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Foggy

Jan 072012
 

With the transfer window upon us football fans everywhere are waiting with breath bated for their clubs to make that first move. Though as you know there has been very little movement thus far. However according to Mr Redknapp our Daniel just loves this time of year.

“Daniel (chairman, Levy) normally likes to do something – he enjoys the transfer window. If the right player comes along he would look to do something special I’m sure.”

Tottenham have been linked with Blackburn defender Chris Samba but Redknapp cooled that particular speculation, although he admitted adding a star name could be a possibility while insisting no first-team players would leave.

Junior Hoilett has been another player linked with a move to Tottenham. Though for me both Hoilett and Samba fall just short of that quality we need to move the first eleven on to that next level. 

I mean let’s face it we’re up there with the big guns now and if they haven’t shown much interest in them. Well it’s just a thought but Surely then we need to be looking elsewhere too.

Wages may again though be the thorn in our side, after all if you want top quality it’s pretty certain you’ll have to pay top bucks. Unless of course you come across another Van Der Vaart. Someone who has made his money and now wants to play for the love of the game.

We need that player that will either push our regular starters up a gear, or move one aside and take his place. And I’m not sure those mentioned would do this.

On another note it was great to hear about John Bostock making a re-appearance today, he received good reviews from some of the Spurs forums. With members commenting on how lean he looked whilst his style of play appeared more aggressive (taking players on). 

John has found it hard going at Tottenham since his move from Crystal Palace and in hindsight probably regrets making the switch so soon in his career. Hopefully though this could be the first fruits of his turn around.

All the best John. Here’s to you proving to all that your the real deal.

 Posted by at 19:46
Dec 262011
 

Tottenham  Hotspur travel to Norwich on the back of a frustrating draw against fellow title challengers Chelsea. (title challengers I know it still sounds too good to be true). And although both sets of fans, Spurs and Chelsea alike would probably argue their team might have edged it.( Tis true the goal line clearance by John Terry still with rankles me|). A draw was a fair result.

Enough though of yesterday, let’s take a look at how we aim to take advantage of  Chelsea (1-1) Liverpool (1-1) and Man City (0-0) only managing draws today. A positive result at Carrow Road could see us edge a four point gap between ourselves and the blue flag flyers from South London.

TEAM NEWS:

Harry Redknapp says he’s hopeful of Rafa van der Vaart featuring at Norwich tomorrow night (Tuesday, December 27).

The Dutch forward was forced off at half-time of Thursday’s draw against Chelsea with a hamstring problem but has been back in training at Spurs Lodge.

Meanwhile, Harry reported that Ledley King came through the Chelsea match okay but he wouldn’t have enough time to recover to feature at Carrow Road.

Harry also ruled Jermain Defoe out with his hamstring injury and that he’d ‘wait and see’ on Younes Kaboul’s hamstring problem.

Speaking after training on Boxing Day, Harry said: “We’re hoping Rafa will be fit and it looks like there’s a chance he’ll be okay.

“Jermain isn’t fit though, Ledley was okay after the Chelsea game but this one has come around too quickly for him. He’s not fit.

“We’re not sure on Younes yet, we’ll have to see how he is.”

Michael Dawson is on the road to full recovery from his Achilles injury while Tom Huddlestone (ankle) remains sidelined.

ADEBAYORS RUTHLESS STREAK:

With Defoe again being absent, it seems likely that Harry will continue with the tried and trusted front pairing of Adebayor playing off Rafa.

“If you want to be in the top four those are the types of games that you have to win home or away. We have to do what it takes to win those games. Otherwise, forget it.”

Adebayor, on a year’s loan from Manchester City, scored in last Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea and said Spurs should take heart from drawing with a title rival.

 “Five or six years ago we know what would have happened [against Chelsea], which means, the club is going forward and we are improving,” he said.

MIDFIELD CONUNDRUM:

A more perplexing issue will be whether Harry continues with the same midfield that started against Chelsea with Sandro Parker Bale and Modric or will he opt for a little more pace and go for the young lad Townsend or perhaps Pienaar?

Pienaar will always give you that extra work rate. Something that cannot be underestimated on away days. Whereas Townsend will in my opinion offer more speed and directness, something we cannot have enough of.

DEFENSIVE ISSUES:

Another tester for Harry will be the centre of defence with Kaboul (hamstring) King (swelling to knee) and Dawson (achilles) all missing the game. (though Kaboul does have an outside chance). This leaves us with Gallas and Bassong. The former performing admirably in his last appearance though the latter has a lack of game time so far this season.

SOME GAME STATISTICS:

Spurs make 120 more passes per game than Norwich and complete 11% more. Spurs also run with the ball three times more often and Norwich have been dribbled past 146 times. With Kyle Naughton ineligible against his parent club, the questionable Richie de Laet may deputize at right back. Norwich have made a total of nine defensive errors with de Laet making two in just five appearances. If Gareth Bale is fit, the Welshman will relish running at the Manchester United loanee. Bale created four chances against Chelsea, including the assist for Adebayor’s opener.

