Sherwood to Upset the Odds?

The rumour mill went into overdrive yesterday prior to Tottenham’s match against Sunderland, with manager Tim Sherwood apparently having been told that his services would not be required beyond the end of this season. The same rumour mill falsely told us that he knocked out a member of his squad last Sunday, but this particular story did appear to have more legs. All the major media outlets were reporting similar things and going on what was said or not said in his post-match interview last night, I can’t see Tim Sherwood being Tottenham boss come the start of our next campaign.

It was always going to be a gamble appointing Tim Sherwood but Daniel Levy was in a situation that I personally felt suited someone like Sherwood coming in. Most of the players would have had some kind of pre-existing relation with the new boss and while he had no first team Premier League managerial experience, he had been a part of the Spurs coaching staff for a number of years. When Sherwood took the helm, a top four finish was probably just out of our reach, and following the victory over Sunderland, we are in roughly the same position. It would need a minor miracle for Tottenham to finish ahead of both Arsenal and Everton and snatch fourth spot now, but stranger things have happened.

Whether the blame lies with AVB, Baldini or both, Tim Sherwood inherited a squad low on confidence and a defence which is nothing short of shambolic at times. There is no doubt he has made mistakes, but I think Sherwood has done a reasonably good job overall. Tottenham face a trip to West Brom this coming Saturday and those of you looking for a punt on the weekend’s footy can back Spurs at odds of 2.34, while the home side are on offer at 3.1. The draw can be backed at the 3.3 mark. I think that Spurs may well have to settle for a point at The Hawthornes with Pepe Mel’s side coming off the back of an excellent victory away at Norwich. They will be desperate to build on that result to try and ensure their Premier League survival. If Tottenham do fail to collect all three points however, I fear their slim Champions League hopes will be over.

Tottenham v Man City Preview

The pick of the midweek fixtures is definitely the clash at White Hart Lane between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City. Spurs sit seven points behind title chasing City but a victory for Tim Sherwood’s men would see them close that gap to just four and be hot on the heels of the Premier League leaders. Since the arrival of Tim Sherwood as manager, Tottenham have been in terrific form in the league and should come into this game full of confidence. The same can be said of City, who have been scoring for fun, especially at the Etihad Stadium.

Looking at the soccer odds for this match, the bookies make Manchester City favourites at around the even money mark, Tottenham are generally an 11/4 chance as is the draw. Spurs haven’t been quite the same side at home in recent times. White Hart Lane has always been a fortress but there were some disappointing results at home this season, with defeats against West Ham, Newcastle and Liverpool sealing the end of Andre Villas-Boas’ tenure. Under the guidance of Tim Sherwood, I’m hopefully that results will continue to improve on home soil and it could be that Manchester City are in for a tougher time than the betting odds suggest.

As far as the team news is concerned, Spurs don’t have any fresh injury concerns but City could be without Alvaro Negredo who is suffering from a shoulder injury. Edin Dzeko looks set to deputise in attack alongside Sergio Aguero. Manuel Pellegrini’s side have won just once in their last ten trips to Tottenham and this is certainly a very positive stat for the home side. Spurs come into the game off a decent break having been knocked out the FA Cup at the first hurdle, and should be raring to go this Wednesday night. I fancy us to take at least a point here, and I would not be at all surprised if there are plenty of goals. I’ll go for a 3-3 thriller!

Surely Spurs Should Have a Player in the Team of the Month?!

Under Tim Sherwood, Tottenham collected seven points from a possible nine during the month of December. Barring the 5-0 loss to Liverpool, Spurs had a very successful month, with that result being the club’s only defeat of the seven games that they were involved in. From a goal scoring perspective, no player really stood out, but there are a number of the squad that played very well throughout the month.

Our friends over at Scores.co.uk have chosen their team of the month which can be found below.
Scores-Team-Month-Dec-2013

What do you think of their choices? Feel free to let us know in the comments section. Which Tottenham player or players performed well enough to deserve a spot in this team? Or, do you think that no one was good enough to be considered?

