Comment on West Brom 1 Spurs 3 on Spurs Community

27 11 2011

http://www.spurscommunity.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=80986&page=5

Before the game I was so excited because I saw this match as a real litmus test of how much better we are this season than in the last few. We hadn’t beaten West Brom in our last four attempts and it was always going to be a tough game and I could see myself trying to be content with a point if that was all we came away with. 

When I saw Luka wasn’t playing (even though I love Sandro) it obviously became even tougher. When we let the first goal in and it was clear that Younes was blipping and the SAS combo in midfield was taking it’s time to gel I also thought back to last season and thought this might be one of those days. It actually occurred to me at one point before the equaliser when we were being bossed about a little a bit and the crowd was massively in the game that perhaps we were on our way to our third defeat of the season and it may even be another heavy one. 

But what happened. This season’s Spurs started to play. We had some possession, slowed their momentum and eeked out some chances. We had some luck. Not the penalty decision, but the result of the miss. It was an awful penalty, but it didn’t matter. And suddenly it was clear that the most likely result was a come from behind ninth victory in ten and a virtual second place in the table. 

As David has said, SAS and Harry worked out a more effective way for them to play together (was it just my love for Sandro that made me think he was very harshly booked?). Lennon really got into the game and needled away at West Brom’s confidence on the back of winning the pen. And Jermain and Ade started to feel their way into a partnership, playing each other into space with some sublime touches.

While it wasn’t a foregone conclusion by any means, we had the experience of Fulham and Blackburn to give us the confidence to keep plugging away until the second goal came. 

And how Jermain took his chance. He is a different player to last season, it’s plain for all to see. Last year he was begging for a run in the team to help him restore his confidence after injury. This year shows it’s not so much about playing as who you play with. Ade makes both VDV and JD look better players. He’s not perfect by a long chalk (I doubt he’d make Peter Crouch look a better player and some of his shooting yesterday was Crouch-esque in its flimsiness) but he’s created a vast improvement in our striking department which is clearly seen in the amount of goals we’re scoring. 

We were building ourselves up before the game and we lived up to the billing during the game. Last year we’d have lost this game and perhaps some bad luck would have played it’s part. This year luck seems to be going our way. But you make your own luck and the winning mentality of Ade and Scotty as much as their footballing skills combined with Harry’s continued magic weaving and Levy’s incredible masterplan are what makes this team look like the first Tottenham team I can remember EVER watching (i.e. since 1978) that actually has that winning mentality. A great example of this is the football we now play when in the lead. We play a possession football up there with the best of them. We’re taking the ball down the channels and providing options behind to sweep it out to the other flank and repeat the process ad nauseum if we want to. There’s nothing better for the confidence (and Harry’s ticker) than to be able to play that kind of football when you’re winning. It’s been a weakness for a few years now and it’s something Harry has obviously worked on in training. 

Long may the winning mentality and the winning streak continue. I believe we can challenge at least one of the Manchester’s (the other may need some Tevez-inspired imploding in order to help us) and it’s blatantly obvious from the way the team is playing the game that so do the players, the manager and the chairman. I love them all.

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Comment on Fulham 1 Tottenham 3 on Spurs Community

6 11 2011

Fulham 1 Tottenham 3

What an excellent win. This season really is shaping up promisingly. 

I’m not convinced Fulham did play better than us. They played better than us in midfield, no doubt about it. And the majority of the game was played in midfield so it looked like they played better than us. They also had more possession than us, also giving the impression they played better than us. But going back to David’s halftime scoreline, they had more quantity than us, but we had the quality. 

We defended well almost throughout the game (Ledley’s header into the back of Younes for their goal apart) – physical, athletic, reading the game well, clearing our lines effectively and a goalkeeper on the top of his game (except for his fumble before Luka’s goaline clearance). Fulham didn’t. 

We attacked very effectively, almost all our chances were on target and we scored from about half of them. Clincal as you like. Fulham weren’t, misssing a host of chances. 

We clearly won two phases out of three of the game – we played better than them and deserved to win. 

And it’s wins like this one and the last one that really show an improvement on last season. An improvement at the back, mostly due to Ledley’s imperial and much more consistent presence. And an improvement up front, mostly due to Ade’s physicality and Defoe’s renewed sharpness (VDV continues to be VDV). And these improvements help us to improve mentally as well. Today we knew we would hang on because we’d done it before and recently. And hanging on today will bring a further growth in confidence for the games ahead. 

Well played everyone today, in one way or another. Keep the run going boys, entertaining times ahead.






Comment on Blackburn 1 Tottenham 2 on Spurs Community

23 10 2011

http://www.spurscommunity.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=80065&page=5

A real difference between the result and the performance today and when looking at the table the result is more important, but let’s hope we can continue to grow as a team by learning from the performance. 

We scored two good goals, let in a sloppy one and gave the ball away carelessly far too often to deserve to win the game. Almost everyone was culpable on numerous occasions. Let’s hope Harry can work out the reason why soon so that we can get more fluid and hold onto the ball much better. Was it a lack of running into space to offer an option? Lack of concentration? Brilliant Blackburn pressing? Just one of those days? A combination of all the above?

