Tag Archives: carling cup

Do the positives outweigh the negatives?

I was hopeful Spurs would managed at least a win and a draw from our three away games on the spin but as it turns out, I’m reasonably satisfied with two more league points. The only disappointing part is we should have got all six!

As much time as I have for Everton, our class should have been enough to win yesterday’s game. They were missing a number of players and also had to travel abroad during the week. While it was a very entertaining encounter, we had numerous chances and far to much quality for a second string Everton side.

To be two goals to the good with only twelve minutes to go in the game and not win is simply not good enough. All credit to Everton for a battling performance but we cannot afford to drop points like that if we are to have even a remote chance of a top four finish.

I wasn’t too bothered about our Carling Cup exit. Although a victory over Man Utd at Old Trafford would have been great, Spurs have been there, done that as far as the trophy is concerned. I’m not saying we are better than the competition, but a place in the Champions League would mean so much more both from a reputation as well as a financial point of view. Most of the top teams use the League Cup as an opportunity to give their reserve and youth players some first team action. Maybe Tottenham should be doing the same now.

Not getting beat after going to both Villa and Goodison Park should make Spurs fans very happy, outplaying both sides and not winning either game will not.

Sol, Sick Chelsea Fans and Super Crouch

I know as soon as I dare to mention Sol Campbell’s name, hundreds of people get straight on the comments to jump to his defence, but the bloke is seriously unbalanced. He’s gone from one of the best defenders in the country to one of the biggest jokes in a relatively short space of time. I doubt he’d sign for Arsenal if he could have his time again; it all started going wrong from that point! Thankfully Harry has come out and said he would never sign him for Spurs although I doubt anyone with half a brain thought that was even a slight possibility.

I’m assuming most people know about the sick Jermain Defoe song a large proportion of the Chelsea fans were singing on Sunday. I won’t repeat the lyrics here but suffice to say it involves his brother. I know there are a lot of songs that are near the mark but this is too much as far as I’m concerned. If this had been a song directed at Sol, the majority of the Chelsea fans would be behind bars by now!

5-1 victories are a nice habit to be getting into, especially away from home. Hull, Doncaster and now Preston have all been on the end of Spurs’ new favourite score line. I thought it would be a tight nervy encounter last night, not only because of PNE’s solid record but also our makeshift defence, but it proved to be an easy passage into the 4th round of the Carling Cup for Tottenham.

Harry has a bit of a problem with who starts on Saturday with Crouch in such great form. I’d imagine he’ll go with the Keane out of position and Crouch and Defoe starting together option again. I’d prefer to see one of the three on the bench to give us a better balance in midfield but whatever the starting line up, I’m quietly confident Burnley will be the game that sees us get back to winning ways in the league.

Poor Pavlyuchenko and Well Done West Ham

He certainly appears to be the 4th choice striker as far as Harry Redknapp is concerned and now Roman Pavlychenko has decided 4th place isn’t good enough and he wants to leave Tottenham because of his lack of first team chances.

‘No footballer likes being on the bench game after game,’ said the 27-year-old.

‘I could lose my place in the Russian squad for the 2010 World Cup.

‘I’m ready now to listen to offers from other clubs. But I can’t say anything concrete right now.’

I’m not surprised by the fact he wants to move on but I am a little surprised at the timing of his decision. Surely it would have made more sense to try and get a move before the season started and not after just three games and on the eve of a Carling Cup tie he is likely to start against Doncaster.

Pavlyuchenko must have realised he would be spending a significant amount of time on the bench this season, especially after the arrival of Peter Crouch, but he has a chance to impress tonight and put some pressure on the manager. If he didn’t start tonight, then I would have understood a decision of this nature after the game but to come out publicly beforehand makes little sense to me. He would have been far better off waiting until January. It only needs one of our other strikers to pick up an injury, and things could change completely for the Russian.

In other news, West Ham fans have likely ruined our chances of hosting a World Cup in the near future. Some of their comments on my post from Monday speak for themselves but their actions last night were a disgrace. Hopefully they get the punishment they deserve but I can’t think of a punishment severe enough for taking away the 2018 World Cup.

Well done West Ham, I hope you are proud of yourselves.

