ball into the 6-yard box for Crouch. From there, he could either go for goal himself or head downwards for another striker to finish it. The squad selection has been ‘made’ for Crouch to slot in, hence the omission of Pavlyuchenko and Kranjcar in a lot of games, who alternatively like to play through the centre (even though Kranjcar tends to play on the wing and cut inside).

But others of course wouldn’t agree at all. You have to ask yourself, were the wings Harry’s chosen way of attacking? Or was it Crouch’s only path towards scoring?

Statistically, Spurs are still attacking more often through the centre than the wings to this day.

Back in the day when Keane was scoring for fun and Berbatov was performing in a white shirt for Sir Al’s entertainment, Spurs attacked mainly through the centre – even with Lennon on the wing – and it yielded many [great] goals. Then when Crouch got more appearances for us last season, our style became a bit hoofballified for a team that boasts being the pioneers of push-and-run football, the type of football perfected by the likes of Barcelona and Ajax.

Dawson for a long time has been the main culprit blasting the ball up to Crouch so that it can be held up there in a Carlton Cole fashion, only to be snuffed out by the opposition’s defence more often than not.

And even when he has the ball fed through to him, some of the occasions where he’s missed a chance to score have been many. Combine that with the lack of goals from the other strikers in the squad – stifling the team’s progression by missing goal chances – and you have a whole heap of resentment and finger-pointing aimed at certain strikers at some given point in the month, notably Crouch for the number of times he gives the ball away.

Personally, I don’t think he fits the team, no offence to him personally though. He doesn’t fit Spurs’ famous attacking style of play. His presence on the team attracts too many long balls from Dawson, even before the 90th minute of a draw as it’s ‘anti-football’. And when he heads a ball, he always plays leapfrog with the defenders, conceding fouls. As a man measuring 6ft 7ins, surely he only has to stand up to head the ball or not push the defending player over before heading the ball.


Apr 292011

Recently I have seen a lot of negative comments towards Harry and the team and I myself have even been guilty of such behaviour but today although I am disappointed with some of our recent results I thought that maybe myself and others are being a little too harsh.

I have seen a lot of people saying Harry should go in the summer but let’s be realistic here. Harry is the only man who has managed to bring us Champions League football and maybe that has gone against him. We have all now had a taste of what it is like to be in the top four and we now see anything else as failure.

Many men have tried and failed to do what Harry has done in such a short space of time but yet we are becoming a little ungrateful by demanding and expecting to be in the top four again. Any other season a 5th or 6th place finish would have been seen as a job well done but this season it’s different, suddenly if we don’t finish 4th Harry should go? I don’t always agree with his decisions and his signings but the fact is that we are now a force in the league, we have the best team in the Premiership we have ever had and given more time maybe Redknapp could improve it even more. We have criticized some of his signings but these players are the ones that brought us the dream of Champions League football and with that dream fading this season we turn on them.

Just because we broke the top four it doesn’t mean we will suddenly be challenging for the league, our aim this season was always to do it again but we knew with City spending big that it would be hard but at least we are still there until the end. There will be lots of what if’s but we can’t turn back the time, yes I know we should have got a striker but we didn’t. For a team who concedes so many goals and whose strikers don’t score many, it’s a miracle that we are challenging for 4th at all.

My point being after years of mid-table mediocrity and then one top four finish maybe our expectations have become too high and unrealistic too soon and we should keep our feet on the ground and support the team and hope we can improve next season. Other teams now fear us and up their game against us, we are no longer a laughing-stock so let’s take it one step at a time and trust in Harry for all that he has done he deserves time and all big clubs give their manager’s time. If United didn’t give Fergie time then who knows where they would be now. Yes Harry may take the England job in 2012 but let’s not worry about that now.

 Posted by at 19:31
Apr 292011

Harry Redknapp is weighing up a summer bid for Sunderland’s striker Asamoah Gyan according to reports in today’s Sun newspaper.

Redknapp has grown increasingly frustrated with his Tottenham strike force of Defoe, Pav and Crouch after a poor return of goals from all three and looks set to make building a new strike-force his main priority.

Spurs have been keeping tabs on Asamoah Gyan and all though the Ghana international is a decent player, he too has struggled for form since Christmas and has bagged just 11 goals in 30 games. Gyan is set to be keen on a move to London after finding it difficult to settle in the area and with his closest friend Sulley Muntari set to leave Sunderland at the end of his loan spell, it could push Gyan closer to the exit.

There has been no contact between both Spurs and Sunderland although it is thought Harry has told close pals Gyan is one of the strikers he has been watching.  Asamoah Gyan arrived at Sunderland at the start of the season for £13m after an impressive World Cup with Ghana.

 Posted by at 09:11
Apr 282011

Good day fellow Spurs chaps and chappettes. As the curtain nearly closes on another Premiership season the transfer speculation hots up, some of you are bothered but after our last two transfer windows some of you might have given up hope of an exciting summer.

Last summer after Champions League qualification we expected some major action, we needed to get rid of 4 or 5 players but it never happened, this summer is no different and I am mainly going to focus on that.

