"It is better to fail aiming high than to succeed aiming low. And we of Spurs have set our sights very high, so high in fact that even failure will have in it an echo of glory." Bill Nicholson. SPURS


Thursday, September 30, 2004

Everton Away

Everton are a revitalised team by all accounts this season. After their worst ever Premiership finish last year, Rooney jumping ship and the club on the verge of bankruptcy, Everton were my strong tip to be struggling near the foot of the table. However they seem to have proven me completely wrong so far and currently sit third in the table! What I thought would be almost a 3 point banker is actually going to be a tough away test for Santini's army come Saturday at 3pm. Everton are playing with a lot of confidence. They are organised and will be tough to break down. Spurs will have to think carefully about the tactics they use against the Toffees if we are to get anything from the game.

Kanoute is one player that won't be traveling with the squad due to the slight hamstring pull he sustained against United last week and thus the long ball tactic we have been using recently won't be an option. This can only be a good thing. (No long ball, not no Kanoute) Sean Davis is back in the squad and I hope he starts. This would allow Mendes to push forward more and provide a more attacking emphasis that has been lacking from the team in recent league games. Simon Davies should also be recalled to the right midfield. When he has played he has shown he can still deliver quality crosses into the box and as he approaches match fitness he will be beating more people down the touchline. Atouba may also return. However if not I hope that Brown or Ricketts is given a chance down the left. Jackson is not turning into the player I thought he could be and his inablility to impress against Oldham signed the transfer deal to someone like The Spammers for me.

Up front we will have the usual Jermaine Defoe and Robbie Keane. Defoe was ineffective for large spells against United last week mainly due to the type of football we played. He wants the ball to feet and if we get the more attacking players into the midfield hopefully this can happen. Keane seems desperately short on confidence but everyone knows what he can do. Hopefully he will get the rub of the green which will boost his confidence back to his goal scoring ways.

The back four will pick itself as will Robinson, keeping out Helen as usual.

Overall a stronger Spurs team that played against Manchester United would, on paper, have a good chance of taking all three points. However, against a confident Everton, I would settle for a draw.

Spurs have had a good start to the season and for it to continue we must go to places like Everton and take something from the game.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Squad Analysis

No one can argue that the signings in the summer have been top class, have been exactly what we needed and can move the club forward. However no one can argue that we still don't need new blood into the squad as well. Below is an analysis of our current squad and where we need reinforcements.


Robinson: Top class, England number 1, Spurs number 1 for years to come. Could work on his distrubution as high balls to Defoe and Kaeane aint working.
Keller: A good backup with lots of experience. Fear he is probably going to leave though as he isnt happy.

That leaves us with Fulop. I dont know much about him. This could be a position Arnesen needs to look at in the future.

Right Back:
Noe Pamarot has settled well. He needs to push forward more. Cover includes Kelly and Phil so no problems there.

Centre backs:
Ledley and Naybet has struck up an excellent understanding and have been working hard together. Cover includes Gardner and Davenport when he returns from our feeder club so another safe position.

Left back: Despite his gaff against United he has proven a solid defender who is a definite improvement over Tarrico. Saying that Tano can still defend pretty well and is good cover for this position.

Central midifeld: Redknapp, Carrick, Davies, Davis, Mendes, Brown etc etc. Nuff said.

Right Midfield: Currently Davies and then.... er, Brown maybe? A weak position. Davies is good when fit but if he goes off form or is injured at any point the cover is limited to Brown who isnt good enough for Premiership football. I hope Arnesen is on the look out,

Left midfield: Atouba hasnt convinced me yet but needs time to settle. Could be good enough. Johnny "Fall Over" Jackson is hopeless and is not a suitable replacement for any wide player. Unable to beat anyone at Oldham and was ineffective against United it's time he went to West Ham or someone similar. Another problem position.

Strikers: Defoe, Kanoute and Keane are all class players. With the direct style we have currently adopted then Kanoute should probably be picked ahead of Keane who is short on cofidence anyway. With Da Silva and a few good reserve strikers like Owen Price we have good cover here as well (for once).

So it appears to me that the wide positions are what needs looking at closely and is one of the reasons we havent scored enough goals.

Kanoute and Heinz Posted by Hello


Spurs tasted defeat for the first time on Saturday to a resurgent Manchester United side. Jacques seemed to adjust his tactics for Manchester United bringing in Mabizela into the central midfield position and leaving people like Brown and Davies on the bench which I felt was a somewhat odd decision. Unfortunatly it didn't pay off as Manchester had control of the midfield for the most part.

Spurs huffed and puffed in the first half not really threatening United but were fairly comfortable coming up to half time. Then Edman struck with a needless shirt pull and the ref pointed to the spot. Now I thought the ref was appaling, especially in the second half, but he got that decsion correct in my opinion. Horse Face struck a good penalty and we found ourselves 1-0 down.

