Loan Watch – Season Review 2013/14.

Tottenham Hotspur are known for utilising the loan system to give game time to young players and fringe players. This season has been no different, and now it’s time to evaluate how well the players have done in their loan spells for several different clubs in few different countries, and see what the future holds for them, whether it is at Spurs or away from Spurs, permanently, or on another loan deal.

Ryan Fredericks – Championship – Millwall. – The 21 year old right back made the move to Millwall in January, brought in to help the Lions avoid the drop. He started really well with a goal on his debut, but unfortunately Ryan dropped out of the Millwall team and didn’t play as much as he may have wanted, but was praised by manager Ian Holloway for his fight and quality during his time at Millwall. He played 18 times, scoring 1 goal, and I think we can say that this was a relatively successful loan spell, in which Fredericks gained vital League experience. Ryan has a future at Tottenham, he showed that with a brilliant performance against Anzhi in the Europa League prior to being loaned out, and he has shown a lot of quality and shown that he has a good attitude to the game. I’m looking forward to Ryan returning to Spurs, and possibly giving Kyle Walker competition next season.

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Jon Obika – Championship – Brighton & Charlton. The 23 year old striker firstly made the move to Brighton in January, in which he didn’t start a League game and only made 5 appearances from the bench, he didn’t score a League goal for the Seagulls. He started his only game for Brighton in the FA Cup and that is where his only goal came, against Port Vale. He made 8 appearances overall in his time down South, but he became something of a scapegoat at Brighton and after watching him play, it was fair. He was dreadful. He was then sent back to Tottenham in mid March, and then straight away sent out to Charlton, he didn’t score a goal during his time and 12 appearances, but 9 were from the bench. The player doesn’t have a future at Spurs, he is too old and doesn’t have the quality. A sale in the Summer is the best we can hope for.

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Alex Pritchard – League 1 – Swindon Town. Pritchard was on a youth loan deal at Swindon, and he recently turned 21 and so had to return to Tottenham early, but in his time at Swindon he had a very impressive season, being nominated for Young Player of the Year in the Football League and Young Player of the Year in League 1, he didn’t win, but it was a great achievement to be nominated. In 36 appearances, only 3 were from the bench and he became a key player for Swindon who eventually missed out on the play offs and finished 8th, but Alex Pritchard provided 8 goals and getting 11 assists, which I class as a real success and can see a real future at Tottenham for him, but first I’d give him one more season on loan, hopefully at a Championship club or a Premier League club.

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Shaquile Coulthirst – League 1 & League 2 – Leyton Orient & Torquay United. Our 20 year old striker had a very short stint at Leyton Orient in League 1, in which he only made 2 sub appearances after joining early on in January, he scored on his debut but then returned to Spurs after his one-month loan deal run out. Coulthirst was then loaned out to Torquay United in League 2 late on in March, in which he played 6 times for the Yellows in a short spell to try and help them stay in the Football League, unfortunately Shaq wasn’t able to help them stay up, but he scored 2 goals in those appearances. Unluckily, Coulthirst was injured in his final appearance for Torquay, and has now had surgery to his ankle and has a summer of rehabilitation ahead of him. Hopefully he comes back stronger, I believe Coulthirst has the right attitude to the game, and after another loan to a team in the Championship, a bit like Alex Pritchard, I think he could have a future at Tottenham.

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Lewis Holtby – Premier League – Fulham. Our 23 year old attacking midfielder joined Fulham in January after playing a fairly important role in the first half of our season, but Sherwood was not keen on Lewis. An opportunity for Lewis to get Premier League experience and come back next season stronger and better for it. I think we can say it was a successful loan spell, despite ending in relegation for Fulham, Lewis performed admirably in a dreadful team and was a fan favourite instantly due to his passion and commitment. He played 13 times for the Whites getting 1 goal and 3 assists, which by Fulham’s standards is pretty decent! I judge Lewis’ loan spell as a success and believe he can become a big player for Tottenham still.

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Jake Livermore – Premier League – Hull City. Jake is now 24 & his loan to Hull as been a complete success for the England international. Jake has been on the fringes of the Tottenham side for quite a long while now, plugging holes in our first team, but has never had a run in a Premier League team, until his loan to Hull. He has been a regular for the Tigers, playing 41 games, becoming a key player and learning next to Tom Huddlestone. He’s scored 3 goals and assisted 4, a good tally for a holding midfielder. Jake has expressed his desire to complete a permanent move to Hull City, and with the quality we have in his position, I don’t think whoever is our new manager will make Jakey stay. He deserves first team football, and he’ll get that at Hull.

