Comment on Man City 3 Spurs 2 on Spurscommunity

22 01 2012

http://www.spurscommunity.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=82994&page=6

Funny old game football and today’s match shows us just what a brilliant game it still is, even in these money-dominated, poorly-officiated times. So many ifs and buts, so much confusion about whether to feel proud or gutted and at the end of the day the stark reality of a widening divide from the top two, but thankfully, a status quo with the trailing four. 

I thought we played pretty well as a team in the first half, but not individually in midfield or attack (which was probably the way Harry was happy for it to go). Bale was ineffective infield as an attacking force, Lennon needed to run more at Clichy after the booking, and VDV and Modric were uninspired and unincisive in the middle. But at the same time, we were keeping the league leaders comfortably at bay. The plan was probably to try and do this for as long as possible and then as their fans demanded more risks as the game wore on, break with pace and nick a winner. The plan was working up until they scored, it just wasn’t the plan I’d have followed or that Harry had promised pre-game, which was to take them on man for man and have a go at them from the first whistle. 

Once they scored however, we had to take them on to get anything from the game. Unfortunately they scrambled a second in off Lescott’s arse before we’d had a chance to get the grip between our teeth. There was bad defending in both goals, but there was also excellent football in the first and the pot luck of a dangerous set piece in the second (just a shame we never invite lady luck along to our set pieces). 

Even so, we had the spirit and courage and football and luck to take them on on an equal footing. The long ball that had been over-used in the first half was transformed by their weak link into an incisive pass in the second, well controlled and finished by Defoe, who had been anonymously battering his blonde lack of locks against a brick wall up until then. 

And a sublime finish by Bale for the second, after Modric finally woke up from his slumber or shrugged off his shackles (take your pick). If only Luka had that type of finish in him himself. I initially blamed Bale for the goal that wasn’t since he played it in ahead of Defoe, who simply wasn’t ever going to reach it early enough to turn it in, but then how can you blame someone for the instinctive millisecond decision that his teammate will arrive at such a pace? How was he to know that Defoe had taken a slight knock or was tired enough to arrive a split second slower? If he’d put it in back an inch and Defoe had arrived at his full pelt, would it have been easier for Defoe to adjust and score anyway? It was just one of those things the beautiful game gives us. 

And what was Ledders doing? Just one of those things. Should Balotelli been on the pitch? At full pace in the heat of the moment, difficult to decide he intended to stamp on him. We’re all looking at a slow motion replay and are thinking of all the things Balotelli’s done both on and off the pitch to cloud our judgement. The only thing that’s certain is that Webb wasn’t going to get all controversial on our behalf. As the Argentine summariser said ‘he has his own way of interpreting the regulations’, an eloquent way of admitting he never gives us anything. 

At the end of the day, we’re still looking very good for third. We’re still playing excellent football. We still lack a world class striker that is proving impossible to find within the context we are offering. We still can’t compete on a level playing field without a superduper new stadium. We are still not getting the rub of the green from referees. We’re still Tottenham, super Tottenham, from the lane.

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Comment on Spurs 1 Wolves 1 on Spurscommunity

15 01 2012

http://www.spurscommunity.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?p=2616941&posted=1#post2616941

Just watched the match as live in the early hours of Sunday morning here in Buenos Aires and then read this match day thread and I can’t believe how quick everyone is to criticise certain players – Ade and Bale in particular – when the referee and linesman, yet again, were directly and unfairly involved in preventing us from winning. At Stoke we would definitely have won, yes won, not drawn, if Hoy had had a good game, and today the officials denied Ade another perfectly good goal and their goal came from a corner that clearly wasn’t a corner. 

It’s all very well to bang on about a winning mentality and how we have to nurture one, and I am as big a fan of doing so as anyone on this forum, but when the officials always give the benefit of the doubt to the other team, even when you’re playing at home, it requires a mentality harder than even that required by 18? times champions United (since they get so many decisions in their favour, home and away (especially against us of course)) that even such a believer in procuring a winners mentality as I starts to doubt the fairness of the playing field. 

Is it just me, or do we seem to have the officials against us even when we play at home? Is it just me, or wouldn’t you hope that we might even have the officials in our favour (i.e. giving us the benefit of the doubt when they’re not 100% sure about something) since we play the best football and we play the fairest football in the league. 

Name me the last game in which we committed more fouls than our opponent? 
Name me the last game in which we got more 50/50 decisions given in our favour? 

I would be surprised if you could name a game in the last ten years or so, maybe even since the premier league was born. When we play the top four the commentators even go on about how they should beat us and when we play a team like Wolves they go on about what fantastic fighters they are to be robbing us. 

We get credit for three days because people finally realise three months later than they should that we’re one of the three best teams in England and they only do it to put a stop to it as soon as they can. 

As a club we need to adopt a siege mentality and get much harder with officials etc. Harry has to get himself banned or fined whatever but point out the injustices and the players need to complain more. If you make a noise early in the game about a corner that never was and keep making that noise maybe the official thinks twice about putting up the flag when Ade clips in Bale’s shot…and perhaps even sees the player playing him onside.

