Monthly Archives: October 2009

Just one of those days

Firstly credit to Stoke. They work on a shoestring budget in comparison to us and they are consolidating their position as solid Premier League side. Unfortunately, the result did nothing for Spurs chances of consolidating their position in the top 4!

I don’t think you can criticise Harry’s tactics or the Tottenham performance as a whole. We had 66% of the possession and 12 shots on target to Stokes 2 and did everything but score. On another day, we could have easily been 2 or 3 up by half time.

Stoke’s goalkeeper Steve Simonsen had the game of his life and when Lennon couldn’t continue, they took full advantage of their extra man. The extent of the injuries to Lennon and particularly Woodgate aren’t yet known. Lennon is likely nothing serious but seeing Woodgate have to come off during his first game of the season is bitterly disappointing.

It would have been nice to go into the Arsenal game with a few points cushion over them and off the back of another win but it wasn’t to be. I’m still looking forward to Saturday with eager anticipation and it promises to be a cracking game. Arsenal have looked great at times this season but they have also looked very beatable as yesterday’s match against West Ham demonstrated. Let’s go to the Emirates and get a result.

Slippery Stoke

As I do with most home games against any teams outside the top few teams in the Premier League, I’d expect victory for Spurs against Stoke. Tony Pulis has done wonders firstly to get his club into the league and secondly, turning them into a formidable top flight side.

While Stoke are renowned for their home form, they have also been a lot more solid on the road this season than they were last. Other than the 4-0 drubbing at Liverpool in their first away outing of the season, Stoke have managed to three draws and a win from their four away fixtures since.

It seems like Pulis has decided to take a negative approach to away games and who can blame him? With the winning habit they have at home, just a few points on the road will ensure Stoke’s Premier League survival sooner rather than later.

The problem with taking this approach at the Lane is Spurs ability to score freely. We always come out the blocks with all guns blazing at home and an early goal completely ruins a lock down game plan for the opposition. The longer the game goes without a Tottenham goal, the better for Stoke. They are always dangerous of nicking something from set pieces and we will need to be solid defensively.

This is a key game for Spurs prior to the Arsenal next weekend and for me it’s the sort of game that suits us. I’d fancy a 3-0 or 3-1 score line that can keep us up with the pace at the top of the table and ensure that confidence is high before going to the Emirates.

Was Harry right?

Harry Redknapp gave Jermain Defoe a dressing down in front of his team mates after his sending off against Pompey on Saturday. Nothing wrong with that as far as I’m concerned, especially when he already warned him to cool it at half time.

Redknapp said: “Yes. He’s sorry for what’s done. For sure. I gave him a rollicking in front of all the lads, to be fair.”

“He can be a bit like that,”

“At times, he has to learn to curb that. I couldn’t have told him more. I sat him down at half-time and said to him ‘don’t do anything silly. We can’t afford to go down to 10 men here. We have to have 11 on the pitch. Don’t let us down’.

“He let himself down, he let us down as well. He could have cost us the game. The way he reacted, it was disappointing.”

The only problem I have with it is the fact Harry felt the need to tell the press. These things should be kept in house; disciplining players isn’t a matter that needs to be discussed in The Sun. I appreciate Harry being straight with us but all he needed to say was Defoe had been stupid and he’s told him as much or the matter is being dealt with by the club, not that he told him off in front of his team mates.

Doing things this way makes Defoe look like a naughty little kid. He doesn’t need any help looking stupid. Suing the police for being racist and going out with some shocking women springs to mind.

The fact is Jermain got the winner. Yes he was impetuous stamping on Mokoena but I like that he has a bit of fire in his game and he was obviously very wound up from the treatment he’d been getting from the Portsmouth players. There’s no excuse for it but there’s also no excuse for telling the world he got a telling off in front of his team mates.

Pompey

While they have some very average players (including a few of our cast offs), almost anything can happen in tomorrow’s game against Portsmouth. Although Harry might get some love from his old fans, I’d expect Spurs to be on the receiving end of a seriously hostile reception.

