Sunday, October 31, 2004
Pathetic Spurs suffer third straight defeat
Spurs served up one of the worst performances for a while down at Craven Cottage yesterday. Spurs were at best rubbish as they mustered the great figure of 0 goal attempts on target. The defense wasn't much better and everything needs to improve drastically if the good work of August and September is not totally thrown away.
Spurs started ok but never really did much with the ball. Mendes tried hopeless through balls which would run straight to Crossley, Brown was a disgrace and was rightly subbed in the 39th minute. He hadn't placed one pass correctly for the whole game. Davies was slightly better but was unable to beat his man on the right wing so was coming into the middle where he would loose possession. Sean Davis got some crunching tackles in but not much else.
Up front Defoe and Keane hardly received the ball. The strikers will never score if they receive no service. Keane had to drop deep time and time again and it was becoming a joke when in the 2nd half he was picking the ball up in our own half as it was the only way he would receive the ball!
The back four look ok but no one picked up Cole's run for the second goal and Boa Morte should never have been given the time and the space to pick him out anyway. Lastly, the full backs who were worse than useless. Bunje tried his best but isn't up to the job and did actually push forward more than Pamarot. With us trailing and desperately needing a goal you would of thought Pamarot would of pushed up the right wing to help Davies out, but no he stood there with his hands on his hips watching as Davies ran out of room and lost possession. Either he is following strict instructions never to go ahead of the half way line or he is in idiot.
Spurs improved slightly with the introduction of Kanoute but the same problems were still there. You can play with 50 strikers but if the midfield never get the ball up to them they will do sod all. Carrick's arrival with about 5 minutes to go summed it up. A Arnesen buy who Santini didn't want by the looks of things.
The one good thing to come from the game was the excellent support from the Spurs fans. We were excellent and in good voice. The Fulham fans sang twice for the whole game, after both goals. The chant of shit ground and shit support weren't far wrong.
Afterwards Santini whinged on about injuries and being tired. Bollocks is all I can say about that. Edman would be welcomed back into the team immediately but with only 1 goal and not much else to show I'm not sure how Atouba would of made a difference. We also missed Redknapp as well, apparently. Fulham have played exactly the same amount of games as we have and they didn't look tired.
Spurs need to sort out the attack and quick. Much work is needed on the training ground with a change of personnel in the middle of the pack. Carrick needs his chance as he should be more creative than the current rubbish we are serving up. I also hope Arnesen is looking far and wide for two wingers as the left is a mess and Davies doesn't look like recapturing past form anytime soon.
I know the team needs time but whether Santini gets it is another matter. A few Spurs "fans" decided to boo him as he walked off at the end of the game, something that won't help matters in the long run. I will still back him but things need to improve, and quick for us to be in a better position come next May than we were last season.
Friday, October 29, 2004
Fulham Vs Spurs
Another Premiership fixture approaches this Saturday with Spurs making the short trip across London to Craven Cottage. I will be in attendence once again with quite a nice seat by the sound of things behind the goal.
Santini has been moaning again about how the lads are tired after their midweek exploits so he may shuffle things around a bit. However we all know that some sections of the squad are bursting at the seems while others are much weaker.
Robinson will be recalled in goal and Ledley and Naybet will line up directly in front of him. The right back position will be Pamarot as usual. Edman is still out which shows what a massive blow to the head he recieved against Everton. Tarrico is available so may be recalled as Gardner is injured. The midfield may change somewhat as the lads are tired. Davies will start wide right with Mendas in the middle again I hope. However Mendas could be rested for Carrick. Next to him will be Sean Davis. On the left wing will be either Keane or Ziegler. I'd prefer Ziegler so Keane can go into his favoured position with Defoe. Kanoute could well be back on the bench.
As usual I will be happy if the midfield pushed forward to offer more support to the strikers. The full backs can also push on as Davis and Mendas (or whoever it is) can fill in the space if necessary.
Nothing more than a win will do as we are starting to slip down the table. Come on you Spurs!
Thursday, October 28, 2004
A good result for Spurs even though they left it late to make extra time. I've only just seen the highlights but it did look like a penalty that Bunje gave away. Defoe had a good game by all accounts and took both of his goals well. I can only assume Kanoute was ineffective as Keane replaced him after an hour. It was also good to see Ziegler get a game from the start and for Carrick and Brown to make attacking contributions.
