Match Review, Tottenham vs Hull City.

Match: Wednesday 30th October 2013

Capital One Cup

Tottenham 2-2 Hull City. Tottenham win 8-7 on penalties.

Goals (Spurs): Sigurdsson 16′, Kane 108′

Goals (Hull): Friedel OG 53′, McShane 99′

Penalties (Tottenham): Sigurdsson – SCORED, Defoe – SCORED, Vertonghen – SCORED, Lamela – MISSED, Kane – SCORED, Paulinho – SCORED, Kaboul – SCORED, Dembele – SCORED, Walker – SCORED.

Penalties (Hull City): McLean – MISSED, Quinn – SCORED, Boyd – SCORED, Gedo – SCORED, Meyler – SCORED, Proshwitz – SCORED, Rosenoir – SCORED, McShane – SCORED, Elmohamady – MISSED.

What a game. We did it the hard way, but we’re through to the quarter finals of the Capital One Cup. We started the game very brightly, our passing was crisp, the movement of the players was good, and we got a goal to top it off, and what a goal it was. Gylfi Sigurdsson with one of the goals of the season; a phenomenal drag back and an outrageously struck shot into the top corner. Simply stunning. At 1-0, we looked comfortable, we continued to pass the ball well and were creating some good chances, which we sadly couldn’t put away. In the second half, we looked tired and uninspiring. Our passing was sloppy and so our offensive game became poor, and defensively we weren’t much better. Hull set up well and caused havoc for our defence, deservedly getting their equaliser through a lucky own goal through the unlucky Brad Friedel, it just hit him and went in, I wouldn’t say it’s his fault. Extra time we continued our poor and lacklustre performance, and Hull went ahead through a header from McShane. Disaster, 2-1 down in extra time. Who could help us out? Was it Defoe? No. Was it Lamela? No. Was it Sigurdsson? No. It was Harry Kane, the super sub got us level in extra time, finishing superbly low into the corner. We pushed for the winner, but couldn’t find it, so the game went to penalties. Stress levels intensified, but Brad Friedel made up for his own goal in style with two saves from the spot. We go through to the quarters.

Some very good performances, as a team I don’t think we performed very well at all, but there were definite stand out players. Younes Kaboul was phenomenal, defensively a total rock, and he even contributed offensively getting forward and putting crosses in when needed, and getting his head on crosses. Unlucky not to score! So good to have him back in action after what has been a terrible time for Younes with injuries, he played the full 120 minutes, and scored a great penalty. Thrilled. Erik Lamela played his best game in a Tottenham shirt, for the first time he looked confident on the ball, willing to have a go at players and made some very good passes. He certainly wasn’t amazing, but it was a good display that should give him confidence. The whole of Tottenham, player, fan and coach, wanted Erik to bury his penalty, unfortunately, he failed from the spot and that’ll do his confidence no good. Hopefully Erik takes the positives from the game and pushes on. Gylfi Sigurdsson and Paulinho put in a really good shift, working hard, making tackles and bursting forward. Sigurdsson with a phenomenal goal, and Paulinho calmly from the spot. Jermain Defoe was dire, didn’t create anything, wasteful with his opportunities and consistently offside. It may sound harsh, but that’s how bad he was.

We host West Ham United at White Hart Lane in the quarter finals of the Capital One Cup after our victory over Hull. It’s time for revenge. Our next game is against Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday 3rd November. COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Hull at White Hart Lane:
Friedel – 5
Walker – 6
Kaboul – 9 – Man of the Match
Vertonghen – 7
Naughton – N/A
Paulinho – 7
Dembele – 6
Lamela – 8
Eriksen – 6
Sigurdsson – 8
Defoe – 4

Chiriches – 6
Kane – 8
Chadli – N/A

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Hull City.

Match: Wednesday 30th October 2013.

Capital One Cup

Feels like just the other day we faced Hull City at Home! Our unconvincing 1-0 win over the Tigers on Sunday was a very frustrating game in the Premier League, but we got the three points and a clean sheet. Now to repeat the process in the League Cup, but hopefully in an easier and less stressful way, a convincing win would fit the bill for this game. Cup competitions split opinion of the fans, some want us to go all out and win a trophy, some want us to play our youth team in the cups and focus 100% on the Premier League. With the squad we have, I believe we have a good chance of winning a trophy this season, whether that’s the League Cup, FA Cup, or dare I say the Premier League I don’t know but I’d love to win one of them. Winning a trophy is what football is all about; emphasised by this quote: ‘The Game is About Glory’. The top four and the Champions League is without a doubt our main aim, but we should certainly be trying very hard to put some more silverware into our trophy cabinet.

