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Feb 132011
 

GROUP STAGE FORM – DWLWWD

Group A was the toughest group Spurs could have hoped for. But if anything, it’s only galvanised the side more as they’re now used to what their potential opponents are about. The squad also know they can beat the best teams in Europe if they put their mind to it.

Spurs are the ‘Rubin Kazan’ of this year’s tournament. Not so much for beating a big team away from home, but beating a big team when most had doubted their credentials leading up to the tournament.

Looking back over the scorelines of Spurs’ group games, I couldn’t have asked for a better group to be honest. It only forced better football out of Bale, Modric, Gallas and Gomes when it counted.
Admittedly, Spurs’ first ever Champions League campaign was nearly ruined before it began in the playoff stage against Young Boys [of Bern]. The away trip was more of a Gory night than a Glory night for Spurs as they found themselves on the back foot. In the first half, cheap loss of possession and bad positioning in the defence allowed three goals to effortlessly slip past Gomes in the first half. Bassong replied before half time with a header. Near the end of the game, Pavlyuchenko reduced the deficit further with a great strike from distance to make it 3-2 at full time, but still leave Spurs with all to do in the second leg.

At White Hart Lane, it was a totally different story. I was there to witness it for myself. The Young Boys hardly strung an attack together. Spurs dominated from start to finish. A hat-trick for Peter Crouch with a controversial goal from Jermain Defoe thrown in for good measure.

Spurs are a Jekyll-Hyde team at the moment. The Hyde side comes out on away games while the Jekyll side comes out at home games. Spurs didn’t win a single away game in the group stage or the playoffs; yet they remain undefeated at home, even against Italian treble champions [and current title holders] Internazionale and Dutch Eredivisie champions FC Twente Enschede.

Against Inter Milan at the San Siro, Spurs floundered for a full 45 minutes and were being torn to shreds by Wesley Sneijder and Samuel Eto’o. It was 4-0 by half time, so inevitable thoughts about being destroyed 8-0 by the end were firmly in the minds of Spurs fans everywhere.

What was completely against the grain was a newfound ‘not-quite-done-yet’ attitude in the second half….well…Gareth Bale anyway. The defence did tighten up, but the man of the moment for the Lilywhites was Bale, who took advantage of what can only be described as a bout of Inter tiredness and got three goals within the final ten minutes using the same open space. – Hyde

On the rematch White Hart Lane, he made an example of right-back Maicon once again to put goals on a plate for Crouch and Pavlyuchenko. – Jekyll

The icing on the top of the cake was that Spurs had come out on top of the group.

Moving onto Spurs’ chances of winning the tournament, as I said before, great at home, but highly concerning away. I have to say, if it wasn’t for the fact Spurs are at home for the second leg, the last 16 may have been my idea of where the fairytale would end. Gareth Bale has sustained a back injury and is a major doubt for Tuesday’s game. However, Van Der Vaart may be available and Niko Kranjcar has filled the left wing position with superb zest, despite the constant poo-pooing of him from his manager.

Pavlyuchenko may also start in place of the injured Peter Crouch, which is fine by me as he widens Spurs’ attacking options from wing attack to central play.

As for AC Milan, the big concern for their squad will be the absence of first-team favourites such as Gianluca Zambrotta, Andre Pirlo and ex-Tottenham fringe player Kevin-Prince Boateng. However, both teams will have some of their best players remaining.

For AC Milan, top players like Ibrahimovich, Ronaldinho, Robinho and Pato should be available.
For Tottenham Hotspur, Defoe, Dawson, Gallas, Gomes and Lennon will be available.

With all these injured players in both teams, the game is anyone’s to win. So it actually makes the fixture all the more juicy and exciting.

An away win at the San Siro is the key to Spurs’ progression into the Quarter-Finals. Then at home, it should be plain sailing. Any stage after the last 16 which Spurs get into will only mean a major bonus to fans and extra kudos points from other clubs in the football world.

My mouth is watering already!

