Match Review, Tromsø vs Tottenham.

Match: Thursday 28th November 2013.

Result: Tromsø 0-2 Tottenham.

Tottenham goals: OG Caucevic 63′, Mousa Dembele 76′.

A good result, in extremely difficult conditions with the snow, we confirm our place at the top of group K ahead of Anzhi, Sheriff and Tromsø with one game to spare. Job done. Youngsters to play against Anzhi now. Frustration once again in the first half, we created minimal chances and couldn’t find the net, while being shaky in possession and at the back, giving a way too many chances to the Norwegian outfit. The conditions weren’t good, far from it, but the performance has to be better against a team that were relegated from the Norwegian League earlier this month. After the break, it continued to be very difficult for us to break down what was an organised Tromsø side at the back, Soldado being isolated again, not getting the crosses or passes he deserved, although his movement and desire must improve, got to be more active. In the 63rd minute, we finally broke the deadlock through a Sigurdsson free kick that was drilled into the mixer, and at first glance looked to be tucked in by Vlad Chiriches, but in fact it was an own goal from Caucevic that gave us the lead, and that spurred us on to victory in the end. Some great link up play with Sigurdsson and Dembele 12 minutes later put Mousa through and he finished the chance expertly to put us 2-0 up, and secure the points, his first goal of the season and his third in a Spurs shirt.

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The players need to play better than this if we want to avoid another 6-0 thrashing by the other team in Manchester on Sunday, that’s for sure. Even if this wasn’t our first 11, the players out there are more than capable to play better than what they showed in Norway, Soldado needs to be more lively, stop complaining, take the gloves off and make some bloody runs, while his suppliers need to get the ball into the box, I don’t know whether AVB is telling them to cut in, or they just don’t have the confidence in themselves, but it’s frustrating and it is costing us dearly. Our problems are offensively, defensively we can cope, and in midfield we keep possession well and move the ball around, but it’s not enough, we need more penetration and a player that can make things happen *Bale*, the players need to step up and make themselves that player, whether that is Lamela or Townsend I don’t care, they need to be much more influential. Our best player was Mousa Dembele, my man of the match as he kept the ball well and moved it quickly to people who can make things happen; in the end, he took things into his own hands and scored a brilliant goal, while coming close to a second also. Hopefully Mousa starts against Manchester United on Sunday. Gylfi Sigurdsson and Vlad Chiriches were also good, with Gylfi getting two good assists and Vlad being solid in defence alongside an unsteady Michael Dawson.

Although it was poor, we are through, we did get a clean sheet and we’re winners of group K, winning every game. Can’t complain too much. Our next game is a big’un, Manchester United, the Champions, at White Hart Lane on Sunday 1st December, we need to bounce back, a win is important, a performance is even bigger. Our next Europa League game is our last in Group K, against Anzhi on Thursday 12th December. COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Tromsø at the Alfhiem Stadion:
Friedel – 7 – Solid when called upon, and a clean sheet, couldn’t ask for more.
Naughton – 3 – Honestly don’t understand how Kyle became a professional, not good at all.
Dawson – 4 – Expect more from the big man, very slow, clumsy and couldn’t deal with Tromsø, which doesn’t make for good reading.
Chiriches – 7 – Good performance, made things happen from the back, and some good defensive play.
Fryers – 6 – Just come back from injury, decent performance, always improving.
Capoue – 6 – Sloppy at times, but good to have him back as an option after his good start to his career.
Dembele – 8 – Man of the Match. Good performance, on the ball very comfortable, great goal too.
Townsend – 7 – Made some chances and took a few shots, one of our Beter players for sure.
Sigurdsson – 7 – Two assists and worked very hard, good to see him in the centre for once!
Chadli – 5 – Feel for Nacer, made some openings but didn’t look confident going past players, just come back from injury though.
Soldado – 4 – Needs to be more active, make more runs and score some goals. Come on Bobby!!

Match highlights of our 2-0 win over Tromsø:

Match Review, Everton vs Tottenham.

Match: Sunday 3rd November 2013.

Premier League

Everton 0-0 Tottenham.

Good result in a very difficult game for Spurs. A game of two halves. We were dominant in the first, having complete control of the ball, creating a fair few chances, but we didn’t capitalise when we really needed to. Was very impressed with the way we were playing, bombing forward whenever we got the chance and keeping Everton at bay expertly. Slightly unfortunate not to have been awarded a penalty when Vertonghen was bundled over in the area by Seamus Coleman, but in the second half, we got lucky as with the roles reversed it looked like Vertonghen fouled Coleman in the box, nothing given. The second half was a different story, Everton came into the game more and more, with the fans behind them, they looked the likely to break the deadlock, but defensively, we were as solid as ever, stopping crosses and starving Lukaku of service. Very impressive. Offensively we have been disappointing this season, and in the second half this continued, very narrow and not getting enough service to Soldado, but I don’t think we can complain too much with such a good result away from home.

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All about the defence! 7 clean sheets this season in the Premier League, with 10 games played. We’ve been extremely good defensively all season, with this game no different. My man of the match is Jan Vertonghen, down the left he was unreal, it’s not his preferred position, but he did very well to deal with the threat of Kevin Mirallas, who is undoubtedly faster than Jan, offensively, he was one of our biggest threats! Continuously working to get the ball into the box, a very good performance, hardly put a foot wrong. Vlad Chririches has been brilliant so far this season, and we are yet to concede a goal when he has started the game in all competitions, he dealt with the threat of Lukaku immensely, and for £8.5 million looks a real bargain. Michael Dawson put in a captains performance, dominant at the back, leading by example, his best performance this season. Sandro back to his best after his poor Hull City performance, unfortunate he was forced off with a knock, because he dominated the game for us in the middle, when he came off, we certainly weren’t as dominant. Offensively, we need to improve, we need to become more fluid and start creating more opportunities for Soldado so he can flourish. Positives and negatives to take from this game. An honouree mention for the warrior that is Hugo Lloris, knocked unconscious, but continuing with the game!