Hull City showed us on Sunday that they are a good side that can press very well and make it difficult for their opposition, they are well organised and have players that can create opportunities. They lack a goalscorer, that’s for sure, but their midfield is very solid. In the Capital One Cup I expect Hull to play a weakened side, their main aim is to stay in the Premier League and any other competition could well distract from that, although I have no doubt that they will try very hard to win with the side they put out, they wouldn’t be devastated with a loss I wouldn’t think.

Rotation is very much expected from Andre Villas Boas. This seems the perfect game to rest his key players ahead of a very testing game against Everton at Goodison Park that will be one of our biggest challenges of the season. AVB should rest as many first teamers as possible for this clash with Hull, and when he does this we will still have a strong team to put out. The joys of a deep squad. Erik Lamela hasn’t sprung into life yet, as he is finding it difficult to settle, although now his family have arrived in England this should help. Our record signing has undoubted ability, but as AVB said, he isn’t showing ‘half’ of what he can do, hopefully he gives us a little taste of what he can do at White Hart Lane on Wednesday should he start. Emmanuel Adebayor is back training and in the squad for this game; I’d expect Manu to start, and hopefully show some of the form he has been capable of pre last season. Adebayor is a player that, if he hits form, could be a great asset to the team. Younes Kaboul, Etienne Capoue and Danny Rose are all very close to coming back into the squad, but this game could have come too early for them as they continue their recovery. It’d be great to see at least one in the squad. Ezequiel Fryers is a doubt, but Andros Townsend should be fit for the game, but Townsend is very likely to be rested after his nasty fall on Sunday which sprained his wrist.

A game we want to win to continue in the cup! Wembley is always a great occasion, so let’s strive for it! Sadly, the game is not televised, but I’ll be sure to find a stream for you all and I’ll post it on my twitter account (@AddictedtoSpurs). Make sure you follow me there for team news, match updates, pictures and video updates. COYS!!

Match Facts provided by BBC Sport.

– This is the first meeting in the League Cup for Spurs and Hull.

– Hull have only won once at White Hart Lane – a 1-0 victory in their first-ever season in the Premier League in October 2008.

– Spurs have not lost in 90 minutes at home in the League Cup since losing 3-1 to Birmingham City in October 2000 – a run of 18 matches.

– Before beating Aston Villa in the last round, Tottenham were knocked out in their preceding four League Cup matches against top-flight opposition.

– Spurs have won the competition four times in 1971, 1973 , 1999 and 2008.

– Hull have reached the fourth round of the League Cup for the first time since 1977-78, when they lost 5-1 at Arsenal.

– The Tigers have been eliminated on six of the last seven occasions that they have faced Premier League opposition in this competition.

– That win came at Wigan Athletic in August 2008, the only occasion they have won over 90 minutes away from home against top flight opposition in 20 League Cup matches.

My predicted/preferred team to face Hull City at White Hart Lane in the Capital One Cup:
Walker – Dawson – Chiriches – Naughton
Lamela – Paulinho – Dembele – Chadli
Adebayor – Defoe

Match Review, Aston Villa vs Tottenham.

Tuesday 24th September 2013

Capital One Cup

Aston Villa 0-4 Tottenham. Defoe 45′, Paulinho 49′, Chadli 86′ and Defoe 92′.

Great performance, great win and another great clean sheet. We progress to the fourth round of the Capital One Cup, and we did so in style. We controlled the game from start to finish, in the first half it was harder to break Villa down and they continued to press well, but our possession game was very good and as they tried to push us back, we pushed them back with powerful play. A piece of Lewis Holtby magic put in Defoe to make it 1-0 on the stroke of half time. The turning point. We came out of the blocks quickly in the second half and Paulinho grabbed our second of the match and his second in two games from a Holtby corner, a well taken ‘Kung fu kick’ goal to add to his back heel at the weekend! We continued to dominate possession, seeing 60% of it all game, which is always nice. Nacer Chadli took his first goal for Spurs very well, and made it 3-0. Lewis Holtby got his third assist of the game and gave Jermain Defoe his second of the night, and finish it off, 4-0. We were very good, but Aston Villa were not good and made it easy for us in places.