The way I see it we have several players surplus to requirements and whether or not we think some of them should be in the team the fact is that if Harry isn’t going to use them we should cash in on them. When I refer to that last statement I am talking mainly about Niko Kranjcar, a player that breaks my heart seeing him sitting on the bench when he has been so good for us when needed, a player I would love to see play more but the fact is that he will want to leave in the summer and there will be no shortage of takers.

Robbie Keane, Gio and Jamie O’Hara  have all spent the second half of the season out on loan and providing there are takers then all of them will probably depart in the summer. Keane will be on his way should West Ham avoid the drop. Gio will never change Harry’s mind and will surely be on his way and O’Hara wants regular first team football and will push for a move himself.

There are others that could depart if offers come in. The likes of Jermaine Jenas and Wilson Palacios in midfield should be looking over their shoulders. The emergence of Sandro seems to have put the nail in the coffin for Palacios which is a shame because after a slow start he started to find some form but Sandro seems to  be first choice. Hutton may be sold as there were rumours a while back of a bust up with Harry and Corluka seems to be first choice right back once again although Hutton is injured, however you can expect Kyle Walker to come back from Villa and challenge for the right back position.

We then have a bit of a sore subject, our goalkeeper Gomes. Is the big man safe or have his long list of errors caught up with him and will Harry keep one eye open for a replacement? Don’t bet against it!

Finally we have our strikers, after the season they have had you wouldn’t be surprised to see any of them depart in the summer. Harry isn’t happy with his strikers and knows he should have addressed the issue in January instead of chasing Pineaar and Beckham who were both players we never really needed.

There is also the scary thought that we will have to fight off huge bids for star players that we don’t want to sell should we fail to finish 4th. Bids for Bale, Modric and even Van der Vaart will be coming at us from all angles but as long as the players are happy to stay another season and see what we can do then we might just be able to hold on to them but they will want to see some positive action in the transfer market or who could blame them if they want to leave.

As for players in, something tells me the rumours of a bid for Joe Cole will turn out to be true, I hope not but just a gut feeling. I expect maybe a bid for Drogba as he will not be prepared to sit on the Chelsea bench.

Looking at the list of players we need to sell and all the players we are linked with, we should expect a busy summer, unfortunately we thought the same thing last season but we were left disappointed so don’t get your hopes up.

By looking at all the potential players we could sign to improve our team I would like you to leave comments on who you feel we should try to bring in. Do it here because I doubt I will be doing another transfer speculation blog between now and the end of the season.

 Posted by at 19:33
Apr 272011

*update* Some of you have said it was Real Madrid who were the dirty team last night, I would advise you to watch this video and think again. >> Watch Video<<

Not Tottenham related this one but I guess like me that a lot of you are watching this so-called football match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

I am watching this game and I can’t believe what I am seeing, the players (especially Barca) players seem to be more interested in getting other players booked and sent off rather than actually trying to score a goal. Has this become the new objective for these two teams in order to win a game of football.

Almost every foul results in a player rolling around on the floor and looking to see what the referee is going to do before getting up and then suddenly they are fine again. Christiano Ronaldo used to do it a lot in the Premiership but in this fixture the guy looks like a hard man compared to some players.

It’s a shame watching two of the world’s best teams reduced to this style of play when it really should be all about the football. Both teams can play sublime football and that is what I would want to remember them for.

Anyone else think that these teams tonight are nothing short of an embarrassment to football?

 Posted by at 21:20
Apr 272011

The last game against WBA left us with a possible conundrum.  The opening goal put in by Odemwingie left BAE with a hamstring injury.  While BAE has been one of our more consistent players this season he could be missing at a very important run in.  Officially we have a solid cover for him in Bale at the back.  I however see problems with this and think there are few options that I would like to hear other people shout about.

First, we leave Bale at left back.  This leaves us with an open spot at left wing that wont be as lethal no matter who steps in.  Personally I like to see Niko step in and play but I know that probably won’t happen.  But Bale often gets very forward and playing Chelsea and Liverpool soon we won’t be able to leave their very dangerous speedy forwards alone for too long.  I don’t like this option but it has its merits.  I believe it to be defensively weak.

Second, you slot Bassong in as the left back and hope he doesn’t make any crucial blunders.  He also doesn’t give the left wing any offensive prowess besides a long and inaccurate diagonal ball.  He is a speedy player that could add some defensive cover to Bale playing the Left Wing.  The dynamic play that BAE offered may not be there with Bassong but the defense will be.  I don’t mind this scenario but I think we need to score goals and hope that it would prove to be lethal.

Third, while this is a bit lofty in thinking I think it has some potential as a high risk high reward process.  Redknapp could slot Pienaar in as the left back.  I know its very near the loony bin but hear me out on this one.  If Pienaar is healthy you slot him in as the left back.  He is a very speedy, hard working, defensive midfielder.  This would keep the defensive principles in place while adding dynamics to the left side of the field.  He is a very fundamentally sound player would have played great for us in his appearances.  Also throughout the game he would had an ability to add to the midfield if we are looking to score a goal.  If Redknapp plays the other 3 centerbacks (Kaboul, Dawson, Gallas) it could quickly change the formation from a 4-4-2 to a 3-5-2 if we were to need goals.  I know it’s a bit off the deep end but I figured it was worth mentioning. Let me know of other options.