A good point, at a place in which we lost last season, horribly. Unfortunate not to grab the win, which I think we deserved, but I’m relatively happy. Our next match is against FC Sheriff at White Hart Lane in the Europa League, on Thursday 7th November. Our next game in the Premier League is against Newcastle at White Hart Lane, Sunday 10th November. COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Everton at Goodison Park:
Lloris – 9
Walker – 8
Dawson – 8
Chiriches – 9
Vertonghen – 9 – Man of the Match.
Paulinho – 6
Sandro – 8
Townsend – 7
Holtby – 7
Lennon – 6
Soldado – 5

Subs:
Dembele – 6
Eriksen – 7
Sigurdsson – 6

AVB reaction after the game:

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.

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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:
4-2-3-1
Friedel
Naughton – Kaboul – Chiriches – Fryers
Sandro – Dembele
Lamela – Holtby – Sigurdsson
Kane

Match Preview, Cardiff City vs Tottenham.

Match: Sunday 22nd September 2013, kick off 4:00pm.

We’ve had a great start to the season, with 9 points from the 12 available, conceding just 1 goal in the process. We need to continue this form and start scoring some more goals while we’re at it! The introduction of Lamela and Eriksen will help us to create more clear cut chances and contribute themselves to the goal tally. Very difficult game for us away at Cardiff, they’ve beaten Manchester City already at the City ground so we are more than aware of the threat they have to us. With the confidence our players are playing with, I’m confident we can go there and get a result, but it looks like it’ll be a tight and tense game. The atmosphere in Cardiff has been great all season long and it does help their players and gives them an even bigger lift. We’ll have to be at the top of our game, as we should be every game, to get a result. They’ll be right up for it!

Cardiff sit 12th in the Premier League after a decent start. The newly promoted team will be really pleased that they got their first win early and to non other than Manchester City, 3-2. They couldn’t beat Hull City last weekend which they will be disappointed by and they really struggled to deal with the passing of former Spurs player Tom Huddlestone! So, with our creative players, we could make it really difficult for them. They’ll want to bounce back from a disappointing home draw to Hull. Cardiff have some really good players in their side. Frazier Campbell has been a threat up top for them so far this season with his pace in behind, also Peter Whittingham has been great. I’m surprised he wasn’t in the Premier League earlier in his career as he’s shown his class in the Championship for a number of years. Steven Caulker at the back, a former Spurs player, is a brilliant signing for them, and a solid defender.

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Christian Eriksen has been awesome in his first two games for Spurs, gaining a goal and an assist. His instant impact needs to continue in Cardiff and continue to make chances and hopefully get us a goal! Erik Lamela made his full debut against Tromsø in the Europa League, getting an assist and he now needs to push on and show his class. On the counter attack against Cardiff, Erik could be a really big asset. Vlad Chiriches could make his Spurs debut in this game, playing at centre back. With Danny Rose a doubt for the game, Vertonghen could be forced to left back and Vlad could take Kaboul’s place at the back after Younes played against Tromsø. Jermain Defoe scored two goals in mid week, so AVB has to at least consider him to start, but I don’t think Soldado will lose his place and two strikers is not AVB’s style, unfortunately for Defoe! I expect Sandro to start, he had a great game in mid week, and an away game at Cardiff is a place we really need him as there will be a lot of work to do in the middle of the park. Mousa Dembele should be okay for the game, but why risk him with Sandro there and ready? Paulinho and Sandro in the middle of the park is really great. Let’s hope we can continue our great start with another win and a clean sheet in Wales! The game sadly is not televised. COYS!!

Opta Stats from tottenhamhotspur.com

If Tottenham win this weekend it will be only the second time since the 1960s that they’ve won four of their opening five top-flight games (also won four in 2009-10).

Tottenham Hotspur have had the most shots in the Premier League so far this season (59).

Just three Premier League players have created more chances than Kyle Walker this season (10).

Of the Premier League players who have made 150+ passes, Jan Vertonghen has the best passing accuracy – 94.25 per cent. Vertonghen has attempted 174 passes, misplacing just 10 passes in this campaign.

Mousa Dembele has attempted 188 passes and misplaced just 15, with a passing accuracy of 92.02 per cent.

Of the Premier League players who have made 100+ passes, Mousa Dembele has the third best passing accuracy in the opposition half (90.16 per cent).

Only Hull City’s Ahmed Elmohamady (28) has attempted more crosses this season than Danny Rose (22).

Tottenham Hotspur have completed the most dribbles in the Premier League this season (69).

Cardiff City have played the highest proportion of long passes in the Premier League this season (15.4 per cent).

Andros Townsend has completed 17 dribbles in the Premier League this season. Only Everton’s Ross Barkley has completed more (19).

Cardiff’s Jordon Mutch has made four appearances this season, but all of them as a sub coming on in the closing minute.

Christian Eriksen has created four goals in his five league appearances in 2013-14 (Premier League and Eredivisie combined).

Cardiff City are one of five Barclays Premier League sides yet to score a first half goal this season.

Tottenham Hotspur have only been caught offside once in total in their opening four games.

No player has assisted more Premier League goals than Cardiff’s Don Cowie this season (2).

My predicted/preferred team to face Cardiff City:
4-2-3-1
Lloris
Walker – Dawson – Chiriches – Vertonghen
Paulinho – Sandro
Lamela – Eriksen – Sigurdsson
Soldado