Monthly Archives: May 2009

Give Keane a chance

Robbie Keane might have been struggling for form since arriving back from Liverpool but I’m confident he’ll be back to his best next season. He didn’t play much football whilst there and coming straight back into the Spurs side playing every week has probably been more difficult for him to adjust to than we all thought it would.

Some sections of the press and fans seem to be getting on his back a bit and quite frankly I find that alarming. Even if his football hasn’t been quite up to scratch since his return, what he has given us in bite and determination has more than made up for that. No pointy shouty bloke in the early part of the season was largely to blame for our lack of points.

No matter what he says publicly, I’m sure the Liverpool experience will have knocked his confidence a bit. His demeanour on the pitch might not show it but there are probably niggling doubts in the back of his mind as to whether he did the right thing coming back. The appeal was safety and familiarity but it was never going to be a simple process going backwards.

The goal at Ainfield on Sunday will have laid some demons to rest for the Irishman and I’m confident that with a pre season under his belt, he’ll be back fresh and better than ever. The likelihood is that Harry will bring in another top class striker and I think Keane thrives on competition for places as he proved when keeping Defoe out the side in his previous tenure with us. He played some of his best football during that period and can do so again come August.

Liverpool

Probably the biggest game of this season as far as the board are concerned with the money that will be generated next but is it a match that is as crucial to Harry Redknapp? He has been quoted in the press as saying the Europa League could be a distraction and he’d prefer to concentrate on our league position next season.

I have no doubt Redknapp will be doing his upmost to get a result at Anfield but I also don’t think he’d be disappointed to come away without a victory. It probably won’t matter in any case if Fulham can continue their fine form.

Steven Gerrard has been talking up this game as if they should put on a right show for his fans and him only being two goals off Anelka and Ronaldo means he’ll certainly be wanting to get on the score sheet.

Personally, I’d be very happy to see us sneak in the Europa League. The new format gives the competition a bit more prestige and I think it’s important for a club like us to be consistently playing European football even if it is at the lesser level.

Everything points to a Liverpool victory however. It’s six years since Liverpool ended a top-flight season with defeat and Spurs have lost three of their last four last day away league fixtures. We have also only won once at Anfield in the Premier League.

Tomorrow should be another interesting close to the season anyway, especially where the bottom of the table is concerned. Now we have all the transfer rumours to look forward to and as Spurs fans, that is probably our busiest part of the year!

What a stitch up

I’ve refrained from commenting on the Ledley King fiasco until now but another day of bullshit from The Sun and Daily Mail has compelled me to. All these magical quotes and new witnesses that are appearing day after day are quite astounding.

Most people I know would retaliate if a fat head bouncer grappled them into some kind of full nelson on a night out. I bet a 12 stone Ledley King did some real damage to a fat 18 stone doorman. Bouncers that throw their weight around are fair game imo and getting him nicked is obviously nothing more than a money making exercise.

Ledley is probably in a lot of pain with his ongoing injury, if he fancies getting smashed once in a while good luck to him. His performances on the pitch are second to none and that is what matters at the end of the day. It’s not as if he’s out with buxom babes trying to get his picture in the paper everyday.

He’s been done up like a kipper by the tabloids and a load of money grabbing tossers pretending to have been there at the time. Maybe he did dish out a few cringeworthy comments during the fiasco but haven’t we all after a few sherberts. Keep your head up Ledley, you don’t deserve this.

Arsenal officially finished, let’s make a day of it

St Tottering Day is a popular event for the Arsenal fans. It’s a day they celebrate when it becomes mathematically impossible for Tottenham to finish above them in the league.

I watched Chelsea take Arsenal apart yesterday and was seriously shocked to see the once mighty Gunners destroyed at the Emirates. They claimed they were unlucky against Man Utd last week but I think yesterday’s result well and truly confirmed that Arsenal are well and truly finished. Any team that ships seven goals at home in two games are in serious trouble. Spurs let in a grand total of zero against the same sides at the Lane this year.

Wenger took them to great heights but is no taking them downhill at an alarming rate through his stubbornness and outdated methods. When Harry Redknapp was going to play Hossam Ghaly and the fans reacted badly he took their opinions on board. If Wenger was in the same position, he would definitely not have reacted the same way. It’s that part of his personality that is making Arsenal a laughing stock.

It looks to me like he’s losing the dressing room. Robin Van Persie, a player who I thought would be key for them this season has now caught the famous Arsenal sulk and strut. It causes players to put in ten to fifteen percent effort each game and strut around the football pitch like they are a peacock. Former victims include Thierry Henry and Emmanuel Adebayor.

To celebrate this momentous occasion I think we should have our own day. The 10th May will now be known as St Arseing Day. On this special date each year we can rejoice safe in the knowledge there will forever be that unfortunate big blank space next to Arsenal’s previous achievements displayed round the Emirates Stadium.

Fulham are almost there…but not quite

I know today’s results weren’t ideal, but I think I would have settled for a point at Everton before the game. The real disappointment was the fact Villa’s woeful form continued as did Fulham’s excellent form at home. All credit to them, Fulham probably deserve a place in the Europa League next season but football tends not to work like that. A lot of neutrals would argue Spurs don’t deserve it, but I couldn’t care less!

West Ham are one nil down at home to Liverpool as I write, still have to go to Everton and their last game is at Upton Park against Middlesbrough. If Boro can still stay up at that point, it’s going to be a real tough match for the Hammers.