Eight of the 18 goal assists made by Norwich so far this season have come from set pieces. Spurs have also made nearly 50 more shots than Norwich despite playing a game fewer. They have scored the sixth highest number of goals and Grant Holt is in the top ten goal scorers in the league. Grant Holt scores at better than a goal every two games for Norwich. He also has committed more fouls than any other player in the division, despite making only eight starts. 

Norwich have a simple style of football. It’s predictable, but it’s hard to stop. They are aware of their limitations and so tend to sit back and defend until they get their chance. They love to use width (making 23 crosses every week) and they create 10 chances per game. Spurs press the ball when they are out of possession. They make more challenges per game (98 to 87 despite Spurs much higher possession average) and less tackles. Because Tottenham try to close the ball down all over the pitch, they have won the ball nearly twice as often in the final third (54 to 28).

Statitional credit to (SAMROOKE89) English Premier League Index. Many thanks.


 Posted by at 19:23
Dec 252011
 

We are of course all perfectly aware of how the game has changed over the last decade or so. And of how much more importance is now laid at the feet of squad players. Gone are the years of first elevens with “back-ups” to cover for the odd injury here or there.

No, within these heady times of the multi-million pound earners, the depth and more importantly the quality of their number must be forever improved upon to ensure continuing success. With managers not only tactically rotating footballers to avoid injury, but to directly exploit an oppositions weakness by bringing in a “squad player” for a specific game, the importance is relevent now more than ever. Unfortunately though and this is the point of my article. As we know the Premier League only permits the naming of seven substitutes with the use of three of those during each game. 

I began to wonder then if it were not time for a change too in how the allocated numbers are used. Below are the given specifics of the squad ruling. 

  • At the close of each transfer window teams must announce a squad list of 25 players. 
  • Eight of these 25 must be “home grown,” meaning they have been associated with the FA or Welsh FA for three seasons (or 36 months) prior to their 21st birthday. Home-grown does not refer to nationality, simply how many years spent in England as a youngster.
  • In addition to their 25, teams can include an unlimited number of players under the age of 21. Players under the age of 21 in this context were born on or after January 1, 1989.
  • Clubs can change their squad list only during transfer windows, with a provisional rule in place for extenuating circumstances (like goalkeeping crises). The registered squad can be changed freely during transfer windows.
  • These squad rules are in effect only for Premier League matches. These rules do not apply to the Champions League, Carling Cup, or FA Cup.
  • Of these numbers seven shall be named as substitutes on match day, with three permited to be used on the field of play.
Seeing then how such importance is placed upon the squad, both by the FA and the Premier League would it not benefit the game to allow the manager to work from the entirety of its number on any given match day? Whilst raising the amount of substitutes from the current three to a more useful six. In my opinion this would go some way towards helping prevent further player unrest, as it would allow many more players to ply their trade at your club on a much more regular basis.
With debates then raging over goal line technology, the usage of the fourth officials and replays to more effect, both of which I am fully behind. I wish to add another ingredient to the recipe that makes us all drool with anticipation. 
 Posted by at 13:20
Dec 212011
 

Well it will soon be time for the January transfer window to creak open again… Not the same as the summer one though is it… You know, terrible draft and all that. Still we’ll just have to wrap up a little more I suppose and brace against the icy draft. There is the possibility of getting yourself a bargain though. Yep if your anything like me you’ll love a good deal.

And this got me to thinking… I wonder what special offers are out there for the likes of Tottenham Hotspur. Think about it the more you save on a top player that’s going cheap the more you’ll have to spend on those that are held to longer deals with their clubs. Canny Thought don’t you agree.

Again with the likes of Harry and Daniel we certainly have two of the better dealers out there. So without further adieu here are those players coming to the end of their contracts and hence are in the shop window as of November the seventh 2011 Christmas glitter and all.

