Monthly Archives: January 2011

Toon Army Preview

As we haven’t even managed a point at St James Park since 2004, I’m not exactly brimming with confidence. However, Spurs haven’t been there as title contenders in that period so hopefully we can put things right tomorrow!

Steven Pienaar looks likely to play some part but Wilson Palacios and Benoit Assou-Ekotto are doubtful after picking up injuries in training this week. Newcastle are still without the free scoring Andy Carroll which must be a positive as far as Tottenham’s chances are concerned but the Magpies have still been in good form with two wins and a draw in his absence.

You never really know what to expect from Newcastle at St James Park. One game they look like world beaters, the next they appear distinctly average. Pardew’s appointment seems to have been a positive one overall after the initial backlash against him.

This is the type of game Spurs cannot afford to lose if they are to maintain their challenge for a top 4 finish again this season and with the way they have been performing on the road of late, I think they can
take at least a point from their trip north.

I’ll go for a 1-1 draw, Newcastle to score first and Pienaar to equalise for Tottenham on his debut.

Listen to Newcastle v Spurs on Absolute Radio extra – on DAB Digital Radio, 1215AM and online in the UK from 1.30pm as programming kicks off with Russ Williams for pre-match build up, followed by full live commentary from Jim Proudfoot at 3pm, while Arsenal legend and Ian Wright takes care of post match analysis at 5pm featuring player and manager interviews, fan phone ins and a healthy supply of banter. Tune in for the full Danny Simpson interview. For more go to www.absoluteradio.co.uk/football

Where does Pienaar fit in?

So it looks like Harry Redknapp has pulled off yet another coup in the transfer market by signing Everton’s star midfielder Steven Pienaar on the cheap. Admittedly, his contract was going to expire in the summer, but paying Everton a couple of million to secure his services now makes sense. The only issue is, where exactly do we accommodate him?

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a great singing and addition to the Tottenham squad. I just don’t see him getting much game time. Obviously, an injury or two and things could change dramatically, but is Piennar going to be happy spending more than 50% of his time warming the bench? I don’t think so. While he can play anywhere across the midfield, his preferred position is as an attacking left winger. Gareth Bale could probably do with a rest from time to time, but I can’t see that being enough game time to satisfy the South African.

An option in center midfield would be playing him instead of Palacios but I don’t really see that working when we are already a bit too attacking in that area as it is. We can generally get away with it at home but in away games especially, I think Palacios should be starting the majority of games despite what his uneducated detractors say. The fact Pienaar is capable of playing across the midfield means he does give us a great option but does this only serve to make him more of a bit part player?

The player’s record at Everton has been impeccable and even this season when there has been so much doubt over his future, Pienaar has continued to give his all. If he sows the same type of commitment and desire at White Hart Lane, I’m sure he will quickly become a favourite with the Spurs fans.

In summary, I consider Steven Pienaar to be a great acquisition for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. Only time will tell whether he can carve out a regular place in a midfield already over flowing with talent and options.