Tottenham have begun the month of January in excellent fashion with back to back victories in the Premier league so maybe we will see some Spurs players included next time around?!

Swansea City v Tottenham Hotspur Preview

This weekend will see an in-form Tottenham Hotspur side travel to Wales to take on Michael Laudrup’s Swansea City. The Swans are arguably a better team than their recent results suggest but they are in need of some Premier League points to put a bit of distance between themselves and the relegation zone. Things are really tight at the foot of the table and there are only six points separating Hull in tenth spot and Crystal Palace at the bottom. It will make for an exciting climax to the season, but could also cause a side to get sucked into the battle unexpectedly.

It’s also tight at the top of the Premier League, particularly amongst the clubs that look to be in a battle for the fourth and final Champions League spot. A lot could change between now and the end of the campaign, but it would appear that Liverpool, Everton, Tottenham and Man Utd going to be fighting for a European place rather than the title. Chelsea, Man City and Arsenal are beginning to draw clear of the chasing pack and I expect that trend to continue.

Considering an indifferent first half of the season for Spurs, the fact that they sit just eight points off top spot is pretty satisfying for me as a Tottenham fan. Although Tim Sherwood has seen his side get knocked out of both domestic cup competitions, they are unbeaten in the league thus far under his guidance. What may cost Tottenham when it comes to the Champions League places is their poor goal difference following a number of big defeats during the Andre Villas-Boas reign. Their last away game saw Spurs win at Old Trafford by two goals to one, a scoreline which Swansea also won by at Old Trafford in the FA Cup recently.

Spurs are favourites this weekend to continue their fine run of form under Tim Sherwood, according to sports bookmaker bwin. Tottenham can be backed at odds of 2.3, Swansea are priced at 3.1, while the draw is available at 3.2. While they are worthy favourites on recent form, I don’t think this will be a walkover for the away side and the draw looks the most likely result for me.

Arsenal v Spurs FA Cup 3rd Round Preview

Tottenham travel to The Emirates this Saturday afternoon to face bitter rivals Arsenal in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. This match is certainly the pick of the round and as such has been moved to a 5:15pm kick off to accommodate the live coverage on itv. Most recently, the two sides met in the Premier League where the Gunners had home advantage and took the spoils by one goal to nil. It was quite a close encounter however and it will be interesting to see if the away side can put up an improved display under new manager Tim Sherwood.

Current Premier League leaders Arsenal come into this FA Cup tie off the back of a victory against Cardiff City in front of their home fans. Arsene Wenger’s side did make hard work of things and it was not until the 87th minute that substitute Nicklas Bendtner was able to break the deadlock with a right footed shot from close range. Arsenal sealed the victory with a Theo Walcott goal in injury time and maintained their position at the summit of the Premier League going into 2014. Although they have not looked particularly impressive in recent weeks, the Gunners have continued to get results and look to have a serious chance of winning their first trophy for several years during this campaign.

Since the arrival of Tim Sherwood as head coach of Tottenham Hotspur, things have definitely improved at White Hart Lane. The former youth coach has made a bright start to his top flight managerial career, with his Spurs side collecting ten points from a possible twelve. That haul included the excellent 2-1 victory over Manchester United on New Year’s Day. The Tottenham squad will definitely come into this match full of confidence and may well be able to claim a second famous win in the space of a week.

I’ll hold my hands up, Arsenal deserve credit for the football they have been playing and the results they have been producing during the current campaign. That being said, the Gunners do have an ever increasing injury list and the FA Cup is likely to be a fair way down their list of priorities this season. Tim Sherwood has begun brightly and could continue that run at the Emirates this Saturday. I see the draw as the most likely result, but Tottenham can be backed in the double chance market at odds of 19/20 with bet365, and I think that’s the best bet here. This means that if Tottenham win or draw the match, the bet will be a winning one!