I love beating West Ham

I really do. Not all their fans are arseholes but from a lot of the stuff they came on here with last season, a large proportion are. I do have a lot of time for Zola and Clarke though and it must have been a tough game mentally for their players after the tragic Calum Davenport incident.

It wasn’t an impressive Tottenham performance as it was in our first two games of the season, but it was impressive if you are impressed by Spurs grinding out results, something we haven’t been able to do in seasons past. It’s also nice to see Aaron Lennon’s finishing improving. If he can just try and look up a little more before crossing and playing final balls he’d be priceless. He isn’t far off it now.

It will be interesting to see who starts against Doncaster in the Carling Cup 2nd Round match but you’d imagine most if not all the players that have been on the bench recently will be in the starting line up. It is a difficult one because I don’t think it’s a game you can take lightly but those players wanting to impress will likely make up for any lack of match sharpness.

I’m taking nothing for granted against Birmingham but it’s a game you’d expect us to win at home 9 times out of 10. Another victory would give us huge confidence going into the Man Utd game on the 12th September, followed by Chelsea away the following Sunday, the game that is obviously the bigger test. Ok, Utd will be no picnic but there is no reason to fear any team at the Lane these days. Going to the Bridge does get me a little scared!

Doncaster, Defoe, Dream Team and D-Day

I wasn’t too interested in last night’s International so went and played some golf very badly in a thunderstorm instead. I wished I’d stayed at home to see little Defoe’s brace. From the highlights, it looked as though England made some silly mistakes but showed very good fight and team spirit to pull it back and come out the game with a 2-2 draw. I’m delighted Jermain made the most of his chance and it should give him a lot of confidence going into Sunday’s match. I know a lot of you will disagree but it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Defoe start Sunday’s game on the bench because he could have a huge impact in the latter part of the game if things are as tight as I expect them to be.

Not the easiest draw for our opening Carling Cup fixture with an away trip to Doncaster but it could have been worse. Sean O’Driscoll’s side play some nice football and it should be a very entertaining game. They have started the season with a point at Watford and a win away at Notts County in the first round of the Carling Cup. We should have too much for them even at the Keepmoat Stadium and I’m sure Harry must have this trophy in mind as a realistic target again.

With Liverpool only a few of days away now, my nerves and excitement are increasing in equal measures. The pessimist in me says I’d be happy with a draw but I can honestly see the game going either way. If we play to our potential, there is no reason why we can’t take all 3 points. Tottenham’s front line is certainly stronger than Liverpool’s now and the fact we have a number of options will make it difficult for their defenders. The negative for us is the fact it’s a new partnership at the back with Bassong and King. They will have their work cut out keeping Fernando Torres at bay but knowing we have goals in us should give them the confidence to play a composed and solid game.

Our Fantasy League for this season in association with Expert Betting Advice is open for business. It always gets a lot of participants and it would be nice to get a few more Spurs fans on board. Should be a good crack.

Go here to register:

http://fantasy.premierleague.com/

Once you have chosen your team, click on leagues then enter the following code to join the EBA League:

534369-119079

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.

The players that should not be sold

It looks likely that a number of the current Tottenham squad will be allowed to leave the club at the end of the season. The likes of Gilberto, Rocha, and Boateng obviously have no future under Harry Redknapp. Some high profile players including Bentley, Zokora and Pavlyuchenko will also probably be available if the right sort of offers come in.

Are there any players on their way out that we should be keeping hold of? I’ve always been a fan of Taarabt but how long do we give to to convert his unlimited potential into the final product we need? I know his chances have been fairly limited and it’s going to be even harder for him now he needs knee surgery but I’d be keen for us to keep hold of the lad for now.

It’s a similar story with Giovani Dos Santos. He’s been excellentin hi brief spell at Ipswich and he’s another player I’d like to see get more chances next season. I’m hoping Harry uses the Carling Cup next season as an opportunity to blood players such as Taarabt, Dos Santos and Bostock.

Of the established members of the squad, I wouldn’t be that disappointed to see Zokora, Bentley and even Huddlestone going.  The thing that annoys me with a lot of these fringe players is the fact they run to the press the second they aren’t in the side. I realise it’s all part of the game and they are probably just doing as they are told by their agents but speak to Harry in private and tell the press you are working hard to get your place back, don’t throw around threats about leaving when you just ain’t that good.