Our second half play was much better, especially for the first 10 minutes when we really took the game to United but they defended well and we were left to long shots. United also defended the set pieces well. Spurs were far more attacking because the full backs went forward to support the wide men, something that must happen more often and should of happened in the first half. Ultimately we were too defensive in the first half and that was probably one of the reasons we had no real efforts on goal to test Carrol.

Overall the performance wasnt bad by Spurs but it wasnt great either. We need to work on scoring goals now as we havent scored in 3 Premiership matches, albeit 2 games were against two of the bet sides in the country. The next three games are key to weather Spurs will continue to build on their good start. Everton and Portsmouth away followed by Bolton at home. None are easy games but Spurs should be looking for 7 points from them at least.

Friday, September 24, 2004

And so it was.

Great game for Spurs fans against Oldham. It's been 3 years since we last scored 6 goals and to do it away from home is even more of a bonus. Sky had egg on their face as they claimed that Spurs would find the trip up north tricky because it "might be cold".

Looking towards Saturday we have a difficult home game against United and their Surrey legion invading from the south. A game against Fergie is always tricky and they had a good win on Monday night. Spurs have only had two days preperation and link that to the fact that some muppet had locked up Spurs Lodge so none of the players could get to their cars after the Oldham game means we are at a disadvantage before we begin. Im not going to say how we will do as I'll probably jinx the score but I think Kanoute will start up front tomorrow with Keane sitting on the bench. Our weakest postion could be the left wing as Atouba sounds doubtful. Jackson couldnt hack it againsnt Oldham getting tackled everytime he took someone on so I dont think he will do too well against the Mancs. Brown is another player who I hope doesnt feature after another lousy performance against a poor Oldham side.

Come on you Spurs!

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Goals Goals Goals

Oldham away in the cup will be a perfect opportunity for Spurs to show that they can attack as well as defend. A few doubters have already appeared on message boards such as questioning Santini and even comparing him to the devil Gooner Graham. I am happy to report that Im not one of the early Santini bashers. A good performance tonight will hopefully shut them up for a while.

The team wont be much changed from the team that drew with Chelsea. Naybet, Edman and Atouba are all out either rested or suffering from a slight knock. I expect Jackson to take over the LM spot or Brown will go right and Davis left like in the Chelsea game on Sunday. Gardner will probably make his first start of the season next to Ledley and I expect that they shouldnt have too many troubles keeping out the Oldham forward threat.

Tonight may be a tricky away tie but I would still like to see Spurs scoring a few goals than the 1-0's we've seen recently. The full backs should be asked to push forward more to support the wingers. Keane will hopefully drop deep and help link the midfield with Defoe. Robinson will have no tall man to aim for with Atouba out so this could be a good opportunity to rest Defoe and replace him with Kanoute. This will keep Defoe fresh for the tough home game against the Mancs and even with him on the bench Spurs should be strong enough to overcome Oldham.

Come on you Spurs!

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Good result

Mourinhio has a saying from his country. "They bought the bus and they placed it in front of the goal" That doesn't sound very Portugese to me. Shame.

A good result for Spurs and another fine defensive display. Mourinhio may criticise but Spurs from last season would of been 3-0 down by half time so I couldn't give a monkeys that we put the bus in front of goal. Ledly King continued to be immense and Naybet had a strong performance organising the full backs and the midfield men in front of him. The only fault Naybet currently has with his game is lack of pace and we must hope that opposition teams do not put a quick runner up against him. Huckerby was an example of what pace can do against him.

The midfield worked hard but Im still not convinced about Atouba. He gives the ball away a few too many times for my liking and he needs to work on playing the simple ball sometimes instead of trying to beat everyman and his dog. Davies had a good game especially as he began to tire through lack of matches towards the end.

Defoe was a little isolated as Keane was dropping deep but it was the tactics which caused this and they were the right tactics for today's game. However in future the two full backs, especially Paramot, need to push on to support the two wide men if we are to provide better service to the front men as the season progresses.

Overall a great resault for this stage in the Santini French Revolution.

The Shelf - Welcome!

Welcome to The Shelf, a new blog for Tottenham Hotspur Football club.

As a current season ticket holder I'll be posting my own opinons, rants and raves about all things Spurs.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Chelsea Vs. Spurs

Chelsea Vs Spurs
Sunday 4:05pm Sky Sports.

Our second Sunday game of the season sees us take on our Russian neighbours. Even with the shed loads of cash they now have down the Fulham Broadway success isnt guaranteed and Mourinhio looks like he wants to bore the Chelski favourites to the title.

Anyhow I expect the Spurs team to be much like the team that started against Norwich with maybe Simon Davies coming in for Brown, a welcomed change. Up front Santini may decide to start with Keane and Defoe but if he continues to play a direct game then Kanoute should be prefered as I cannot see Defoe or Keane getting any joy in the air against Terry and company.

Any result avoiding defeat would be a good result for Spurs and if they could break the Chelsea hoodoo then it would be fantastic but its a tough ask against the team with the best Premiership defensive record. Ours is the second best so we could be looking at a 0-0. Id take it.