One of the biggest games in Tottenham’s season this Saturday as Southampton visit White Hart Lane. With the Saints now looking safe from relegation, all the pressure is one the home side to secure the three points and make the most of their game in hand over Arsenal. The Gunners could only manage a draw against Manchester United this past Sunday and although that would have been a good result in normal circumstances, neither side can afford to be dropping points at home.
Spurs go into the match with Southampton on the back of a fairly positive result after gaining a point away to Wigan. Andre Villas-Boas side should arguably have won that match when you look at the league table, but Wigan are fighting for their Premier League lives at the moment and will be very difficult to beat for the remainder of the campaign. Southampton arrive in London off the back of one of their worst defeats of their season, a 3-0 home reverse at the hands of West Brom. Spurs fans will be hoping that their opponents this weekend already have one eye on their summer holidays and that the Lillywhites can take full advantage.
Although Spurs have had their injury list eased somewhat in recent weeks, they do have a couple of fresh concerns following last weekend, with both Mousa Dembele and Younes Kaboul picking up knocks. The Tottenham manager is hopeful that both players can be involved in this Saturday’s all important clash. Danny Fox and Gaston Ramirez are both suspended for the remainder of Southampton’s games this season and will be a big miss for the South Coast club.
Bookies seem to be strongly favoring Spurs at the minute, with odds at $1.44 – (£.95) at time of writing (TAB). It’s understandable that Spurs have been been in as favourites, but I personally don’t think it will be as straightforward as the bookmakers believe. Tottenham have struggled at home at times during Villas-Boas first year in charge and they have often looked more relaxed and clinical on the road. I’m hopeful that Bale and co can run out winners and I fancy a hard fought 2-1 victory for Spurs.
A huge game for Tottenham here as far as their Champions League aspirations are concerned. Three straight defeats in the Premier League have seen Tottenham’s grasp on third place slip to just one point and bitter rivals Arsenal are now within touching distance of taking the automatic qualifying place for themselves. Chelsea have also closed the gap to just four points and although Spurs looked to have things sewn up a few weeks ago, the picture is a very different one now.
The circumstances surrounding the abandonment of Saturday’s FA Cup quarter final is bound to have some kind of affect on the players but hopefully the positive news regarding Fabrice Muamba in the last couple of days will have gone some way to easing the mental state of the Spurs squad.
While Tottenham might not be on their worst run of the season, they have still only lost one of their last six home games while Stoke have just one win and five defeats from their last six games on the road. Spurs also have a very good record against Stoke in the Premier League, having won five of the last six encounters between the two clubs.
Tottenham v Stoke Head to Head
Tottenham Wins 40
Stoke Wins 23
Tottenham 3-2 Stoke
Current Form (Last Six Games)
If you fancy a wager on the match, you should check out the Bet365 App and the Mobile Betting Guide.
£27m would be a decent offer for Luka Modric. The fact is they are not, and that sort of price still isn’t enough for our top commodity. It might seem foolish to call any player priceless, but that’s what Modric is to most Tottenham Hotspur fans. Harry Redknapp described the earlier £22m offer as a joke. I didn’t find it all that amusing and the improved one is still not making me laugh very much.
I understand why he’s tempted by the move to West London. Chelsea are very likely to be challenging in both the Premier League and the Champions League next season. Spurs definitely won’t be doing one of those and are unlikely to be doing the other either. The problem biggest problem I have with this situation is selling your best player to a team you are trying to close the gap on is a massive mistake. The fact the Premier League is now arguably the biggest league in the world means these sorts of transfers will happen more and more often. We have already seen how Arsenal are struggling to hold onto their stars even though they did qualify for the Champions League.
With the reports of Michael Essien being unavailable for up to six months due to a knee injury, Chelsea are even more likely to keep coming back until they get their man. Modric is probably going to official request a transfer soon enough and that will make the club’s position pretty impossible. I like that we are showing resolve and not just rolling over but when a player decides they want to move, it’s pretty pointless trying to force them to stay.
At what is likely to be the peak of his career, a player like Luka Modric should be competing at the highest level possible and winning major honours. It’s just unfortunate for us Spurs fans that he probably won’t be able to do that while playing at the Lane.
