Match Review, Tottenham vs Anzhi Makachkala.

Match: Thursday 12th December 2013.

Europa League

Tottenham 4-1 Anzhi Makachkala.

Tottenham goals: Soldado 7′, 16′ and 70′ (pen), Holtby 54′.

Anzhi goal: Ewerton 44′

A great win, and a brilliant professional performance from the lads. In a match that meant little in terms of qualification, we went into the game ready to secure the 100% record that was up for grabs, a team of Champions wants to win every game no matter how big or small, and that’s what we did and in great style too. We started really brightly and very quickly got the goal from a Gylfi Sigurdsson free kick that with a deft touch from the head of Roberto Soldado, found the inside of the post and into the net for 1-0, a much needed goal for Roberto. We continued to press and got another just nine minutes later. Mousa Dembele winning the ball well in midfield and finding Erik Lamela who skillfully with a reverse ball put Soldado clear in front of goal and he finished expertly like someone with re-found confidence. A quiet spell then came from Spurs and Anzhi started to get into the game again. White Hart Lane went a bit flat and we became sloppy in possession, and it lead to their goal, Ewerton finishing for 2-1 just before half time. After the break we came back out and started playing better football, our passing improved and we started creating chances again. Our third goal came after some lovely football, Andros Townsend from the right hand side drinking the ball into the box for Lewis Holtby who controlled it really well, two touches and finished brilliantly, the ball not touching the ground, 3-1! We continued to play well and started introducing the youngsters, Ryan Fredericks entering the frame, and impressing, it was his mazey and adventurous run into the box that forced a tackle from the Anzhi defender and after a little debate, a penalty was awarded and that means Roberto Soldado gets his chance for his hat-trick, which of course he delivered, a great performance from Robbie.

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Great to get the win, and secure the 100% record, 6 wins from 6 and 18 points is great, very happy. The Europa League draw is on Monday, 16th December 2013, let’s hope for a good draw in the round of 32. Our next game is in the Premier League, against Liverpool at the Lane on Sunday 15th December 2013. A massive game! COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Anzhi at the Lane:
Friedel – 7
Naughton – 7
Capoue – 8.5
Fryers – 8
Rose – 7.5
Holtby – 9
Dembele – 8.5
Lamela – 7
Sigurdsson – 8
Townsend – 8
Soldado – 9 – Man of the Match

Subs:
Fredericks – 8
Eriksen – 8
Coulthirst – 7

AVB’s thoughts on our 4-1 win over Anzhi:

Highlights from our 4-1 win:

Match Review, Anzhi Makhachkala vs Tottenham.

Thursday 3rd October 2013

Europa League

Anzhi Makhachkala 0-2 Tottenham. Defoe 34′, Chadli 39′.

Professional performance from the lads in a game that we were more than expected to get a result. We were dominant, and we deserved the three points to keep us at the top of our group in the Europa League. We weren’t amazing, but we got the job done fairly easily and didn’t leave room for any upsets. In the first half we passed the ball around really well and controlled the game, Lewis Holtby and Mousa Dembele at the heart of our control. We couldn’t find the decisive pass to open up the Anzhi defensive unit that was being relatively sturdy. Finally, Lewis Holtby picked a delightful pass through to Jermain Defoe who slotted home clinically, as usual, to make it 7 goals for the season and 5 in the Europa League. Quickly after another delicious ball from Holtby set Walker away down the right to set up Nacer Chadli who finished well in the box for his second Spurs goal. The second half was very, well, boring. Anzhi pushed into the game a bit more, but we held on and completed a good win.

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No real stand out performances for this game. I don’t think anyone was bad, as it was difficult conditions on a cold night in Russia, the bobbles on the pitch didn’t help us to play our game, and made it difficult for both attack and defence. Vlad Chiriches impressed me with his composure and ability to run with the ball, a little shaky at points but this is down to nerves, and I think he’s trying overly hard to impress after just coming into the team, maybe physically he needs to continue to work and get stronger as Lacina Traoré of Anzhi was a real test, although he is 6ft 8. Lewis Holtby was another top player, his creativity in the end won us the game, very important he impresses, and at this rate he deserves a place, although it is very tough competition! Jermain Defoe is one goal off Martin Chivers’ European record, maybe getting the record at White Hart Lane is destiny, got his customary goal today, and maybe should have got a couple more! Younes Kaboul looked brilliant today, so unfortunate with his injuries, I hope to God he gets fully fit and stays fit because when he is, he is my first choice centre back alongside Jan Vertonghen. One last thing, can I urge EVERYONE to give the new signings time. Erik Lamela received some extremely naive criticism, as a 21 year old who doesn’t speak any English he needs time to settle in. He will be amazing for us, in time.

