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Saturday, 22 October 2011

Blackburn problems

Saturday's are never the same when Spurs aren't giving us a usual roller coaster of emotions. I find myself attempting to take vague interest in other games, throwing money down the drain in the hope one club I couldn't give two s*its about beats another. It leaves me usually a few quid down adding to more misery; I'm a right cheerful chap.
So after a rather minority of a game takes place at lunch time in Manchester, the real game kicks off at 3pm in Blackburn. Of late, we've done rather well away at their place; we've won our last two meets away up there thanks to old lanky features who now ply's his trade in Stoke. I still see Blackburn as an unpredictable side. Of course, they find themselves neck's stretching above water but even this side could punish if we took our foot of the accelerator.

The Arse were given a shock & a half and gave the rest of us some comedy gold as they lost on a miserable day away there. Hell of a Super Sunday that, but I can't see a repeat against a stronger side in us. The only real issue would be Bassong partnering Kaboul at the back. The pair barely have game time together and Bassong really does get the heart beating furiously at times.

It's a superstition of mine, as strange as it sounds, to check team news prior to kick off so I'm unsure of any injury news. Although, assuming the same team is fit (with the absence of King) all eyes will be on whether Defoe or Rafa start. With Defoe looking sharp it would be right to make the most of this, exploit it while he's in good form. But, saying that, I can't and wouldn't like to see Rafa relegated to the bench.

3-5-2 anyone?

I joke, of course.

The return Sandro and Lennon will make selection one tough nut to crack.

How'd you line up tomorrow?


Friday, 21 October 2011

Do We Really Care?

Rubin Kazan in the Group Stages of what was formally known as the Wafer Cup. Yesterday's attendance matched that of a Spurs XI friendly against an average Sheffield United side which invites the question of; do we really care?

With a rather dreary attendance of just over 24,000, it seemed most of us were happy to watch proceedings involving a vast number of fringe players and a few youth players take place in the comfort of our own homes or down the local on the box. It was almost embarrassing but at the same time I'm not pointing the finger, I wasn't there.

I'm in full support of 'Arry giving a few of the kids ago. Livermore, Carroll and Rose could thrive in this year's competition and really rubber stamp their name as prospect's good enough to make the first 11. Although, these same players will still lack the Premier League experience that may be required to make the step up from a reserve to PL starter.

More positives were that Lennon looks to be fit with 'Arry now having a real bleedin' headache concerning who will start in Blackburn on Sunday. Although a slightly more inferior opposition than what the kid's used to, Sandro looked very sharp. Much of what we're used to. Excellent reading of the play and breaking up opposition moves when required. He's Brazilian, he always puts in a shift and a half.

The thought of Bassong playing in the league frightens me. I'm losing sleep and I'm sure it's not the booze I've had that very night. Can we just invest in a new knee for Ledley and have a calf thrown in free for Gallas as well? Get the boy off to QPR.

So, should we progress to advanced stages in this tournament should we stick with the kids and fringe players that have got us there or turn to more reliable heads? I'm thinking of possibly mixing it up a bit the further we go. We can win this thing.


Saturday, 8 October 2011

Daws In Danger!

Call me unpatriotic, but I awoke with Twitter reminding me that England were playing this morning. I would say I'd enjoyed a nice sleep but the builders next door ensured that it was a relatively early start for a Saturday.

Upon my usual morning glance of Newsnow, I came across one update on Michael Dawson. I'd have thought at this stage we'd be clutching at straws hoping, anticipating, crying out for an early return to the heart of our defence so we could push on with a season that has currently left us lounging in mid-table. But no. In truth we haven't missed the bloke. The 'get well soon' card is still sitting on the bed side table- must get that posted today. It hasn't been one of those Bale or Modders type injuries in which we were counting the weeks down until they return.

So what happened?

"I was outside running earlier in the week but the Achilles was still a little sore, so I've had to take a step back and concentrate on working in the gym," Dawson said.

"The physios aren't too worries as I've been in a protective boot for a couple of weeks and I need to strengthen it up"

"I'm obviously a little down, but you never know with injuries and rehab, so we'll wait and see."

"I'll have a weekend's rest now and then it will be back to it next week. It's so disappointing to be injured and I was with Tom Huddlestone in the gym this week, he's also out and it's a hard time for a footballer, it's the side of the game people don't see."