Overall, a good result and a good tie in the next round, live on Sky apparently.
Come on you Spurs.
Monday, October 25, 2004
Bolton vs. Spurs
This will be a different affair from the weekend. Big Sam has shown this competition the same sort of respect Weng*r and Fergurson has shown it in recent years and I expect will play a mix of first team and reserves. It will almost certainly be a weaker side than Saturday's game. Only when Bolton approached the final did the team sheet improve. This is a decision I can't work out. Ok, when Bolton were originally in the Premiership it was a struggle every year and staying in the top flight was the priority. Now though they seem pretty well established and would be a tournament Bolton think they can win (like us). Maybe they will change their philosophy. Anyway, back to Spurs.
Hopefully the team have been working on attacking play and lots of off the ball movement. Without these improvements we will still struggle to score. I doubt Santini will rest players unlike the previous round. Robinson will be in goal with the same back four against Bolton, unless Edman is back. In midfield will be Davies, Davis, Mendes and Jackson or Ziegler. Up front I think will be Kanoute and Keane again with Defoe on the bench. There may also be a place on the bench for Lee Barnard who scored another two goals for the reserves. The best Carrick can hope for is the bench as well. I am really starting to wonder about him. Who wanted him at the club? Santini or Arnesen? If it's the latter then he may not get much of a look in. Santini is his own man and will play who he wants, not what Arnesen wants. Time will tell.
Anyhow, its about time the season went back on track and a win is a must as we can do well in this tournament. Confidence will come if we do and confidence is the key (well one of them) to success.
Come on you Spurs!
Sunday, October 24, 2004
Another woeful performance on the day Spurs should of been fighting for every ball, every decision, to honor the great Bill Nic but it wasn't to be.
Tottenham were 1-0 down after 11 minutes. A free kick by Speed from near the corner flag allowed Rahdi Jaid to sneak between our centre backs and power a header into the back of the net.
Spurs took 30 minutes to get going with Kanoute having a shot that actually asked the Bolton keeper to make a save. This save seem to spur us into action and we were well on top for the last 15 minute and an equaliser finally came with what was the best move of the match. Keane finished a Kanoute flick through Jaaskelainen's legs and was clearly delighted.
In the second half Spurs should of really pushed on and were close to having a penalty when Keane was brought down on the very edge of the box. However the resultant free kick was blasted into the wall by Redknapp. Defoe was brought on and almost immediately Spurs were behind, Pedersen finishing off after Robinson had made two fantastic saves.
Spurs pushed on looking for an equaliser. Defoe shot just wide from a free kick and Kanoute hit the post but to no avail. The final whistle went after 3 lousy minutes of injury time. The Bolton players had been wasting time from the 11th minute so why the ref only awarded 3 was beyond me. Not that it would made a difference as we didn't look like scoring. The only good thing I can think of about Bolton was the round of applause they joined in on for Nicholson.
Afterwards the newspapers jumped on the fact that Santini refused to speak to the press and spun it into a slur on Bill Nic. What a load of bollocks. He was annoyed just like the rest of us at the inept display produced by the team today. The question now is what are Spurs going to about it. Well, like everyone else I have my own opinions on it. The midfield must push forward more and support the strikers. There desperately needs to be movement off the ball. Too many times the midfield just stand still on throw ins offering no assistance to the throw in taker. Redknapp should find himself on the bench replaced by Sean Davis. Kanoute should also keep his place as I thought he was our best player on the day. Keane became ineffective when asked to move on the left wing. He should either be up front or hauled off. It doesn't work with him out of position. Ziegler should be started on the left wing if Atouba is still injured. Mendes needs to push on as well. It was pleasing to see the full backs push on over the half way line yesterday and I hope they continue against Fulham. Edman would be a welcomed return.
Overall not the best performance I've ever seen but we must remember that we are in a rebuilding process. Things won't be right immediately and as long as we continue to improve bit by bit I will be happy. Fulham will be an interesting game next week.
Saturday, October 23, 2004
Bill Nicholson dies
Tottenham's greatest ever manager, Bill Nicholson, has died at the age of 85. One of the most respected managers of all time Bill died this morning after a long illness.