ARSENAL

Manuel Almunia

Lukasz Fabianski

Vito Mannone  

Tomas Rosicky

ASTON VILLA    

Brad Guzan

Andy Marshall

Habib Beye

Carlos Cuellar

Emile Heskey

BLACKBURN

Michel Salgado

David Dunn

Herold Goulon

Vince Grella

Josh Morris

Nick Blackman

Junior Hoilett *****

Jason Roberts 

BOLTON

Jussi Jaaskelainen

Gary Cahill *****

Ricardo Gardner

Zat Knight

Sam Ricketts

Paul Robinson

Gretar Steinsson

Sean Davis

Martin Petrov

Robbie Blake

Kevin Davies

Ivan Klasnic *****

Tope Obadeyi

CHELSEA

Henrique Hilario

Nicolas Anelka

Didier Drogba *****

Salomon Kalou 

EVERTON

Marcus Hahnemann

Sylvain Distin

James McFadden

Louis Saha

FULHAM

Mark Schwarzer

Csaba Somogyi

Zdenek Grygera

Stephen Kelly

Danny Murphy

Andy Johnson

LIVERPOOL

Fabio Aurelio

MAN CITY

Stuart Taylor

Owen Hargreaves *****

MAN UNITED    

Tomasz Kuszczak

Darron Gibson

Ryan Giggs *****

Dimitar Berbatov *****

Michael Owen *****

NEWCASTLE

Tamas Kadar

Danny Guthrie

Alan Smith

Peter Lovenkrands 

NORWICH

Declan Rudd

Adam Drury

Zak Whitbread

Simeon Jackson

Aaron Wilbraham

QPR

Radek Cerny

Danny Gabbidon

Fitz Hall

Clint Hill

Bruno Perone

Danny Shittu

Akos Buzsaky

Lee Cook

Kieron Dyer

Hogan Ephraim

Heidar Helguson

STOKE

Carlo Nash

Thomas Sorensen

Jonathan Woodgate *****

Salif Diao

Matthew Lund

Tom Soares

Michael Tonge

Ricardo Fuller

Mamady Sidibe

SUNDERLAND    

Craig Gordon *****

Jack Colback

Jordan Cook

Ryan Noble 

SWANSEA

Vangelis Moras

Ashley Richards

Kemy Agustien

Ferrie Bodde

Thomas Butler

David Cotterill

Mark Gower

TOTTENHAM

Carlo Cudicini *****

Heurelho Gomes

Ledley King *****

WEST BROM

Luke Daniels

Marton Fulop

Nicky Shorey

Steven Reid

Paul Scharner

Somen Tchoyi

Jerome Thomas

Roman Bednar

Marc-Antoine Fortune

WIGAN

Mike Pollitt

Maynor Figueroa

Mohamed Diame

Jordi Gomez

David Jones

Hendry Thomas

Hugo Rodallega

WOLVES

Jody Craddock

 /JSS

 There you go, a nice few names amongst that list. I’ve starred the ones which have made my pad. Not rubbish either, as we don’t want to save money for the sake of it, they’ll have to be better quality than we have at the minute. And don’t forget the more we save here on the likes of Cahill we could put towards a Tevez type.

So if any of you have Harrys ear give him a nudge will you… Then give him his ear back by the way. Cheers and COYS. Oh and obviously we keep Ledley and Carlo.

 Posted by at 15:34
Dec 182011
 

OUCH!! Three points… But at a cost. With Lennon just beginning to rediscover the form that has seen him terrorise defences so many times in his career at White Hart Lane. It seems that on his two hundred and fiftieth game for the club he has torn his hamstring.. And it’s not a minor tear either..

After another great performance today, this time against a Sunderland side looking to nullify our much admired attacking prowess. Again we dominated possession. To the extent that the result should have been more than a one goal victory. Yet in doing so we suffered a loss we could ill afford… Or did we?

So… Let’s have a look-see. Time and again I hear Pundits talking about squad depth, and how Tottenham are apparently up there with the best of them. And yes for me this is a correct observation.

With both Defoe (slight hamstring) and Bale (ankle knock) suffering minor niggles ahead of Thursdays game against Chelsea it was good to see Pav getting on the score sheet today.

But let’s take a closer look at some of the lesser used squad members who in my opinion are more than capable to step up and fill the breach. With our flying winger Aaron lost and Gareth carrying an ankle knock, who could we call upon to see us through the Christmas period?

Andros Townsend: A quality youngster with blistering pace, quick feet and a good level of consistency with his  final ball. He also has a keen shot and has more than an average goal threat. His performances so far this season in the Europa  League will have given him excellent game time. He should then be more than ready to slot straight in.

Yago Falque: Another youngster and at twenty-one this loanee from Juventas looks a promising talent. He’s skill on the ball is second to none and his low centre of gravity beguiles defenders into making rash decisions. He too has an eye for goal and loves to attack  the opposition at every opportunity. For me his league debut can’t come soon enough.

Giovanni Dos Santos: What can I say about this lad that we don’t already know. He has a wonderful left foot, and great vision. He’s quick and again he’s another that has an eye for goal. However his game has never really taken off at Spurs, so perhaps his time has passed.

Either way I feel confident enough in our youngsters not to be overly concerned at the absence of Aaron Lennon. Even Gareth Bale, as great a player as he is, he can be rested. Perhaps a spell on the bench might even lift his game some more.

So let’s say we lose the services of our wingers for a short period of time. Who would be your replacements?

 Posted by at 20:00
Dec 172011
 

Well after what was a pretty dire first half performance by Tottenham up at the Potteries. I feel we can safely, and with no fear of  derision say overall… “We wuz robbed.” Penalty here, penalty there, disalowed goal everywhere.