A good win, another clean sheet. We now face West Ham on Sunday, 6th October in the Premier League. Our next Europa League fixture is on the 24th October away at Sherrif. COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Anzhi at the Saturn Stadium:
Lloris – 8
Walker – 7
Chiriches – 8
Kaboul – 8
Fryers – 7
Sandro – 6
Dembele – 8 Man of the Match
Lamela – 6
Holtby – 8
Chadli – 7
Defoe – 6

Subs:
Dawson – 6
Sigurdsson – N/A
Eriksen – N/A

Match Preview, Anzhi Makhachkala vs Tottenham.

Match: Thursday, 3rd October 2013. Kick off 5:00pm GMT.

Europa League

We continue our Europa League campaign with a tough trip to Russia to face a team who are facing a lot of troubles, Anzhi Makhachkala. The match will be tough as the conditions in Russia do not exactly suit the way we like to play football. The pitch may not be in the most glamorous state for the attractive passing football that we like to play, therefore we will have to adapt to the conditions quickly to get the three points that we need. We have been playing well, we still need time to gel as a team, and the thing that helps most with the development of the squad is matches, at the moment, with matches coming thick and fast, we are gelling as a team and becoming better and better. The Europa League is a trophy that we are striving to win, we tried last season and failed, but we showed a good attitude towards the competition with a weaker squad than we have now. Hopefully, with what is now a much stronger squad, we can create European glory once again.

Anzhi have been in terrible form, they lie bottom of the Russian League without a win in 16 attempts in all competitions. They had a fire sale in the summer window losing their star players Samuel Eto’o and Willian to Chelsea. Their owner ordered a ‘restructure’ of the club, and has now gone into HIDING after being placed on a most wanted list for corruption charges. It really is a shambles in Russia. They do hold a threat going forward, with their 6’8 Ivorian striker Lacina Traoré, but he is said to be out of the game with a shoulder injury. Jucile in midfield is an ever present and can be said to be their most creative of players, with, in the absence of Traoré, Burmistrov their man to lead the line, but has only grabbed one goal in seven apperances.

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AVB has always expressed his full commitment to the Europa League and sees it as a trophy that we can win, so strong teams will be played in the competition. We have extremely good squad depth, so the team we field *should* always be capable of getting the result we need. We take one star out, and replace them with another, something we have never had before. Jermain Defoe has been scoring goals for fun in the cup competitions, he is expected to start once again, so let’s hope he continues his good run. A safe bet for first goal scorer I’d say! Lewis Holtby is another to have shined in the Europa League, his ability to find a pass has been needed, he has fed Defoe extremely well so far, he should replace Christian Eriksen in the team for the game against Anzhi. Erik Lamela hasn’t been starting in the Premier League as he continues to settle in at the club, this is a perfect opportunity to show what he can do, and why he has to start ahead of an in-form Andros Townsend and when he returns, the long time starter on the right, Aaron Lennon. Danny Rose should be fit to return, but I’d like to see him rested so he is fully fit to return on Sunday for our clash with West Ham. Emmanuel Adebayor returned to first team training at the start of the week, but didn’t travel as he continues to regain his fitness, a good asset to have once he’s back.

A game we should be winning, if we do grab the three points it puts us in a great position to progress from the group. Anzhi, while they are a difficult task, shouldn’t be good enough to overcome a team full of confidence like we are. The game is being shown live in the UK on ITV 4 with coverage starting at 4:45pm. COYS!!

My predicted/preferred line up to face Anzhi at the Saturn Stadium:
Friedel
Naughton – Kaboul – Chiriches – Fryers
Sandro – Dembele
Lamela – Holtby – Chadli
Defoe