Sorry about the lack of updates recently. I’ve been living in a parallel universe where Tottenham win almost all the time. They beat Arsenal at the Emirates in the Premier League and qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League with a game to spare. Instead of gifting the opposition late goals and having no luck, Spurs now snatch victories from the jaws of defeat and make their own luck. It’s a shame I’ve had to return from this place but we all have to come back to reality sooner or later.
Another strange thing happened to me while I was there. I chatted to Ian Wright following the scintillating win against Arsenal on his Absolute Radio show and was followed by Wrighty from the Wrighty7 Arsenal Blog. Listening to those two Goons discussing where it all went wrong is even more entertaining than my bit. It starts at around 38 minutes after Teddy Sheringham is interviewed. You can download the podcast at the link below.
Ian Wright Podcast with Mabbs and Wrighty7
As things have been going so well recently, there hasn’t been much pain for me to cover. Hopefully things will continue in this vain and you will just hear from me sporadically!
I was having a look at the betting for next season’s Premier League today and although the bookies normally aren’t far wrong, I feel the prices are a little off the mark. While I don’t for a second expect Tottenham to be winning the league, I am confused as to how they can be 40/1 shots with Man City as short as 9/2 and Liverpool as short as 11/1.
Man City’s spending power is phenomenal and they have added some serious talent to their squad this summer with the likes of Boateng, Toure and Silva joining an already excellent group of players. The problem for them is I don’t see Mancini as the man to get these players to gel or control their egos and settle the unrest when their start to the campaign isn’t as phenomenal as everyone is expecting. I think they could well end up in a similar position to last season.
Are Liverpool suddenly going to be a successful side under Roy Hodgson? They looked awful at times last season and it’s going to take them time to rebuild. Torres appears to be in a very bad way if the world cup is anything to go by. Carragher isn’t half the player he was a few years ago and Gerrard turns it on when he’s in the mood. This is assuming Torres and Gerrard are staying.
Now onto the 40/1 outsiders! Admittedly, one good season does not a great club make, but there is just as much reason to believe we can continue our progression under Harry Redknapp as there is we will resume the battle for 7th and 8th place. I don’t feel like last season was a fluke. Our home form has been solid for a number of years now and we have finally mastered the art of picking up points on the road. The possibility of a Champions League campaign will test the squad, but we have the strength in depth now to be able to change the personnel from game to game and still be a force in the Premiership.
The betting for the top 4 sees us 6th best behind Chelsea, Utd, City, Arsenal and Liverpool. I seem to remember us being given a similar chance at the start of last season. History has a habit of repeating itself…
Last time I commented about Harry Redknapp’s tax problems and shady past I was told in no uncertain terms I was in the wrong. Last time I commented on Sol Campbell I was accused of being all kinds of prejudice. Therefore, I thought why not get them both involved today and you can really go to town on me!
A few weeks ago I said Harry’s tax issues could have an adverse affect on our season. Thus far, you couldn’t say this ongoing issue has been bothering the players at all. It does however put the club in the press for all the wrong reasons. Personally, I don’t really care what he did elsewhere but it’s obviously not a positive thing having his boat on the front page of the tabloids every other day for non football reasons.
I don’t know what the process is from here, if it’s just a case of paying back what he owes or if there is a possible prison term but we can well do without any of it now Man City have a new manager who has managed to teach them how to defend a bit in a matter of weeks. Our top four push is looking a lot tougher now so we need the manager to be able to focus fully on doing some decent business in the transfer window, not stuck in meetings with his brief.
As for our old friend Sol, it’s so nice to see him back at Arsenal. I’m very much keeping my fingers crossed for the lad in the hope he doesn’t have a nervous breakdown during a match this time around. It’s sad that we are no longer treated to pictures of Sol in the tabloids with various females and I find it disgusting that anyone would suggest this has anything to do with the fact he could no longer afford to weigh out Max Clifford. All the best for the season Sol.
As wonderful as our nine goal victory was on Sunday, spare a thought for Wigan. As I said last week, I was not surprised to see a big score line but it was thanks in part to Wigan’s style of play.
As difficult as it must have been for Wigan fans to swallow, I hope they give Martinez time to finish the good job he’s started. I know they have been on the end of a few hidings but they play attractive football. The Premier League would be very boring if all the lesser sides played like Stoke. He’s a good young manager and comes across very well.