Yet I suppose fate  hands these games to you once or even thrice a season…. So it’s Sunderland up next. And with Martin O’neil having taken over the helm of the good ship Mackem all hands should be pulling in the same direction. Their win against Blackburn being testimony to their endevour. I’m sure then they’ll be more than ready to give us a stern test.

Though if  we can carry our second half performance from Stoke in to this game I feel confident enough to declare a home win. A feeling echoed by Jermain Defoe.

Jermain Defoe describes Sunday’s clash against Sunderland as a ‘must-win’ game.

The striker is determined to bounce back from last week’s loss at Stoke, our first defeat in the Premier League since August.

In that time we put together a run of 10 wins in 11 unbeaten Premier League games, matching our best unbeaten run from 1995 and including a record run of six wins on the trot in the competition.

That all ended at the Britannia Stadium and ‘JD’ is now aiming to kick-start another run when Martin O’Neill’s men come to the Lane for a 3pm kick-off.

“We want to bounce back,” said Jermain, who grabbed his 110th goal for the club in Thursday night’s 4-0 Europa League win at Shamrock Rovers.

“It’s important to win that game and keep getting points. We’re at home, we’re creating a lot of chances and hopefully we can win.

“I see it as a must-win game, to be honest, to stay up there in that top four.”

Jermain said he expected Sunderland to be full of confidence after their late show turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 win against Blackburn.

“A new manager comes in, everyone is fighting for a place, everyone wants to impress and as soon as he walks through the door, he lifts the players and the crowd,” he said. “They will come to the Lane firing after last week’s win.”

Kaboul aside Tottenham should field a familiar side. With Defoe and Van Der Vaart both hoping to get the OK from Harry. Though I would like to see Yago Falque being given more of a chance. We have the squad so let’s utilise it more I say.

Tottenham Hotspur 5 R Pavlyuchenko Back Injury no return date doubtful
    L King Knee Injury no return date  
    J Jenas Ruptured Achilles Jun 12  
    T Huddlestone Ankle/Foot Injury 26th Dec 11  
    M Dawson Achilles Tendinopathy no return date  
 
 Posted by at 14:59
Dec 152011
 

ACCORDING TO REPORTS IN TODAYS PRESS TOTTENHAM HAVE COMPLETED THE SIGNING OF ONE RASMUS ELM OF AZ ALKMAAR. 

The fee for the creative midfielder being in the region of 7.5 million euros. Spurs have acted quickly to steal Elm from under the noses of Manchester United, with Redknapp bolstering an already formidable midfield with the addition of a top quality fully fledged international.

Elm has played 21 games for Sweden, previously appearing 23 times for the Under-21 side. He has improved greatly during the current campaign, after struggling with injury and illness in the previous two seasons.

Former Sweden coach Lars Lagerback claimed that Elm was the most talented player produced by Sweden since Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Tottenham fans will be hoping that his work-rate exceeds that of Ibrahimovic, particularly with the Swede facing the difficult prospect of forcing his way into an already crowded Spurs midfield.

For me though I would much rather of put that 7.5 million towards a Carlos Tevez fee or wages. As we do exceed talent both young and mature in midfield. Are you a little bemused? would you rather have the immidiate impact in an area of the pitch we need it?

Yet According to Expressen, Spurs have already agreed the deal, but Elm will not make the move to White Hart Lane until the end of the current season. Praised for his passing and playmaking abilities, the 23-year-old Swede has been closely monitored by Manchester United’s scouting network for some time, but United were not ready to make a move until 2012.

 

 Posted by at 14:51
Oct 292011
 

So.. Harry is, as of yet, undecided on how he can fit both Rafael Van der Vaart and Jermaine Defoe into the same Spurs first eleven. And to a certain extent I’m with him all the way. With Rafael scoring five goals in his last four games and orchestrating a fair percentage of the teams play he is surely a fixture of the present Tottenham team.

Though is this a dark cloud forming? Possibly. Or the developing of a silver lining? For me.. Most assuredly the latter. Mull this over for a while if you will me old muckers. For as of a time, not so long ago, the left hand side of the Tottenham team seemed to be the thorn in our underbelly. That along with the veritable slothfullness of central midfield.(a story happily rectified.) And it wasn’t until Luka Modric and fellow country man Niko Kranjcar allied themselves with an upturn in Gareth’s form, and pulled that rather unsightly lance from a wound that seemingly just would not heal.

Now however, that discomfort having recovered itself. Only for the right side to begin to show some signs of taking that unwanted mantle for itself… Yes we have players that can cover in that position Modric, Kranjcar, Townsend, Pienaar to name a few. Though for me those players lose something of themselves when they are asked to cover there when Lennon is either injured or off form. It is then a position that has begun to cause a few problems. Some fans would like to see Kyle Walker move further forward with Corluka taking back the position he made his own until quit recently. Though for me the answer comes from another source.