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Iago Falque – La Liga – Rayo Vallecano. Now 24, this loan for Iago was extremely important, either to prove himself to a Tottenham, or the more likely option of him playing to be bought by another club. What this loan has done for him is to propel himself into the limelight at Rayo, and get him a permanent transfer to La Liga after playing a key part in their campaign. You may ask, why can’t he make it at Tottenham? I think the reason is that he is set on first team football, regularly, to improve himself and better his career. He wouldn’t start at Tottenham. Iago scored 3 goals and got 2 assists for Rayo in 31 appearances, becoming a regular for them.

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Ryan Mason – League 1 – Swindon. Ryan has had an injury stricken season with Swindon, having an ankle injury which needed surgery, he was playing very well for Swindon along with Pritchard & Grant Hall, he played 18 times, which is still a respectable amount, starting 13 times. Ryan is 22, and is not at a Premier League level, so I do not know what the future holds. Mason needs to concentrate on getting fit in the summer and coming back stronger to either push for another loan move, or a permanent transfer. Mason scored 5 goals and got 1 assist for Swindon in his 18 appearances.

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Cristian Ceballos – Primeira Liga – FC Arouca. Ceballos is 21, we signed him from Barcelona in 2011 and had extremely high hopes for his future, of course the media tipping him as the next Lionel Messi! This season, Ceballos was in Portugal, & although I haven’t seen him play, the stats suggest he hasn’t hit it off as he would have wanted. Next season, I think a loan to a more prestigious club would be much better for him, testing him at a higher level. Cristian has played 19 times but only scored 1 goal, with Arouca finishing 12th in the Primeira Liga out of 16 teams. I would like to give Ceballos another chance to prove himself next season, on loan, hopefully at an English club.

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Tom Carroll – Championship – QPR. It’s been an on-and-off season for Tom Carroll. At 21, you could say he still has massive potential to become a wonderful player, but then you compare him to where Christian Eriksen & Erik Lamela are at the same age and it takes the shine off of his potential. At QPR, Carroll wasn’t best liked by the Ranger’s fans, but still played a lot of games. Although, he struggled with the physicality and intensity of the Championship, & I’d argue it wasn’t the best move for him, & Tottenham should have pushed for a Premier League loan move, or potentially abroad, to a club like Ajax. Carroll has a massive season ahead of him now, in which he can show he has a massive future, or it all goes a bit pear shaped for the young lad. I think Carroll will get another loan move, & I hope it is to a Premier League club this time, to test himself more. Carroll made 26 appearances and helped QPR reach the Premier League, not managing a goal, but getting 4 assists.

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Benoit Assou-Ekotto – Championship – QPR. Now 30 years of age, a loan for Benoit is exactly what he would have wanted. I’m sure he’d like to be settled at a club and playing consistent football, but this is the hand he was dealt. His performances with Tottenham were no less than appalling, after injury, he hasn’t recovered and returned to the level he was at during our Champions League years. At QPR, I watched Assou-Ekotto a fair bit, & analysed how the QPR fans saw him, and I have to say I wasn’t impressed. When a player is struggling to handle the Championship at the age of 30, there’s no doubt in my mind that he is not Tottenham level. Long balls, mistakes, a lack of pace and wayward crossing. He’s not better than Danny Rose, and that’s not a compliment to Danny Rose. I don’t think he has a future with Tottenham, & it’s best he moves on. He played 31 times for QPR, not scoring a goal, but getting 2 assists.

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Grant Hall – League 1 – Swindon. Our 22 year old centre back was a regular for Swindon last season, but was struck by injury in early January, and then didn’t feature until late April, before he was injured again and returned to Spurs for treatment. Hall is a very decent player from what I’ve seen, but I don’t know what the future holds for him. I think Hall will get another loan next season, maybe even back to Swindon, & then we can see what happens when he has a solid, injury free season. Hall played 36 times for Swindon last season, with no goals or assists.

