"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


Monday, February 28, 2005

Great result, lousy game.

Spurs keep the push going for our best ever Premiership finish after a 2-0 home victory against Fulham, one of the dullest sides in Premiership memory along with, of course, the goons, Chelsea and Bolton. From the very start it was clear "Cookie" (why?) would settle for a point and the time wasting was dreadful. The flow of the game was not helped either by another incompetent referee who decided to stop the game even if there was a great advantage to be had and then ignore the other officials even though they are there to support him.

The match was a thoroughly dreadful affair. Fulham stuck everyone behind the ball and provided little service to Cole. Meanwhile Spurs passed the ball across the back line a few times and then Carrick would lump it up to Mido who then failed to win it. After the amazing debut he had a lot to live up to but certain aspects of his game could have been better. He busied himself and made some good opportunities but as the target man out of the two strikers he needs to win the high balls which he didn't do on Saturday. Nevertheless he still put in an all round good performance.

The second half continued much the same way as the first until the introduction of Kanoute for an off form Defoe. Five minutes later he slipped in a good free kick but one that Van Der Sar should have dealt with. Jol must have been reading "The Shelf" when he introduced Keane late on as he didn't go for a hopeless 4-3-3 but kept it at 4-4-2. Keane then missed a couple of easy chances before rounding the keeper to finish Dullham off. Keane now has 13 goals, a great return for someone who has been rotated quite a lot with the other forwards. He is still a great player and anyone who disagrees is a fool.

On a final note, Ajax are apparently sniffing around Jol. I hope I am right when I say that this is a rubbish story printed by the idiotic press from nothing. Jol leaving would be an outright disaster and I hope that he stays to see through what he started. With Charlton only drawing and the toon army beating Bolton we lie only three points off sixth place, with a game in hand. Fingers crossed!


Thursday, February 24, 2005

Spurs Vs. Fulham

Our London record does not prepare us very well for the latest Premiership derby. Having not won one derby game this season this game becomes quite important. We need to win to stay in touch of a high finish that may sneak us into Europe and we also need to banish our lousy derby record before it really starts to stick in the players minds.

The one piece of good news to come out of the official site is that Atouba is a doubt for the game. With his absence I hope Edman can slot back into the left back position with Reid in front of him. If Jol really doesn't fancy him then Ziegler can drop back into his actual position of left wing back. Apart from that I suspect business as usual. Kelly, King and Naybet to make up the rest of the back four with Simon Davies on the right, Brown and probably Carrick in the middle alongside Reid with Mido and Defoe up front. The bench should only have one striker as it may leave us weak in other areas later on. Personally I would have Keane there and rest Kanoute this week. Maybe Sean Davis may make the bench but I doubt it. Mendes will probably be on the bench but if Carrick continues to only perform on an average basis then I'd hope he would get a recall. However I would not be surprised if Mendes leaves in the summer. A Champions League winner should not really be sitting on the bench of a side not in Europe.

If the team go out with the right attitude there is no reason we can't get a result. Also, whoever plays, no booing our own players.


P.s. Lets all laugh at Arsen*l. Another hopeless European display. Ha ha ha!


Monday, February 21, 2005

Atouba - Why?

The first really bad performance from a Jol team came on Sunday against Nottingham Forest. We never really got going, scored a lucky goal and then screwed up big time for their equalisier. To be honest we are lucky to have a replay after some of the performances by some of the Spurs players.

We started slowly and got slower. Why Atouba continues to play at left back is beyond me. While some of his defending is ok most of his overall game is a let down. His crossing was generally rubbish with most of his balls being crossed from about the half way line and dropping to Forest defenders, nowhere near any of the Spurs forward players. His inability to clear the ball almost led to a late Forest winner and he was then roundly booed by the Paxton and East Stands. Booing is wrong but Atouba needs to drastically up his game. Someone please tell me why the Swedish defender of the year is being kept out of the team by a clown.

Other players were not much better. Carrick never imposed himself on a Championship team which is something he needs to do if he is going to break the England squad. Kanoute was off the pace and Defoe wasn't much better. Jol did a very od thing as well. When Mido and Keane came on I was convinced that he was replacing the front two. However Ziegler went off and we switched to a 4-3-3, the same 4-3-3 which worked so badly against Portsmouth. We lost all our shape and exposed the woefully bad Atouba even more. We also lacked any width and Keane went up front and Davies slotted into the middle three with Brown and Carrick.

Jol, however, was refeshingly honest and said what was wrong. He didn't hide away and his honesty is one of the reasons why I really like the guy. We are still making amazing progress from where we were in May last year.

I hope this is a temporary blip but with Chelsea now out our chance of appaearing in a final this year is rapidly improving. Newcastle away will not be an easy game but we won't have the chance of playing them if we don't up our game asap.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Quarter finals loom.

