What a dreadful result and performance. Extremely disappointed to be out of the FA cup, it’s a cup that we wanted to win as it is a cup that we have a lot of history in and to be out is devastating. Leeds were average at best, but they worked extremely hard and deserved the win. It was the fact that we were so poor, makes it such a hard defeat to take. There were some brilliant performances from the Leeds players, Luke Varney and Ross McCormack gave our defence hell, which is hard to believe seeing as our centre backs deal with some of the best attacking forces in the world and don’t have that many problems, very disappointing.
Clint Dempsey, got a lot of stick today, but it was very unneeded because he was playing in a role that he shouldn’t have, we lack a striker, so this window must bring the arrival of a world class finisher. Our centre back pairing of Caulker and Vertonghen was absolutely shocking, for brilliant centre backs they looked scared of an average Leeds attack. Assou-Ekotto looked quite solid today, a bright light in an awful display. Parker was very good as well, he gave it his all, a true leader he deserved to be captain today. An awful result, but we have to move on and get our form back on the right track. Our next game is in the Premier League against Norwich on Wednesday at 7:45pm. COYS!!
My player ratings for the team that faced Leeds United:
Friedel – 7
Naughton – 5
Caulker – 5
Vertonghen – 5
Assou-Ekotto – 7
Lennon – 7
Parker – 8
Huddlestone – 5
Bale – 7
Sigurdsson – 5
Dempsey – 6
This will be an extremely hard test for us. To do the double over United? Impossible? Maybe not this season. It’s a season of firsts against United, we took all three points for the first time in 23 years at Old Trafford, so doing the double would be absolutely mind-blowing. Manchester United are on an unbelievable run, and at the top of the league, so it is going to be very difficult to get anything from the match. We know everything about former Arsenal man Robin Van Persie, and he is going to be extremely difficult to control, so Dawson and Vertonghen will have to be on top of their games. Scott Parker will have to be keeping tabs on Wayne Rooney, if he is allowed time and space he will cause us problems, and lots of them. One thing that is for certain in this game is that White Hart Lane will be rocking!
As always Gareth Bale needs to be playing well, when he plays, we play. Clint Dempsey should start as Adebayor is away at the African Cup of Nations, he’s been in good form, and scoring goals so hopefully he can bag us the winner again! It will be interesting to see who starts at left back, wether it will be Assou-Ekotto or Kyle Naughton, for experience, I would personally play Assou-Ekotto. Mousa Dembele will have to dominate in midfield alongside Scott Parker and their partnership will have to blossom very quickly, but I’m sure it has all been planned out at Hotspur Way. The game is on Sunday at 4pm, the game is live on Sky Sports, coverage starts at 3:30pm. Another 3-2 win would do nicely! COYS!!
My preferred team to face Manchester United at the Lane:
Walker – Dawson – Vertonghen – Assou-Ekotto
Lennon – Parker – Dembele – Bale
This match will be a massive test for us, we had a quality Christmas period and if we were to continue that run it would be superb. Last season, this is where we started to slip up, points dropped at home and in away games, this is what we need to prevent, and I’m sure AVB is aware of this. We face a team in the relegation places of the league, and on paper we should win easily, but this is a team with incentive, they are scrapping for points and after winning 1-0 at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea they will be very positive about their chances. The reverse fixture was an edgy 2-1 win, where a Faurlin own goal helped us to victory. We will be facing our old manager Harry Redknapp, and he will have plenty of incentive to win against us after the way we sacked him.
Clint Dempsey has been impressing more and more, and he will have to step up after Adebayor leaves for the African Cup of Nations, he has been scoring goals and linking well with the team, but most importantly he looks like he is settled in to life with Spurs. Gareth Bale will be back after his suspension, and he will be a big boost to our team, Sigurdsson may miss out. Defoe will have to take his chances well as we may be restricted in the chances we create, although it could be that both teams attack and the game becomes open and chances will start to flow for both teams. Benoit Assou-Ekotto could get his first start in the Premier League after returning from injury, although Kyle Naughton has been excellent and doesn’t deserve to be dropped. I hope we can continue the run we have had over Christmas into the New Year, and secure third place. The game is live on Sky Sports at Midday. COYS!!
My preferred starting 11 to face QPR:
Walker – Caulker – Vertonghen – Assou-Ekotto
Lennon – Sandro – Dembele – Bale