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All in all, I think the loan system really helps Tottenham and their young/fringe players. We can utilise other club’s abilities to grow youth and play players that wouldn’t get game time at Tottenham. Next season, I expect another large amount of young players to go out on loan, but hopefully, we can get rid of some deadwood this summer and trim the squad. Let’s see what happens! COYS!!

Follow me on twitter – @AddictedToSpurs

Match Review, Tottenham vs Fulham.

Match: Saturday 19th April 2014.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

Result: Tottenham 3-1 Fulham.

GoalScorers for Tottenham: Paulinho 35′, Harry Kane 48′ and Younes Kaboul 62′.

GoalScorer for Fulham: Steve Sidwell 37′.

What a great three points! Three goals and three points, so we have nothing to complain about. We showed great fight and determination to overcome a Fulham side who are battling for points at the bottom of the table. We couldn’t afford to drop any more points, and I think we showed some real quality in our play at the Lane, performing with confidence and a lack of pressure on their shoulders, it’s a big result and hopefully we can finish the season with 9 points from our last 3 games, which are quite ‘comfortable’ on paper.

In the first half, for the first 35 minutes, the game was a real drag, both teams were lacklustre and didn’t convincingly pressurise the opposition, with Fulham dropping deep, waiting for the counter attack, and Tottenham not being able to find the final pass or pick the lock through the Cottagers defence. Defensively, Spurs looked shaky as usual, with it taking a long while for players to really settle into the game and find their feet, both with their passing accuracy and defensive decisions. Finally, with the game being in desperate need for a goal, Christian Eriksen whipped in a delightful ball from a free kick on the right to find an unmarked Paulinho for an easy tap in to make it 1-0, his 7th of the season. Only 2 minutes later, Fulham got very lucky, when Steve Sidwell somehow scrambled through the defence after a couple of unfortunate deflections off Tottenham players, and then through on goal Sidwell poked it past Lloris to make it 1-1 at half time.

In the second half, Spurs started to really find their feet, after a good talking to from Tim Sherwood the players sparked into life and came out of the blocks very quickly, moving the ball from central to the wing quickly to the players who can affect the play. In this case on 48 minutes, that player was Aaron Lennon. Lennon received the ball on the far right from Naughton, shimmied right and then turned back onto his left foot and swung a nicely weighted ball into the box for Harry Kane to jump highest and divert the ball into the goal to make it 2-1, and confirm the game in our favour. We withstood a few Fulham attacks, including a bullet header from Hugo Rodallega, which was phenomenally stopped from nestling into the top corner by Hugo Lloris, one of the best saves of the season. We were playing with a swagger about us, players trying tricks they wouldn’t have weeks previously and wanting to get on the ball and impose themselves on the game.

Later on, in the 62nd minute, Christian Eriksen was gifted with another free kick, but this time on the left hand side. Christian, as he did for the first goal, spun the ball across the box at knee hight, and it was Younes Kaboul who was there to stab the ball into the roof of the net and secure the three points. On 75 minutes, the ball was bouncing around the edge of Tottenham’s penalty area, and as the ball snuck into the box, Christian Eriksen subtly moved his arm towards the ball, and handled, with the referee awarding a penalty to the West Londoners. Steve Sidwell, a scorer in the first half, stood up to take the penalty, and struck it between middle and inside netting, allowing Hugo Lloris to get down smartly and parry the ball away from danger, that cementing any danger of dropping points. We could have had more, but it wasn’t to be and the three points stayed at the Lane.

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I thought the team played really well, especially in the second half. Even though the defence continued to look shaky with a high line and some suspect decision making. Man of the match for me is an easy choice, Hugo Lloris in goal was nothing short of incredible. Hugo failed to keep a clean sheet through no fault of his own, and then made 2-3 phenomenal saves that are as good as goals in my view. Lloris has cemented himself as one of the best goalkeepers in Tottenham’s history, and for me, he’s the best currently in the Premier League and right up there in the tables for best goalkeeper in the World. Right behind Hugo for man of the match for once again, Christian Eriksen, the way he plays football is a delight to watch and it is brilliant to see him grow every single game he plays. We always see something new that we didn’t see in the last game, for instance an instinctive swivel and sweep pass, which failed to come off but the technique and cheek to try it was laudable in itself. In the last three games we have seen the emergence of a future star in Harry Kane. Three goals in three for the 20 year old striker, but goals is not the only thing that Harry brings to the table, he can hold up play extremely well for a learning young striker, his touch is almost surprisingly good, and his work rate is excellent, he runs with purpose and plays for the shirt and that’s exactly what you want to see from a young striker. I predict a big future with Spurs for Harry Kane! Other players who were very impressive in my humble opinion, were Aaron Lennon, who got his second assist in 2 games, Danny Rose, who had a much improved game to some of his previous & the midfield pairing of Nacer Chadli and Paulinho, who worked very hard and passed the ball quickly out to the wings and the players who can affect the game.

