Can be a very useful asset at White Hart Lane. Luka Modric was spectacular last night, again looking worth every penny of that £16.5m we paid. He looks a lot more effective at the Lane where he probably gets more time on the ball and more freedom but there are no two ways about it, he’s quality.
Obviously, Stoke at home is a game we should be winning comfortably but considering the position we are in currently, the pressure on the players last night was huge. They all stepped up and put in what is probably our best performance of the season so far.
Carlo Cudicini look assured in goal on his debut. The fact he’s played very little first team football in recent times really didn’t show. Dawson and Woodgate are developing a good understanding together and although Ledley is sorely missed, I have much more confidence in this partnership now than I did early season.
Aaron Lennon was busy as usual and took his chance very well indeed. Bentley also had one of his best games in a Spurs shirt. I hope Harry keeps him on the right flank from now on because that’s where all his best performances for us have been. I may have been a little hard on him when playing out of position.
As solid as always was Corluka. I can’t rave about him enough, an absolute snip at £8.5m. The front two played well, Defoe with his goal and Pavlyuchenko often dangerous. I hope he continues to play this well once the temperature rises. Even Akotto and Zokora were largely mistake free.
I loved Harry’s tactic of bringing Huddlestone on in injury time to run the clock down because it takes the fat mug five minutes to bumble his way onto the pitch. Maybe he is good for something after all.
Poor old Gareth Bale, another game he doesn’t start and we win. It’s getting to be more than just a coincidence now!
The hard work isn’t over but the result lifts us to 13th in the table and psychologically I think that’s a big deal. Bolton away on Saturday will be a much sterner test but with Palacios and Chimbonda waiting in the wings, things are starting to look a lot brighter. Let’s hope the players continue this work ethic and stick enough points on the board for us to stop panicking, and then we can just enjoy our day at Wembley.
This blog post was going to be totally different at about ten past ten last night. I had plans to start a campaign to out Harry and replace him with Mike Newell or Joe Kinnear. I’ll put it on the back burner for now.
Every man and his dog wants to take a pop at Spurs today, I can only imagine what it would have been like had we actually gone out the Carling Cup. I honestly believe some people would rather see Tottenham lose than their own team win. Looking at it objectively, I can half understand why.
It must be fun for football fans that support teams with nowhere near our resources see us get turned over by so called smaller clubs time and again, pay over the odds for players that turn out to be useless and continue to achieve very little year on year. It’s getting on for 2 decades since our FA Cup win. As nice as the Carling Cup and a day out at Wembley is, it’s not good enough for a club that’s spent as much as Tottenham have over recent years. I’ll still go back to Martin Jol’s sacking as the biggest mistake in Levy’s reign. The Premier League is what it’s all about and that man delivered two 5th place finishes on the trot. No other manager has come close to that in my lifetime.
Last night was awful to watch but wasn’t really as bad as is being made out. Two of the goals were down to goalkeeper errors. Burnley were always likely to get a result last night. 1-0 would have been fair enough. They are a decent side and have beaten a host of Premiership teams this season.
When it mattered, the team came up with the goods. They left it late but isn’t that the difference between the great sides. How many times do Utd and Chelsea win or get something from games by the skin of their teeth after looking down and out?
It sounds like we could be in for a hiding on Saturday with Harry saying he’ll be fielding the weakest side possible. More injuries were picked up last night and Tuesday’s game against Stoke is the one that really matters. Anything less than 3pts is unacceptable.
I’d rather see Dos Santos, Taraabt and Bostock go to Old Trafford, play some decent football and we get beat 3 or 4 than try to go lock down and lose 1-0.
Harry’s new approach seems to be to publicly berate the players now his being their best mate approach has stopped working. Whether it will reap rewards or not I don’t know but I’ll leave you with this little gem he came out with, made me chuckle for quite a while.
‘Palacios is suspended — he likes tackling you see, so I don’t know if he’ll be any good in our team.’
Harry was always going to get a few results when he first came to Spurs. The players had been under a regime that none of them seemed to like and his jolly banter and inspiring, comforting words made them all fuzzy and warm inside again, a feeling that had been lost since the euphoria of a hard fought Carling Cup win many months previous.
So why did that fight suddenly disappear? Why have the Soccer Saturday pundits only just realised Aaron Lennon has no final ball? Has the new stadium been designed with an extra large dugout for all Harry’s coaches? Who is the bloke in the Wii advert with Jamie and Harry that doesn’t speak and get called a mug? I don’t have the answer to any of these questions but I think I do have the answer to our poor league form.
Bale can’t defend. He used to be good going forward. He doesn’t seem so good going forward anymore. Surely one of these many coaches we have can teach him the art of defending?
Lennon has no end product. He used to come up with an odd decent final ball or a goal. He doesn’t anymore. Surely one of these many coaches we have can teach him how to deliver a final ball?
Bentley and Jenas play at 30% most of the time. They used to manage 57%. Surely one of these many coaches can give them a swift kick up the backside?
I think we have the basis of a good team. I rate Gomes although others still disagree. Corluka and Woodgate are quality defenders and Ledley’s still very good when available. Modric’s class is unquestionable but where he fits in going to places like Wigan, West Brom, Stoke etc when we are in a relegation dogfight getting kicked all over the gaff, I’m not quite sure. Defoe’s our only top class striker. Pavlyuchenko has shown flashes of above averageness and I’ve come to the conclusion that Bent is just average. Zokora is likable and works quite hard but I just don’t think he’s all that bright. O’Hara and Dawson make up for what they lack in ability with their work rate, especially little Jamie. The rest of them are either not good enough, don’t give a shit or equal amounts of both.
These next two games are massive, I just hope the players realise their significance.
In your lifetime, what is your best 11 for Spurs? It doesn’t necessarily have to be the most talented crop, you can even include Paolo Tramezzani if he’s one of your favourites for whatever reason. Here’s mine;
I know what you’re thinking, too attacking. I did consider Steve Sedgley or David Howells anchoring the midfield but this team would be so amazing, they wouldn’t need to defend and with those 3 rocks at the back, other teams would give up just at the sight of them! If only Harry had a pool of talent like this to choose from, we would clean up.
Well our little striker is back. It’s amazing what a few death threats can do to ensure a move without too much fuss! £15m is the rumoured fee but the actual amount of money changing hands is probably a lot less with Pompey still owing us money from Defoe, Kaboul and even Pedro Mendes.
I think most Spurs fans are in agreement that Jermain should never have been sold in the first place but looking back, it’s probably been a good thing all round. He wasn’t getting much in the way of first team football and for a player of his quality; it was quite simply ridiculous to be sitting on the bench as much as he was.
You have to respect Defoe for the way he got on with it and stuck with us even though he wasn’t getting a regular place in the starting line up for as long as he did. A year at Portsmouth has done him the world of good and also resulted in him winning back a place in the England squad.
At a time when things have gone a little flat with the initial buzz surrounding Harry’s appointment having understandably died down, a big singing is just what we needed. It’s not just any old player but someone that is already a hero at the Lane as well as being something we are desperately missing at the moment, a top class natural goal scorer.
I can only smile at the death threat story in the press at the weekend just to make the move a little easier. You couldn’t possibly expect poor little Jermain to stay at Portsmouth when he’s receiving death threats from the nasty Pompey fans! Don’t get me wrong, there could well be an element of truth to it but its likely no worse than the over the top banter the players get from the crowd week in, week out.
We can only hope Stuart Downing’s agent doesn’t advise his client to approach the News of the World with some death threats of his own for this Sunday!