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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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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.
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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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Change of Fortunes for Top Teams

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It is absolutely amazing the difference 2 or 3 matches can have on  the expectations of a Premiership football team. Only a couple of weeks ago Liverpool were right in the doldrums with their new manager, Roy Hodgson, rumoured to be having the door shown to him after only a extremely brief stay.  Now, having had a few fortunate wins under their belts they somehow discover some form to beat Chelsea  2 – 0 and deservedly so. A very solid performance which thoroughly deserved the 3 points must have felt very sweet to the Liverpool hardcore after such a terrible start to their campaign.

Contrast Liverpool to Manchester City, who must be under the moon, who have just been on a 3 game losing run ,whilst without Tevez, after a promising start and Tottenham giddy from the heights of thrashing Inter Milan to defeat at  Bolton and we seem to be on for an unpredictable but interesting season with very few results assurred.  Even at the other end of the league there is not a side that looks definitely doomed. The sides that have come up are doing remarkably well with Blackpool entirely unpredictable but more than holding their own.

Arsenal have already lost 2  games at The Emirates this season which is very surprising. With the exception of Manchester United and Chelsea ,who look like pulling away,  the rest will race for 3rd and 4th spot  which looks to be the most interesting this season as was the race for 4th last season.

Now the pressure is on Arsenal , Spurs and Manchester City to come back with results to continue  their expected challenge and to juggle their squads effectively to cope with all the extra fixtures european football puts their way.

This could very well be the most open season for a while with such an equal field.

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Gareth Bale becomes World Famous

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Gareth Bales demolition of Champions League ‘Defender of the Year’ twice in a fortnight has resulted in huge coverage and outlandish praise for the young Welshman. This morning the newspapers , TV and radio are only talking about one man. For once Manchester Uniteds exploits take a back seat as Bales pace and pinpoint delivery destroyed Inter Milan at White Hart Lane.

Bale went passed Maicon, the Brazilian international defender, so easily so many times that the crowd were singing ‘taxi for Maicon’.  Poor Maicon looked like he was playing in cement boots as Bale tore pass him time after time { I won’t say ‘time and time again’ because I think Alan Hansen has it copyrighted} .

This morning, as there was a fortnight ago when he scored a second half hat trick, the speculation is that Spurs are not a big enough club to hang on to him.  The bookmakers have opened books on which club he will join and I suspect with every good performance he puts in this speculation will gather momentum.  He seems a great quiet boy who has found a place to flourish.  I hope he realises that and gives himself time to grow where he is.  I have heard Spurs described as a selling club today and that means it is only a matter of time before they sell him.  There are few clubs in the country that spend as much as Spurs so I am not sure how that conclusion is reached.  As far as I can see the players that have left in recent years of their own free will are Carrick and Berbatov who both went to Manchester United not because Spurs are a selling club but because they wanted to play in front of twice as many fans every week and play Champions League.  Well Spurs are Champions League now and the outlook is brighter than previously so I don’t see that the same pulling power exists anymore.

Bale is a greater prospect than either Carrick  or Berbatov, both of whom have had mixed fortunes since switching to Old Trafford.  He is going to have a great season and long Spurs career.

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Can the away team ever get the rub off the green at Old Trafford?

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When you complain about decisions going against your team after they have lost there is always that element of sour grapes. Whether it is against Manchester United or Blackpool in always sounds like excuses. Unfortunately at Old Trafford it has become an annual event for Tottenham and is very often the same for other teams too. If there is any rub of the green to be had it is to the team in red.

Having suffered at the hands of Mr Clattenberg before at Old Trafford when Pedro Mendes had his winning goal played on it was speculated pre match that he was a disaster waiting to happen and so it proved.

This time the referee allowed Nani to get away with diving then get away with hand ball and play on to score.  Gomes was culpable too here for assuming a free kick and not playing to the whistle.    However the linesman clearly pointed out to the referee that a handball had occured and he chose to ignore it and give the goal. I am not sure what the point of the linesman is if he is over ruled on such a blatantly simple point.   It is clear that Mr Clattenberg showed favourism to Rio Ferdinard by allowing him to listen to his conversation with his assistant whilst shooing off the Spurs players and booking one of them for a very reasonable protest.

I am convinced like many others that away teams can’t get those sorts of decisions at Old Trafford and that the dice are always loaded towards the home team.  Harry Redknapp will no doubt be fined for stating the obvious about the refereeing but he is not as scary and powerful as Sir Alex Ferguson so will never have the benefit of this sort of refereeing.