Lewis Holtby was outstanding, all over the park making tackles, passes and key interceptions. He made three of the four goals and is showing AVB he deserves to start! It’s hard to fit him in to the side, but I think we really need to find a way to fit him and Eriksen into the team. Decisions that AVB will want to have! Sandro dominated in the defensive midfield role, another player pushing hard to regain his place in the side, very good on and off the ball, tackling as always top notch. Paulinho was incredible again, he’s showing that he really is a world class box to box midfielder that can chip in with goals and be a total boss of the midfield area. Long May it continue! Vlad Chiriches made his debut, and impressed in the second half. He was nervy at first, which is expected, but he settled down and started to play his football, coming out with the ball, with sharp passing and making some key tackles at the back. Is Brad Friedel human? The 42 year old goalkeeper still flies to make brilliant saves in his old age, it’s like he’s in his 20’s! Awesome back up.

Great win, and we progress to the fourth round. A good draw would be appreciated, and a home draw! 9 Games, 20 Goals Scored, 1 Goal Conceded, 8 Different Scorers, 8 Wins, 1 Loss. A very good start to the season! Our next game is against Chelsea at the Lane on Saturday 28th September, kick off at 12:45pm, live on BT Sports! COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup:
Friedel – 8 – The old man’s still got it! What a great back up keeper to have, surely the best back up in the Premier League.
Walker – 7 – Very solid, good going forward, even better clearing up at the back. Looks back to his best dare I say it.
Chiriches – 7 – Shaky start with a few mistakes, but grew into the game and showed his quality.
Vertonghen – 8 – Rolls Royce in defence. So good, so consistent. Little bit of a pants down moment for him though!
Fryers – 7 – I thought Zeki was very solid. Made some superb tackles, and a good back up for Danny Rose I think!
Paulinho – 9 – Outstanding again, got his goal, but his passing and general game was incredible I thought.
Sandro – 8 – Both Sandro and Paulinho make a great pairing, Sandro the enforcer was brilliant!
Lamela – 8 – First half he was borderline mesmerising. We needed to get him the ball more in advanced areas, drifted in second half.
Holtby – 10 – Can’t find a fault with his game today. Man of the match. Three assists says it all!
Kane – 6 – Was good in parts, a little slow but he contributed quite a bit, should have scored first half!
Defoe – 9 – Another brace for Jermain. Finished them both very well, competition for Soldado!

Chadli – 7 – His first goal for Spurs, a great finish. Nice impact after coming back from injury.
Dawson – N/A
Dembele – N/A

Match Preview, Aston Villa vs Tottenham.

Match: Tuesday, 24th September 2013, kick off 7:45pm at Villa Park.

Capital One Cup

We face a tough trip to Villa Park in the third round of the Capital One Cup, our journey in the competition starts here. Andre Villas Boas has stated tad stated that the League Cup is not top priority, and I agree fully. The Premier League is our main focus, getting into the top four is a must and anything else is sadly a distraction. AVB likes the Europa League and thinks we should also have a significant amount of focus on that and I agree again. Winning the Europa League would be a brilliant achievement and one certainly plausible with the side of our squad. I’d love to win the League Cup. It’d be great to get a trophy in the bag for AVB and the boys, but I just can’t see a cup run in the Capital One Cup not affecting our performances in the Premier League and the competition AVB favours, the Europa League. I want to win every game though, so if a suspected weaker team can do the job, hooray!

Villa Park is a really tough place to go and get a result, they have a good team and I suspect they’ll want a cup run so I can see a strong team being put out against us, but it’s hard to call as I can’t read Paul Lambert’s mind on his thoughts on the Capital One Cup and I don’t know if he wants to give the youngsters a turn! Going into a cup game, anything can happen and form means nothing. It’s a totally different game to a Premier League encounter. Aston Villa’s main threat Christian Benteke is out of the game with a thigh injury, which is good news for us, but not them! Andreas Weimann is a great player and has proved his quality for a couple of years now. Good on the ball and grabs Villa goals! Gabriel Agbonlahor can hurt even the best opposition with his pace. He can hit you in behind or run at you with his good dribbling technique. Weimann and Agbonlahor are Villa’s main threats. Brad Guzan in goal is going to be tough to get past. Top class goalkeeper.

It’s hard to predict a line up. It really could be anything, but, AVB has said that players involved in the Cardiff match will not take part in the game as they don’t have enough time to recover in just two days for the game against Aston Villa, or very few will anyway. With this in mind, I expect all the ‘fringe’ players to get a chance to show what they can do. We have a big squad, but even with this squad we have quite a few injuries. Nacer Chadli, Aaron Lennon, Jermain Defore, Etienne Capoue and Danny Rose are all doubts for the game and the calibre of the players is immense, so it takes it’s toll on the squad. Lewis Holtby and Erik Lamela only had short spells against Cardiff, so I do expect them to start and get some much needed game time under their belts, they will provide a great amount of creativity and I think their performances will affect hugely the outcome of the match. Harry Kane is the striker I expect to start, with Jermain Defoe a doubt with a groin strain and Roberto Soldado extremely unlikely to be risked, it seems he is the only option to start with. Brad Friedel should be number 1 against the club we signed him from, and it’ll be a nice evening for him to go back to Villa Park, although not as nice if we don’t win.

