Spurs Strikers Need Game Time Not Abuse

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If Jermaine Defoe and SuperPav were to read the some of the thoughts of their clubs supporters they would either be very depressed or wanting away as quckly as possible.

Unfortunately they are continuously described as mis-firing , goal-shy , underperforming instead of recognising that ,despite the fact they are the most likely to score , they were mainly watching from the bench.

The lone Crouch with support from the midfielder Van der Vaart was the preferred option for Harry Redknapp.  Poor old Defoe even got left out after scoring two excellent goals at Wolves last season.  It must be very frustrating for both of them. SuperPav had the best return of all the players in the squad in goals per minutes played terms.  Yet both knew whatever they did the system meant at least one if not both of them would be watching.

I believe that instead of following the vast majority of supporters thoughts of paying millions for Johnny Foreigner, which often doesnt work out, Redknapp needs to setting the team up less predictably.   The bottom six all knew how to come to White Hart Lane and stop Crouch so Spurs hardly scored in those games.  Against the top sides Van der Vaart was playing off Dawson across the back rather than Crouch so equally there was little goal threat.

Spurs biggest priority should be to sell off the players that definitely are not going to be considered seriously this season.   If it were my choice Jenas , Crouch ,  Keane , Corluka and Bassong but be gone with possibly Bentley as well although I still think he can regain his form.
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I would also like to see Dos Santos given a chance.  There is something going on there that defies logic or I am missing some vital information.  He has only been good enough to play 10 part games in the least important matches in 3 years yet he is apparently worth more now than we paid for him and is interesting top European clubs.  The boy is clearly better than he has been allowed to be at Tottenham.  He is great for his country and scored the winner in against USA in the final of this summers tournament.  He needs a proper chance though it looks unlikely it will happen.  But he is player who scores on the world stage but not good enough for Tottenham.  Spurs  will probably let him slip away.

The biggest mistakes Redknapp could make would be to continue with the same punt it at Crouch tactic and the same goalkeeper.  Start with a better goalkeeper and put forwards onto the pitch instead of onto the bench and Spurs can finish above Arsenal and in the top 4 again even without any major purchase.

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MK Dons 3 Tottenham XI 5

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Tottenham fielded a surprisingly strong side for this Spurs XI fixture.  It was great to see the starting line up included Defoe , Pavlyuchenko, Kranjcar , Corluka, Danny Rose and David Bentley and a  magificent 16ooo crowd probably deserved to see some famous faces.

The game was very open and lively throughout with both sides missing early chances but it only took 7 minutes for SuperPav to burst through the middle and slot home.   Baldock hit the post for Dons before the lively Pavlyuchenko smashed in a cracker in the near top corner to go in 2 – 0 at half time.

Spurs often looked vulnerable losing possession whilst dwelling on the ball in midfield and were very reliant on Corluka to clear things up at centre back.

Luke Chadwick seized a chance to get Dons back in the game just after half time when Kranjcar lost possession.  It wasnt long before Dons were back on level terms following another midfield mistake by Spurs.

Defoe had got himself into plenty of good positions without catching a chance early like we all know he can.  He either took one touch too many or hit it so clean it was straight at the MK keeper David Martin.  He made way for Harry Kane after 75 minutes and Kane got in between goalkeeper and defender to steal a poachers goal at the Spurs end with his second touch.   Within a couple of minutes Niko Kranjcar absolutely fizzed a long range one across  the goal and into the far corner.  It seemed like game over and Spurs took off Corluka who was the only defender with any height.   Within a couple of minutes Dons scored again to set up a grandstand finish.  However the promising Kane robbed a defender of  possession and pushed the ball along the ground for the bottom corner to seal the win. He will have enjoyed scoring 2 goals in 15 minutes in front of a sea of Spurs fans behind the goal.
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All in all a good game, good football at times but with lots of mistakes and also lots of goals and good value for a friendly match.

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What Difference Would An Early Penalty Have Made To Spurs ?

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Three penalty appeals turned down early on and a brave opening onslaught saw Spurs make a brave attempt  to make a game of it against Rel Madrid at White Hart Lane.  What a difference an early goal would have made to the very vocal and supportive atmosphere with the crowd urging their team on.

Bales early appeal was hopeful but fouls on Modric and Roman Pavlyuchenko should have brought penalties as Real Madrid struggling to contain a buzzing Spurs side.  Who knows how the level of excitement might have changed if even one of those had been given.

The longer Real Madrid held out the calmer things got and slowly they found their way into the game.   At half time the tie looked beyond Spurs and not long after Gomes made another howler to allow a Ronaldo shot to slip through his hands for a goal the shot did not deserve.  Game over and although Spurs tried to look willing and showed commendable spirit the game petered out.
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I feel Spurs beat themselves in this tie rather than being beaten by a superior team.  Crouch causing the tie to over very early with his sending off and Gomes making a mistake in both games costing 2 goals.   Also if you need to score goals I still feel the man most likely is Jermaine Defoe and he wasn’t on the pitch.  Sandro must consider himself unlucky not to start because he has been the best player for the last few matches.

