Browsed by
Tag: everton

Where does Pienaar fit in?

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.

Is the honeymoon period officially over?

Is the honeymoon period officially over?

Harry can’t do a lot wrong as far as most Spurs supporters I speak to are concerned. He’s improved the squad, team morale and our league position massively since he took over. Almost 14 months ago, Tottenham looked doomed. Since then, Redknapp has been considered a hero amongst the Spurs faithful. Saturday was the first time I’ve heard more than a handful of people questioning his credentials.

The defeat to Stoke was one of those days, getting turned over by a second string Utd in the Cup was a shame, dropping two points at Everton from a strong position was very disappointing but losing at home to Wolves is unacceptable. It’s no going putting nine past Wigan if we can’t break down teams like Wolves and Stoke. On a more positive note, it was nice to see Modric back and hopefully he’ll be back in the starting line up before too long.

Wednesday’s match against City now takes on extra significance. I think a draw is the most likely outcome but we really can’t afford to lose another home game. Slightly worrying is the fact I’m sure it was a Wednesday night I was sitting with my Granddad watching a Tottenham v Man City game where Tottenham were 3-0 up at half time but still lost. Anybody remember that one?!

For me, the top four dream is looking less and less likely as the season goes on. I know we are still in touch but can you imagine us going to Old Trafford and winning 1-0 like Villa did? I can’t see it happening anytime soon personally. I don’t want to sound too downbeat because I’m quite happy with a top 6 finish which I think is our realistic target this season. We don’t yet have the mental toughness to match the big sides in the Premiership and until we do, a Champions League place will have to wait.

The players up for sale

The players up for sale

As there is still a distinct lack of solid activity on the transfer front, and with the rumours getting more and more desperate, I thought it might be a good chance to analyse those players that Spurs would probably be happy to offload this summer.

We are still quite heavy on the Team Comolli front but I’m slightly concerned that we won’t even be able to give a couple of those superstars away.

Definite Departures
Kevin-Prince Boateng – He’s the one that could be most difficult to shift. I believe he’s on quite decent wages, he’s got a little bit about him but doesn’t have a brain. Borussia Dortmund were interested but we apparently wanted too much money. I doubt any club will want to take a punt on him if a few million quid in transfer fees are involved, best to cut our losses imo.

Didier Zokora – As much as I like him as a person, his attitude is good and he’s probably a decent character to have in the dressing room, he adds very little in the way of value on the pitch as far as I can make out. Sevilla and Sunderland are both allegedly tracking the Ivorian but Spurs are again being greedy where the transfer fee is concerned. I’d bite someone’s hand off for £5m let alone the rumoured £8-10m Levy is after.

David Bentley – I still don’t really understand what went wrong other than the fact he’s another one without much going on upstairs. He did us all a favour by leading the revolt against Ramos and his goal against Arsenal was special but his head was never right at Spurs for one reason or another. Hopefully he’ll pop off to Villa and we will take a hit for a few million quid but have another big earner doing nothing for his money off the books.

Gilberto – Not much to say really, looks shockingly bad at times, has to go but like the Ghetto Kid, could be difficult to move on.

Maybe Moving
Alan Hutton – I don’t want to see him go anywhere but he might struggle to nail down the right back spot next season and with Everton and possibly Utd sniffing around he could fancy a move.

Jamie O’Hara – While he might not be the most talented player in the world, Jamie O’Hara is the man you know will give his all when many others have given up. I’m slightly disappointed with his choice of girlfriend but as long as it doesn’t affect his performance on the field, I don’t really care. Fulham are close to agreeing a deal if the rumours are to be believed, I hope not.

Gareth Bale – I wouldn’t be that bothered if Bale went to be honest. He doesn’t seem to have progressed at all since his arrival and he still hasn’t nailed down the art of defending. He had the potential to be one of the best left backs in the Premier League, he now has Championship potential.

Who do you want to see out the door in the transfer window? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Fulham are almost there…but not quite

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

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.

Liverpool sides are the obstacle

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.

Too much for the Toon Army

Too much for the Toon Army

It was more hard work than it needed to be, but victory over Newcastle has really cemented Tottenham’s position and kept us on course for 7th place.

Darren Bent’s slightly scrappy goal was the difference as far as the score line was concerned, but there was a definite gulf in quality and Spurs should have killed the game off in the first half. I’m not complaining though, I’d be happy to win 1-0 every week and it’s a very healthy habit we are getting into.

Credit to Newcastle, they battled hard 2nd half and if they can put in that kind of effort in their remaining home games, they will give themselves a chance of staying up.

I feel for Alan Shearer as he is in a real tough position with regards to team selection. Mark Viduka is arguably the most gifted player they have, he can make things happen but yesterday he looked shattered within a couple of minutes of being introduced into the game. Obafemi Martins suddenly felt his groin when he missed Newcastle’s best chance of the game but he can give them something special when in the mood. Does he take a punt on these two or go with the less talented but more able Andy Carroll?

Things can change very quickly in football. During Ramos’ last few games in charge, I could honestly not see where Tottenham’s next 3 points were coming from and I really did fear for our Premiership lives. Just a few month’s later and we are one of the most formidable sides in the league and pushing for European football. After seeing Tom Huddlestone get stuck in yesterday and make a good tackle I honestly believe anything is possible!

With five games left things are looking rosy for Spurs. The two home games look very winnable and on current form we are more than capable of getting something from Utd, Everton and Liverpool. I’m even relishing the trip to Man Utd on Saturday and I never in a million years thought I’d be saying that after the Carling up Final.