Whatever happens and whatever crap we continue to get fed by the premier league I am amazingly proud of our chairman, manager and players for the football they have produced so far this season and while I would love them to get what they deserve (we should be three points clear of City at the moment if it wasn’t for Hoy and today) I will love them anyway and those of you who choose to criticise Ade or Bale or anyone else, aim your negativity at the officials and back your players for every minute of the rest of the season because we can still win this whole thing, but the team needs all of us 100% behind them the rest of the way.





Comment on Spurs 2 Everton 0 on Spurs Community

11 01 2012

http://www.spurscommunity.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=82545&page=5

So pleased with Livermore’s performance this evening. He was playing a crucial role at a crucial time, what with Parker and Sandro having just got injured, if he’d not played well and we’d dropped points a few heads in the dressing might have dropped and the belief might have started sapping (as it did back in ’85). 

But he kept it simple, kept it moving and put a challenge in when needed. He didn’t quite seem to always be where he should be, but that will come with more experience and more training with Parker. in fact, Jake’s performance tonight can probably be credited somewhat to Parker’s influence and therefore Redknapp and Levy buying him. 

Younes seems to have come in for some criticism tonight, due to a lapse in concentration in each half. But I thought otherwise he was excellent and his driving runs forward keep the momentum going and lift the spirits at times when some of the fans at least may be getting a bit restless. And playing with Daws for the first time this season was always going to mean imperfections along the way. And one other player who deserves a special mention again is VDV. I criticised his inclusion quite often last season because I felt it unbalanced the team and affected our strikers form, but in the last few games he has really worked his socks off for the team, as well as providing those glorious cross field balls that make your mouth water. Maybe he’s just fully fit at last and his body is finally letting him do so, or has the title charge moved his game up to a more responsible level? 

After the Swansea and Chelsea results made me think we were short of challenging for the title, the last two results (accompanied by some wild ones elsewhere) have made it startlingly clear that until one of the top two should pull a long way away from us we are definitely in the hunt. Long may it continue. 

But please let’s not start thinking about the city game yet. We’ve got another very tough game on Saturday first and we may well need another excellent performance from Jake in the middle to keep the run going. Come on you Spurs. We’re gonna win the league!





Comment on Swansea 1 Tottenham 1 on Spurscommunity

31 12 2011

PreGame:

Every game’s a huge game when you’re challenging for the title. Man Utd’s defeat today shows we are challenging for the title. Not picking up three points today would show we’re not – ain’t football weird. 

Great to see both JD and Daws on the bench. We need to have a stronger bench than we have had recently over the second half of the season. 

Come on you Spurs!

Post Game

http://www.spurscommunity.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=82137&page=6

Don’t be fooled into thinking a draw at Swansea isn’t a good result – it is. Especially for a team running on empty. 

We were certainly outthought today, they freshened up their team, they crowded the middle of the pitch, they used their substitutes wisely…

We were outplayed today, they passed the ball better, they ran twice as far as us I’d imagine, they fought for every ball and throughout the whole match. We had a lot of players, particularly in the midfield (understandably) having little rests, or pressing uncommittedly or giving up on a ball easily. 

And yet we still came away with a solid away point. And four points from the last two games is a very good return. It’s just frustrating that it wasn’t six, since if we could have found some more energy from somewhere, or Harry had had the guts to play a few younger, fresher legs (I’d have liked to see Townsend, what’s happened to him since the Shamrock game, or is he not in the 25?) we could have ground out a gutsy, dirty away win. 

As for those blaming BAE and Brad for the goal, if Bale had bothered to pressure the midfielder he wouldn’t have been able to beat BAE with his ball out to the wing – I think he was more at fault than either of the others, who both had bad luck to contend with as well as good play. Bale just let his man do what he wanted. 

So not the victory that makes us title challengers, but neither a defeat to knock us of form or start the doubters. Three home games to come and then we’ll really see where we’re at. But definitely Champions League here we come, more because of rather than despite today’s result.

Update:

Originally Posted by Sweetsman View Post
Can’t get away from feeling gutted. January is going to be very important. I don’t know what to make of these Tevez rumours: Mabbutt mentioned it on BBC Sport.

Tevez won’t happen for three rock-solid reasons:
1) We can’t afford him
2) Man City won’t give us a player who would make us serious title contenders
3) I’d love to see Tevez play for Tottenham more than any other non-Tottenham player, having watched him break into the Boca team as a season ticket holder.





Comment on Norwich 0 Tottenham 2 on Spurscommunity

31 12 2011

http://www.spurscommunity.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?p=2594555#post2594555

Having not watched the first 28 minutes live for relationship reasons, I was surprised when rewatching the match last night in anticipation of similar fare being served up today against Swnasea, that Spurs completely controlled the whole match, not just the last hour of it.  Many Spurscommunity posters had lead me to believe that things were rather even for the first half hour, something that clearly wasn’t the case on watching the game in cold blood. 

