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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.

Spurs striking options – who could make a difference?

Tottenham invested heavily over the summer as they tried to fill the void left by Gareth Bale, and while they have filled his place in midfield they are seriously missing his goal scoring exploits.
Although new signing Roberto Soldado has been more than promising, the side do at times look short of a striker.We’ve taken a look at some of the strikers Spurs may look towards in the coming transfer windows, just to whet the appetite of any football transfer betting fans out there

Javier Hernandez
The diminutive striker is Tottenham’s main target and many believe the Mexican would be open to a move to London. With Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie ahead of him in the Manchester United pecking order it is rumoured that he wants to leave. He wants to be firing on all cylinders for the 2014 World Cup and although United boss David Moyes doesn’t want to sell the striker, he may be able to force through a £15million move.

Christian Benteke
There has been a lot of talk that Spurs may try and sign Benteke in January. There can be no doubting Benteke’s quality; last season his goals alone kept Aston Villa up. Paddy Power price Benteke at 25/1 to be the league’s top scorer but if he were to move to Tottenham expect those odds to tumble. Signing Benteke midway through the season would not be easy as Villa are financially sound and not willing to sell a star player. If Villas-Boas turns towards Benteke then he will need to shell out well over £25million. A move for Benteke is doubtful at best.

Stephen El Shaarawy
The 20-year-old has fallen out of favour at AC Milan and would fit the Tottenham mantra perfectly. El Shaarawy impressed last season but has seen his game time marginalized since the arrival of Mario Balotelli and is rumoured to want out. With a credible goal scoring record and plenty of years left in him, Tottenham would be very interested in bringing him to North London. If they can stump up the required £25million then Shaarawy could well be heading to the Lane.

Can Spurs Become True Title Contenders On Saturday?

I saw a stat on Twitter earlier which I quickly passed on to my WhatsApp group, which is full of Gooners, Chelsea and Millwall fans. Basically, they all hate Spurs.

@BBCSport: Spurs have conceded the fewest of any team in Europe’s top five leagues so far this season.

I was quickly shot down, ‘You’ve played Cardiff and Palace and a load of teams with made up names that aren’t even proper football clubs in the Europa League.’

While that all may be true, Tottenham have started the season in impression fashion. The defeat at Arsenal, a game which arguably came too soon for this new group of players, is the only blip on Spurs record thus far this campaign. With Arsenal sitting top of the table, it doesn’t seem like such a terrible loss, albeit a painful blow for any Spurs fan to take.

So this Saturday at 12:45pm we kick off against Chelsea. This is the first time that I can remember the top online bookmakers putting Spurs in as favourites for a match against the Blues. Tottenham have a woeful overall record against Chelsea in the last couple of decades but, things have certainly improved in recent times with the home side having lost just five of the last fourteen encounters.

Although Chelsea returned to winning ways against Fulham last time, they aren’t exactly on fire. Jose Mourinho’s men have scored just six goals in their opening five matches which is their joint-lowest return at this stage during the last eighteen years. Admittedly, they are only two points off Tottenham and Arsenal at the top of the Premier League table and a win at White Hart Lane would see them reach the helm at least temporarily.

This could be one of the defining games of Tottenham’s season and Andre Villas-Boas career as a manager. No matter what he is telling the media in the run up to this game, victory over Mourinho and his former club Chelsea would mean everything to him. Spurs have had a number of false dawns before but this is for me the best squad of players we have had since the Premier League began. Whatever the result, I just hope the players go out there with no fear and play with the freedom, passion and ruthlessness they have shown in recent weeks.

Spurs exodus continues as Parker leaves

Andre Villas-Boas’ revamping of the Tottenham squad has continued after Scott Parker was allowed to join Fulham on a three-year deal.

The 32-year-old former Charlton Athletic, Newcastle United, West Ham United and Chelsea midfielder has moved to Craven Cottage for an undisclosed transfer fee.

Parker has won 18 caps for England and featured in more than 300 Premier League matches. He captained his country in a friendly international against Holland and started every group match at Euro 2012.

In his final season at West Ham he was named the Football Writers’ Association’s Footballer of the Year.

However, injuries restricted him to a bit-part player at White Hart Lane last season and he failed to make a first-team appearance until December, four months into the campaign.