I’m very impressed and happy with the team performance, and now I’m excited about the last three games of the season; I’m hoping for 9 points and some bragging rights over Everton, Manchester United and West Ham! Our next game is a toughy against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday 26th April with kick off at 3:00pm. Difficult game, and a potential banana skin but we go into the game with confidence. COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Fulham at the Lane:
Lloris – 9 – Man of the match.
Naughton – 7
Kaboul – 7
Fryers – 7
Rose – 7.5
Lennon – 8
Paulinho – 7.5
Chadli – 8
Eriksen – 8.5
Kane – 8
Adebayor – 7.5.

Subs:
Townsend – 6
Soldado – N/A
Dembele – 5.5.

Match highlights from our 3-1 victory over Fulham:

Tim Sherwood speaks to the press after the Fulham win:

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Fulham.

Match date & time: Saturday 19th April 2014. Kick off at 12:45pm GMT.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

TV: Live on BT Sport 1 in the UK.

We come into the final 4 games of the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League season. A roller-coaster of a season if there has ever been one. Normally, our end to the season is full of tension and knife edges, but this season we have a slightly more mellow finish. Don’t get me wrong; the expectation is still well and truly there on each and every one of the players, but we aren’t playing for the Champions League anymore, sadly that ship has sailed, but what we are fighting for is a spot in Europe, whether that be 5th place or 6th place, and we are also fighting for pride. After the season we’ve had, all the ups and downs, but mostly downs, to finish above Manchester United would be just brilliant. That’s my aim. But, also, being in Europe. Although it has it’s many flaws, I still believe the Europa League is a good competition and maybe we have a chance of lifting it next season. I’d certainly like to be facing the likes of Benfica again next season.

Our form in recent games has been very up and down. We have beaten Sunderland and Southampton well, but then have dropped points to West Brom when it looked as if we could push on. There was a 4-0 defeat to Liverpool in there too, which we haven’t redeemed ourselves for at all. These last 4 games are all must win. Our recent record against Fulham is very good, except for the major blip that came last season, at White Hart Lane, when our Champions League hopes were dashed significantly after losing to Fulham 1-0, thanks to a Dimitar Berbatov goal. It’s a game that sticks in my head for all the wrong reasons; a turning point. This season, we beat Fulham at Craven Cottage 2-1, after falling behind, we fought our way back into the game thanks to a great long drive from Vlad Chiriches in the second half, and then after many Hugo Lloris saves, in the 81st minute, Lewis Holtby, now on loan at Fulham, struck the winning goal and sent Spurs into ecstasy. A vital win, but it wasn’t enough to save Andre Villas Boas from the sack a few games later. In our last 10 Premier League meetings with Fulham, we have only lost once, and drawn twice, which makes for good reading for Spurs fans, but records mean nothing, because every game is different and is under different circumstances.

Fulham Football Club have had a dismal season. They have now had three managers this season and it has been a right mess in trying to keep the West London Club in the Premier League. Former Spurs manager Martin Jol was sacked in November, being replaced by Rene Meulensteen, and then only 2 months later, Meulensteen was sacked in February to be replaced by current manager Felix Magath, who in all fairness, is now doing a very decent job. Fulham sit in 18th, still in the relegation zone, behind Norwich by only 2 points, with Norwich having a much more difficult run in to the end of the season. After being rock bottom for a long time, it’s looking much brighter for Fulham.