Spurs dispatched West Bromich Albion yesterday to set up a plum tie with Nottingham Forest, at home, next Sunday and with it the best chance Spurs have had of reaching the last eight for years.

It was almost a very different story though. For some unknown reason Jol, after watching how a 4-3-3 formation was useless for England decided to try a 4-4-3 with Spurs. It didn't work and lets hope Jol never tries it again. Albion dominated the midfield attacking down both flanks and deserverdly took the lead when Kanu headed in after loosing his marker King. The fact that Kevin Campbell had flumoxed both Gardner and the world's most skilful left back in one move did not help matters. Robinson then stepped up to the fore to deny Albion a THREE-Nil lead before half time. Spurs were all over the place with only Keane and Kelly really offering much. Atouba proved why he deserves to be left in the reserves with some shocking passing and the inability to stay wide left to mark his man. Time and time again he was caught out and when he tried to turn an attacking West Brom player in the box, instead of hoofing it clear like any sane person would, the whole crowd made it clear what they thought.

Spurs were handed a life line after 40 minutes when Kelly was taken out in the box. On first view from the Paxton lower it looked like a blatant penalty. The ref was also behind the ball and got a similar view and thus gave the spot kick. Replays later showed we were fortunate but it was about time we got the rub of the green. Up stepped Keane to slot home.

The second half Jol switched formation substituting Keane for Davies. We looked much better as we were able to compete in midfield and Ziegler and Davies could help to protect the full backs. I felt Keane was unlucky to go off having done far more than Defoe did in the first half but looking back leaving Defoe on was the right decision! Within 10 minutes of the restart Spurs were 3-1 in front and cruising. Defoe got both goals, one from a well worked fee kick (not often I say that - usually we hit the wall or fail to beat the front man) and the second after Kanoute turned well in the box and laid the ball back. Davies could have had a goal himself near the end and looks like he is getting back to his old, excellent form.

The question that needs to be asked is why did Jol fiddle with the formation that ripped Portsmouth apart last week. Key wide men in Reto Ziegler and Simon Davies were both fit and Davies had a storming game last week but was on the bench. WBA took total advantage and we were lucky to be in the game when we equalisied. The good thing is that Jol was not too big headed to realise he had made a mistake and to change things. Lets hope that Jol, the master tactician apparently, does not make a similar blunder in the weeks to come.

In 1981 Spurs won the cup, it was the year of the Rooster / Cockerel and Prince Charles got married....... Is it a sign?


Friday, February 11, 2005

Spurs Vs. WBA

Spurs have been presented with an excellent opportunity to progress not only to the fifth round but even to the quarter finals as the winner will have a plum home tie with Nottingham Forest.

Spurs go into the game with confident displays if not the right results. Mido and Davies led the way last weekend against Portsmouth and an excellent performance meant we took all three points.

Mido cannot play as he was signed after the original tie while Reid is cup tied. King has a niggling groin injury and Ziegler is doubtful. The worlds most skilful left back is a doubt as well, along with long termer Sean Davis. Pamarot should be fit again and could slot into the central defensive position with Naybet but I suspect Gardner would do that if King doesn't make it. Carrick and Brown will make the central pairing with Davies on the right. The left side could be Atouba if he passes the test with Edman going back into the left defensive spot. Kelly should keep his place after an excellent game against Pompey.

Defoe will start with either Keane or Kanoute. Who knows which one it will be.

WBA have been leaking goals left right and centre and if the defense are more awake than they were at The Hawthorns then Spurs should progress.


Sunday, February 06, 2005

Defoe pledges future to Spurs

Jermaine Defoe continues to make the right noises about his future in football. He told the News of the Screws that he loves it at Spurs and hopes that, with Jol in charge, he can win things here.

"I read the papers like anyone else but I've made it clear I'm very happy here and I hope to fulfil my ambitions at Spurs. "Money's not the most important thing, it's about playing, scoring goals and making the England squad."

Defoe continued:

"When I look back on my career I want to see medals. "I agree, I would love to play in Europe and that's another step. We have the players to get there and we won't look out of place."
So it looks promising that Defoe could well be at Spurs come the start of the next season. He mentions European football but I feel Defoe will give Spurs the chance to get there. If in another season or two we haven't then I could not blame him for leaving. However, we now have every chance of making it, if not this season, but the next.


Spurs worthy winners.

A great all round dominating display led to a valuable three points as Spurs continue to push for a top sixth finish. Mido was the hero of the day with a great headed goal, a goal line tap in and good play in wide areas running the Portsmouth back line rugged. However it wasn't just about Mido yesterday as almost everyone in the Tottenham side had a good performance.