Back Tottenham Double Chance @ 19/20 with bet365

Arsenal v Tottenham Betting (Prices from bet365)
Arsenal
17/20

Tottenham
3/1

Draw
13/5

Does The Cap Fit As AVB’S Replacement?

As we all expected following yesterday’s humilating 5-0 defeat at the hands of Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur have parted company with Andre Villas-Boas. I’m personally very disappointed that things have come to this but results at White Hart Lane have just not been good enough. Suitable replacements are already being suggested and bet365 have come up with a market on the next Tottenham manager, with some very interesting contenders.

Fabio Capello is already being backed to replace Andre Villas-Boas at White Hart Lane. bet365 spokesman Steve Freeth “Time will tell whether punters are putting two and two together and getting five at the sight of Capello at White Hart Lane on Sunday, but he’s proving very popular in the early stages of the race to replace AVB.”

Next Permanent Spurs Manager
Fabio Capello 6/4
Michael Laudrup 5/1
Guus Hiddink 7/1
Tim Sherwood 8/1
Frank De Boer 10/1
Glenn Hoddle 12/1
Roberto Mancini 14/1
Luis Enrique 14/1
Roberto Di Matteo 16/1
Jurgen Klinsmann 16/1
Jurgen Klopp 16/1
Mauricio Pochettino 16/1
Ole G’ Solskjaer 20/1
Jupp Heynckes 25/1
Others on request

I personally hate the idea of Capello at the helm, but he’d be the most obvious choice with the current set up at the club. Michael Laudrup or Guus Hiddink would be my preferred choices, with the pair on offer at odds of 5/1 and 7/1 respectively.

Make money on Spurs using Close Bet

As we are all well aware, Tottenham games can be extremely volatile. Although we tend to come from behind under Andre Villas Boas, there have also been instances during this campaign when Spurs have thrown a lead away. As a fan, this is frustrating enough, but from a betting perspective, it can also be very costly indeed. Thanks to the new Close Bet option from bet365, punters can ensure that once they are in a winning position, a profit can be locked in.

A great example of where the Close Bet system would have been very useful is Tottenham’s recent home game against Manchester United. The Lillywhite’s took the lead not once, but twice during that particular encounter, but ended up with just a point following a Wayne Rooney penalty for the away side. Had bet365’s Close Bet been utilised, a profit could have been locked in after either Tottenham goal was scored. Punters having a pre-match bet on Spurs would have been in strong position following Kyle Walker’s 18th minute goal and would not have been sweating for the remainder of the match had they used the Close Bet method.

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Fulham v Tottenham Preview

Tottenham make the relatively short journey to Craven Cottage on Wednesday evening to face a Fulham side in serious trouble as they currently sit just three points off the bottom of the Premier League table. The Fulham hierarchy took the decision to part company with manager Martin Jol following the club’s 3-0 defeat at the hands of West Ham this past Saturday. Having already brought former Manchester United assistant Rene Meulensteen to the club, they had a ready-made replacement and will be hoping this talented coach can have an immediate impact.

Many sportsbooks like Bovada make the away side the favourites for this encounter, with Spurs on offer at a best price of 8/11. Fulham are on offer at as big as 5/1 in places which will definitely appeal to bet on sports in general punters, while the draw can be backed at 29/10. While the league table tells you that Tottenham are the worthy favourites for all three points, the Fulham squad are likely to be buoyed by the change in leadership and could well put up an improved display here. That being said, Spurs’ record on the road is quite impressive bar the 6-0 thumping at the hands of Manchester City and their defence could well be able to contain the Fulham front line.

Former Tottenham hero Dimitar Berbatov will still be missing for Fulham so another former Tottenham man Darren Bent looks set to continue up front. It will be interesting to see how many changes Rene Meulensteen makes from the side Martin Jol was regularly putting out. Tottenham are still without Danny Rose and Christian Eriksen but will still be able to field a strong looking side. Both Andros Townsend and Gylfi Sigurdsson will be pushing for starting berths having missed out at the weekend.