As for Tottenham, maybe we still have a mental block when it comes to the big teams. We cannot continue to put on scintillating performances against the majority of opponents at the Lane and then give limp displays like we did against Arsenal, Man Utd and Chelsea. I know two of those games were away from home and injuries played a part but the contrast is too great.
Harry has done wonders since his arrival but his previous sides have always been able to turn over the likes of Utd and Arsenal, sides that had no where near the strength in depth the current Spurs squad has. Maybe things will look different come the end of the season.
With Arsenal, Liverpool, Man City and Villa all dropping points this past weekend, our top 4 push is still going along nicely and the 9-1 win will have done wonders for both confidence and morale. It couldn’t have come at a better time with 3 away games on the trot coming up, all against tough sides. I’d take 1 win, 1 draw and 1 defeat if I’m honest, as long as the win is against Utd!
Back to some real football this weekend with the return of the Premiership and the arrival of Wigan at White Hart Lane. It’s just a shame we have to wait till Sunday! I’ll be at the O2 for the tennis unfortunately, but I’m hopeful of arriving home to a positive result and lots of goals.
It’s another one of those games that on paper, you’d fully expect Tottenham to win. Wigan are a good side who try and play the right way, but I’d imagine that will play into our hands. The home games where Spurs have struggled have generally been against teams that keep it tight. Allow our players space and time at the Lane and they will deliver.
The League table makes for interesting reading at the moment. I feel like we have been on a bad run of results of late but we still sit in 4th. If you’d have told me that after 12 games we would be just 3pts behind Man Utd, I would have been more than happy. Just as long as you hadn’t told me how well Arsenal would be playing!
Admittedly, Villa, Man City and Liverpool are all snapping at our heels but there is 5pts between us and the side that lie in 8th place, Sunderland. With Liverpool and Man City facing each other and Villa having to go to the fortress at Burnley, a win against Wigan will likely give us a bit of breathing space.
I’m going for an exciting encounter with lots of goals. I’ll plump for 4-2 Spurs with a Titus Bramble brace, one goal for each side.
So, are we going to bounce back from our lacklustre display against the old enemy or will the players put in another shocker against Steve Bruce’s men?
The defeat against Stoke doesn’t worry me. We played well, it was just unfortunate. Even more unfortunate it came before a big game but I think we would have lost at Arsenal in those circumstances 99 times out of 100.
A number of Spurs fans have a theory that we can still make the top 4 by winning the majority of our game against the lesser opposition even if we always get thumped by the current top 3.
While I can kind of see where they are coming from, constantly being shown up against the big clubs won’t do our confidence any good. Fortunately, our rivals for 4th place are all dropping points as well.
If we are going to be up there come the end of the season, Sunderland at home is a must win game, especially Sunderland at home coming on the back of two defeats.
Sunderland are without Kenwyne Jones and Lorik Cana due to suspensions, as well as long term injury Lee Cattermole. Spurs have better news with the return of Jermain Defoe and possibly Aaron Lennon. I just hope Defoe has his mind on the game and not going out afterwards for some laffy taffy now he’s binned Imogen.
I fancy a 2-1 Spurs victory with Darren Bent getting a consolation for the visitors.
Check out Salut Sunderland for an interview I did about the match.
Painful is the only word I can use to describe having to endure that woeful display. Do the players not understand the importance of this fixture to the Tottenham fans? Their pathetic efforts at the Emirates would suggest not.
While we may have been missing some key men through injury and suspension, our squad is meant to be one of the best in the league. Robbie Keane certainly thinks so and I was inclined to agree until I saw the poor level the stand ins played to on Saturday.
If we’d have gone there and played well but got beat I wouldn’t have a problem but it was a no contest. Arsenal were different class and we had no answers.
In his post match interview when asked if our next game now carries extra significance Harry said ‘no’ and ‘we’d still be up there come the end of the season’ or words to that effect. I’d have to disagree, at least with the no part. Any side harbouring top four aspirations having suffered two defeats on the trot in the league needs to bounce back. Add that to the fact Harry obviously didn’t rate Darren Bent and you have the potential for an especially significant game.
I do still fancy us to beat Sunderland, just a little less than I did a couple of weeks ago.