Spurs dominated from start to finish but a slip in concentration by Naybet led to the opening goal for Portsmouth. It had been all Spurs and Pompey had offered very little up front until they won a corner. It was whipped in and Naybet failed to get over his man and the ball flashed into the bottom corner. Typical of Spurs in recent weeks, playing well but then we shoot ourselves in the foot.

The response by Spurs was excellent. We continued to lay siege at the Pompey goal and got our rewards. A fabulous cross by Simon Davies was powered home by Mido for the equaliser. The cross was Simon Davies of old and he looks like he could be heading back to his storming form of a couple of seasons ago. Kelly also had an impressive game linking up with Davies well, especially going forward. Atouba also looked good going forward but the most skilful left back in world football also had some heart stopping moments failing to clear his lines in the first half.

In the second half Spurs continued to push forward and the second goal came after good work from Defoe. He bamboozled the Portsmouth back line before putting the ball across for Mido to tap in. 2-1 and Spurs weren't done. Keane replaced Mido and continued to work hard. Andy Ried set up the third which Keane was able to lob over the keeper to make the points safe. I thought Ried started brightly but he will need to work hard to raise his game to Premiership standards. He could do with loosing a few more pounds as he looked exhausted by the end. Nevertheless it was a promising start. He is cup tied for the next game so Ziegler will get his chance once more.

Overall it was a very good display and Spurs thoroughly deserved the three points. Ninth and fifth place is very close and we have never had a better chance of getting our best ever Premiership finish. Fingers crossed.


Friday, February 04, 2005

Spurs Vs. Pompey.

Related Stories:

Portsmouth defeat.

Spurs go in to this game having lost three on the bounce in the league and must look to improve recent form if we are to stay in the top half of the table. Injuries will not help as Naybet, Mido, Davis, Ziegler, and Mendes are all still injured. Gardner will not feature after breaking his nose on Tuesday.

Luckily Spurs have quite a lot of depth in the squad now, something we could not have said before the arrival of Arnesen. Robinson is doubtful with a knee problem so new signing Cerny could make his debut. Edman and Kelly will take their place in their respective full back positions. King will be in the middle with possibly Pamarot or Bunje as Dawson has a shin problem. The midfield will consist of Davies on the right, Carrick and Brown centre and hopefully Ried on the left. Atouba, the worlds most skillful left back, should drop to the bench. With Kanoute suspended and Mido injured the front two will be Defoe and Keane.

Even with the level of injuries we have I should hope Spurs can get back into winning ways. Much will depend on how King and A.N. Other performs against the front two of Pompey, how well Brown and Carrick can combine to stop Berger and how well Davies and Ried can supply the front man. With only one league goal sine the 5-2 thrashing of Everton we really need to hope that Defoe and Keane receive the service they require tomorrow.


Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Defeated by 12 man Bolton

Once again a cheating ref helped Spurs to a third straight defeat in what was otherwise quite a promising performance. We have now dropped points away to Manchester United, home to Chelsea and now to Bolton thanks to the ref. However, our fair share of mistakes and dodgy team selections also helped.

First half was a rather drab affair with little to talk about except we went in with a clean sheet. The ref then struck at the start of the second half. Edman was impeded and the ball hit his hand - a clear ball to hand scenario but the incompetent fool gave the penalty. A few minutes later the ball struck a Bolton player's arm from a free kick but the inconsistent idiot failed to award a penalty. King and Kanoute were so incensed by the complete lack of consistancy that they both received yellow cards. "Oh well" you may say but this had repercussions later on.

Defoe, our top scorer, came on and promptly scored after good work by Robinson and Keane. Kanoute then made a dumb challenge with two feet, knowing he was already on a yellow and got himself sent off. Well done.

More useless rubbish then happened as Gardner and Robinson were all over the place giving away a corner which Bolton then scored from and then the world's most skillful left back, Atouba, gave possession away and the game was all over.

Now this does sound like a scathing match report but apparently Spurs didn't play too badly. However we continue to make mistakes and you cannot do that in the Premiership. The squad was rightly expanded in the transfer window and I think we now have enough cover to loose Gardner asap as he just isn't cut out for the job anymore. Left back cover is also required so Atouba can go back to wherever he came from as I'm sick of his dumb antics playing us into trouble. He has got away with it in the past but not yesterday and his mistake killed us off. Jol also needs to look at his team selection. If Terry Henry can play virtually every game then so can Defoe. When he came on we had a total of zero shots on target and by the end of the game we had two. Not a great reflection on our strikers or the build up play by the midfield.

Kanoute is now suspended for the Portsmouth game so Mido may start, hopefully with Defoe. Ried can go left wing and Atouba can go where he likes, but just not near the team.