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Jun 242010
 

He showed why he should have been in the England team in the first place, he’s Jermain Defoe. It’s about time, Defoe might not touch the ball a lot during the 90mins but what he does give is the constant threat. The opposition defenders always have to be on guard when up against Defoe because of his blistering pace. Defoe will play off the shoulder and cause any defence havoc.

Up next it’s the Germans, sure we can play Heskey…. if we want to go out. We all know Rooney likes playing up front with Heskey, but why should Rooney get to decide who he plays with when Defoe is more likely to get a goal than both of them put together?. For reasons I can’t understand, Heskey seems to be in front of Peter Crouch in the pecking order. I’ve heard people say this is because Crouch doesn’t deliver agaisnt the big teams, well thats because he always gets dropped even though his goal to game record speaks for itself, and can you seriously tell me that Heskey delivers in any game?. Seriously there is more chance of a goal if he put Rob Green up front. Today agaisnt Slovenia he Capello brought Heskey on again and it looked like he had been told to help the back four defend, if that was the case why the hell didn’t he just bring Dawson on? I can’t understand for the life of me what is so special with Emile Heskey, can somebody help me out with that one?.

Anyway I was much impressed with the England performance and attitude today, the lads kept going for goal untill the final whistle. To me the formation was the main reason because if the manager sets out a positive formation the players think positive. I feel sorry for the England team because the pressure this country and the press put on these boys shoulders is second to none. I am confident the players will up their game agaisnt the Germans in the last 16, let’s just hope they practice penalties, and if it does come down to penalties once again, would Defoe fancy having a go?. He told Sky Sports News  “definately” but us Spurs fans know all too well that Defoe although always confident from the spot,doesn’t have the greatest record.

Back to Defoe, I am so chuffed for him, he has deserved this moment, after being dropped at the last minute for Euro 2004 and World Cup 2006, he must have thought he would never get his chance. To his credit he has kept doing the business for Tottenham and Portsmouth and scored a few important goals for England along the way. He is prone to a dip in form every few months but drop him at your peril because whenever he is on the pitch he is a goal threat and the opposing defenders know that, he causes them to have to play deep through the threat of his pace.

This sunday will see the first England V Germany meeting in a major finals since Euro 2000 where England won 1-0 to an Alan Shearer goal. The rivalry will flair up once again. On paper England have some superstars and probably the better team but games aren’t played on paper unfortunatley. The Germans have so much pedigree when it comes to major tournaments and are no mugs, in fact you can probably count on the fact that they are a organized disciplined unit than England are. It will prove to be a mouth watering encounter. The England team have come under fire recently, however if we knock the Germans out all will be forgiven. One thing is for sure, it will be criminal not to start Defoe having just watched his press conference on Sky Sports News. He looks like a man oozing with confidence and he is no doubt hungry for more goals

Behold, The Unluckiest Man In Football…

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Jun 152010
 

Step up Ledley King, as we all know the England and Tottenham center half is likely to be out for the next 3 weeks. How does this rate on the luck scale? well when you consider Ledley last played a major tournament for England in Euro 2004 but had to fly home during the group stages after an impressive performance agaisnt France due to the birth of his first child (Yes it was a bit awful timing but it showed Ledley to be the true decent,honest and loyal man he is). I’d say his luck is off the scale.

Since 2004, Ledley has been plagued by his mysterious knee injury which prevents him training with the rest of the team. After each match his knee swells up and he is in pain for a few days. On average now if other injuries permit he can manage 1 game a week for Tottenham. The most amazing part of this story is the fact that Ledley is still one of the best defenders in the Premier League, he was instrumental in Tottenham finishing in the top 4 for the first time this season.

King picked up a groin injury agaisnt USA in Englands World Cup opening match, a scan has revealed a tear which is likley to mean 3 weeks out for Ledley and probably the end of his tournament. He has had the worst luck in football from a personal point of view in the last 5 years, god only knows how good he could have been if he wasn’t cursed with a crocked knee. Harry Redknapp himself even says it would be scary to think just how good this guy could be because he is one of the best defenders around and doesn’t even train. It defies all logic.