I don’t think this will be easy by any stretch of the imagination, but I fancy Spurs to get all three points, with 1-0 my favoured score line.

December the Crucial Month

Following two very disappointing Premier League defeats in succession, Tottenham were able to put up a much improved display against on Sunday against Manchester United. Although the away side bossed possession, Spurs took the lead twice and were arguably unlucky not to have taken all three points in front of a spirited White Hart Lane crowd. Andre Villas-Boas men created plenty and looked a much more potent attacking force than they have done in previous home fixtures this season. Kyle Walker gave Spurs the lead on 18 minutes before Wayne Rooney levelled for the visitors before half time. A sublime strike from Sandro gave us all hope that the match would end in a famous victory for Spurs but unfortunately, some clever play from Danny Wellbeck earned Utd a penalty, which Rooney was able to put away.

Andre Villas-Boas had some harsh words for the press after the game and I personally felt he came across quite well. Ideally, I’d like the fans to be more patient but that just isn’t within the mentality of the modern football fan. Admittedly, home defeats against West Ham and Newcastle are not good enough but I think Villas-Boas deserves a lot more time with this new squad of players. The City result can be forgiven because they are almost unplayable at the Etihad but I will admit I was a little disheartened by the attitude of some of the players there. This was not the case against Manchester United however and if we can take that spirit and commitment into the remainder of the month, things could look a whole lot healthier.

We have a very winnable run of games, starting with Fulham tomorrow night. This might not be the best time to play them with teams often performing better in a first match under a new coach, but I’d still very much fancy our chances the way Fulham have been playing in recent weeks. Away at Sunderland won’t be easy on Saturday but four of the remaining five fixtures after that in December will be at home and Spurs can take advantage of that fact. Tottenham’s odds for a top four finish have drifted since the start of the campaign but just like Super Bowl 2014 prop bets, that can all change again quite quickly.

I still believe that the players will improve and gel as the season progresses. What people tend to forget is the strength in depth that Andre Villas-Boas has at his disposal. Teams like Liverpool, Everton and Newcastle don’t have the same luxury and that fact will tell by May. With a League Cup quarter final on the horizon and having reached the last 32 of the Europa League, a bet on Tottenham to win a trophy this season could prove as profitable as a gamble on the Superbowl this year.

Oh Dear

I didn’t expect us to get anything at the Etihad yesterday. I would have been reasonably satisfied with a spirited one or two nil defeat but after thirty seconds, the writing was very much on the wall. A disastrous clearance from the usually reliable Hugo Lloris gave Jesus Navas an opportunity which he converted via a sublime chip. The most important thing for any team going to Manchester City is to not concede an early goal because a rout is always a possibility against this side and that is exactly what happened. Before this match, Tottenham had conceded just one goal on their travels and that is what makes the manner of this defeat all the more disappointing.

On paper, the Spurs back four looked fairly strong with Younes Kaboul returning to the starting line-up alongside Captain Dawson but they were made to look like complete fools at times by the power, pace and skill of Aguero and company. Other than an early Erik Lamela chance, the away side were never in it. Villas-Boas seemed to think if that opportunity had been converted, this would have been a very different game. I have my doubts. None of our performances in the Premier League thus far this season have been particularly convincing and having suffered big defeats both here and at the hands of West Ham tells us there is still a lot of work to do. The majority of premier league betting tips would have pointed to a Manchester City victory in this but not by a margin of six goals.

I’ve always been behind Andre Villas-Boas and I will continue to support the Tottenham manager. Football fans these days expect too much too quickly and while I’m not all that impressed by our brand of football, I do believe the manager will improve both results and performances as the season progresses. The AVB out brigade really aren’t helping anyone and it’s not as if other big sides haven’t already lost a few games in the league this season. It’s how we react to this defeat that’s most important and in particular, how the team performs against Manchester United next Sunday. Although they are a good side, David Moyes men are still very beatable. I hope those Spurs players that have underperformed in recent weeks step up and show exactly what they are capable of.