It has been a great adventure for Spurs and I hope they can repeat what they did last year to qualify when they were given no chance of beating Chelsea , Arsenal and Man.City yet beat them all.

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Would You Buy A Ticket For An England Friendly?

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I find it absolutely amazing that the Match tonight is a sell out. The biggest sell out is by the FA who charge huge prices for non events leaving the people the customers bought the tickets to see at home on the sofa.  Perhaps the people that bought the tickets are expecting to be let down now as it happens so consistently.  I think even diehard  football fans find these games boring so ‘well done’ to whoever sold all the tickets and ‘get your bumps’ felt to those who bought them.

I haven’t found these games in the least bit interesting since Sven turned them to farce several years ago. It just seems a pointless exercise when there is proper competitive football available to watch and this rubbish is just in the way.
Apart from exploiting their own customers the FA also insult our opponents by playing a reserve side against them. How would the FA feel if we went to play in Ghana and they didn’t put their best team out. I don’t know where we get this arrogance from as we consistently fail at International football.

It is an inconsistent arrogance too because we always think that we need a foreign manager despite making two appalling appointments. Anybody that makes somebody the highest paid manager in the world that can’t speak the language is incredibly stupid. The reality is that those players could easily have got the same results with a dustman as manager. Preferably an English dustman please FA if you read this and think it is a masterplan. Capello out – Dave the Dustman in !
I don’t see the point of international football anymore when all the allegiances are bought rather than native. Players play for any old country that asks it seems and managers are just mercenaries.
Personally, I wouldn’t be vaguely interested in spending my money or wasting anybody elses on watching the non events that England friendlies have become. I won’t even watch it on TV because it is a pointless match. Roll on the weekend and some proper football.

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Entertainment From The Football Conference

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Just to emphasise that the Premier League isn’t the only place that can be entertaining , incident filled and that gets refereeing mistakes I have a couple of video clips for you that would be massive talking points in more high profile football. These 2 clips come from recent games in the Football Conference.
The first is a clip of match between Ebbsfleet United and Farnborough Town in which there is a sending off in just about the shortest time imaginable from the start of the match. Red Card in record Time .  It is just so unexpected and the left back must have got such a lot of stick afterwards for causing the situation to arise.

The second clip is from a match between Blyth Spartans and Droylesden in which the referee and his assistant have a bit of a nightmare.  Probably the most obvious penalty for handball ever seen goes unpunished.   It is a clear sending off and penalty that somehow escapes the officials attention.  You can see why fans shout out  ‘ Are you Blind Referee ? ‘

Can you imagine if  either of these two incidents happened in a match between Arsenal and Manchester United ?  All hell would break loose !

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Beckham Interest surely tells 4 Spurs Players its time to leave

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The mere fact that Harry Redknapp considers that David Beckham can come to Spurs and get a game must surely tell the likes of Bentley, Keane , Kranjcar and Dos Santos it is time to head for pastures new.

Four very good international players that are younger , quicker and good enough for most Premiership teams but who can’t get a sniff of a start at White Hart Lane.   It must be very depressing for them to be considered less effective than the ageing England superstar.  Particularly Bentley who ousted Beckham from his England place a few years ago because Beckhams time was supposedly up then!  Beckham clearly hasn’t improved in that time so presumably Bentley has gone backwards a long way since he arrived at Spurs. Also gone backwards since the last time Beckham was linked with Spurs and Harry said he didn’t need him because he had David Bentley who is a terrific crosser of a football.

But why isn’t record Irish goal scorer Keane, World Cup star Giovanni Dos Santos or regular Croatian international Kranjcar a better option that Beckham.  I can’t explain it and I can’t see how Harry can explain it other than he brings a wealth of experience and a winning mentality.  I think the players he has there already have a winning mentality, they are doing very well and gaining confidence all the time.  They have just won 3 consecutive matches 2 of which they won with 10 men.  That is confidence, winning games when the usual tactic is to get 10 men behind the ball and shut up shop.

I hope Harry has got it right because I would hate to see all the good work undone and I have a great respect for David Beckham. Personally I would rather see one or two of these other players given the chance to contribute. Giovanni Dos Santos was excellent in the World Cup and has hardly even made the bench. Recent comments suggest he is not even considered as suitable cover for Aaron Lennon which makes me wonder why he is even at the club as they don’t seem to rate him at all.

I can’t see Beckham being any more effective than these players and the adverse effect it would have on these 4 players confidence surely means that they are leaving or not in Harrys plans.  For a short term loan I think the cons outweigh the pros I am sorry to say.

Liverpool still Struggling – Why ? Hodgson or Benitez

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Liverpool lost again at home tonight and they are back in crisis.  Losing at home to Wolves is unacceptable to Liverpool fans and they are rebelling against Roy Hodgsons management with some even clamouring for the return of Benitez. 

   To compare Hodgson to Benitez is difficult and unfair.  Benitez had loads of time and boat loads of money and left Hodgson with not much to show for it.  Hodgson is charged with turning the remnants of Benitez’s side into a force with no opportunity to build his own team. He has had little time or support to do anything of his own making. It doesn’t seem as though he will be around long enough to spend any money on his own team.  I feel Liverpool made a wise choice to appoint an English manager and one that knows his way around both the Premier League and Europe. 