It is a shame but I am glad his talent has been seen by Capello and he got his chance, I just hope that Dawson is the man to replace him although somehow I doubt it. All Spurs fans know just how good King and Dawson are and could do a job for England. The only thing that bugs me is all the non Tottenham fans coming out and saying this just proves that Ledley should never have gone to South Africa. Do they even know that this is a completely new injury that King has picked up? do they even care? No!, they just jump on the Ledley King bandwagon. Let me tell you that if Ledders had managed to keep himself fit all his career I would bet my life he would have been England captain, he has the attitude,ability and character.

When it comes to football I declare Ledley King the unluckiest man in recent times, but maybe it is a blessing in disguise because if he had kept fit would he still be a Tottenham player? my heart says yes but who knows what big offers would have come in for him.

Jun 122010
 

Tonight will see the 3 lions kick off their World Cup 2010 campaign agaisnt the USA, now most people are thinking that the USA could very well be capable of causing an upset tonight, but not me, and why?. Simple because for the same reason Tottenham finished in the top 4 of the Premier League last season, and that reason is “WE’VE GOT LEDLEY AT THE BACK”.

If you want my opinion I think Rio Ferdinand’s injury could turn out to be a blessing for England, not only do I think Rio was lacking in fitness but also he hadn’t had the best of seasons. The only scenario that could have been better would have been if it happend to John Terry instead and then Wayne Bridge could have been called up too. But we can’t have it all and it looks like tonight that Ledley will get the nod to partner John Terry at the back. Ledley didn’t have the best game agaisnt Mexico the other week but let’s take into account it was his first England game for 3 years. I know the ability Ledley has and tonight he will prove me right, in Euro 2004 he was thrown in at the deep end and even though we lost to France in the last minute, Ledley didn’t put a foot wrong for the whole 90 mins. He had to then leave the tournament due to the birth of his first child.

As a Spurs fan I would love to see Dawson given a chance at some stage in the tournament over Carragher and Upson who again haven’t had the best of seasons with their respective clubs. Dawson and Ledley at the back for England would bring a tear of joy to my eyes. I think it is such a shame about the injury that has plagued King for the past few years now, I think had he not had this curse then he would be England captain, all you have to do is look at his ability and reputation and the fact that Tottenham are a different side when he plays to know he holds all the key attributes to be a captain, this might sound biased and probably is but i’ve seen it week in week out for Tottenham.

Let us all remember when Thierry Henry said he felt King was the best defender he had ever come up against.

He said: “I don’t like defenders who hold the shirts of other players. The only defender here who doesn’t do that and sometimes still gets the ball off my feet easily is Ledley King.

“He is the only guy who doesn’t hold players. He will get the ball off you without you even noticing. For me, that is a good defender.

“He plays without any contact yet is somehow still strong and gets the ball without doing any fouls.”

Now this is coming from a Thierry Henry who was in his peak and the best player in England at the time of his comments. So tonight I am confident of a solid England back line with King and Terry at the back, I am also hoping Capello makes the right choice and starts Aaron Lennon on the right wing and lets him do what he does best.

Like the rest of you I will be hoping all of the Tottenham boys do well and bring the cup home for England so we can tell all the Gooners how Tottenham won the World Cup in 2010.  Come on England!!

Dawson Handed Second Chance!!!

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Jun 042010
 

Well I thought Tottenham centre half Michael Dawson was probably the most unluckiest player to miss out on Capello’s final 23 for the World Cup. He had a solid season and lost out on his place for the likes of Upson and Carragher who got in on reputation alone. However today justice has been served but fate played a cruel trick on England captain Rio Ferdinand as he was today ruled out through injury. This is terrible news for England but for me as a Tottenham fan I was delighted to learn that Dawson had now been called back into the England team. Now I personally would hope it was any other defender except Ferdinand but to see Dawson get what he should have righfully had in the first place is great.