Obviously Lennon and Modric speak for themselves and I can’t see the club letting either of them go no matter what kind of offers are on the table. I’ll just be keeping my fingers crossed that Sir Alex doesn’t take a shine to either of them because he has 100% control over transfers as well as refs! Alan Hutton in a red shirt would not surprise me before too long.

It’s time to beat Man Utd

Fergie & Harry

Fergie & Harry

I, like many other Spurs fans, am sick of our woeful record against Manchester United. I’ve lost count of the amount of times we have outplayed them and still got beat. The two games that stick in my throat the most are probably the same as the rest of you. Firstly when we were 3-0 up at half time at the Lane only to capitulate in the 2nd half, then the win that never was at Old Trafford under Martin Jol when Pedro Mendes scored only for the goal not to be given under orders of Sir Alex!

This season has been more of the same really. At home earlier this season we were probably the better side over 90 minutes, with the match ending 0-0. The FA Cup match at Old Trafford was bit of a farce. Spurs had a large amount of the play but just it just didn’t look like we wanted to win. Nothing much to be said about the Carling Cup Final. We held them for the full 120 minutes of open play and created enough clear cut chances to have won the game.

Saturday’s game is a realistic chance for Tottenham to erase the pain that Utd have heaped on us for the last few years and really throw a spanner into the works where their title challenge is concerned. They currently sit three points clear of Liverpool with a game in hand but a win for Spurs would make the title race a lot more interesting during the last few games of the season. It would also dramatically boost our chances of competing in the Europa League next season.

Tottenham’s form in recent games is top draw and we are 3rd in the form table over the last 6 games, just in front of Man Utd. Admittedly, not many teams go to Old Trafford and win, Liverpool are the only side to have done so this season, but the way we are playing, we can be confident of giving a good account. The Utd players might be thinking the hard work is over after getting 3pts in midweek against Portsmouth and the visit of an in form Spurs side is the last thing they need at this stage of their season. They have had a number of tough matches in quick succession and I feel like this is a great time to play them. We go their fresh, in form and with a new confidence that seems to increase game on game.

I’ve got an image of myself enjoying a cold bottle of Becks while replaying a Defoe wonder goal in my head Saturday evening, safe in the knowledge we have notched up another 3pts. I hope I’m right!

Tottenham v Liverpool – Pain Preview

Spurs go into tonight’s game unbeaten under Harry Redknapp as well as having beaten Liverpool 2-1 earlier this month at White Hart Lane. This will be a quite different Liverpool side with Rafa Benitez likely to give his fringe players a game while resting his stars. Will this make things easier for Tottenham though? Possibly not…


Team News
Ledley King is likely to be rested for Tottenham, who are also missing Benoit Assou-Ekotto through suspension and Giovani dos Santos through injury. Redknapp may elect to give some of his squad players a run out but don’t expect wholesale changes from Spurs as this competition is very important to the club.

Liverpool are reportedly resting Captain Steven Gerrard as well as former Spur Robbie Keane. Fernando Torres may start after recovering from injury.


Head To Head
Tottenham more than hold their own against Liverpool at White Hart Lane over recent years. Of the last 10 encounters, Tottenham have won 4 and drawn 3. Liverpool have managed 3 victories.


Current Form
Both teams are on top form. Spurs are unbeaten in 5 games winning 4 and drawing 1. Liverpool have only lost 1 of their last 5, that defeat coming at the hands of Tottenham.


Conclusion
Liverpool dominated the meeting at the start of the month but Tottenham still managed to engineer a victory. Theoretically, tonight’s match should be easier for the home side with Liverpool likely to field a weakened team. The downside is those fringe players will want to take their chance and show their manager what they can do.

If Spurs can continue to make use of the little genius from Croatia the way they have been doing recently, and with Darren Bent in such blistering goal scoring form, I would fancy Spurs to make it into the next round tonight. It won’t be easy but Liverpool’s priorities lay elsewhere and the Carling Cup means a lot more to Tottenham.


Best Bets
Spurs to win 3-1 @ 20/1 with Betfred

Luka Modric to score first @ 12/1 with Betfred