A little sauce with that solution Sir?

Jermaine Defoe Tottenham’s newest winger. So what is it you need in an ideal world from your “winger”? A directness in play? Pace? The ability to cut either inside or make a run to the by-line and deliver a quality ball? Yes.. Yes.. And yes, on all counts. But adding to that the finishing of a twenty goal a season striker and for me you have yourself a diamond set in the finest of golden clasps.

Now I know the saying goes that form is temporal whereas class is permanent. Hence Aaron will most likely regain his mo-jo sometime soon. Though there is nothing wrong with a little healthy competition either. In fact Lennon’s most recent rise in form was when we signed one David Bentley. And with Defoe being in top form at the moment can we afford to leave someone out of the team who is on fire in training and a real menace when on the pitch. Someone who in Harry’s own words is “unplayable.”

We also know that Aarons strongest asset has never been his final ball or his goal scoring ability. And though it has improved considerably it still does not meet out a real threat to the opposition. He does though understand that a winger does need to show some defensive responsibility. Yet so does Jermaine.

So though it be my own humble opinion.. There it is out in the wilds for all to behold. Hopefully Harry is one that might get to hear of it… And sometime soon.

Team for Queens Park Rangers game:

………………………………………………………….

                                

                                                                    

……………………………….                            

                                                                    

It goes without saying that this team is intelligent enough to move into a five man midfield when without the ball. Yet formidable when in possession and has more goals in it that one with Aaron Lennon.(no disrespect intended.)

 

 

 

 Posted by at 15:21
Oct 262011
 

An awful lot was debated on Tottenham forums both before and after the signing of Scott Parker. “Will he bring anything to the team?” “He’s too old.” And such like. Well we’ve seen a few games played now, some with and others without Scotty in the side. And I think he’s done an stirling job holding that midfield area together.

So well in fact that he has won September’s player of the Month award on Xtra, @SpursOfficial at Twitter and via Tottenhams official page on Facebook. They asked fans to send in their questions for a Player of the Month Q & A and, as always, people responded in style – they had over five hundred questions inside two hours.

Obviously, The official site couldn’t ask all of the questions, so here’s the best from Twitter, Facebook and Xtra.

If you haven’t before been on the Official Site look out from Monday, when they’ll poll the fans again for October’s Goal of the Month and Player of the Month awards – followed by another chance to quiz the POM winner!

Until then though. Here’s your very own Scott Parker. (I have chosen a few questions for you to look over, to view the rest visit Tottenhams Official Site).

What are the main factors that have helped you settle so quickly at Spurs? From Robert Flockton, ‘Robert_Flockton’ on Twitter.

“The main thing is that the lads have been brilliant. It’s been an easy transition for me and the lads have made it easy because they’ve helped me settle in quickly. It’s like any walk of life when you go into something new, I think I described my first day here at training as being like the first day at a new school, it’s quite nerve-wracking. However, when people are so warm towards you, players and staff, it’s a massive factor in terms of settling in.”

Your partnership with Luka Modric has been hailed by fans as one of the best in the Premier League. What do you think of Luka? From Brendan Moorhouse, via Facebook.

“I said last season when I was at West Ham what I thought of Luka as a player and I’m now delighted he’s alongside me and not against me. He’s a brilliant footballer and we’ve got many, many technically gifted players here. It certainly makes life easier for me playing alongside someone like Luka and it’s probably unfair just to say Luka, there are so many talented players here.”

Who was your football idol growing up? From George Sessions, ‘GeorgeSessions’ on Twitter.

“Paul Gascoigne. I used to watch him a lot and he was everything you wanted to be as a footballer when I was growing up. I remember the 1990 World Cup, Gazzamania and he was just a fantastic footballer. Gazza was the one I looked up to.”

Who lightens the mood most in the dressing room? From Matthew Spencer, ‘mattyspencah’ on Twitter.

“I’d probably say Sandro. To be fair, he has an absolutely great personality about him, really warm and he’s got a lovely way about him. He’s always happy around the place, a real positive vibe about him, always cracking jokes or trying to make people laugh. So I’d say Sandro.”

How was your first North London derby? From Harry Hunt, ‘harry_hotspur’ on Twitter.

“I’ve got to say it was pretty special. I’ve always watched this derby from afar and people have told me all about it but you never get a real feel for it until you are involved. The atmosphere was something special and on the day we won the game and got the three points, that made it more even more special. It’s a memory that will stay with me for a while.”

Who is the hardest midfielder you’ve played against? From Jack Bagley, ‘Jack_Bagley’ on Twitter.

“In terms of physically tough, I’d say when I was first starting out and played against Patrick Vieira. It was always a physical battle. He’s a big man and he used to let you know that in the way he played, skilful as well. In terms of most skilful, I’d say Eyal Berkovic. Maybe it was because I was young at the time, I played against him and he was very hard to mark, technically a very good player.”

