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Feb 092011
 

I was thinking about this earlier when I looked at our results this season and how many of our games finished up 2-1 to us which only highlights our inability to kill teams off after we have established a lead.

We have had quite a few 1-1 draws too which could have been turned into wins had we been more ruthless. We seem to either go behind and then make a comeback to get something from the game or we take a 1-0 lead but always allow the other team back into the match, you only have to look at our most recent game against Bolton for proof of that.

It’s astonishing for a club like ours and where we are today to have not even picked up a 3-0 win in the league, we like to make things difficult for ourselves and never comfortable, maybe that’s why we are so entertaining to watch because the game is never over if Tottenham are playing. Why this season do we struggle to kill teams off, why do we rarely take the lead and then double it before half time and set ourselves up for what should be a straight forward second half? What is it about us, is it the lack of a top class striker that really could be the difference between us allowing teams back into matches rather than killing them off?

It makes you wonder, all them games we have only just edged, if we hadn’t scored that one extra goal then where would we be in the league now? You have to take the negatives with the positives and flip it on its side to see that this season teams seem to struggle to kill us off also and we have picked up so many points from losing positions, almost like Man Utd do week in week out, the winners mentality!

Feb 092011
 

Spurs have had a real scare after Gareth Bale complained of more pain in his back during a training session, triggering concerns of a more serious problem for the Welshman.

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp was hoping to have Bale available for the Sunderland game but may now have to wait while they try to get a scan for Bale sooner than planned. Bale hasn’t featured since he was taken off with back pain in the 1-1 draw with Newcastle last month and it’s now possible he may be missing for longer.

The injury list is getting bigger by the day for Spurs with a host of first teamers out of action. Tottenham travel to the San Siro next week for their first leg encounter in the Champions League with AC Milan. Tottenham and Harry Redknapp will be sweating on the fitness of Bale in the mean time.

Tottenham will be also sweating on the fitness of Peter Crouch, Van der Vaart and Luka Modric for the AC Milan game next week.

Feb 072011
 

How about this last week? Quite a wild ride innit? From the embarrassing loss to the Cottagers, to the disappointment of transfer day, then to the joy of a hard-fought win in Lancashire and finally, a last-minute winner from the magical boot of fan-favorite Niko Krancjar. If someone ever asks me what being a football fan is all about, I shall refer them to this week.

The ups and downs that make this game so wonderful, yet also make us pull our hair out. From the depths of despair after a match performance that could be best described as “bad”,  to the jubilation of two fine wins over stubborn opposition, this is why the beautiful game is not for the weak of heart. And we, the football fan, to make matters worse, must over-analyze everything related to our club, which usually leads to ridiculous conclusions. But again, this is the fun of being a football fan. So, for the analyst in all of us, let’s dive right in to the two latest twists in this season, shall we?

Spurs over Blackburn-Gritty, grinding, ugly, yet beautiful. Watching every Rover attack break down in the final third like waves on the beach, was nerve-racking, yet thrilling in the same breath. Seeing 2 Meter Peter rise up over Samba to meet Rafa’s pin-point cross was like watching a painter make the final stroke of his brush to complete a masterpiece. Absolute brilliance. Then the painter felt like going back and mess with the piece for the next 85 minutes only to realize that everything was already perfect. Fun times the trip to Lancashire. Fun times, indeed.

Spurs played like a wounded animal backed into a corner, which is exactly how tough teams should play on the road. Angry, tough and hard to break. That is how one has to play against the teams from the Northeast. Organized and disciplined. Take the chance when the opposition seems to have you where they want you, backed into a corner. And we all know what happens when a wounded animal is backed into a corner, it jumps out and goes straight for the jugular. Which is what Tottenham did. No one will remember it as Blackburn controlling the match, or their 15 odd shots to our few, or their numerous missed chances. Instead, one will only look back and see a scoreline of 0-1 to Spurs and 3 points in the bag.

Bolton at the Lane-We all know how well Spurs play at home, plus when the line-ups were announced it was a welcome sight to see a 4-4-2 being used. I am not knocking our system when everyone is healthy, but at the moment, the 4-4-2 is the way to go. Unfortunately, we again had to deal with Jermain “Couldn’t hit the water if I fell out of a boat” Defoe up front while Super Pav continued to ride the pine. To explain this, I must assume that Harry must be smoking some really crazy stuff which must make Pav look like a marshmallow and Defoe the second coming of Ronaldo. Anyway, Rafa gets us going with an early penalty conversion followed by a ridiculous rule enforcement by Mr. Zebra. Seriously, how many times has Encroachment been called? Maybe the ref was thinking this was American Football. So Rafa has to take the second, rightly earned, penalty again, which led to him missing it by a matter of inches. Another question: Why did you go to the exact same spot on all three penalties? I figured for the re-take, Rafa would go to the right. Meh, no biggie. We were bossing play and looked likely to grab a second as Azza, BAE, Rafa, Charlie and even JJ played well enough, only for Defoe to mess up in the end. Shocking, I know.  Otherwise, a fine first half.