Parker featured in 50 Premier League matches for the club but failed to find the net in any of them, having moved to Spurs from West Ham United two years ago for £5million.

He is expected to make his debut for Martin Jol’s side in this weekend’s game against Arsenal for which there plenty of fans will more than likely take advantage of an in-play bet offer.

Villas-Boas has allowed 12 players, including the likes of William Gallas, Steven Caulker, Clint Dempsey and Tom Huddlestone, to leave the club on a permanent basis already this summer, while Gareth Bale continues to be linked with a switch to Real Madrid.

See how to bet on football and what the odds are on Bale still being at Spurs in September online.

A further seven players have been loaned out, including James Livermore to Hull City, while Paulinho, Nacer Chadli, Roberto Soldado and Etienne Capoue have all been signed for big fees.

Parker said of his move: “I’m delighted to be joining Fulham and I’m looking forward to meeting my new team-mates at training.”

Tottenham v Southampton Preview

One of the biggest games in Tottenham’s season this Saturday as Southampton visit White Hart Lane. With the Saints now looking safe from relegation, all the pressure is one the home side to secure the three points and make the most of their game in hand over Arsenal. The Gunners could only manage a draw against Manchester United this past Sunday and although that would have been a good result in normal circumstances, neither side can afford to be dropping points at home.

Spurs go into the match with Southampton on the back of a fairly positive result after gaining a point away to Wigan. Andre Villas-Boas side should arguably have won that match when you look at the league table, but Wigan are fighting for their Premier League lives at the moment and will be very difficult to beat for the remainder of the campaign. Southampton arrive in London off the back of one of their worst defeats of their season, a 3-0 home reverse at the hands of West Brom. Spurs fans will be hoping that their opponents this weekend already have one eye on their summer holidays and that the Lillywhites can take full advantage.

Although Spurs have had their injury list eased somewhat in recent weeks, they do have a couple of fresh concerns following last weekend, with both Mousa Dembele and Younes Kaboul picking up knocks. The Tottenham manager is hopeful that both players can be involved in this Saturday’s all important clash. Danny Fox and Gaston Ramirez are both suspended for the remainder of Southampton’s games this season and will be a big miss for the South Coast club.

Bookies seem to be strongly favoring Spurs at the minute, with odds at $1.44 – (£.95) at time of writing (TAB). It’s understandable that Spurs have been been in as favourites, but I personally don’t think it will be as straightforward as the bookmakers believe. Tottenham have struggled at home at times during Villas-Boas first year in charge and they have often looked more relaxed and clinical on the road. I’m hopeful that Bale and co can run out winners and I fancy a hard fought 2-1 victory for Spurs.

Have the PFA Awards Sealed Gareth Bale’s Exit?

Gareth Bale achieved an amazing PFA double last night when landing both the Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards. He becomes only the third player to win both accolades in the same season, and the first since Christiano Ronaldo in 2007. With Spurs’ chances of playing Champions League football next season still hanging in the balance, will the Welsh wonder now be on his way out of White Hart Lane?

Not since Ronaldo at Manchester United has the Premier League seen a player with such impact and who can turn games so quickly, something I’m sure In play betting punters will have benefited from this season. I’ve lost count of the number of games that Bale has rescued for Tottenham during this campaign and to lose a player of this calibre could really hurt the progress of the club for years to come.

Real Madrid are being touted as the favourites to land Gareth Bale’s signature, with the bookies installing the Spanish giants at odds of 6/4. Madrid have endured a tough season, lying a long way behind Barcelona in the race for the title and looking likely to exit the Champions League at the semi final stage. A marquee signing the quality of Bale would go a long way to appeasing the disgruntled fans and he’d definitely be a great addition to their squad.

Daniel Levy isn’t likely to let his prize asset leave on the cheap as his previous negotiations with player sales demonstrate. Transfer fees around the £100m mark have been mentioned and any offer around that kind of figure would definitely be hard to refuse. I’m obviously still hopefully Andre Villas-Boas men can win their remaining fixtures and secure a top four finish but I still don’t believe that will guarantee that Bale will begin next season in a Tottenham shirt.

George Graham Should Stick to the Horses

Former Tottenham and Arsenal boss George Graham is apparently a huge horse racing fan and perhaps he should stick to trying to predict the finishing order of the 2013 Kentucky Derby horses rather than voicing his unwanted opinion on Spurs in the press as he has been recently. Graham believes that both Chelsea and Arsenal will finish above Tottenham this season, meaning that we will once again miss out on Champions League football by the narrowest of margins.

