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.

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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!





Easy start to New Year of running

2 01 2012

http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/138485417

First run of the new year and the easies just got a little bit harder.  Which probably means I’m increasing the workload too quickly and will no doubt pick up another injury soon.  But after the walk home from work, even though it was getting on (and was already dark) I was really in the mood for a run.  Couldn’t decide wether to do hills, fartlek, fast or easy, so went for Easy, which is a concession to slowly, slowly at least. 

I ran a bit further than I’d intended though, since I ended up going out the other wat down Dorrego and then back up the hill again to finish, only because it was very windy and dusty so I was trying to keep the debris out my eyes by hiding behind the car park between the hippodrome and the small lake. 

A good solid easy run, not as quick as last time out at all, but sets me up for some hills or fartlek on Wednesday hopefully. 

Thinking focused on all the work I should have been doing as IHWO coordinator over Xmas, some of which I was scrabbling to put together to deadline this morning and more of which remains undone with ASAP as a deadline (so why am I writing this you might sensibly ask).  I also spent rather too long relishing Arsenal’s last gasp loss today, which makes up for their win on Saturday (thereby gaining two points on the Mighty Spurs) and gives us a great opportunity tomorrow once again to show we are more title credential nurturers than competitors for fourth place.

Happy New Year everyone! 





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. 





3 Xmas runs, 2 lingering injuries and a target for the New Year

30 12 2011

http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/137579309

http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/137127240

http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/136205653

Three runs over Xmas including a pretty decent 7.5km today (relatively speaking).  The new insoles are treating my feet well, although they strain the knee muscles a little as they get used to them.  Heel blisters are the new enemy, since my feet are in different places in the shoe with the new insoles, need to re-break them in – actually buying new shoes would be a good move.  But then what to buy – now they say that the cushioned shoes of today aren’t as good for running as flat feet – Zola Budd had it right apparently…

The back is the second lingering injury – think that’s down to too much time on the sofa in the fortnight leading up to xmas (working of course) but it doesn’t affect the running at least, just got to be careful when stretching not to do it any further harm.

Thinking has unfortunately taken a big back seat recently.  My mind on these runs has been on nothing, concentrating on moving the body well and enjoying the view of the lake and the Portenos accompanying me on their evening exercise.  Well and a little savouring of the current situation Tottenham find themselves in, playing sublime football and keeping themselves in contention for the league while cementing themselves solidly into the top four and Champions League qualification.  It’s good to empty the mind every now and then, and I’ll need it fully rested for the challenge of the Delta Modules Intensive starting in ten days time.  Eek!





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?






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.





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.