Is that sour grapes? Possibly it is, but Ferdinard shouldn’t be any more important than Modric.  John Terry appears to be allowed the same privilege by some referees too and it is time it was stopped.  Manchester United would probab;ly have won the game anyway but it is a shame that we again are talking about home bias by the referee at Old Trafford instead of what until then was a pretty good game

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Goal Line Officials Add Chaos Instead of Clarity

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The goal line officials added only chaos and confusion to the match at White Hart Lane last night between Spurs and FC Twente. The extra officials deployed in European matches are not only unnecessary but yesterday proved to be an extra distraction for the referee to handle. With there strange batons they looked more like gay continental policeman than football officials  and might as well have been.

They seemed to have a big part in awarding Tottenham their 3 penalties but strangely then appeared to not pay attention as the penalties were taken.  The main function of the goal line official is presumably to watch the goal line.  For the first penalty, which was saved , his job was to watch the goalkeeper , I would assume. Clearly he didn’t think so as the goalkeepers movement went unchecked.  This is a non-job with maybe 5 minutes work at most in 90 and the only time he was actually needed he didn’t act.  He and his little friend at the other end did voice their opinions on the penalties it seems but they really aren’t needed for that.  You can’t decide penalties by committee it is bound to lead to confusion

These officials need abandoning as a pointless waste of time and money with immediate effect

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Who Chooses the Commentators for Sky Matches ?

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I have no idea who is responsible for choosing who commentates on which match for Sky but I really don’t think a lot of thought goes into it.  Anybody that has any awareness at all of the football fans thought patterns would be aware that having a former player from one of the teams taking part is going to alienate and irritate half of the viewing audience.  I wonder how many Spurs fans where last night telling Alan ‘Smudger’ Smith how to pronounce his ‘r’s in no uncertain terms for a full 120 minutes.

With the fierce rivalry between the two clubs it is particularly thoughtless to put him on this match. I am very surprised that he gets so many Spurs games to commentate on anyway as he is always going to be unpopular with Spurs fans. Not for any other reason than he is ever associated with Arsenal and that is not good.  To be fair to him he hides his bias better than some.

I know we are going to have to put up with the  smugness of Andy Gray for ever but we can shove Smudger off to Fulham or Aston Villa matches without any major upheaval surely.

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Why do Spurs need Ashley Young?

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There has been speculation about Ashley Young moving to Spurs from Aston Villa all summer long.  I can’t really see why this has been the case and would be totally puzzled if it turned out to be true.   Firstly because Spurs don’t need him and secondly because there will be uproar at Aston Villa if they sell another of there better players.

Spurs arguably currently have the most effective wide players in the country with Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon in the starting line up.  If they are not available then there is Gio Dos Santos, David Bentley, Modric and Kranjcar that can play the position at least as well as if not better than Ashley Young.  Danny Rose is also an effective wide man.   There just doesn’t seem a logical reason for signing him unless one of the Spurs men are leaving.

I haven’t seen anything from Young that makes him an improvement on the players already at Tottenham and when scrutinized his final ball is  not accurate enough to be paying silly transfer fees for.

Spurs have made two very sensible signings this summer.  To remain in the land of logic the best thing would be for Keane to depart and a talented forward to arrive. It seems unlikely to be Luis Fabiano and there are no other obvious candidates in the frame at the moment so perhaps Keane will be staying again.

Jenas is perhaps the other candidate to leave as he is unlikely to start many games.

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Plastic pitch takes its toll on Spurs

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Spurs travel to Stoke City for the second league game of the season with 4 out of  the possible 5 front players injured on the plastic pitch in Berne Switzerland on Tuesday night.  All the forwards that played picked up strains and only Peter Crouch is fit possibly because he is the only one that didn’t play.

It is a bit difficult to predict the line up with Modric also injured.  If none of these players travel it looks like Harry might be forced to play Jenas as an attacking midfielder getting up to play in and around Crouch or possibly Kranjcar could play in the hole.

It looks like Spurs are getting stronger now with the arrival of Gallas and Sandro.  The weakness appears to me to be the fullbacks now. Ekotto can be great but has a few stinkers but how Corluka gets the nod over his rivals for right back is a bit of a  baffler.  He is tidy but slow and rarely delivers a decent cross.  He is too slow to overlap and often gets outpaced when defending so it ought to be a good time for Walker or Naughton make the breakthrough this season.  It is unclear why Spurs bought Kaboul back as they had already sold him once because he wasn’t good enough.

For Saturdays game perhaps only having one forward might be a blessing as going to Stoke is a job for the physically and mentally strong.  A packed midfield might just be whats necessary to get a result.

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