So why, why had he become almost a forgotten man? I hear one or two speak.

Well no prizes or extra Christmas presents- no it's not to early mention Christmas- for guessing why. The return of the King to his rightful throne on the football pitch has in no uncertain terms formed a formidable partnership with Kaboul. The pair have been brilliant together. With Ledley at the back in the last 4 games, opposition sides have only engineered 19 shots on target; this averages to 4.75 shots on target a game, giving Friedel little work to do.

Of course Ledley will forever be carrying a big question mark over his fitness every week. The will he/won't he question will always there. Taking a strong assumption that Ledley could engineer a good run of games and continue this good form alongside Younes, then where does this leave Dawson? No doubt Dawson is a brilliant defender, although sometimes looks a little sloppy at the back, he's still been a key man for us over the past years.

Upon his return to full fitness and assuming Ledley and Younes remain fit and in top form, the issue comes over Dawson's involvement. I can't see why you'd change a winning team and a partnership that has looked outstanding over the last month. So does this leave Daws in a tracksuit watching on the sides every week? 'Arry will have a tougher call than his JD/VDV 'problem'


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Monday, 3 October 2011

Ancelotti hints he'd welcome Spurs job.

What a morning after. I'm sure you'd all join me in agreeing that this was one hangover that was worth every painful minute as we smiled in the sunshine this morning. Kyle Walker ensured that the tide has changed. No longer are we second-best. No longer are we 'closing the gap'. We're better than Arsenal, and I never thought I'd live to see the day.

Patience is a hell of a virtue.

The best thing was, we didn't even play as well as we could've done. So, in an amongst our smug faces whilst reminiscing every endless emotion we felt under the sun when Walker put us ahead with 20 minutes to go, Ancelotti's had a few interesting words to say.

"I want to manage a team that challenges at the top, and I include Tottenham and Liverpool in that category. Wenger has had a shaky spell at Arsenal in the last few months, and for the national team Capello will be replaced by an Englishman, which will free up a place at the club."

It would take a two bob, as Clive would put, to not read between the lines in the last part that here Ancelotti is regarding Redknapp. No other 'team at the top' is managed by an Englishman. I mentioned in the summer I felt Ancelotti would prove a decent acquisition. A man that has experience in the PL and would save Levy a few quid due to there being no compensation package involved in trying to bring him in. This is of course assuming that Redknapp, should he be offered the England job, would take it.

A little forward thinking here with many if's and but's admittedly. At first view, it paints a positive picture. But right now, I'm still enjoying yesterday about as much as I'm enjoying this weather.

It couldn't be warmer here.


Saturday, 1 October 2011


For as long as my memory can recall, I struggle to find a point in time where many experts-yes that word is used hesitantly- many fans and even bookies fancy us to topple the boys from Woolwich. It's evident that there we may be edging the power struggle in North London, but our own example should illustrate why we shouldn't approach this game with to much over-confidence.

Form never counts in these games. They're usually full of a shed load of goals; whether we were lounging around in mid-table or Arsenal were actually looking worthy Premier League winners. Those were the days, eh. Cometh the year 2011 and how things have changed. We recorded our first Premier League win for a few years at White Hart Lane in style as Danneh Rose set us on the way to a deserved 2-1 victory back in 2010. It's a shame Gomes seemed to let that sort of form slip through his fingers; he can't even seem to catch the team bus every week.

No doubt Wenger will rally his troops, he has too. His players know this is one of two games a season their fans live and breath for. This means we must focus. We must approach the game in similar style to Liverpool. Don't let them settle or play their game.

So how to line up? I'd be incredibly surprised if we matched the same formation we laid out in Wigan. I'm still a firm believer that the 4-2-3-1 would prove a worthy winner. With Parker sitting in midfield with Sandro and his dodgy barnet giving Arteta and Ramsey nightmares for weeks to come, this would free up Modric in midfield. Vdv as an advanced right forward with Bale on the left and Ade up top. Boom. With this in mind, we have an excellent option in JD on the bench and I also heard whispers Lennon was in line for a return. Two game changers there.

It's the first fixture we check on the day the fixture list is printed. If we stay focused and play our own game we could prove victorious. Any lapses in concentration will be punished. Are we the better of the two sides now? I never thought I'd ever even consider that question.


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