Tag Archives: liverpool

Spurs’ True Chances of Success This Season

Tottenham will be fighting on four fronts during their 2014/15 campaign with the Premier League, Europa League, League Cup and FA Cup all on the agenda for Mauricio Pochettino’s men. Daniel Levy appointed the Argentinian with a main objective of returning to the top four of the Premier League in mind. To me, that looks a very tall order as Tottenham’s last result against Liverpool clearly shows, they are still some way off the very best sides in the country. bet365 have put Spurs in at odds of 3/1 to finish in the top four this season but that does not appeal to me as a value bet at this stage. I realise that things could change once the top teams have Champions League fixtures to cope with, but it could be argued that Tottenham’s Europa League travels are going to be just as demanding.

At slightly bigger odds of 10/3, to win a major trophy is a more attractive bet as far as I’m concerned. Both the League and FA Cups, and to a lesser extent the Europa League, are within Tottenham’s capabilities given a bit of luck with draws and such like. I would imagine that Pochettino will be taking the Europa League extremely seriously, with the winners now receiving a spot in the following season’s Champions League. While there are a number of matches involved, it’s a very winnable competition for a team such as Tottenham. On paper at least, there are probably only a couple of sides taking part who have a squad to match Tottenham’s and as long as none of the real big guns drop out of the Champions league at an early stage, Spurs should have a solid chance of making the latter stages. Tottenham can also be backed at 16/1 to lift the trophy which isn’t the worst bet in the world.

I believe the realistic target for Tottenham Hotspur in the premier League this season is a top six finish, and the bookies clearly agree. bet365 make us odds on at 2/5 to end the campaign within the first six places in the league and given a bit of improvement throughout the season under Pochettino, that’s achievable. Finally, the top goalscorer market would appear to be very competitive with Costa, Falcao and Aguero just a few of the likely candidates for that honour. Tottenham’s best hope would appear to be Sheyi Emmanuel Adebayor who can be backed at 33/1. However, Adebayor will likely be representing Togo at the African Cup of Nations which means he will miss a number of league games. I think he could have a small each way chance even with his international commitments, but nothing more.

Here is a round-up of the various Tottenham Specials available at bet365

To Win a Major Trophy – 10/3

To Finish in Top 4 – 3/1

To Finish in Top 6 – 2/5

Adebayor Premier League Top Scorer – 33/1

To Win Europa League – 16/1

Click here to visit bet365 and get a deposit bonus of £200!

Still a Long Way to go

Although Tottenham bossed possession during Sunday’s 3-0 defeat at the hands of Liverpool, the home side never really looked like they were going to get anything from the match. One shot on target against Liverpool’s eight tells the story and a goal from Raheem Sterling after eight minutes quickly killed the feel good factor generated from the win over QPR just seven days previous. Two goals better than last year you might say but results such as this are still a reminder that Spurs are very likely to be fighting for 6th place in the Premier league and nothing more. Had Mario Balotelli been more clinical in front of goal, this result could have turned embarrassing, and Mauricio Pochettino now has two weeks to reenergise his troops for a tricky trip to Sunderland.

With Liverpool having come to White Hart Lane off the back of a disappointing result at Manchester City, I expected Brendan Rodgers to set them up not to lose and give this new Tottenham side plenty of respect. How wrong I was. Liverpool were very positive from the outset and gained reward with the early goal which meant that Tottenham had to chase the game, and were constantly vulnerable to their opponents rapid counter attacks. Spurs’ first four results under Pochettino were positive however and at least the new manager can draw on this when working with the players over the next couple of weeks between their international commitments.

The slightly depressing realisation for me following Sunday’s result was that Spurs are basically going to finish no better than sixth in the Premier League for the foreseeable future. Manchester United have spent a serious amount of money in the transfer window, and it’s very difficult to see them not forcing their way back into the top four this season with such an array of talent at Luis van Gaal’s disposal. Chelsea and Manchester City are shoe-ins and the Liverpool result illustrates that we are still a long way behind them also. Does this mean we are in a fight with Arsenal and Everton for 5th? I hate to say it but the Gunners squad looks good enough to secure 5th spot at worst. Realistically, 6th or even 7th is the likely finishing spot for Tottenham this season and it is going to be very difficult for us to improve on that anytime soon without massive investment, no matter who is manager. It is a long shot, but Spurs’ best chance of playing Champions League football again may well come via the Europa League, as winning that competition looks less challenging than breaking back into the Premier League’s elite.

Ferry Cross the Mersey

Spurs face Liverpool tonight in what has the potential to be a thrilling encounter at White Hart Lane. Spurs are coming off the back of a very impressive performance when beating West Ham on Sunday and should be full of confidence coming into this encounter. Liverpool should also come into the match in positive mood as they are now on a run of eight games unbeaten following a very slow start to the season.

Andre Villas Boas has been under a tremendous amount of pressure since his arrival at Tottenham and three league defeats on the trot certainly didn’t do anything to alleviate that. The results against Arsenal and Man City were unfortunate but excusable, it was the defeat at the hands of Wigan on home soil that really hurt the home fans. Spurs haven’t quite hit the heights at the Lane thus far during this campaign but did look to be approaching somewhere near their best with Sunday’s victory over the Hammers.