The team news for the Cottagers is that Kostas Mitroglou (knee) and Lewis Holtby (ineligible) are the only players that will be missing, but although only a couple are unavailable, the impact of Lewis Holtby not being able to play is large. He has become a key player for the Whites while on loan from Spurs, and to lose his creativity will be a big loss. Fulham will be hoping for other players to step up. A player that has stepped up recently is Hugo Rodallega, with 2 goals in 2 appearances, the striker appears to have regained the form he showed at Wigan, and will be a big threat for Fulham. Another big player for Fulham is Ashkan Dejagah; the winger has been used off the bench recently, but he always has a big impact, and with Lewis Holtby not able to play I expect Dejagah to step in. Defensively, in midfield, it’ll be a welcome back to former Spurs player and Spurs fan, Scott Parker, he’ll be a crucial player for Fulham this Saturday.

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The team news for Tottenham is that Jan Vertonghen (ankle), Erik Lamela (back), Etienne Capoue (ankle) and Kyle Walker (groin) will be missing for the game against Fulham. However, there will be returns for Mousa Dembele, Roberto Soldado, Sandro and Michael Dawson after injury, with Vlad Chiriches remaining fit after his return 2 weeks ago.

The team news is good news in my view; it’s great to have Sandro and Dembele back, they give us steel and quality in the middle of the park, and I think Sandro should definitely start when fit, but against Fulham at Home I expect to see a much more attacking set up by Sherwood, possibly excluding Dembele and Sandro from the team for Paulinho and Chadli. Roberto Soldado is back, but I don’t see him starting anytime soon with the emergence of Harry Kane, bagging 2 goals in 2 appearances and working like a maniac. Think it’s time for Roberto to put this season behind him and concentrate on settling more in England, learning more of the language and coming back next season fit, hungry and ready to score goals. The biggest blow from the team news is that Kyle Walker remains injured, and will be for the foreseeable future this season. He’s been a massively important player for us and is a big miss. We lack his pace and experience on the right hand side of defence. I expect Tim Sherwood to play an unchanged side from the last two games against Sunderland and West Brom. The team worked very well against Sunderland and also well in the second half of the West Brom game. With all three teams around a similar level in quality on paper, I think Sherwood will see no need to change things and we will have a bit of continuity.

Match stats provided by Opta.

– Tottenham have won seven of their last eight Barclays Premier League meetings with Fulham, losing the other.

– No side has taken fewer points from Premier League London derbies this season than Fulham (six).

– Spurs have conceded first in their last six matches.

– Tottenham have made 19 errors leading directly to a goal this season, more than any other side.

– Fulham have drawn only three games all season. The Premier League low for draws in an entire season is three by Chelsea in 1997-98.

– Spurs have not had both teams scoring in their last five home matches against Fulham.

– None of Fulham’s last 46 Premier League games have ended 0-0 – the longest current run of all Premier League teams.

– Christian Eriksen has scored four goals and assisted three more in his last four Premier League appearances for Tottenham.

– Fulham have had loss/loss results in their last five away defeats against Spurs.

– With 93 goals, Emmanuel Adebayor is the current Premier League player with less than 100 goals nearest to reaching that landmark.

– Fulham have conceded 17 goals in London derbies this season, more than any other side.

– Spurs have had Under 2.5 goals in their last five home matches against Fulham.

– Tottenham have scored only six goals in eight London derby games this season.

– Three of Tottenham’s last five Premier League goals have come in the 86th minute or later.

I’m looking forward to this one; it promises to be a hard fought, end to end game with both teams fighting for the points. Fulham will need to be at their very best to get a point and so will Tottenham. I will be at the Lane for this game! So that means I will try to update from my twitter account @AddictedToSpurs as much as possible, with live pictures of White Hart Lane being posted. COYS!!

My predicted/preferred team to face Fulham at the Lane:
4-4-2
Lloris
Naughton – Chiriches – Kaboul – Rose
Townsend – Paulinho – Dembele – Eriksen
Kane – Adebayor.

Tim Sherwood previews of game against Fulham in his press conference:

Match Review, Fulham vs Tottenham.

Match: Wednesday 4th December 2013.

Premier League

Fulham 1-2 Tottenham.

