"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


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?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Id imagine it was pretty obvious why Jol employed a 4-3-3 formation; to keep Keane happy and to score some goals. We were playing against bottom side in the Premiership and were at home, why not go for a rout? It didnt work and we are lucky to have the best English goalkeeper to keep the score down when we play below par. But like you say, Jol isnt a proud man and is about winning games. So to question his role as the "master tactician" is petty to say the least! He made a mistake and then corrected it quite dramatically. You said yourself that you were surprised he took Keane off instead of Defoe, but look how it paid off. Perhaps the title "master tactician" isnt so out of place after all....

5:16 PM, February 13, 2005

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Martin Jol has to get to know his team and possibly saw yesterdays game as a chance to experiment with a different formation. He may feel in the future that a certain game may require a similar formation (although on yesterdays performance it would be hard to see why of course), but like others have said here and elsewhere, at least he had enough about himself to see that it wasn't working and change it accordingly. We should all be thankful that Hoddle is no longer around, if he had made a similar tactical error we would now be asking why hadn't he changed it at half time, and bemoaning another season over in February.

5:43 PM, February 13, 2005

Blogger Paxton Road said...

Agreed, Hoddle would never of changed a system - 5-3-2 never really worked but we played it for three years.

I'm not really questioning Jol's ability. I rate Jol highly but it would of dreadful if an experiment had put us out of the cup.

5:53 PM, February 13, 2005

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice to see we had a bit of luck on our side for a change after some very iffy penalties given against us and the goal that wasn't againt Man utd.

Isn't it a shame that other managers cannot accept the odd dodgy referee decision, like our man Jol.

Unfortunatley Mr Robson we were the better team. I hear the referees are much better in the Cola Cola Championship so you won't have so much to winge about next season !!!!!

6:03 PM, February 13, 2005

Anonymous Anonymous said...

when I saw the foul for the penalty from Paxton upper it didn't look like a penalty however the tv replays clearly showed otherwise. 4-4-3 would work with the right personnel just look at chelsea. and what's all this berating of atouba, all the defence were total crap in the first half. They came out a different team in the second and atouba was putting some excellent cross field balls into dangerous areas (in their half :-) )

1:12 AM, February 14, 2005

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have to remember that the manager and players are still getting to know each other. Jol has to experiment with different ideas. The 4-3-3 formation is one, and using Atouba (he is still only 22!) at left-back is another. Clearly the manager sees potential in the Cameroonian: he believes Atouba is a more attacking option than Erik Edman and I am inclined to accept his judgement on this. As this young team evolves this selection preference might possibly become just one of many surprises. Having lots to talk about is fun: Edman or Atouba? Pamarot or Kelly? Reid or Ziegler? Kanoute or Mido? Keane or Defoe? How to accommodate fit-again Sean Davis? How badly does the defence miss the experience of Naybet when he's out? When to blood the host of talented yongsters we have signed?
I'm convinced we Spurs supporters now have the opportunity to witness the building and evolution of a great team. Lets enjoy the skills, the dreams, the players and, I'm convinced, the inevitable success. Its a chance that comes once in a lifetime, if at all. Thank you, Mr Arnesen, Mr Jol, Mr Levy.

9:16 AM, February 14, 2005

Blogger The Peong said...

The fact that Jol can adapt in game is great. And the fact that he is willing to experiment and see what he can do with different formations and players shows his desire to succeed. But, in my mind, Jol's most stand out quality is his class. In this year of whining, waring managers its a breath of fresh air to have Jol come out and shrug off a bad call as just part of the game, and not see a conspiracy. Its this kind of attitude that I think we'll see reflected on the pitch, and in the returns from the young players over the next couple of seasons. It can only be a step in the right direction

3:55 PM, February 19, 2005

Anonymous EVERTON FAN said...

What is important is that we everton will finish 4th this year. That means at the end of this season we will recieve 20 million + the 2nd 10 million installment from the Rooney deal. 3o million will cement us as a top 4 club.

My view on Tottenham:

1. A 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 is played with two wingers. Not a front line of Keane, Defoe and Kanoute.

2. Your best CM is Sean Davis, injuries means that you wont see him that often. Carrick has the ability to be like Xavi, a deep-lying playmaker, but so far looks like a championship player. You have yet to find the balance in midfield.

4. Tottenham's policy of having 21 year olds in the first team and 19 year olds as back-up will backfire. Our consistent form this season is due to player like Cahill, 24, Osman, 23, Bent, 26, Hibbert, 23, Pistone, 26, Kilbane, 27. These player are experienced, but still have around 4-5 year ahead of them. Young player, under 23, is often inconsistent or will have 2nd season synderome.

I admit that i'm a bit jeolous with the amount of money you have spent, but it is nowhere near the jeolousy of Tottenham fan with our season under David Moyes. Remember the 5-1 means nothing, but what matters is how you peform in 38 games.

Good Luck in your battle for mid-table.


8:41 AM, February 22, 2005

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the everton fan,
Since when has age mattered,spurs have one of the best youngest teams around and are buildin for the future. Everton are shit,we proved it. How many times have you beat teams 1-0 with a shit load of draws you scrap through every match, all the "bigger" teams hammer you.
Spurs are on the up mate and you cant handle it,Arnesen and Jol are legends.
Watch this space.

P.s It was 5-2 by the way !

10:17 AM, February 24, 2005


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