The second half picked up where the first ended. Again, Spurs on the attack. Rafa tweaked his hammy so he was withdrawn for Pienaar, who did alright, but he’s no Rafa. As the game wore on, Bolton started getting a foothold in the match and caught us on the break. With some help from Gomes, loanee Daniel Sturridge equalizes against the run of play. Don’t get me wrong, Gomes saved our skins on numerous occasions at Blackburn and during other matches, but seriously, how does he screw that one up? So far, I have counted a few big-time mistakes (like the Chelsea one) which may cost us later.  Back to the match, Bolton were unlucky not to have a penalty of their own as Pienaar clearly tripped Gary Cahill in the box, but as karma is quick, Mark Clattenburg booked Cahill for simulation. Who says things don’t equal out in the end? Not this guy. Later, JJ hammered a shot against the wood that saw the post lucky not to be completely destroyed. Then, after some nice team build-up, Pienaar was released on the left side of the box and with only the keeper to beat, he messes that chance up. It seems the inability to finish at close range has rubbed off onto more than just our strikers. At this point, Harry made some subs, and the two forgotten men, Pav and Niko are introduced. Pav for Crouch (should’ve been Defoe coming off) and Niko for Wilson, which meant Harry was going for it. Hooray!

To go off for a moment, it is really nice to see a manager who isn’t afraid of going for it in the closing stages. Yes, we could have been caught on the break as our holding MF was withdrawn but as our club motto is “To dare is to do”, might as well have a pop.

To the final moments of the match, buoyed by the notification that Arsenal blew a 4-0 lead at Newcastle, White Hart Lane started rocking. Pav played some nice football and after good hold-up play, lays the ball to Niko, who takes a touch, fakes with the right and unleashes a wicked swerving shot into the back of the net. The Lane erupts!

Madness, shear madness in the blue half of North London. 3 points to Tottenham. And well deserved. To make the result even more sweeter, with the exception of Man City, all of the clubs in front of us dropped points. Now we sit in joint 4th, tied with Chelsea on points, positioned very well for the rest of the campaign.

We have to use this momentum and take it back to the Northeast for this weekends trip to the Stadium of Light. Gotta bag all three points. Keep all that positive energy flowing.

Sunderland and Milan, we got you both in our sights and we are locked in.

Here’s to Tottenham and their mini-revival after a dark period. Here is to belief in that, though adversity, resiliency is forged. Here is to unsung heroes playing their part. And here is a Spurs side that continues to amaze and impress.

Thanks for reading everyone. Have a lilywhite day everyone!

Feb 072011
 

Harry Redknapp is expecting Gareth Bale to play against Sunderland at the weekend after his latest injury. It comes at a great time for the Spurs boss after suffering injuries to Luka Modric and most recently Van der Vaart picking up an injury in the Bolton game at the weekend.

Bale limped off against Newcastle a few weeks ago with a bad back and has been out ever since but last week started training with the first team again. The Bolton game came too soon for Harry to consider Bale in the team and will instead look to the clash at the Stadium Of Light as Bale’s return fixture. With other players out injured, Harry will need to make the decision whether to gamble and include Bale from the start of to put him on the bench.

Niko Kranjcar who scored the winning goal at the weekend would have probably been in contention for a place in the team but it won’t be on the left if Bale is back. Bale is however sitting out the midweek game for Wales against the Republic Of Ireland, Harry didn’t want him involved in an international so soon and the decision was made not to include Bale.

Dec 132010
 

Following yesterday’s Chelsea game Harry Redknapp talked about his central defenders after he was down to his last fit pair in Michael Dawson and Sebastian Bassong and even Dawson himself has just returned from a 3 month lay off.

“Michael did well. It’s his first week back and I had to play him.

“I was hoping Kaboul would be fit, Gallas did his hamstring on Friday, so we had to throw Michael in. I was worried he wouldn’t last the game and you have to be careful. He’s done great, a fantastic competitor and an amazing fellow.