Bill came to Spurs in 1938 as a player and stayed until 1955 with a break in the army during WW2. He returned in 1958 as manager where he led Spurs to their greatest ever period culminating in the historic double of league and FA cup in 1961. Spurs also won the FA cup in 1962 and 67, the league cup in 1971 and 1973, the European Cup Winners cup in 1962 and the UEFA cup in 1972. His Spurs teams were renowned throughout the world for their style of exciting, entertaining football which has never been surpassed.
He resigned in 1974 but returned two years later as chief scout. He remained with Spurs ever since and became the club president. In 1999 the road leading up to the Tottenham Hotspur main entrance was named after him - Bill Nicholson Way.
Today, against Bolton, Spurs need to put on a performance the great man deserves.
Bill Nicholson 1919 - 2004.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
Spurs survey - Racism
The main website has launched a survey based on one of our unofficial nicknames, The Yid Army. The club want to know if us, the fans, are offended by the term yid and ask you to select from two basic scenarios. Scenario one states that it is now quite a tradition at WHL and away grounds that we refer to ourselves as "Yids" and is not at all offensive. The second option waffles on about a dad taking his young son to Spurs who promptly goes back to school and calls a kid a Yid which then causes trouble.
It's my belief that the term "Yid", when relating to Spurs is completely inoffensive. I may be wrong and if people disagree with me and feel it is offensive then I apolgise. However at Spurs the term is used to describe your fellow supporters and the players in a good way, all fighting for the same cause. It is never used as a offensive term against another fan or player. It is just a form of endearment, if you like, for the fellow supporters to say "your one of us".
Anyhow I'm sure there are probably some people who agree and some who don't so have your say on the matter at the official site - follow the link:
I'm not quite sure why the club are carrying out the survey mind. I don't believe the club has a racism problem and this survey has probably been brought in because of the anti racism week that's running at all major football games this week and last. And what of the results? If they did decide to ban something that, in my opinion and because of the way it is used, is not racist how will they stop 36,000 singing it every week? Ban us all?
Come on you Spurs!
Spurs Vs. Bolton Preview
Saturday will provide an excellent opportunity for Spurs to "bounce back" after the disappointment of Monday nights game against Portsmouth. It wont be easy though. Bolton have proved over the last few years that they will be well organised, tough to break down and on top of all that have the 4th best attack so far in the Premiership.
To get the right result Spurs will need to be more of an attacking threat than they have been recently. I would hope that Carrick will slot into the midfield with Brown stepping down after another poor display. Brown should be replaced in the January window as he just doesn't have what it takes at this level and certainly not at the level Spurs are aiming for. If Carrick does play it will add more attacking play to our team as we try to prize open the Bolton defense. However, and there is always a however, Redknapp will probably come into the line up. To be fair Jamie has had a good season on the whole and Santini won't be afraid to replace him if he is having a off day. Mendes will make up the other central midfielder with Davies on the right. The left side will be a problem with Tarrico suspended, and Edman and Atouba both injured. Jackson will come in on the left wing sadly or he may even be asked to play at left back with Brown slotting into the left position. Keane may also play on the left wing. If he doesn't I expect Keane to drop to the bench with Kanoute preferred up front to partner Defoe. Gardner could also play left back but let's hope not. Maybe Phil Ifil could be drafted into the team as I feel he could do a job even if it isn't his preferred side. Or Ziegler, as well. (Makes a change to have options for once).
The rest of the back four picks itself as well as the keeper leaving Helen to warm the bench.
Let's hope Spurs are a little more adventurous. As we have been fairly solid and orgainsed the press have left us alone for once but the shouts of boring boring Spurs have started to appear and they will use anything they can get hold of us to give us a good bashing. A couple of goals will help shut them up. I'd like to see Davies push forward more with Pamarot supporting him by venturing over the half way line. Depending on who plays on the left that side may have to be more defensive but we will see.
Comments, as always, are welcomed.
Come on you Spurs!
Monday, October 18, 2004
Defeat to Portsmouth
Everytime Spurs have the chance of moving into a good position they seem to blow it. It happens time and time again and it is something that will need to be put right if Spurs are going to push on from mid table nothingness in the next few years.
Spurs looked fairly solid at the back but created very little in my opinion. Santini summed it up well at the end of the match when he said we only performed for the last 10 minutes of the first half and the next 10 minutes after the break. We were unable to create and use the width of the pitch to our advantage even with Davies and Atouba both playing from the start. Atouba is still failing to convince and will make way on Saturday because he is injured. Unfortunatly that is the only reason he will make way as we have no real cover - Johnny Jackson is just not good enough.
