Thursday, September 28, 2006
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Spurs have their first European home time for seven years tomorrow against Slavia Prague. Although we have a 1-0 advantage the team news is mixed. Spurs should still progress through though and a few goals will help to raise confidence against Portsmouth on Sunday.
Berbatov is still out and Defoe joins him on the sidelines. Thus Keane will partner Mido up front. Ledley King is a doubt with a knee injury, as mentioned on here a few days ago. Luckily the injury is not as a bad as first thought when he was rushed off to hospital. Having recieved a lot of stick for taht post I was expecting the apologies to come flooding in but alas, none have arrived so far. I expect Harry Hotspur must be writing his now. If not Harry, Shame on You (to quote Harry).
Rumors suggest that Lee could return at left back with Benny Boy pushing up into the left wing position but that is just a rumor at the moment (From COYS). Davids is also out with an ankle knock and so I think the midfield will line up with Jenas on the right with Zokora and Huddlestone in the middle. Either Benny Boy or Tainio will be on the left. Davenport will come in for King if he does not make the game and Gardner is still not fit.
Monday, September 25, 2006
I recieved a text message on the way home from work today giving me the worst possible news - Ledley King had broken his leg. Just got home and checked with the usual reliable sources on FTL and COYS and they had heard earlier today that he had indeed broken his leg with him being rushed to hospital from the training ground. However news coming through now is that the leg is not broken but he has an injury - it could be bruising or ligamnet trouble and he is now expected to miss the UEFA cup match on Thursday.
Thankfully though, it does not appear to be as worse as it sounded at lunchtime.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Chances, chances, chances.
What a disaster - no goals in four games, four points from six matches and all because we cannot score easy chances that you can guarantee every other Premiership team, plus my nan, would score.
Once again we have shot ourselves in the foot after what was a good performance by Spurs until the 65th minute.
Jol cannot be blamed for our latest defeat. He has picked the strongest eleven available. We still lack width but he does not sign or loan out players, it is done above him. We defended well today and Liverpool had little to show for a lot of huff and puff. Mid way through the second half King missed a sitter, similar to the one he powered in against the scum but today, like Mido against united, he missed the ball. The second half opened up more and we were under more pressure but were coping quite well. We then had a superb counter attack involving Defoe, Davids and the absymal Jenas who managed to miss an open goal when it was easier to score. 38 seconds later Liverpool are winning 1-0 and the game is over. Taking the lead then would have seen take all three points today as we could have shut off the game and counter attacked. Instead we have to chase the game and we loose 3-0.
The rot has to stop. Players like Jenas, who earns more in two weeks than most of us do in a year HAVE to take chances - espeically ones that my school football team would put away. Defoe's body language was also worrying - I am not blaming him for the defeat - that would be ridiculous, but there is something wrong there and if he don't want to be here then he needs to go.
This is a key season - the most important for years - we missed out on CL on the last day last season and this should be the one where we push on, make the UEFA cup as a minimum in the league. We invest heavily brinigning in quality players like Zokora, who looked good again, Berbatov and Chimbonda. We have to turn it around NOW. A run of six defeats caused us to miss out on the UEFA cup in Jol's first season and our poor start to the season will mean the same result if we don't improve. And then what. We risk loosing the most promising Spurs squad since the early 80's. Will we be able to keep King, Robinson, Zokora, Dawson if we slip back into mid table rubbish? There is a fine line between that and success and we are in danger of landing the wrong side. It has to change against Portsmouth on Sunday or I fear it could be the league season over bar the shouting.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Time to change formation.
The lack of any width at Spurs is currently worrying and that lack of width through the midfield is one of the reasons for the lack of goals this season. With Malbranque out for 2 months and Lennon for 6 weeks this is going to be an ongoing problem and it needs addressing now so when our creative players do return we are at the right end of the table.
With the current personnel available we are just too narrow. Jenas spent far too much time drifting into the middle against Fulham and Tainio has been stuck out on the wing while that useless piece of crap Murphy took his proper place in the middle on Sunday. This leaves any attacking width to the full backs who can be pushed back by opposition wingers and are not always covered when they do go forward.
I think Jol needs consider a wing back system until the more creative players return. I am no fan of wing backs but it suits the players we currently have. Huddlestone could be drafted into the team to slot into a back three with King and Dawson. This leaves Chimbonda and Benoit to push on up the wings. A midfield three of Jenas, Zokora and Tainio are all able to play in their preferred postion. They can support full backs on either side, attack from the middle and drop into space if the full backs loose possession. It would make us more solid at the back and allow us to support whoever is playing up front.
Another idea is to put Keane on the left in a 4-4-2. Keane will drift and go deep for sure but it will still allow creativity in the middle of the park and leave two strikers forward instead of an isolated one.
Oh, and one more thing - Stop rotating Defoe and Keane - pick one and stick with him so whoever it is gains some sort of rhythm to his game!
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Likely line up:
From Ben on FTL.
Berbatov still not fit.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Lennon out six weeks.
Apparently Lennon's knee injury is more serious than we were led to believe. He is due a knee op in the next 48 hours and will be out for six weeks.
However, we may have a new midfield hero in Zokora after his excellent game against Slavia Prague.
Spurs out played Prague for large parts of the game and if our final ball had been a little better we would be taking a greater lead back to WHL in two weeks.
Team: Robinson, Chimbonda, Assou-Ekotto, King, Dawson, Zokora, Huddlestone, Jenas, Tainio, Defoe, Mido. Subs: Cerny, Stalteri, Lee, Ziegler, Davids, Keane, Davenport.
As confirmed by The Shelf yesterday.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Slavia Prague Vs Tottenham Hotspur
The great name of Tottenham Hotspur returns to Europe tomorrow in what will be a tough first leg away from home. We need a good performance from the lads tomorrow nigh to ensure we give ourselves the best chance of progressing to the group stages and hopefully on to win the trophy in May.
Although Lennon has travelled Jol is unlikely to risk him so will probably leave him on the bench in case we need an injection of pace towards the end of the game. Robinson will line up in goal, with the standard back four now of Chimbonda, King, Dawson and Benny Boy.
Neither Murphy or Ghaly have travelled and Berbatov faces a late fitness test. The middle should have Jenas on the right side with Tainio on the left. I expect Davids will play for his experience in the middle with Zokora alongside him although I have heard Huddlestone could feature in the middle. Mido should partner Defoe who did well when he featured against United last week.
Lets hope we return to WHL with a valuable away goal or two.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Lots of positives from the game today even tho we lost 1-0. This is a poor start to the season, no doubt about it but if we perform like we did today, especially in the second half, we shall see a dramatic inporvement in results as the season ends.
Chimbonda had a great debut and looks like he could well be an excellent buy and Benny Boy continues to impress me - he is quick, strong for his size and gets forward well. He should also have had an assist as Defoe missed a sitter as well as Mido. Keane did well dropping deep but did not look like scoring. I think its time for Defoe to start in Prague but we shall see.
King did well on his return and Jenas had a reasonable game. Davids bustled well but still had too many wayward passes. Ghaly looked ok but we lacked width when the full backs were not able to get forward. Lennon has a knee problem - lets hope it is not too serious. Zokora should start on Thursday as I thought he played well but Ziegler showed why he has not been starting.
Onward and upward!
Ps: Is Spurs on channel 5 on Thursday? My Sky+ suggests that Channel five are showing highlights only - I thought they were showing it live. Can someone confirm? Cheers.