Fabio Capello now has a major headache, surely if he has any sense he will put Ledley at the heart of the defense now Rio is out, but I have that sickening feeling he will pick Carragher. If England don’t opt for King and Terry,King and Dawson or at the very least King and Carragher as partnerships, they have no chance. At all costs I would keep Upson out of the team, I think he is a good defender but not better than any of the others and certainly is no world cup winner. Lets hope Capello knows his stuff and earns his Spurs by putting his faith in Dawson if Ledley has to miss one or two of the games through his knee injury. I know that dawson wouldn’t let our nation down because I see him week in week out and know that he is just as good as John Terry based on this season. It’s time for the England team to stop being picked on reputation and to be picked on form alone, players have to stop living off their past reputations and earn all their caps.

Michael Dawson and Ledley King , all us Spurs fans know you can do it, lets just hope for the sake of our nation you are given the chance.

Capello Goes Back On His Word

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Jun 012010
 

Before anyone jumps to any conclusions, let me make it clear that I fully intend on supporting the Three Lions all summer long. Furthermore, Michael Carrick and Ledley King rank quite high on my list of favorite players. After yesterday’s announcement of England’s World Cup squad, however, I couldn’t help but have a bitter taste in my mouth.

When Fabio Capello took over the England hotseat, he made it clear that he’d pick players based on form. The Italian made it a point that he’d select the players that were at the peak of their powers on the club scene, prompting players like David Beckham to forgo their summer vacations simply to prove their worthiness to Capello.

In the end, Capello picked the 23 men that he initially had in mind (a fact that even he admitted). The fact that Jamie Carragher was even asked to reverse his international retirement proves that Capello had his sights set on certain players from day one – regardless of how slow they are as they reach the end of their careers and regardless of how poorly they performed for their clubs this season (remember, Carragher’s Liverpool containing the likes of Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres, and Pepe Reina couldn’t even qualify for the Champions League).

In addition to Carragher, the inclusion of Matthew Upson proves that club form was no determining factor. Upson was included at the expense of one of the Premier League’s most consistent top performers: Michael Dawson. Dawson, even more so than the often-injured Ledley King, was instrumental in Tottenham’s historic run into the top four.

Even in midfield, it was all about names and not about form. The biggest surprise was that Fabio Capello sent two of his trickiest and fastest wingers packing: Adam Johnson and Theo Walcott. Who remained in their place? None other than Manchester City benchwarmer – and Adam Johnson’s club backup – Shaun Wright-Phillips. The wee man couldn’t hold down a spot at the club level, but Fabio Capello opted for him over two stars just entering the brightest years of their careers.

Up top, the most heinous crime committed by Capello is his decision to leave Darren Bent at home this summer. The Sunderland striker was by far the most in form striker all season long (taking Wayne Rooney’s late season injury problems into account), and has been banging in the Premier League goals for a few seasons in a row now – all while playing for a mediocre Sunderland side. Bent deserves his place in South Africa undoubtedly, but Capello oddly enough opted for yet another player who doesn’t even start at the club level: Emile Heskey of Aston Villa. Far too many Villa fans have even pondered how their slow and aging striker found his name on the final 23.

Don’t get me wrong: I’d be absolutely delighted if England win the World Cup. Like many other fans of the Three Lions, I wasn’t even alive in 1966 to watch Sir Bobby Charlton and company take the world by storm. In fact, the effects of that England team will be felt for many years to come, and when I met Sir Bobby outside of Old Trafford two years ago you could just feel his legend status.

Fabio Capello and his team of 23 now  have a chance to cement their own spots in English folklore, and while I disagree with some of the squad choices, I fully intend on throwing all of my support behind the heroes representing England this summer. England needs more than a prayer and a little bit of luck – they need their millions of fans worldwide to provide continued unwavering support.