Goal for Fulham: Dejagah 56′

Goals for Tottenham: Vlad Chriches 73′, Lewis. Holtby 82′

Yes! What a vital win! The performance wasn’t good enough, yet again, but this time we got three points on the board and moved up to sixth place from ninth. Fulham were always going to be up for it, a London derby at Home, with a new manager in place, a new era beginning, it was a big occasion and they turned up, putting in a brilliant performance, full credit to them, they were fantastic. We, on the other hand, weren’t good, sloppy in possession, defensively shaky and wasteful up top; yes we were unlucky on a few opportunities but it certainly wasn’t what we wanted to see after an inspiring performance on Sunday against Manchester United. First half was a right off, not good at all and had Lloris to thank we weren’t 1-0 down sooner. In the second half, we did improve, but a Michael Dawson mistake led to the opening of our defence and Dejagah finished really well and Fulham were flying. More frustration, more sloppiness followed, but we got back in the game after Vlad Chiriches’ wonder strike, his first goal for Spurs, made it 1-1, then the game was ours to win. And in the 82nd minute we did exactly that, Lewis Holtby with a screamer, and his first ever Premier League goal, what a time to get it! All the worries of the performance out the window with that one. Flashes of Bale in the strike.

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The pick of the bunch for me out of all the players, was Hugo Lloris. He is something else. The best ‘keeper in the Premier League by a mile, and our saviour like Bale was last season, his saves get better every week, his speed, agility and quick thinking make him one of the best in the world, and he’s showed it again at Fulham, stopping the Cottagers from running away with it. Vlad Chiriches has been the surprise package of our 7 summer signings this season, he’s been a breath of fresh air at the back and delighted for him that he got his goal, what a goal it was! Lewis Holtby out in a top performance once coming on, he brought fluidity and creativity to the midfield, bringing the wingers into play more, and got the goal he deserved. So much passion and desire to win from him, it was great that he was the one to get the goal to seal the three points, a belter of a goal and his first for Spurs in the Premier League. Disappointed with our first half display, but we improved in the second half and getting those two goals could be the most important so far this season. As for Defoe up front, I want Soldado back up top on Saturday in Sunderland.

Great to get the win that was crucial, hopefully this can spark us into some form starting on Saturday, we’re back in action very quickly at the Stadium of Light on Saturday 7th December, kick off at 5:30pm. COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Fulham at Craven Cottage:
Lloris – 9 – Man of the match.
Walker – 8 – Very impressive, he’s improved massively this season.
Dawson – 5 – Love him, but when Rose is back, he should be the first to drop out.
Chiriches – 9 – Can I award two man of the match awards? Course I can, I’m writing the damn thing. Man of the match 2.
Vertonghen – 7 – Didn’t look up for this one, get him back at centre back.
Capoue – 6 – His first PL start in a while, sloppy, but I’m sure he’ll improve.
Sandro – 6 – Sloppy too, but gave 100%, looked tired really.
Lennon – 8/9 – Very impressive, been brilliant since back from injury.
Paulinho – 6 – Missed a sitter! Needs to move the ball quicker.
Lamela – 7 – Very bright in the first half, and unlucky not to score, but tailed off in the second half.
Defoe – 5/6 – Quiet most of the game, could argue he didn’t do worse than Soldado, but may as well sit on the bench if so. Soldado better at linking the play.

Highlights from our 2-1 win over Fulham:

Andre’s post match reaction:

Match Preview, Fulham vs Tottenham.

Match: Wednesday 4th December 2013. Kick off 8:00pm.

Premier League

Time to get back to winning ways, after our 2-2 draw against Manchester United at White Hart Lane the feeling is good amongst the fans, as the performance showed a lot of promise, with attacking flair and two goals to show for it. Now, in a game against lesser opposition, we must be ready and translate that United performance into the game against Fulham. A big problem for Spurs that has been bugging us since I can remember, is the ability to win the games we are expected to; against Fulham, we are more than expected to win the game, but do it in a convincing style. As we sit in 9th position, we need to get three points on the board coming into the busy Christmas period, we need a run of results to but us back on track for the Champions League places after our ‘blip’ in November picking up only one point. We are only three points off Liverpool in fourth, and six points off Chelsea in second, so with a few wins under our belt the whole outlook on our position changes, it’s very tight in there, I couldn’t call the outcome when all 38 games are played.