What was most noticeable for me was the lack of options for the man with the ball coupled with a lack of time on the ball due to Blackburn’s pressing. As the game wore on we seemed to lose confidence in our passing game and just clear our lines as quickly as we could. We were second to everything coming out of our penalty area and this invited Blackburn to put it straight back in there. 

But credit goes to everyone for hanging on in there and coming away with an excellent three points. Things were looking very similar to last week and we could easily have given away an equaliser (although Blackburn simply didn’t have as much composure as Newcastle in the final third). 

Overall, four points from these last two away games is an excellent return and other results (so far) today are looking good for our challenge for fourth turning into a challenge for third or even second. With Sandro back to full strength we will definitely improve our ball retention and hopefully make for less nerve-wracking finishes and hopefully the centre of defence and centre forwards will grow in confidence as the goals and points keep coming. Good times.





Comment on Newcastle 2 Tottenham 2 on Spurs Community

16 10 2011

http://www.spurscommunity.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?p=2520682#post2520682

Game of two halves entertainment wise. A game we should have won but looked more likely to lose once they equalised. Unfortunately, going back to my original post on the team selection, we’d have one this game comfortably with Sandro in midfield rather than Jake, who was out of his depth today. 

Think this game shows we’re better than last year’s team and are right in the fight for fourth, or maybe even third, but a team with pretensions to challenge for the championship would have taken this game. 

What do we lack? We need even more of a cutting edge (I suggest Defoe should be starting ahead of VDV), a stronger midfield (Sandro) and better defending as a team (Livermore and then BAE were at fault for the goals) and when we have our first team out we’ll have all of these. Let’s get some people fit, although worrying that Walker, Bale and Modric all got knocked about today.






Comment on Tottenham 4 Liverpool 0 on Spurs Community

18 09 2011

http://www.spurscommunity.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?p=2493657&posted=1#post2493657

This is a key point and I hope Harry has taken note. Mucking about with 451 to accommodate VDV really didn’t help us at all last season, not withstanding our other problems (lack of firepower up front, inconsistent defending and dodgy team-picking among them). 

There is no reason to play anything other than 442, be it home or away, top, mid, or bottom of the table opposition, until such a time as we simply don’t have the players to do so due to injury or we’ve lost about four in a row. We are a much better team when we play this way and we are best playing our game and letting the opposition worry about us. 

Both Parker and Ade have started brilliantly – long may it continue. If Ledley can continue to play each weekend we have a fabulous spine to our team, something which was glaringly missing all last season. 

Come on you Spurs!





Tottenham 1 – Man City 5 – post match comment

28 08 2011

http://www.spurscommunity.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=78062&page=12

It’s all very well to say our season starts against Wolves, but that’s the third game of the season. We’re a point behind last season and on a run of 3 wins in 14 games. We’ve just lost 5 -1 at home, when if we hadn’t lost I have a feeling we would have gone a year without losing at home? 

Things don’t look good. The season has started and it’s started badly. A 1/2-0 defeat at Old Trafford and a draw here would have been a much more positive start – especially if we had shown some progress from the end of last season. 

As things stand we are sliding. Luckily this is football and things can change very quickly. If we sign a couple of players who quickly fit into the team, if Harry gets struck by lightning and it gives him to power to select our best team to play that week’s opposition, even if we sign no one else and manage to scrape a lucky 1-0 win with an own goal against Wolves it could still signal the start of a run away from the foot of the table. 

The thing that really worries me is the atmosphere that seems to be surrounding the club. Be it Modric, be it Harry’s famed man-management skills coming full circle and now annoying the players, be it the differences of opinion between manager and chairman, and particularly be it bad training (which rings so true just looking at the line-up of our background staff (Joe Jordan excepted)) – this is the aspect of the start to the season which really concerns me. 

What can change it? The close of the transfer window, with a signing or two if we’re lucky? Let’s hope so. A change of manager – it may well take this. How long will Levy wait?

A moment to change a season…

in the move which ends up with Bale scuffing over at the far post when he really should have got it on target, Crouch nods the ball on to him at the far post. Unfortunately, although it found Bale, Crouch’s flick took the ball away from an in-rushing Modric, who would have had a clear header from about 5 yards out.

How would the match have continued and how would the world be looking now if Modric had been able to bury that header…

Which is why we all love football, isnt’ it, even if we’re not in love with it today.





Comment on Atletico Bilbao match thread on SC

7 08 2011

http://www.spurscommunity.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?p=2416216#post2416216

Two things I love about this thread:

1) David’s brilliant summary of the match for those of us that weren’t there and his patience and insight in follow up posts, keeping the thread as a whole together and relevant and helpful to those of us who live too far away from WHL…

and

2) the emergence of more support for my theory that buying VDV actually cost us fourth place last season. I know, I know, it was only a friendly and all that, but it seems patently clear to me that, while they all have their limitations, PC, JD and Super Pav are all much better players playing with each other in a combination of 442 than they are playing 451 with VDV. Like the rest of you, I hope we can find a way to buy the improvement striker we all crave, but at the same time I hold out hope that if we can’t bring it off, at least we can make the most of three of the strikers we’ve got by playing 442 rather than just one of them by playing 451.