Difficult game as I said, and a weaker team expected to play, but I’m sure it’ll be an intriguing match. The game sadly is not televised, and I’m unsure if there will be streams available, follow our twitter, @AddictedtoSpurs for video’s of the goals and if there are streams, we’ll be sure to post one!

My predicted/preferred team to face Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup:
Naughton – Kaboul – Chiriches – Fryers
Sandro – Dembele
Lamela – Holtby – Sigurdsson

Match Review, Norwich vs Tottenham

Not a good result, or a good performance against an average Norwich City side. We lacked motivation in a game where we had a good incentive, to get to the quarter finals of a Cup that we have won, and got to the final of quite recently. We weren’t clinical enough with the chances we got, and this can’t be blamed on the fact we didn’t play a striker, because most of our chances come from midfielders anyway. Norwich had a poor home crowd, and all the noise was coming from the Spurs end, so we should have been able to capitalise on that. It’s disappointing that we’re out of a competition that we could have won, but it could be good for us, because it takes some games out of our schedule, and with a lack of cover in some areas of our squad this is a very positive thing to happen.

The quality that we had came through Yago Falque, and Gareth Bale, they were the attacking spark that we had in the game, but even that wasn’t enough to see us through to a win. Tom Carroll looked like he has the quality to become a very good player for us in the future, he was comfortable on the ball and can pick a pass. Impressive performance from him. There were some really disappointing performances, Dempsey and Sigurdsson are off form and Falque should play ahead of them at the moment. An awful result for us, but we need to concentrate on our league form and push for a good victory at the Lane against Wigan. COYS!!

My player ratings vs Norwich:
Lloris – 8
Walker – 7
Caulker – 7
Dawson – 7
Naughton – 7
Falque – 9 man of the match
Carroll – 8
Livermore – 6
Bale – 8
Sigurdsson – 5
Dempsey – 5

Match Preview, Norwich vs Tottenham

If we win this game we are into the Quarter Finals and a step closer to winning a trophy. It would be extra special to win a trophy this season as it would be AVB’s first with the club, and in his first season. Personally, if I had to chose between a top four finish and a trophy, I would chose a top four finish, because it would mean more funds for the club, and could in turn, lead to a trophy. Norwich will be a hard test, but I feel we can win the game, and move on to the next round. We had Gareth Bale to thank last year for our win at Carrow Road, and he could be crucial once again.

I expect the team to be strong as it is getting into the latter stages of the tournament. Mousa Dembele isn’t expected to be involved but he could be back for the game against Wigan at the Lane. I would like to see some youth players play a part, as it is important for them to gain experience in these competitions. Lloris should start, and this could be good for him, as we are facing Premier League opposition and he needs to know what it is like to face a team of a high level in England. This will be a hard game to win, but I expect a win against a lesser team. COYS!!

My preferred team vs Norwich:
Walker – Caulker – Vertonghen – Naughton
Lennon – Huddlestone – Sandro – Bale

Match Preview, Carlisle vs Tottenham

I’ve heard a lot of fans say that it’s important we win something this year, and I agree, any piece of silverware is good for morale and and good for the club as a whole. Carlisle, on paper should be an easy win, but we’re away from home on a pitch that could possibly be poor, so we need to be on our game. I expect the Europa league to be our main competition but the Capital One Cup should be treated with the utmost respect. It’s a trophy we have won in the recent past and we also got to the final under Harry Redknapp, but quite a bit has changed since then. The team need to keep on winning to keep the mentality right, and these competitions are perfect for that. The negatives about this competition are that it raises our game tally, and with the depth of our squad being quite small it could affect our main focus, the Premier League.

I expect the team to be slightly weaker than our Premier League team with Gallas, Friedel and Bale the likeliest players to be rested. Tom Huddlestone is expected to get his first start of the season, which I believe to be a big boost because of his raw talent to pick a pass.

The lineup may look like this:

Walker – Caulker – Dawson – Vertonghen
Lennon – Huddlestone – Townsend
Sigurdsson – Dempsey