In the first half hour we had 8 shots at goal to Norwich’s three.  In fact, Norwich managed to get the ball in our box three times in the first half hour – once every ten minutes – we had 60% of the possession as well, some of it exquisite and Norwich could easily have had Holt sent off and given away a penalty in the first half.  And if Bale’s shot hadn’t been saved by Ruddy it would have been up there for goal of the season, the build up play being superb one-touch team passing.  And what a hat trick it would have presaged.

We played a great game of football today with an excellent result.  A real statement that we could be challenging for the title this season, especially if we do it again against Swansea and the others around us continue to drop points. 





Comment on Tottenham 1 Sunderland 0 on Spurs Community

18 12 2011

http://www.spurscommunity.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?p=2581674&posted=1#post2581674

A hard won win which showed why we just might be title contenders this year, but also why we might just fall short.  However, if anyone still had any doubts that we’ll finish in the top four by the end of the season, today’s performance will have definitely made them think again. 

Rocked by injuries to Gareth Bale and Jermain Defoe before the game, two key ingredients in the eleven game unbeaten run, and having to cope with the unjust suspension of our most consistent central defender this season, we were at least able to welcome back club captain Ledley King to the centre of defence. 

The early loss of Aaron Lennon to a hamstring injury and a customary slow start didn’t bode well for kick-starting our Christmas run of games after that travesty of justice that was the loss to Stoke last weekend.  But we kept patient, we kept plugging away, we didn’t lose hope or composure, even when substitute Super Pav made a hash of his first handful of touches of the ball.  Instead of the blistering pace of a winger (neither of whom were on the pitch) or the intricate trickery of Modric or VDV, it was the ball-winning solidity of Sandro and Parker in the middle of the park which kept the spirits up and the shape strong and drove us stubbornly forward until the goal came.  And what a moral boosting goal it was in many respects.  Just after Sunderland had built up a head of steam and fashioned the odd half chance after the break, Parker wins the ball, feeds in Modric who plays it quickly and precisely up to VDV who puts in Pav.  Up until this point Roman’s performance had been nothing short of woeful, but his run off the defender was well-timed and well-angled to give him the space he needed for a precise first time finish across the keeper. 

It was a goal to blow out our chests and to burst Sunderland’s inflating balloon.  They knew they were unlikely to score now, we knew we could play the game out.  Our new found confidence at knocking the ball around to protect a lead was quickly on show, even if Modders really should have put us two up, although Ade gets some blame for not squaring it to him initially.  We held on rather comfortably, unlike Tottenham of old, to demonstrate the new found mental fortitude of this team.  

The win also showed how strong our squad is and how ready everyone is to contribute crucial performances.  Pavlyuchenko was rusty and his weaknesses holding up the ball, a heavy first touch and inability to win headers were exposed on many occasions, but when it really counted his supreme strength won us the game.  Sandro came in and made numerous interceptions and kept the ball moving quickly throughout the game.  And Gallas looked a much better defender alongside King, as do all of our centre halves.

Due to Roman’s goal we didn’t need to resort to 3-5-3 again, but it might serve us well at times in games over the holiday period if Lennon and Bale are out for long.  Let’s hope Andros Townsend can come in and do a job after his sterling performance against Shamrock on Thursday, or Niko Krancjar can provide some width on the right side.  Although the midfield diamond we played second half today will cause problems for most teams and provides one of the most solid midfields around perhaps. 

On to Chelsea on Thursday.  Every game is a big game when you’re trying to qualify for the Champion’s League, let alone win the title, but a positive result today has really set us up for consolidating our place in the top three and looking up North towards Manchester rather than around us at the other London clubs. 





Comment on Stoke 2 Spurs 1 on Spurs Community

11 12 2011

http://www.spurscommunity.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=81476&page=3

For all of the genius that was Harry switching to 3-5-2 at halftime, I really think he missed a trick not starting with Sandro instead of VDV. Reason being we have started games slowly recently and Stoke were always going to come out all guns blazing and trying to rough us up. It was imperative we start solidly and not give away an early goal. To score twice here was always going to be difficult, even without an atrocious referee, so we needed to be strong and solid defensively for the first half. Surely playing Sandro and Parker together in front of the back four with Modric being much more adept at linking them and the widemen to Ade that VDV would have given us a much more solid platform from which to beat both Stoke and the referee. I hope the referee gets suspended for at least as long as Younes will. 

We had to lose at some point and losing away to Stoke is something league champions can easily do, so no need to overdo the pessimism, and the second half performance showed the mental attitude that this year’s team has shown before, we just didn’t have the luck today in any shape or form and took too long to get going in the first half.

Update:

Originally Posted by Sarsipius View Post
On another note the pitch looked awful which I’m sure the groundsmen are very proud of. Something that lumpy prevents slick passing and doesn’t affect the headers and volleys game that Stoke pride themselves on.

The amazing thing isn’t the state of the pitch, but the size of it. The aesthetically hideous refusing-to-fade lines of the previous pitch size served to remind us throughout the game that Stoke were at liberty to shrink the pitch to suit their rugby football. 

When neither the surface nor the officiating team are giving you the space to express your obvious footballing advantage over the opposition what hope is there?