Would you ever consider a haircut like Sandro? Kenneth Krey, ‘kennykrey’ on Twitter.

“No! I don’t think I could pull off a hairdo like that, it needs someone like him to do that!”

What position do you think we will be in at the end of the season? From Jack Lim Jit Sin via Facebook.

“The manager has stated that we want to try and be in the top four and I think on our day we can beat anyone. If we continue to play as we are at the moment, keep being solid away from home, we’ve certainly got enough in the squad to get into the top four and if not, more than that. I honestly think we can have a real good go this season.”

As one of the older players in the team do you feel you have more responsibility in helping the younger players coming through the ranks? From Scott Metherell, via Facebook.

“Yes, I think so. I always look back at when I was coming through and the senior players I looked up to at Charlton and now that’s turned around, I’m a more senior player in the squad and there are younger players coming through, so there is a responsibility in terms of conducting myself in the right way and always helping the younger lads if they want my help. I’d be more than willing to help and always there if they wanted advice.”

What is your most memorable footballing moment? From Kyle Freeman, ‘kylewozere007’ on Twitter.

“A few years ago at West Ham, we were struggling under Gianfranco Zola and played Wigan at home, a massive game and I managed to score and we got a vital three points. That stands out. Then with England, the Wales match at the Millennium Stadium (March, 2010) was a massive game for many reasons, special for me to represent my country and making my debut under Fabio Capello. I’d go for those two at the moment.”

Have you ever had the opportunity to play abroad? Would you have always stayed in the Premier League even if that opportunity came along? From Dan Moriarty, via Facebook.

“I think I would always stay in the Premier League. I’ve always said that certain players are suited to certain leagues and certainly the way I play is suited to the English league.”

I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I did. Make sure you get on the Official site next Monday and get your questions in. COYS.

 Posted by at 20:08
Oct 142011
 

How long has it been now? Two months or there about? I don’t know feels like an eternity to me to be honest.

Aaron Lennon you remember him? The wing wizard of White Hart Lane? Yes that’s the fellow. Put you on your backside on more than one occasion.

There’s many a Premiership player thought that I’ll bet ya. And they’ll have gone home with their tail between their legs too.

Though for one reason or another it feels like an age since we’ve seen him stretch those little legs of his. Taunting the full back that has been given the unfortunate task of “trying” to mark him.

An awful lot of pundits have given Aaron a hard time over the years. Slating his final ball, and, or his decision making. And to be fair at first they were justified comments. Though recently those very in-abilities he once possessed have, in my opinion improved greatly. Though not to the extent of a Manchester United or Chelsea showing an interest.

After-all is that the mark of a great player? Yes it grates. And yes we are a big club ourselves. But let’s take Modric for example or Bale for that matter. When a regular Champions League club sees a quality player they go all out to sign him. And the simple fact is no-one has really come in for Aaron. So should we deem from that it might be time to try another trick?

Or are they nieve? Take a look at the Aaron vs Messi video below. Now you spot the difference in their style of play. No. I couldn’t either. They both play the game the same way. Yet it’s Messi’s goals that have earned him rave reviews. So if Aaron could only finish of those rough edges surely he could become that Diamond we all hoped for.

And that is my question to you guys and galls. Would we be better to look for an improvement on Aaron? Or should we stick with him hoping he will again move up a level?

Latest Injury News:

“Aaron has had a groin strain for four or five weeks now and is struggling a little, but he said he felt better yesterday (Thursday) and we’ll see how he gets on.”

AARON LENNON: THE SPEED ITSELF.

AARON LENNON: HD.

AARON LENNON: THE FULL BACK KILLER.

AARON LENNON v LIONEL MESSI.

 Posted by at 20:18
Oct 142011
 

Right then, the International break now being well past it’s sell by date. We do, with much revelry, return to the five a day that is the Premier League.

Behold the Geordie Nights. And in all their glory. Last season saw Tottenham fight back to claim a 1-1 draw with Newcastle United at St James’ Park in an exciting Premier League clash.

LAST MEETING:

Fabricio Coloccini had fired the Magpies ahead on the hour mark of a match with plenty of chances at both ends, before Aaron Lennon grabbed a dramatic stoppage-time equaliser.

None of the preceeding 21 league meetings between these two sides had finished as a draw, so it was no surprise to see chances at both ends in an open encounter.

Defoe had fired wide early on before Ameobi sent a pair of strikes into the stand behind Cudicini’s goal.

Both sides edged closer to an opener, with Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper doing well to force Defoe wide after a fortunate rebound put the England forward through on goal before Best’s looping effort hit the bar at the other end.

Harper was called into action again in the final act of the half as Spurs were in the ascendant. Pienaar found Rafael van der Vaart on the edge of the area and the Dutchman flicked a delightful backheel into Defoe’s path, but Harper was equal to the strike.