It might be a slim chance, but there is still a chance for Spurs to steal 7th spot. I’m confident of a win against Man City then anything can happen at Liverpool with their title challenge over.

Fulham may be in the driving seat this afternoon, but it’s not over yet…

Everton, The Toffees, The People’s Club

Why can’t any of our recent managers have come up with a nickname like the people’s club?! In the same way The Rock was the people’s champion, Everton are a side that most football fans seem to like and have respect for (Liverpool fans not included obviously).

He may look like a nutcase, have regular head butt matches with Duncan Ferguson, and put players in torturous submission holds when they make mistakes, but David Moyes is certainly one of the best managers in Premiership history.

With very limited resources, he has moulded Everton into a consistent and hard working side that always achieve more than they should on paper. He doesn’t often make a bad signing and takes a punt on players that other managers wouldn’t. Tim Cahill, Phil Neville and Mikel Arteta show what a talent he has for picking players. I’m obviously happy Spurs have more spending power in the transfer market but I wish they could follow Everton’s lead and be a bit more astute. It would be no surprise to see Moyes nick David Bentley off us for £4m and turn him back into a decent player. He’s also recently been linked with Pavlyuchenko, another he’d no doubt be able to get much more out of then Tottenham have been able to.

Harry Redknapp has no fresh injury concerns and I’d be surprised if Defoe doesn’t feature. Robbie Keane has been out of sorts in recent games but I don’t expect that to last long and I don’t expect Harry to leave him out the starting line up either.

Spurs have a very solid record against Everton and we haven’t lost in our last 4 visits to Goodison Park but the Toffees did beat us at the Lane earlier in the season. On form, I’d be happy with a draw but we need a win to keep the pressure on in the battle for that 7th spot and history is on our side. We have won here 7 times in the Premier League and I wouldn’t bet against us making it 8 wins tomorrow.

I feel for Arsenal fans today

It’s certainly a tough day for fans of the Arse. The number of them calling for Wenger’s head all over the internet is quite astounding. Panic surrounding the futures of Fabregas, Adebayor and Van Persie is rife and it has turned into yet another trophy-less season for a club that expects a lot more.

Wenger’s methods are possibly outdated in today’s Premiership. Maybe his brand of football and obsession with young boys just doesn’t work anymore. Patrice Evra put it best, claiming last night’s match was “It was 11 men against 11 babies.”

I hold my hands up, the gap between Arsenal and Spurs over the last decade or so has been very hard for us Spurs fans to take but it does appear to be gradually being eroding. With some stability where we are concerned in the summer and with the likely unrest at the Emirates, it could be the season we pose a serious threat to their dominance as the premier north London side and hopefully edge them out of the illusive top 4 like we should have done a few years ago.

While Arsenal fans are in turmoil after last night’s result, I am taking heart from the fact they look very much like a club on the road to nowhere.

Liverpool sides are the obstacle

When I suggested Tottenham had an outside chance of securing European football next season through our league position, I was laughed at and only had Glenn Hoddle for support. With three games to go, we only one point away from a spot in next season’s Europa League.

I’d expect us to beat Man City at home in two weeks time but either side of that match are games at both the Premiership teams from Merseyside.

First up are Everton. David Moyes has again worked wonders with little resources this season and they have an FA Cup final to look forward to. Their recent results suggest they are still very much focused on the league but we can only hope that game begins to play on some of the minds of the first team. It will be a tough match but Everton have lost 5 at home this season and I think it’s a game we can win but a draw is probably the most likely result.

As far as Liverpool are concerned, Spurs seem to be their bogey side in recent times. We ended their unbeaten record in the Premier League and then took apart a weakened side in the Carling Cup. They are yet to taste defeat at Anfield in the league this season but maybe Tottenham can continue the trend of recent games against them and inflict their first home defeat. Realistically though, I think a draw is again the best we can hope for.

Five points from the final 3 games might not be enough and I think we will need to win one of the away fixtures assuming we beat Man City that is.

West Brom won’t be a walkover

The majority of football fans think West Brom are going to be back playing Championship football again and I’m in that majority but they have 12pts left to play for and while it’s still mathematically possible for them to stay up, I’m sure they will put up a hell of a fight.

West Brom’s 3-0 victory over Sunderland last weekend was arguably their best performance of the season and will give them a lot of going into the game at White Hart Lane. On paper, Spurs should have far too much for the Baggies but at this stage of the season strange things often happen.

Like West Ham and Newcastle, it’s a game I think Spurs will win but I don’t expect it to be over by half time or a comfortable 3 or 4 nil result. The difficulty West Brom face is their style of football. They play an attractive passing game and I believe that is likely to be their undoing at Tottenham. They aren’t going to come and sit back and I’m sure we will get a number of openings which will be taken advantage of.

I’d imagine the Spurs line up will be largely unchanged from the team that faced Man Utd. Hutton is pushing for a return and Huddlestone might also get a game after some good performances prior to being on the bench last week.

I can envisage plenty of goals and a 3-2 or something similar would not surprise me. It should be a lot more exciting than our recent home games although a 1-0 win every week would suit me fine!

They might have managed the great escape four years ago but the unfortunate thing for West Brom is that they are playing a Tottenham side who are becoming one of the toughest to beat at home in the league. A Spurs victory will take West Brom’s chances of staying up from slim to none and I think that’s going to be the case come a quarter to five on Saturday afternoon.