Brendan Rodgers is in a similar position to Villas Boas in that they are both at clubs with huge expectations and are both going to struggle to deliver the Champions League football that their fans crave so desperately. Things did look pretty dire for Liverpool at the beginning of the season with no wins in their first five league games but things have steadily improved under the former Swansea coach. They are undefeated since losing to Manchester United at the back end of September and it’s going to take a good Tottenham performance for that to change.

Tottenham are still without Scott Parker, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Younes Kaboul due to their long term injuries, while Emmanuel Adebayor continues his suspension. The good news for the home side is that Sandro has been passed as fit to play after being stretchered off against West Ham. He’s a crucial part of the Spurs midfield and could be the difference maker at White Hart Lane this evening. Liverpool have no serious injury concerns.

This is an important game for Andre Villas-Boas’ men. They face trips to Fulham and Everton in their next two games so three points here are much needed. If Spurs can reproduce the form they showed in their most recent win, I think it should go the way of the home side, and a 1-0 score line would not surprise me. Check out CarbonSports Sportsbook before betting on tonight’s big match.

Will Joe Cole tip the balance?

Joe ColeA few days ago, I wrote an article discussing the online betting for next season’s Premier League title. I found it puzzling that Liverpool were a significantly shorter price than Tottenham going on last season’s form, coupled with the uncertainty surrounding the future of their star players. Gerrard was to be joining Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid and Torres was also allegedly keen to move, that is if anyone is brave enough to risk millions of pounds on a player that looks to have serious issues if his World Cup performances are anything to go by.

I genuinely thought Joe Cole would end up at Tottenham this summer. If the internet and newspapers are to believed, Spurs offer of wages was the lowest of his suitors, and significantly lower than those Liverpool where willing to pay. The way I see it, Liverpool were willing to pay over the odds for a player like Joe Cole as a statement of intent. They are not in the Champions League currently, have appointed a very talented but arguably low profile manager and looked like a club in serious regression last season. Cole’s signing not only shows they are still able to attract players of world class

All this being said, I don’t think it’s the end of the world that Spurs missed out on Cole. We already have a wealth of talent in midfield and paying 100k a week or more for a player in his late 20s who has a very poor injury record probably wasn’t the right move for us in hindsight. I think he was a lot more important for Liverpool than he was for Tottenham.

Do I think Cole’s move to Liverpool will propel them to mount a challenge for the Premier League title this coming season? Not a chance. Do I think he will tip the balance in their favour over Spurs where the battle for a top 4 spot is concerned? I doubt it, but I fully expect them to be better than last season. The only problem for them is, Spurs will be too!

Have the bookies made an error?

LedleyI 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…

I hope Wigan bounce back

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!

Wigan could be a corker

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.

Slippery Stoke

As I do with most home games against any teams outside the top few teams in the Premier League, I’d expect victory for Spurs against Stoke. Tony Pulis has done wonders firstly to get his club into the league and secondly, turning them into a formidable top flight side.

While Stoke are renowned for their home form, they have also been a lot more solid on the road this season than they were last. Other than the 4-0 drubbing at Liverpool in their first away outing of the season, Stoke have managed to three draws and a win from their four away fixtures since.

It seems like Pulis has decided to take a negative approach to away games and who can blame him? With the winning habit they have at home, just a few points on the road will ensure Stoke’s Premier League survival sooner rather than later.

The problem with taking this approach at the Lane is Spurs ability to score freely. We always come out the blocks with all guns blazing at home and an early goal completely ruins a lock down game plan for the opposition. The longer the game goes without a Tottenham goal, the better for Stoke. They are always dangerous of nicking something from set pieces and we will need to be solid defensively.

This is a key game for Spurs prior to the Arsenal next weekend and for me it’s the sort of game that suits us. I’d fancy a 3-0 or 3-1 score line that can keep us up with the pace at the top of the table and ensure that confidence is high before going to the Emirates.

What can we realistically achieve this season?

After seven games, things all look very rosy. I certainly would have taken 15pts and 4th place in the table at this stage if you had asked me at the start of the season. We can’t stop scoring and our only defeats have been to arguably the best two sides in the country. We are certainly improving and very much going the right way under Harry but for me there are still five teams in the league that are better than us and I don’t see what we can do about that.

It isn’t a term I like to use because it annoys me when pundits keeping banging on about it, but the fact is I don’t think we can break into the top four this season or any season in the foreseeable future for that matter. It’s probably too early to be making judgements like that especially when we are playing so well but if you look at the teams that are likely to fill the places this season, they just have too much about them.

Man City are nowhere near the finished article, but are already playing as well as anyone in the Premiership. They are only going to get better and I’ll be shocked if they don’t break into the top five this season, third or forth place would not surprise me either. Obviously, Man Utd and Chelsea aren’t going to finish outside the first three positions so our only chance is to displace two of Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City.

While Spurs don’t have the distraction of European football and can concentration on the Premier League, we will still fall just short. The defeats against Chelsea and Man Utd have shown our players don’t quite yet have the mental toughness I thought they did. To concede three goals in both games is a sign of a slight lack of belief rather than ability. I know we have been brushing lesser teams aside with ease but I worry we won’t pick up enough points against teams like Everton, Villa and even Sunderland.

Sixth spot and a cup semi final would be a good season as far as I’m concerned and that is more or less what I think we will end up with. Whether Harry can unearth enough in the transfer market to improve Tottenham past these achievements in future seasons is unlikely. Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea are untouchable and while I’d like to think Arsenal and Liverpool are on the downgrade, form so far this season suggests they aren’t.

Disappointed but not despondent

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.