FOR A FULL PREVIEW OF ALL OTHER CHAMPIONS LEAGUE CLUBS, VISIT – http://bleacherreport.com/articles/545869-uefa-champions-league-power-ratings-whos-going-strong-whos-gone-pete-tong

  13 Responses to “Achy Milan v Tottenham Crockedspur – Champions League Preview!”

  1. ahem ronaldinho left in january m8. does anybody know if cassano is cup tied or not because he did play in qualifying rounds with sampdoria

  2. Glamour ya ? CL games..To me (one of the few sensible ones from my time reading this blog), the future of the club (at the top) is hanging in the balance..No new (revealed) plan for a stadium, that could means no CL games, No Bale and Modric soon.

    The bread and butter to me is the next 6 games in the league. Games that will buy us time to challenge as elites. Blackpool, Wolves, West Ham (damn them, and lets put the sword in ourselves). A far cry from San Siro but like its like the trenches, its where the war is won. San Siro ? a glamorous dance floor.

    Lets get a run of 10 wins in a row. That should set us nicely as top 4 again. Stray eyes to the CL is not only dangerous but ultimately end in tears.

    COYS !!!

  3. Hm, a bit stale, mate. You’ve taken about 1,000 words to say nothing new or original at all.
    Given all of our possible miising influential players, this is going to be no easy nut to crack, let’s not kid ourselves. A draw in San Siro would be a fantastic first base. More would be Dream Land. The right psychology in our lads’ heads will be absoultely crucial, whoever plays.
    Brave hearts, boys! Go for it, don’t forget to defend with sense & COYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

  4. Your mentioning of Bale at the San Siro will always leave me with two enduring memories of this season.

    The first was after he scored his first goal and immediately picked the ball up and ran to the centre circle to get the game restarted. Yeah, as if one goal was going to make any difference.

    Against Arse, he did exactly the same when he equalised there. Yeah, as if we are going to beat them after being 1-0 down at the Emirates.

    Whatever happens this season, I will not forget those two moments which I think epitomises this team and the fantastic attitude of Bale

  5. bale will be involved dont worry keep the faith in arry we TRUST !!!!

    • bale will not play tuesday. redknapp already said he will not travel with them. it was on the site

  6. Audere Est Facere! Just do what is says and we will be fine.

    COYS!

  7. The Bale story gets more baffling by every missing games and Harry is starting to look puzzled by it all, three statements could give us some clues as to what is gong on with the bad back of Bales something defenders have bean used to seeing . When Bale went down in a heap i though he had bean elbowed and he had got a muscle spasm but a statement from Harry explaining he had bean carrying this injury for a few weeks . So why was it not sorted or identified by a scan mos back pain in young people last up to six weeks lifting weights coud have caused this or a more cynical reason could be Ferguson and Giggs leaning on him to move to the dept mounting old trafford with old players who need replacing. I hope this is not the case but Harrys last statement has some clues when he states Crouchies back looks worse on the scans and he will be playing so why is Bale not fit very strange and today the Mirror of lies is saying Sir red nose is coming for him. I would like to noe Coxie and any other fans what you think since he swapped a utd top he has not played is this jst a coincidence or a Berbatov season to move remember both Carrick and Berbaov left when we finished outside the top four. At the moment we are winning and if bBig Tommreturns fit and well along with Woodgat King we carry on winning and the Red one will be sulking again without Bad Back Bale. Coys we are still winning you haggies head

  8. if harry says bale wont be involved, you know bale will play!!!!

  9. Great post Dave.I’m really looking forward to this game and to see how we play for the first fifteen minutes especially.IE,have we finally learned our lesson after a few uneasy starts in the competition so far.

  10. just read on sky that bale might play. modric probably not. vdv maybe. before i thought he said he would probabaly play but now he isnt sure

  11. I will be there at the Giuseppe meazza in person, Expect to lose but look forward to seeing my team in the great stadium in the best competition. Anyone else going??

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