Tag Archives: premiership

Things feel a bit stale

For a couple of months now, it seems thing have gone a bit, for want of a better word, stale. Blackpool and Fulham aside, results have still been good overall but we just seem to lack both killer instinct in front of goal as well as a bit of spark. I can’t quite put my finger on it because everyone is playing well still and we are creating chances but something is lacking.

Van Der Vaart has certainly gone off the boil in recent weeks and he was the one giving us that energy boost and that bit of world class magic. He still doesn’t look fully fit to me and that’s likely why he’s hauled off quite so often. I can’t knock Modric and his play in midfield has been exceptional but his goal return this season is poor. That’s not to say he’s doing anything wrong, if the strikers were hitting the back of the net it wouldn’t be a problem.

I’ve been saying this for a long while, even before the season got underway and I still think we need a world class out and out goal scorer. The problem is, there aren’t many of them around. I’m not sure whether it’s because the way the game is played has changed slightly in the last five or ten years or just the quality of strikers has dropped, but you don’t seem to get your twenty five, thirty goal a season men like you used to. I think Defoe isn’t far off world class on his day and is a top Premiership striker but his inconsistency is becoming an issue. Although Pavlyuchenko is a bit of an enigma, I’d be tempted to give him a little run in the side. Not that I think he’s on Defoe’s level, but just to offer us something different and freshen it up a bit.

It could be that I’m taking too much of a short term view and things will suddenly spark into life again in the next few weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticising anyone and this season has already proved way beyond anything I could imagine, it’s just a little frustrating dropping points that we are more than capable of picking up. This is especially when a top four finish is so crucial to the continued progress and development of Tottenham, and it seems as though the 4th spot is very much there for the taking.

Maybe the Champions League furore has taken the edge off our league form slightly but if that is the case, what the players need to realise is that they won’t be playing in it next season unless they start picking up some points. Even Liverpool aren’t out of the Top 4 battle after their recent good form. I feel like Wigan is a must win game for us now, the problem is I’m not sure it’s a game we will win with a trip to Madrid on everyone’s mind just a few days later…

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…

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.

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.

Tottenham second biggest spenders in Premiership

Guest Writer
This post is written by guest blogger Kampanart Wong from Footy Shirts 4 U. We are always happy to have guest contributions, if you are passionate about Spurs and have something to talk about, drop us a line using our contact form.

Spurs have went through a complete rebuilding process of the team, and have spent £150 million in transfers over the last 16 months meaning that they have out spent the whole of the Premiership, including the top 4, apart from big spending Manchester City.

Even with this huge financial outlay Spurs were still able to announce a pre-tax profit for the year ending in June 2009, largely due to the sale of Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov.

It is clear that this is a huge amount of money but Spurs have signed a lot of players for the money and strengthened key positions for the team including the strike force with Crouch and Defoe being two of the top strikers in the Premiership just now. Robbie Keane was also resigned for the club and although we have yet to see him at his best he is still a top player and one of the key players in a Spurs football shirt.

Spurs at the moment are reaping the rewards of their financial expenditure as they are currently sitting 4th in the Premiership and in line to get a Champions League spot but there is along way to go in the season yet.

After the announcement of pre-tax profits Daniel Levy not only showed his delight at the quality of players that Spurs have at the club but also on the future plans for the team.

“We have made significant progress in delivering on our long-term vision for the club.

“We have always had three key priorities and you will have heard them oft repeated – investment in the first team, a new training centre and an increased capacity, state-of-the-art new stadium.

“We have assembled what we believe to be one of the most talented squads we have had during our time in the Premier League, the ground is being turned and pitches laid for the new training centre at Bulls Cross in Enfield and we have submitted a planning application for a stunning new stadium on a site next to our existing stadium.”

Everything is looking bright at the moment and if we can maintain the form we have shown in the early part of the season then we will have Champions League football to look forward to next season.

Written by Kampanart Wong, a sports editor who blogs about cheap football jerseys

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.

You can Duff off

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.

Tottenham’s Top Transfer Targets

Peter Crouch – Crouchy looks the most likely of the current crop of players being linked with Spurs. Harry’s a big fan having signed him for decent money while at Pompey and he seemed to enjoy playing with Defoe during his time there. If Robbie Keane is on the way out then Crouch would be perfect to come in and play alongside Jermain. For all that people like to knock the world’s tallest man, he is a proven Premiership goal scorer and would be worth shelling out for.

Klaas Jan Huntelaar – Spurs were strongly linked with Huntelaar prior to his move to Madrid but how true these stories were I’m not so sure. The fact things haven’t really worked out for him at Real make him a more realistic target now and with his current side splashing the cash like there is no tomorrow, he may be willing to take a step down to guarantee first team football. He won’t be cheap and neither will his wages but I’d prefer we took a punt on a player of his calibre rather than another average English player that will cost just as much such as Bent or Bentley. I don’t include Crouch in this because he has a much better track record.

Ashley Young – I was initially very surprised when we were linked with Ashley Young. I thought Villa were more than ok financially and after having to sell Gareth Barry I would have thought they would have been desperate to hold on to the rest of their star players. Martin O’Neill is supposedly interested in both David Bentley and Tom Huddlestone and either of both of those players could go in the other direction. I wouldn’t lose any sleep over the pair of them leaving to be honest. My main concern with Young would be his fee. The fact he’s under 25 and English means he’ll probably valued at close to £20m but if we can get away with £8m and Bentley it wouldn’t be a disaster.

17 from Pompey for Harry to plunder

Portsmouth have 17 players out of contract in the summer and I’m sure Harry must be monitoring at least a couple of them.

Here are the biggest names that look to be on their way out, most of them are past their best or just plain useless but we know Harry loves to take a punt on a bargain.

Nwankwo Kanu – The guy’s got a hole in his heart, is injury prone and probably demands a much higher wage than his ability deserves. Sounds perfect for Spurs then.

Sol Campbell – I can’t see Harry ever going down the old, fat, Judas road but I couldn’t see him going from Pompey to the Saints and back to Pompey again either.

Sean Davis – Couldn’t cut it at Spurs the first time around even though he was being hailed as one of the best midfielders in the country by certain people at Tottenham. Would be an unfortunate surprise to see him back.

Hermann Hreidarsson – The Hermanator would be the most likely one for me. He’s a solid if unspectacular centre half and has grafted his way from average Championship player to an established Premiership star.

Linvoy Primus – One word, banter.

Noe Pamarot – He was awful for us but being a big French unit, he suited Harry down to the ground. Another player that I just can’t imagine back in the white shirt.

Let’s just hope Redknapp has left his wheeler dealer days behind him and the only players he’s considering at Portsmouth are Peter Crouch and Niko Kranjcar. Ok, I wouldn’t mind Linvoy on the bench for a laugh.

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.