“Kaboul could be back next week. I don’t know when Gallas will be back. He stretched for the ball and felt it tear.

“We’ve coped okay whoever has come in. Luckily we’ve got plenty of centre-halves who’ve done well.”

Harry then talked about Tottenham club captain Ledley King and a possible return. “Ledley is improving and he might be back soon.

“We have a date for Ledley to have an operation. The surgeon is available until December 23 but is then away for four weeks so we have to make a decision by then.

“He’s coming on well. If he feels okay we will not operate. If he has to have it, it will be five weeks. But he’s feeling good.”

So hopefully either Kaboul or King is fit for next weekend, even to just go on the bench because if something happens to Dawson or Bassong we have nothing left.

Dec 102010
 

Tottenham club captain Ledley King has received a major boost after being told his groin problem doesn’t need surgery. King had missed the past couple of months with Tottenham through his troublesome groin and fear he would need surgery. Ledley flew out to Copenhagen to see a specialist who gave him the all clear and also told him he can start training again next week.

Tottenham assistant manager Joe Jordan said:

“If all goes will and he continues to improve, Ledley will be back with the squad next week,”

“We’ve tried not to go down the route of surgery, but instead make progress by strengthening the muscles in that area. He feels that there has been an improvement and we will continue like this.”

Good news, wouldn’t it be amazing if in the new year we could boast fit defenders like King Woodgate, Dawson, Gallas, Kaboul and Bassong. Yeah I know I am dreaming but you never know.

Dec 102010
 

You will have to forgive me for this one because I know primarily we are a Tottenham blog but I just want to discuss the Newcastle situation at the moment.

Chris Hughton, done a fantastic job in his first managers position since leaving Tottenaham. He steadied the ship and got the team playing again as a unit, they worked for each other. The players loved him and the fans recognized what a great job he had done. Chris took Newcastle United back up to the Premiership where they looked comfortable in mid table but that twat Ashley wanted a big name manager in and was waiting weeks for Newcastle to lose another game so he could sack Hughton.

Anyway so Mike Ashley wanted a big name manager in so what does he do? he appoints Alan Pardew! Come on that is an insult to Chris Hughton, he has done a better job in his short time as a manager than Pardew has his whole career. To be fair to Pardew I thought he done a decent job at reading then I thought he was a bit harshly treated at West Ham but come on what has this bloke ever done that warrants sacking Hughton and replacing him with Pardew. I might be able to understand if it was Jose Mourinho who replaced Hughton.

I am sorry to all you Newcastle fans, you have been through a lot the past few years but Ashley has got it wrong and I think you all know it. I will poke my eyeballs out with a rusty spoon if Pardew is successful with Newcastle but I can really see this upsetting things again and I can really see that eventually you will slump down the table again.

Your chairman is an embarrassment to football, he doesn’t have a clue and he doesn’t listen to the fans and most of all he has disrespected Chris Hughton who has done a great job and replaced him with a pony manager. I think it tells its own story when you see the small number of people who turned up to welcome Pardew to the club compared to previous managers. Us Spurs fans know how you feel, whenever we lost our managers we used to end up with David Pleat.

Once again I feel for you Newcastle fans, things were starting to look up for you, hopefully they still will but I am not so confident anymore. You deserve better than the chairman you have.

Dec 092010
 

The rumours are gathering momentum that Aston Villa are set to make their move in a £6 million deal for Tottenham and Ireland striker Robbie Keane.

Keane wants out of Tottenham after falling down the pecking order to 4th choice striker at the club and with his wages of £60,000 a week Spurs are desperate to offload. Robbie accepts he will take a pay cut when he moves on.

Villa have been looking at Keane since the summer but a deal never materialized after Martin O’neill left the club. Gerard Houllier however has reignited his interest in Keane and the rumours are spreading that Villa are set to make an offer anytime soon as they fear they may miss out because of the other clubs sniffing around.

Tottenham will look to invest the money they make on Keane in their own new signings in January.

Dec 082010
 

I normally love watching the latest act of idiocy on Tyneside, be it calls for a “boycoutt” or another fumbling screw-up from Mike Ashley.  I hate the ongoing media love-in over the Geordies and their football, the way we’re always being told we “don’t understand how much football means” in the North East, and I enjoy watching them being taken down a peg or two. But the sacking of Chris Hughton has absolutely appalled me, and not just because of Hughton’s Spurs past. It’s such a ridiculous decision that I can’t help but be outraged, and for once, I really do feel sorry for Geordie fans, who had thought there was finally some stability and pride back at their club, only to see the chubby purveyor of jockstraps who calls himself their owner needlessly ruin it all again. And their obvious confusion and anger sent me on a trip down memory lane to our own dark days of “we want our Tottenham back” misery. Haven’t heard that sung for a while. Remember singing it at Leyton Orient before going absolutely mental when Gary Doherty scuffed an injury time winner? God, we were pathetic.

