Tag Archives: old trafford

Tottenham v Aston Villa Preview

Tottenham go into this home encounter against Aston Villa off the back of a slightly disappointing result in Greece against Panathinaikos. Their second Europa League game of the season ended all square at 1-1, but Spurs had taken the lead thanks to a headed goal from the returning Michael Dawson. The Premiership odds for the Villa clash sees Tottenham installed as the red hot 4/9 favourites with Paddy Power. The Irish bookmaker have Aston Villa at the 13/2 mark, while the draw is 10/3.

Striker Emmanuel Adebayor could well make his return to the Tottenham side after recovering from injury. Andre Villas Boas was rumoured to prefer other attacking options but it looks as though injury has curtailed Adebayor’s chances under the new manager thus far.

Aston Villa did manage to beat reining Premier League champions Manchester City in the Capital One Cup recently, but they were unable to see off West Brom at home in the league last time. They have a return of five points from their six games played and their away form in the league doesn’t particularly inspire confidence, the 4-1 defeat at Southampton a case in point.

While it will be difficult following the euphoria of victory at Old Trafford, I fancy Spurs to take all three points. However, it definitely won’t be a walkover against Paul Lambert’s well organised side who seem to be improving under his management. A 2-1 scoreline would be the most likely outcome for me, see the Spurs betting page for full odds on this game.

Teams:

Tottenham (from): Lloris, Friedel, Gomes, Cudicini, Smith, Gallas, Dawson, Walker, Vertonghen, Caulker, Falque, Huddlestone, Mason, Bale, Lennon, Sandro, Dembele, Dempsey, Sigurdsson, Carroll, Townsend, Defoe, Adebayor, Obika.

Aston Villa (from): Guzan, Given, Lowton, Bennett, Lichaj, Clark, Vlaar, Baker, Herd, El Ahmadi, Westwood, Bannan, Delph, Holman, N’Zogbia, Bent, Agbonlahor, Benteke, Bowery, Weimann, Burke, Johnson, Williams.

What a day to be a Spurs fan

After our disappointing FA Cup Semi Final exit at the hands of Portsmouth, I don’t think anyone could have predicted that Tottenham would bounce back in such dramatic fashion. With our run of fixtures, I honestly thought a top 4 finish was very unlikely, but after two incredible victories, Spurs are now favourites to take the last Champions League spot.

Being the pessimist that I am, I’m still expecting something to go wrong somewhere! Obviously the big one looks to be on May 5th at the City of Manchester Stadium but I think Bolton at home in two Saturday’s time could be key. The best I can see us getting at Old Trafford this weekend is a draw, and even that is unlikely. Man City go to Arsenal for Saturday’s late kick off in a match where we need a favour from the Gunners. I know a number of their supporters would rather lose than help Spurs out, but Wenger will be seething after losing to both Tottenham and especially Wigan, and will expect a serious reaction from his players.

All credit to Harry Redknapp. While opposition supporters continue to knock our gaffer, their can be no denying his ability as a manager. We are now just a point away from our best ever Premier League total and it is no small coincidence that Redknapp achieved the same feat with both West Ham and Portsmouth. Maybe he owed Pompey one and maybe we were never destined to reach this year’s FA Cup Final. However, maybe we are destined to upset the Liverpool’s and Man City’s of the world instead.

If we are going to finally achieve reach the Holy Grail of Europe’s elite competition, I don’t think we will ever get a better opportunity than we have now. Man City are likely to be even better next season, improve year on year and keep spending year on year until they find success. I also can’t see Liverpool’s decline continuing beyond next season. This is our chance, the majority of our squad are ready for the next step and they way they have performed this week tell me they could cope with the top teams from around the globe.

The way we knocked the ball around and completely dominated Chelsea was a pleasure to watch. If we can take that new found confidence into the game against Manchester Utd, who knows what might happen.

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.

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.

Typical Spurs or typical Utd cheating?

I really thought the game was over at 2-0 yesterday but fom history I should have known differently. Fair enough, Utd looked out of sorts first half but Spurs played exactly the way I was hoping for at Old Trafford. They weren’t scared to attack Utd which I believe is the best way to play them. Too many team go there, sit back and get beat one or two nil.

A lot of people will be saying typical Spurs, not good enough for the top 4, can’t beat Utd etc, as well as having flashbacks to when we were 3-0 up at half time against Man Utd. Personally, I can’t really knock the players. They did have a nightmare 15 minutes but he game was basically handed to Utd on plate by referee Howard Webb. Had it not been for the awful penalty decision, Tottenham would not have lost that game.

Utd’s goal that barely crossed the line was about a foot less over the line than Pedro Mendes effort a few years back, but was given without hesitation. Where is the justice in that? Surely there has to be some consistency at OT when ruling goals out? Silly me, it’s only the away sides that have to put up with that bullshit.

The morale of the story is this. You don’t just have to beat Manchester United at Old Trafford, you have to beat Manchester United and the officials.

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!