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!
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.
It’s a shame but it’s not the end of the world. We were beaten by a better side on the day. While I would have hoped we could cope with Utd at the Lane the fact is we couldn’t on Saturday. It doesn’t mean we can’t.
It’s easy for me to make comment after the game and I’m not criticising Harry’s tactics but I was a little puzzled by his decision to shuffle the side and start Keane out of position rather than bring Kranjcar in as a like for like swap for Modric. I just felt we weren’t as balanced as we might have been but I doubt it would have changed the result in any case.
Man Utd seemed to thrive with ten men. I know some people dislike Rooney but you cannot argue with his ability and determination. Having a player of that quality in your side is priceless. Not only is he world class, he doesn’t stop working for 90 minutes. Utd had four maybe five world class players on that pitch, Tottenham probably had one and he can’t train. Lennon and Palacios have the potential to be world class but aren’t yet. Keane, Crouch and even Defoe arguably fall just slightly short.
The positive thing about the game was that we weren’t totally played off the park. We had plenty of chances and on another day, the result might have been different. Utd played at their best and we weren’t that far behind. We are still moving in the right direction. If you’d have told me at the start of the season after five games Spurs would have won them all except for a loss to Utd, I would certainly have taken that. We still have more points than Liverpool and Arsenal and sit in the top four.
I try not to get too carried away any time Spurs put a decent run of results together but it’s hard not to get excited. Equally, it’s hard not to get a bit down after a home defeat even when it is to a side of Manchester United’s brilliance. It’s important to take a long term view. We have had a great start to the season and this is just a set back. There is no reason we can’t go to Chelsea and get something out the game. The likely scenario is we will hold them until the 93rd minute and they will get a late winner but there is always a chance we can do the same.
With a number of players not returning to training until Friday, it means we only have one day to prepare for Saturday’s crunch clash with Manchester United. Harry Redknapp isn’t happy about this situation;
“I have no idea in my head of what team I will be able to play against United because of these internationals and because many of them won’t be back at the club until next Friday. They are returning from all over the world.”
Obviously, Utd are in the same boat but their squad is arguably better equipped to deal with any injuries or fatigue that the players pick up during the International break. With Modric already out, we can’t afford to have any more players get injured or not be at their peak for that matter against a Utd side sure to be buoyed by victory over Arsenal.
Redknapp is suggesting teams shouldn’t play until the following Saturday when players return from International duty to give them a week to recover. I can understand his point but I very much doubt the powers that be would consider his proposal and I also can’t see any way it would be possible, especially in a World Cup year. They struggle to fit all the fixtures in now as things stand now.
As much as I miss the Premiership action during the summer break, I don’t think the players get enough time off. If there were two weeks between League games after each International get-together, it would have to impact negatively on the length of time off for both players and coaching staff in the summer.
With Keane and Defoe being in the thick of things both on and off the pitch for their respective countries this week, they are likely to be slightly drained both physically and mentally. On a positive note however, their confidence will be high after both scoring at the weekend. If they can carry this into Saturday’s game, hopefully adrenaline can do the rest.
As our currently absent Miss Spur alluded to some time ago, Niko Kranjcar finally completed his move to Spurs yesterday. It’s a Croatian to replace a Croatian by the looks of things after Luka Modric picked up a significant injury at the weekend.
After being linked with a number of targets on deadline day, some good and some worryingly bad, we ended up with just the one signing and probably the best of the bunch at that.
Apart from landing a very good player, the price which Spurs apparently paid makes the transfer one the best pieces of business in this window. Just under £3m for a player of Kranjcar’s quality is a snip, even he was coming to the end of his contract at Pompey.
Kranjcar should be able to do a great job of filling in for Modric while he’s out injured. With Modric, Corluka and now Kranjcar, I think Harry is gradually putting together a nice little Croatian Clique!
The final day of the transfer window may not have been filled with excitement as it often is for Spurs fans but for me that is a good thing. It’s a sign that we now have a level of stability at the club and are not getting sucked into our usual desperation stakes where the only answer is to pay over the odds for average players.
It seems like we have gone from being one of the worst clubs in the country where the transfer market is concerned, to one of the best. The fees we held out for on Berbatov, Keane and Bent were excellent and players like Palacios and Kranjcar looks like absolute bargains. Let’s hope this trend continues in January and that the days of paying £15m and upwards for players like David Bentley and Darren Bent are well and truly behind us.
The Tottenham team has pretty much been picking itself in the league since the opening game of season, but after some good performances from the fringe players at Doncaster on Wednesday, do any of them deserve to start at the Lane against Birmingham tomorrow?
It’s a hard one for Harry Redknapp because on paper, Birmingham at home should be an easy 3 points. Obviously nothing should be taken for granted but it must be tempting for him to give Crouch, Pavlyuchenko or Bentley a game. Is it worth tinkering with a winning league side though? Other than having to shuffle the defence when Ledley needed a rest against Hull, it has been the same set of players in all three league victories.
Personally, I’d struggle to know what to do if I were in the manager’s shoes. The only real obvious one would be starting Crouch in place of Keane but even that’s a difficult move with Keane having started the season very confidently and being team captain. Bentley’s been in the dock today so I’m not sure it’s the right time for him to be starting and Pavlychenko has just enlightened us on his desire to leave.
The fact we don’t have another game for two weeks when Man Utd visit the Lane means Harry doesn’t need to rest anyone but he may choose to give those who are likely to feature for their country next weekend a breather.
Not exactly sticking my neck out but whatever the eleven Redknapp decides on, I’m confident of all three points tomorrow. Let’s hope Steven Carr doesn’t come back to haunt us!
I’ve heard some sick jokes in my time where Tottenham’s transfer targets are concerned but Damien Duff would certainly make the top ten. I’m sure this must be some kind of wind up, I’d rather pull Andy Sinton back out of retirement than sign this leprechaun.
Go back four years or so and yes, I would have been very happy to see him in a Spurs shirt but at 30 years of age with his injury record and lack of decent form for as long as I can remember, no thank you very much. I can’t see that he’s still up to the Premiership, let alone a side supposed to be pushing the top 4 or 5 teams all the way to the line next season.
In what can possibly be considered even worse news, Obafemi Martins’ name is also being banded about. I have a more than a strong dislike for his attitude as it is and that is with him at a rival club, I’d seriously think about defecting to Welling Utd if he turns up at the Lane. I’ve only just recovered from the Djibril Cisse stories, now there is this to contend with!
Obviously the majority of these rumours turn out to be the brainchild of a bored Mirror journalist or a 13 year old kid sitting at home on the internet pretending to be in the know but reading these names still does my ticker no good whatsoever.
Wednesday see the opening of the transfer window and I’d imagine Spurs will be doing some early business with players going both in and out. Let’s hope it’s the likes of Bentley, Chimbonda, Huntelaar and Robben involved rather than Keane, Lennon, Duff and Martins.