Football is a fickle game, and as we cruise into the CL knockout stages, we should remember one thing – until very recently, we rivalled Newcastle as the biggest circus in the Premier League, and one day we probably will again. Right now is an absolutely sublime time to be a Tottenham fan, and we should enjoy it while we can.

Just in case you’d missed it, take a look at Pot One for the upcoming Champions League last 16 draw:

Schalke 04, Manchester United, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Shaktar Donetsk, Tottenham Hotspur.

There we are, one of an elite eight clubs at the pinnacle of global club football. It’s what we’ve been waiting for, for years and years and years. Who would have imagined it that day on the terraces at Brisbane Road?And yet I’ve noticed that some fans seem to have already started taking it all for granted.

Against Werder Bremen a couple of weeks back, I was stunned to see fans leaving in large numbers well before the final whistle. We were about to qualify for the Champions League last sixteen, having never before been in the competition at all, and yet people thought beating the traffic was more important  than clapping the team off? Are we already so infected with “Big 4” arrogance that we can’t appreciate what we’re seeing, and give this side the love they deserve?

This season has seen us come from behind to beat the Scum away, destroy the reigning European Champions at the Lane, witness one of our players become one of the most talked about midfielders in the world, top the Champions League scoring charts, break records and set Europe’s top club competition alight. It is, to borrow a phrase, Schoolboy’s Own stuff. Let’s make sure that the atmosphere at the Lane reflects that, and let’s think very, very carefully before we bitch about anything, because before you know it we could be appointing Alan Pardew.

Dec 082010
 

I know some people don’t like ITK stuff and I don’t usually do it myself and if anyone else who knows anything can confirm before I get slated that would be great.

Someone I know who’s in the Spurs academy said good old Jonathan Woodgate was doing some light training this week and looked to be ok.

Woodgate had an operation a couple of months ago which Harry said was his final throw of the dice. It was reported a few weeks ago that everything seemed to be so far so good and Woodgate was doing some work in the gym. Jermain Defoe said the same. Sources tell me he has started light training and running this week.

Harry said that Woodgate would eventually undergo a month of intense training and if he can come through that without any setbacks he will be back in the Spurs 25 man squad in January.

If true then it’s good news, would be like a new signing to have Woody back. Obviously it would take him a while to regain his sharpness and he probably wouldn’t be as sharp as he was before but he will still have enough to be a top defender for us.

Dec 082010
 

*UPDATED*

Here is the final list of who we could face in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

In this round we can’t face any English teams neither can we face a team that has won their group, it has to be a 2nd place team from another group.

Eight of the 16 teams in the draw – those that won their sections in the group stage – are seeded, with the eight runners-up unseeded. The runners-up are drawn first and play the first-leg matches at home. They cannot be paired with either the winners from their section or clubs from the same association. The draw will be on 17th December.

1) Lyon (Runners up group B)

2) Valencia (Runners up group c)

3) FC Copenhagen ( Runners up group D)

4) Roma (Group E)

5) Marseille (Group F)

6) AC Milan (Group G)

7) Shakhtar Donetsk (Group H if Arsenal top the group after tonight)

So who would you fancy and who would you like to avoid?

Dec 042010
 

Andros Townsend of Ipswich, currently on loan from Tottenham.  Townsend joined Ipswich in August after Harry Redknapp agreed it would be good experience for the boy. Townsend has also represented England at three different age levels in his professional career.

Anyway to get to the chase I watched the Ipswich v West Brom game in midweek and Andros Townsend impressed me. I remember him having a good pre season with us as well and knowing he could be one for the future. The only trouble the kid has is that he plays on the left and I can’t see him keeping Bale out of the team. I believe he can play left back also.

Today Ipswich lost to Swansea but Townsend got himself on the score sheet and not for the first time this season. I have kept an eye out to see how he does and have managed to see him via live games and highlights in the past few months and I must say he impresses me more and more. His crossing ability is decent enough and he is very disciplined for a youngster, very rarely does he give away possession cheaply.

I would like to see Andros back at Tottenham next season and fighting for a place in the first team on a weekly basis.