The pattern remained much the same in the second half. Best headed wide and had a shot blocked in the first few minutes after the restart while Jenas fired wide and Pienaar was denied by a well-timed tackle by Coloccini.
Just moments after that challenge, Coloccini made an even bigger contribution at the other end.

The Argentine defender took a long diagonal ball on his chest, got past Alan Hutton and fired in a strike that Cudicini could not keep out despite getting a hand to it.

Spurs fought back, with Lennon forcing a near-post stop from Harper and Luka Modric crashing an effort off the crossbar, but they struggled to find a way through the Newcastle backline despite hogging the possession for extended periods.

In fact, Newcastle looked likely to score a second, and Cudicini had to make a block when one-on-one with substitute Peter Lovenkrands before tipping an Ameobi effort over the bar.

However, the introduction of Crouch added another dimension to Spurs’ play, and it paid dividends in the first of four added minutes. The tall forward’s flick-on found Defoe, who played the ball out to Lennon on the left. The winger cut inside and skipped across the box before firing in a clinical low drive into the near bottom corner to grab a share of the points.

January 22, 2011 – Newcastle United 1 (Coloccini 59) Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Lennon 90)

Newcastle (4-4-2): Steve Harper; Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Jose Enrique; Joey Barton, Danny Guthrie (James Perch 74), Kevin Nolan, Jonas Gutierrez; Leon Best (Peter Lovenkrands 65), Shola Ameobi (Nile Ranger 88)

Tottenham (4-4-1-1): Carlo Cudicini; Alan Hutton, Michael Dawson, William Gallas, Gareth Bale (Sebastien Bassong 11); Aaron Lennon, Luka Modric, Jermaine Jenas (Peter Crouch 71), Steven Pienaar (Niko Kranjcar 84); Rafael Van Der Vaart; Jermain Defoe

Tony Mabert / Eurosport

This Season:

This season sees both sides going into the fixture on a rich run of form. With Newcastle sitting in fourth position and still to be beaten. Whilst Tottenham have turned a disapointing start to the season around to put together a run of four straight wins, leaving them in sixth position. A win by two clear goals and a victory by Manchester United over Liverpool would see Spurs move into fourth.

Alan Pardew:

Alan has certainly made a few people stand up and take note with Newcastles form. They have the best defensive record in the league conceding only four goals to date. There is more good news for Newcastle United as both Demba Ba and Hatem Ben Arfa look to be in contention to play on Sunday.

After reading through a few Geordie blogs the main source of topic seems to ravel around their midfield, with Tiote and Ben Arfa highly liked. yet there is also a player by the name of Yoann Cabaye. And at twenty five he has played throughout the French international scene U16 18 19 20 21 and seniors. He has a good range of passing, and can also score a cracker or two,he signed from Lille in this summers transfer window and in my opinion is one to look out for.

Harry Redknapp:

Harrry seems to have had the sharp end of the stick with the culmination of the latest internationals. Suffering a multitude of players picking up knocks. Some from the previous outing against Arsenal (Adebayor hamstring). We must hope that it’s not as bad as first feared, and that the likes of Adebayor and Sandro will be able to shake off their niggles.Parker will have an important role to play in this game as St James Park is never an easy place to get a result. Though if Sandro is fit I wonder whether it would be wise to play both him and Scotty?

Resiliance Required:

Assistant manager Kevin Bond expects the team to face a stern test at St. James’ Park on Sunday as we take on an unbeaten Newcastle side.

Alan Pardew’s team has made an impressive start to the season and lie in fourth place in the Premier League having taken 15 points from their opening seven fixtures.

We can leapfrog Newcastle with victory by a two-goal margin but Kevin is aware of the task at hand.

“We always knew that they (Newcastle) were capable of good things, but they’ve probably started the season better than maybe one or two people expected,” he said.

“I’ve seen them play. They’re a strong side, well-organised, well-balanced and they’ve had a really good start to the season.

“Newcastle is always a tough place to go. It’s going to be a hard day and a difficult day, but one that we’re looking forward to.”

With four league wins on the spin, including a North London derby victory over Arsenal two weeks ago, the team go into the match in a rich vein of form.

Kevin, who worked at Newcastle as assistant manager alongside Glenn Roeder for a period in 2006, believes we’ll need a focussed performance on Sunday to come away with the points.

“Sometimes you need to grind out results and be strong and I certainly think we’re going to need to be resilient,” he added. “Hopefully we’ll do that and get a good result.”

Official Site:

TEAM NEWS:

Newcastle – To follow

Tottenham – Winger Aaron Lennon could return following a groiun Striker Emmanuel Adebayor is battling to be fit, having suffered a hamstring strain against Arsenal last time out. Spurs also have fitness concerns over defender Vedran Corluka and midfielder Niko Kranjcar, who were both forced off during international duty with Croatia, while Sandro (calf) and Rafael Van Der Vaart (hamstring) are also doubts. Tom Huddlestone (ankle), William Gallas (calf) and Michael Dawson (Achilles) are all ruled out.