Gardner looked poor at left back and is another player who's time at Spurs is running out. Brown looked Championship at best with another huff and puff and do nothing of any use type display. We should of started with Carrick who looked a much better bet in going forward. Defoe did what he could with what little service he had and was unlucky on a couple of occasions. Keane continued to look out of sorts and I think he needs to drop to the bench for Kanoute on Saturday.
Although 17 players came in during the summer Santini knows we still need more new blood. Another left winger is definetly needed as Atouba just isn't upto it. Cover at left back is another weak positon as Tarrico has apprently been told that he can leave. Lastly, unless Keane sorts his confidence and form out pretty quick, a new striker may well need to come in as well.
Spurs will need to improve their attacking play during training this week if we are to gain anything from our home game on Saturday.
Friday, October 15, 2004
King is Player of the month
Ledley King has been voted Barclays Player of the Month for September. He fully deserves this for his outstanding play for Spurs as we have only been defeated once in 8 games. Congrats Ledley. Now we all need to cross our fingers as these things sometimes work out as a poison chalice!
Come on you Spurs!
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Firstly, congratulations to Robbie Keane on breaking the Irish goal scoring record at the tender age of 24. With probably another 8 to 10 years in the Irish team he should go on to smash the record.
Anyhow, back to Spurs. Another Sky game, this time on a Monday night. Spurs have a near fully fit squad to choose from and should be looking for a massive improvement over the dismal display we had on Boxing day last season. Two screamers from Berger killed us off on that day after another lousy display by Spurs.
Spurs should line up with a pretty much unchanged line up that played Everton a couple of weeks ago, although it seems much longer. Robinson should keep the goalies jersey after two good displays for England in the week. The back 4 will consist of Pamarot, Edman, King and Naybet. The midfield may seem some change. It isn't clear if Davis is fully fit but if he is I expect him to slot into midfield in the place of Redknapp. Mendes, Atouba and Davies (S) should line up alongside him. If Davis is not quite fit I'd like to see Carrick receive a chance in the place of Redknapp. Up front should be Defoe and Keane as usual with Kanoute on the bench just in case. I've been a strong defender of Keane in recent weeks but it is time he started to deliver more goals for Spurs. After a good performance for Ireland over the international break his confidence should of improved. This needs to improve his recent Spurs performances if he is to justify his place ahead of Kanoute.
Having kept 4 clean sheets in the last 5 away games and Portsmouth not being able to keep a clean sheet this season it should be 3 points for Spurs. However I've been saying that sort of thing for years so we will have to wait and see. I know Santini will be looking for another win to keep the excellent start on track.
Come on you Spurs!
P.s. Comments welcomed as always.
Monday, October 11, 2004
News Round Up.
Ricketts has been loaned out to Coventry or should it be sent to Coventry in both senses of the term? Ricketts doesn't appear to currently feature in any of Santini's plans and this is a good move for Ricketts and Tottenham Hotspur. It allows Ricketts to receive some much needed 1st team football and experience and it allows Spurs to see if he what he has to really make it as a Premiership football. After never really convincing me of his ability he then made a fool of himself with his lousy attitude as he received the Fred Dowry award. Hopefully he'll do ok so we can ship the arrogant git out for good.
Naybet has decided to fast for Ramadan. This may have an effect oh his performances for that month and Santini and his medical staff will have to keep any eye on the situation. This could be a chance for Gardner to step forward and prove to Jacques that he does have what it takes to partner King in the future. We will see.
Kanoute hopes to return for the Portsmouth game. He will add some height for all those long balls from Robinson. I'd still prefer us to get the ball on the deck more especially as we should have Davis back for that match allow Mendes to be more of an attacking threat.
And finally, Carrick plays for the reserves once again tonight. Expect him to feature against Portsmouth on Monday.
Come on you Spurs!
Friday, October 08, 2004
It is obvious to all Spurs fans that we have had a much better start to the season than last season. However have we played better against the same opposition this season or last? Below is a comparison of results from the same teams we have played this season with the same teams from last season.