The Portsmouth fans could really carry their players through 90mins and with their win at Wolves, the return of Avram Grant and the arrival of Ali Al Faraj, the players and the club as a whole are bound to be in a much more positive frame of mind than they were a few weeks ago.

Jamie O’Hara isn’t allowed to play which is probably a positive as far as we are concerned but David James is back after injury. Defoe is likely to play against his old side after recovering from injury and Ledley could also be back.

We have a good record against Portsmouth in recent times, having only lost once in nine games. On form, you’d be hard pressed to bet against a Tottenham victory but with all the history and the fact Pompey have some stability for the first time this season, it’s unlikely to be straightforward.

I’ll still go for Spurs to nick it but I can envisage a right old game tomorrow afternoon.

Crouch Starts Tonight and Woodgate

It doesn’t look as though Peter Crouch’s lack of games for Tottenham is affecting his World Cup chances an awful lot. Capello is starting the big man against Belarus tonight alongside Gabriel Agbonlahor in the absence of Wayne Rooney.

I’ve always expected Crouch to be in Capello’s World Cup squad because he gives the Italian options. When Crouch has started for Spurs this season he’s always delivered and I’d certainly fancy him to be on the score sheet tonight against an unspectacular Belarus side.

I’m not sure how this will effect Harry’s plans against Portsmouth at the weekend. I fancied him to start Defoe and Crouch against their old side but he may not be inclined to start Crouch again Saturday if he has a tough game tonight. That being said, Robbie Keane will also be in action for one half of the Republic of Ireland’s game against the Czech Republic.

A good bit of news on Jonathan Woodgate. He managed to come through a behind closed doors friendly unscathed yesterday so there is an outside chance he could be on the bench for Saturday’s game. I thought he’d be out for a lot longer to be honest so fingers crossed he can get back to full fitness as soon as possible, it will give the side a massive boost.

I’d take boring sometimes

Another blank weekend with no Premier League action until the 17th but as is normally the case with Spurs, there is still plenty of off field drama to keep us ‘entertained’ for want of a better word.

The current intelligence doing the rounds is that Harry was questioned by the fuzz for four hours on Tuesday and bailed until the 21st. I find it all a bit confusing. Surely if he’d done anything that bad they would have some hard evidence to charge him with something by now. It would appear the authorities are clutching at straws.

I hope Redknapp’s current issues aren’t affecting the players. It doesn’t seem to have had a negative impact thus far but if the case does drag on and the tabloids continue to run stories, that could change.

Now we finally have some stability and are moving in the right direction, something had to happen. That’s just the Spurs way. It wouldn’t be right if we had the same manager for more than a season and a half would it?!

No offence to either club, but it must be nice supporting teams like Stoke and Wolves. While you may not be setting the world on fire, at least there is a certain level of stability. As interesting as it is being a Spurs supporter, I’d take boring sometimes.

The Bolton

Toughie. I wouldn’t fancy Kevin Davies big frame in my face for ninety minutes and I doubt Michael Dawson will either. This is the sort of game we’d get turned over in pre Harry. Even with him last season they bashed us up at the Reebok but he’s had time to make the side a bit more resilient since then.

I think it’s a game we can easily win. I wouldn’t be surprised to see us go up there and play Bolton off the park, score 3 or 4 and Keane and Corluka having their favourite tipple of Pimms by 5pm.

Equally possible is this scenario; Bolton get the early advantage with their physical presence, score 1 or 2 from set pieces and we end up chasing the game.

It will be interesting to see how Gary Cahill performs against his supposed suitors. He looks some player at the moment but quotes of £20m from the ever reliable Tabloid journalists are fucking ridiculous quite frankly.

After a couple of unlucky 1-0 defeats early season Bolton are on a good little run of only one defeat in five games and that was a game they played very well in against Liverpool. They impressed me in that they took heart from that performance even though they got beat and have won three since.

This is a game where I’ll be hopeful of a win but would take a draw. It may be that we can hit them on the break with devastating effect but I’m not sure how much we can soak up pressure from this Bolton side without them scoring. I hope you’ve got a winning game plan worked out Harry, because I bloody haven’t!