 Posted by at 19:11
Oct 092011
 

Yes I realise there’s some barrel scrapping going on. And that I’ll probably get slatted for dreaming this one up. Neither have I any source for this story, only that I am sick and, oh so tired of reading about Man UTD or Chelsea moving in for Modric. In fact, it too seems as though the press are getting a little fed up printing that story aswell. So much so in fact that they have now thrown Bale into a supposed Chelsea raid.

The latest one doing the rounds spins out a sixty million swoop for our top two talismanic figures. I mean please do us a favour. If it were anywhere near true, at least work out the math correctly. Forty million for Modric turned down in the summer ( possible player participation). So that’ll make Gareth a twenty million pound player then will it?

A fully fledged international, with a season of Champions League experience. Rave reviews by the more accurate World press. And a limb by limb dissection of one Mâcon of Inter Milan. Now then, twenty million, isn’t that what Liverpool paid for Jordan Henderson? (not the lads fault) Says it all really doesn’t it?

Anyhow. Let’s get back to talking about Lampard. Now he seems to me to be a Marmiteish kind of “player”. Note that I have highlighted the word player as for me the man should be left out of the conversation. Why? Because we’re talking football. And a man shouldn’t have his personality needlessly dragged through the mud. Especially not a good man like Frank.

Why then have I chosen Frank Lampard from the Chelsea squad, when there are also players of the ilk of Drogba or Anelka that could also add to our strength. And yes your right. Though for now I’ll save their story for another day. But with Harry being his uncle, and with his (Franks) place being up for grabs at Chelsea. It seemed a little more of a realistic move than the whole Modric (contract improvement) and Bale (previously stated his desire to stay and learn at  Tottenham) fabrication.

So, what kind of player is Frank and how, if at all could he influence our teams improvement? Now we must take on board the seasons duration, and any possible injuries that we might acquire throughout its length. An intelligent player, with a knack of appearing in the right place at the time needed most, to nab a goal here or there. In fact. Frank has scored 119 goals in 350 appearances for Chelsea. That’s a strike rate of one in three, Imagine where we might have finished last season with both Frank and Rafael goals in the side. And at thirty-three years of age he could probably give us another couple of  good years of football, as his game has never been much about flight of foot, but more speed of thought.

You though are more than likely thinking. And justifiably so. How are we to fit him into a centre midfield which already has an abundance of talent? And if not. Then you’re wondering how we might afford his wages or why would Frank leave prospective title challengers and Champions League regulars to move to Tottenham Hotspur? Who, though most assuredly on the up, are yet to match their recent form to that which their glorious past might wish to dictate.

Well, lets’ look at who he might be in contention with to stake a place in the first team. Modric? Obviously. And I wouldn’t want to leave out Modders either. Yet Frank will give you fifteen more goals a season. Van Der Vaart? Possible though he does prefer that second strikers role. Yet if Harry could convince Rafa to take one for the team and start on the right you could play Frank behind a lone target man. Kranjcar? for me he operates better coming in off the left wing. Pienaar? The juries still out for me. Parker and Sandro offer two completely different styles of play compared to Frank, and with only usually one playing, with exception to the more trying away games, there should still be a berth for Lampard. Yes there are also players like Huddlestone or Livermore to take into consideration. Yet I would hope that Franks experience might yet aid in their growth.

So, why would Frank move to Spurs ahead of another club that might offer a better chance at claiming a title? Well firstly who’s to say we’re out of the race? Yes, I know that it’s probably going to be one of the Manchester clubs. And after all, we have already been handed a good hiding by them both. But you have to live in hope. No matter the path your walking otherwise whats the point? Prospects do improve. We are no longer the same side that matched Man UTD for sixty minutes. No! We have improved! Nor are we that team with a weekend midfield and shot shy forward line that faced Man City and battled until the end. Again! We are so much more solid, with a razor-sharp front line! So, then there’s Arsenal and Liverpool. Now I believe we have as good a chance as they do at winning anything this season, if not better really. And with the addition of a twenty goal a season midfielder we could seriously challenge for silverware.

The players then that we have at our club. Perhaps that depth in quality might not be so detrimental to Frank joining after all. But, might he not view the likes of Modric,Van Der Vaart, Bale, and instead drool at the possibility of playing alongside them. Add to that pool then Franks experience and goal scoring touch and as I’ve previously stated wouldn’t he help bring on our midfield leaps and bounds? So let the same old same old be banded about the web. But instead of reposting the advancement of Chelsea and the likes. Shouldn’t we as a club be the one on the front foot, going rather for their star names. After all I’m sure with a mighty signing on fee wages wouldn’t be an issue either. The times ripe for the taking and that future is a glorious shade of lillywhite.

 Posted by at 16:55