“Tottenham will be the ones to lose out.

“They have a difficult run-in and they have played a game more than the others.

“But I want to stress that it would be anything but a disaster for them to make it a poor season. In fact, I would say the opposite.

“He (Villas-Boas) has been assembling a squad and has done well to be in such a high position in the league and still be involved in the Europa League.

“He can build on that. And I hope he can keep Gareth Bale – for the club’s sake and the player’s sake.

“It is unfair on Bale to compare him to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. He would really benefit from another season in England.”

Although Graham isn’t completely negative about the club, he has always had a problem with Tottenham since his sacking back in March 2001. While some of what he says is true, Spurs have been improving throughout the campaign. A couple of bad results does not mean that our season is over and I’d be fairly confident that Graham was singing a different tune a few weeks ago. I truly believe it could well go down to the wire and with Spurs having Sunderland at home on the final day of the season, I’d say that would put AVB’s men in the driving seat. There is still a lot of football to be played before May 19th and many twists and turns still to come.

For more information on the Kentucky Derby visit www.kentuckyderbyonline.com

Not the Spurs of Old

I thought that was going to be the most painful result of the season thus far. To hammer the league leaders like that and come away with nothing from the game would have been extremely hard to take. While the first half was a bit more even, Spurs absolutely dominated Sir Alex Ferguson’s men in the second and although it looked as if it would be another setback for Tottenham in their bid to become one of the established big four, that turned out not to be the case.

Admittedly, Manchester United have been leaking goals this season. I doubt that their approach to games is ‘if you score three, we’ll get four’ but that seems to be the way a number of their matches are working out. This was not the case at White Hart Lane yesterday. Their game plan was undoubtedly to nullify Tottenham’s biggest threats keeping the ball and squeezing the midfield when losing possession. This worked up to a point early in the game and Robin Van Persie’s goal was textbook but those eleven players could not stop Tottenham from having the bulk of the game.

The introduction of Tom Huddlestone reminded me of the online Super Bowl XLVII betting I’d been looking at earlier in the day rather than make me think he’d be a game changer for us. For anyone interested in the upcoming NFL showpiece on 3rd February, you can get plenty of Superbowl 2013 information online. While the injury to Sandro is very disappointing, it was fantastic to see Scott Parker back in the fold and I don’t think you could ask for a much better replacement.

Two tough away fixtures await Andre Villas Boas men in the coming weeks but going on this performance, we should approach those matches in a positive frame of mind and continue the push for Champions League football next season. In seasons gone by, I’d never expect Tottenham to have enough about them to come back from 1-0 down against Utd, but I genuinely believe things are changing and the best is yet to come from this young side.

Tottenham v Chelsea FA Cup Semi Final Preview

A huge game for both clubs here as Tottenham and Chelsea battle it out at Wembley for a place in this season’s FA Cup final. Neither some comes into the match in outstanding form but Chelsea should arguably be the favourites when you consider Tottenham have only managed one victory in their last seven league games and looked woeful in the defeat at the hands of Norwich City on Monday. Will Harry Redknapp be able to pick his players up and get them playing the brand of football that was so engaging earlier in the campaign?

I was at the game on Monday and it was painful viewing. We did have opportunities and enough of the ball to have at least got a point but we just weren’t at the races. I really thought we had turned the corner after the results against Bolton, Swansea and Sunderland but this was nothing like the Tottenham that was mounting a realistic challenge for the title just a few months ago. Maybe some of the players had their minds on this upcoming semi final encounter, maybe they are jaded after a long season, or maybe this is the same old Tottenham we have know for the past couple of decades, flattering to deceive.

The one thing that may work in Tottenham’s favour is the fact Chelsea have a massive game at Stamford Bridge against Barcelona just a few days after this match. I’m not saying they will be looking past us but the thought of facing Messi and co with a Champions League final place at stake will likely be a lot more important to the majority of their squad than the FA Cup. None of them are going to want to get injured and this could well prove all important in what is likely to be a tight and nervy contest.

As far as a bet on the game goes, I’d struggle to part with my hard earned cash to back Tottenham on their current run but if I had to have a wager, it would be backing Spurs to win inside the ninety minutes.