  I find it quite remarkable that anyone would press for Rafa to return.  He has been shown the door by Liverpool and Inter Milan in very quick succession and really has done nothing in recent times to justify the confidence some people have in him. 

I hope that Roy Hodgson still gets a chance to do the job he has been appointed to do.  He has some top players that are not performing.  Fernando Torres and Joe Cole are very good players that have done virtually nothing this season for Hodgson.  The owners have to decide whether the manager is to blame or whether they should sell some of these players and get people that would be more interested in performing.  Unfortunately Hodgson sounds like a beaten man in his interviews and he needs to pick himself up as well as the players.

 I hope they don’t go down the route of appointing another foreign manager as I think it is bad for the future of the English game and one good thing Liverpool have tried to do is to get back to a more English base.


Custom Football Socks

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If you run a team or a football club that has several teams the chances are you got your football socks with your shirts and shorts and probably paid them the least attention of the three.  Actually the football socks are the piece that need the most attention.  They are the most likely to get lost or ripped and need replacing.  Few clubs have the foresight to order extra socks with their kit.

My suggestion to you is that you shouldn’t be buying your socks with the kit but them separately particularly it you have more than one team in your club. Bespoke football socks give your club that little bit extra in terms of organisation standing in the football community as well. Any physcological advantages over the opponents are helpful and looking professional is one of them

Many of the kits offered today come with lesser quality socks imported cheaply from the far east and not necessarily sold cheaply.  You would do well to check the quality of socks if buying in this way.

My suggestion is that you can buy top quality custom socks with your club name or badge knitted into the socks here in the UK.  The job can usually be done in 3 to 4 weeks.   Your club could unify the look of the teams by all wearing your own unique club socks. You get to choose your own design. Quality is assured and you know you won’t have any problem re stocking if you need some more

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Newcastle Returns to Circus Mode

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It couldn’t last.  Newcastle United haven’t been on the front pages or headlines on the back pages for months.  Their penchant for the ridiculous seemed to be over.  Apparently not, the calm that Chris Hughton had quietly brought to bear at St James Park has been broken once again by the owner and chief villain Mike Ashley.

Chris Hughton was shown the door yesterday despite bringing order to a club in chaos, winning the Championship at the first attempt and guiding Newcastle to as good a start as they could seriously hope for. He has done an incredible job without being able to invest in players. He has brought Andy Carroll through to International football in a short time and he has shown many managers and players how to react graciously in victory as well as defeat.   The game will be worse off without him,  but hopefully just for a short time.

Unfortunately, the game does have to carry on with the owner who wants somebody more experienced than Chris Hughton.  So it will be interesting to see which masochist is brave enough to run the gauntlet that is Newcastle United.  Chris Hughton has played and been assistant manager to some very good managers and has years and years working in the top flight so it is a big ask to find somebody more experienced.  Unless they have a very big name lined up and a pot of gold to spent in January I can’t see how they are going to finish higher than they already are.  It is a big ask for anybody to come in and do better with the current squad and a return to circus conditions.

I think the manager will have to be a real heavyweight for Mr Ashley not to come out of this looking foolish yet again. It will be an interesting few days on Tyneside.

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Wouldn’t It Be Great To Be Called Lucky Spurs ?

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Being called ‘ Lucky Spurs’ would be a sign of success.  The teams at the top always get their fair share of luck and late winning goals.  I never rememember having thought this way about Tottenham.  I can remember the Gooners being called ‘ Lucky Arsenal’  for years with countless fortunate victories to their name by odd goals or dubious penalties.  It seems if you can get a roll with this type of luck as Manchester United do then it gathers its own momentum.

Spurs were a touch lucky to pick up all 3 points against Liverpool on Sunday but on the other hand Jermaine Defoe missed two great chances and got marginally offside for a third.  This sort of luck comes with self belief.  Most years Spurs would be happy with a draw against Liverpool but this season a draw would have been a big disappointment.  The expectancy is so much greater this season and Spurs for the first time in many years see themselves as better than Liverpool.

Liverpool played better than expected but then Tottenham were below par particularly in the first half. Palacios was not at all good and surely only stayed on because of injuries to two of his teammates.  Benoit Assou Ekotto was frustrating beyond belief with his hopeful dollies forward at Crouch which rarely got there and was wasteful of possession.  He didn’t look like he knew he had the quickest wide player around just in front of him wanting the ball.  Bale wasn’t able to get involved at his usual level as he was being bypassed and was restricted to a few runs but several free kicks and corners. The nice thing about Spurs at the moment is that if one player is having an off day somebody else can step up and perform. In this match that was Luka Modric who opened Liverpool up and change the course of the game.

The luck of course came in injury time when another hopeful punt by Assou Ekotto eluded Crouch but dropped perfectly for the on running Lennon to slot in the corner.  A well taken goal from a very fortunate ball forward was what it needed to win the game.  Lets hope that next time things aren’t quite going perfectly Spurs get another slice of luck.

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