We began our season with a 1-1 draw with Liverpool at White Hart Lane. The previous season saw us beat Liverpool 2-1 with a rare Postiga goal to seal all three points. Our next game was a difficult match against Newcastle away, a fixture where Spurs usually roll over a die. Not this season where a good defensive display with fine counter attacking football saw us take a 1-0 advantage back down south. The previous season saw us stuffed 4-0 in one of the worst performances in recent memory.
We then went to West Brom and went down to a very early goal. Spurs battled back to earn a point. Although we didn't play West Brom last season I would certainly expect us to have been rolled over especially if we had fallen behind like we did this season. Thus a probable defeat.
The next three games saw us remain unbeaten with a 1-0 win against Birmingham and two 0-0 draws against Norwich and Chelsea. Chelsea was a superb defensive display and we could of nicked it with Keane's header, superbly saved by the Chel$ki keeper with 15 minutes to go. In the previous season's corresponding fixtures we thrashed Birmingham 4-1 in one of the better displays from last season. This started our good league run after Christmas which arguably kept us in the Premiership. Chelsea away was Hoddle's penultimate game in charge and we collapsed 4-2. We didn't play Norwich obviously last season and I think the result would of been a similar one to this season, a draw.
Our last two games have seen us win one and loose one. A 1-0 victory at Everton compares favorably with our worst league performance from last season where we were turned over 3-0. Against Manchester United we lost this season and last but the game was much easier last season and although they enjoyed most of the possession this season they only really began to open us up as we pushed on for an equaliser.
So with nearly a quarter of the season gone already Spurs sit in fifth place with 13 points. Against the same teams last season (with a couple of predicted results :-p ) Spurs gained a total of 7 points already 5 behind compared with this season. If we assume this pattern continues Spurs could end up with at least 20 more points than last season. Obviously football doesn't quite work like that but it is clear to see that stats wise we are greatly improved on the pitch.
Monday, October 04, 2004
Jamie Redknapp has been charged with serious foul play after his challenge against Everton's Tim Cahill. As everyone know Jamie managed to drag his studs down over Cahill's knee and down his shin as he tried to shield the ball.
According to Redknapp he has already offered his apology to the ex Milwall "star" but the over-hyped midfielder is having none of it. Everyone who knows Jamie's game should realise that although it was a lousy challenge, that sort of action is unchartaristic of him and his record over his playing career should be taken into account.
Weather the FA feel the same way is another matter and our club captain could find himself lumbered with a fine or even a ban.
Sunday, October 03, 2004
A well earned victory but one that was a little fortunate as well.
Spurs struggled in the first half. Everton used the width of the pitch and with Davies and Atouba failing to track back the full backs were under a lot of pressure. They also made mistakes as they were giving too much space to the Everton wide men, especially Kilbane. Edman also gave a way another penalty which top ref, according to Jacques, Graham Poll waved away.
In the second half Spurs were better but still not great. Defoe and Keane got better service than the United game and it was Keane's cross that allowed Pamarot to head home from the edge of the six yard box. It was a good goal and Everton will be kicking themselves for not having someone on the post. After his goal Pamarot improved considerably and from what I saw was defineltly the man of the match for Spurs. Some of his blocks and tackles were brilliant.
The central midfiled pairing didn't seem to work too well today. Redknapp was ineffective at best and was lucky not to be sent off after a lousy challenge on Cahill. Defoe could of followed for a two footed challenge which he got away with - only a yellow card this time. He seemed frustrated at the lack of balls to feet him and Keane were recieving and this is an area for improvement as the season goes on. I am looking forward to the return of Sean Davis as this will allow Mendes to push on like he was doing earlier on in the season. He didnt have a great game today - let's hope it's a one off. A fully fit Carrick would also be a boost. While not guaranteed a place yet he is a good creative midfielder who can open things up and give the ball to the strikers where they want it - i.e. Feet.
Atouba huffed and puffed but didnt impress once again. Often wanting one too many touches he played the defense into trouble on at least two occasions. I'm not writing him off yet as he still needs time to adapt to the English game but I hope to see some improvement soon.
The last ten minutes saw a Premiership debut to Ziegler. He looked very good, calm on the ball, good simple passing and it looks like a good bit of business by Frank.
Overall then Spurs played a classic smash and grab raid on Everton. They rode their luck at times and Everton will probably think they deserved a point but tough, they got nothing and we push up back into fourth.