It’s been a torrid old season for Fulham so far, sitting in the relegation places in 18th, with 10 points from 13 games. What that horrendous form has brought is the sacking of former Spurs boss, Martin Jol, and the appointment of a talented coach in Rene Muelensteen, but he is unproven as a manager, being an assistant to Sir Alex at Manchester United. I’m sure he’ll be a success at Fulham. The problem that I’ve picked up for Fulham is the player’s commitment and desire to win under Jol, and the fact they have too many players of the same ilk, who certainly aren’t known for being, let’s say, hard working. Players such as Dimitar Berbatov, Brian Ruiz, and Adel Taarabt albeit being very talented footballers, won’t give you that hard nit and grit that sometimes you need from a player. That’s why Scott Parker is arguably their most important player at the moment, warrior! It’ll be interesting to see how they change in style now Muelensteen is in charge, hopefully it doesn’t take immediate affect!

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The team news for the game is that Danny Rose (foot), Christian Eriksen (ankle), Harry Kane (back) and Emmanuel Adebayor (knee) are ruled out of the game in West London, but the rest of the squad is fully fit and available for selection. Offensive and exciting is what we got against Manchester United from Spurs, and more of the same is what we want against Fulham! Aaron Lennon had a great game against United, giving us the width we had certainly missed in previous games, and his partnership with Walker looks like it’s going to be a great asset to the team, so I’d like to see them paired together on the right again at Craven Cottage. With Emmanuel Adebayor ruled out, Roberto Soldado is expected to continue up front on his own, it’s a good chance for him to get some goals and get his confidence up, against a somewhat leaky Fulham defence. Nacer Chadli has been a subject for debate recently, does he deserve to keep his spot and leave the likes of Townsend, Lamela and Sigurdsson out of the team? I like Chadli, and I think he will become a big player for us once he settles into Premier League life and starts to be more direct, but I think we have more of a threat and get more width if Townsend was to play, so I’d put him in the team for Wednesday.

Match Stats and Facts provided by FourFourTwo

– Fulham’s win at White Hart Lane in March 2013 ended a run of six straight defeats for the west Londoners against Spurs.

– This will be Tottenham’s 100th London derby played away from home and so far they have won just 25 of the previous 99.

– Fulham have scored just three goals in their last nine Premier League meetings with Tottenham.

– Fulham have won just one of their last 10 Premier League games at Craven Cottage (W1 D1 L8).

– Rene Muelensteen’s side have scored exactly one goal in each of their last seven Premier League games on home soil.

– Tottenham have kept four clean sheets in their last six Premier League away games, although they conceded six last time on the road when they lost 0-6 to Man City.

– Fulham have mustered fewer shots (inc. blocked) than any other team in the top flight this season (106) – 25 fewer than any other side.

– The West Londoners have also allowed their opponents more shots on target against them than any other team in the top flight (83).

– Spurs have gone four Premier League games without a win (W0 D2 L2) – they haven’t gone five without a victory since March 2012 (under Harry Redknapp).

– Tottenham have scored with a lower percentage of their shots than any other team in the top flight this season (6.3%).

Our game against Fulham at Craven Cottage isn’t televised, but I’ll be sure to find you all a stream, as well as live updates, pictures and videos on twitter at @AddictedtoSpurs. Follow!

My preferred team to face Fulham at Craven Cottage:
4-2-1-3
Lloris
Walker – Dawson – Chiriches – Vertonghen
Sandro – Dembele
Paulinho
Lennon – Soldado – Townsend

My predicted team to face Fulham at Craven Cottage:
4-2-1-3
Lloris
Walker – Dawson – Chiriches – Vertonghen
Sandro – Dembele
Paulinho
Lennon – Soldado – Chadli

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Fulham

It’s a massive game, after a couple of losses, we need to get back on track with a solid win, it’s simple, play our football, and win the game with the Lane bouncing, how it should be done. We need to up our whole performance, add more passion and desire to our game, go out and win, and send out a statement, there is no chance of any sort of collapse, we need to be better than ever, that’s what we need to do, to redeem ourselves after the Inter Milan defeat at the San Siro. Fulham are a good side, with decent players, they won’t be easy to beat, but we need to be on top of our game, and crush them! Dimitar Berbatov is their main threat, we know all about him, he’s got a lot of skill, and he can get a goal, very hard to contain!

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Gareth Bale is back! We definitely missed him against Inter, and now we have a fully fit and refreshed Gareth Bale, this makes him very dangerous, lets hope he can put in a good performance! Aaron Lennon is now fully fit, and you would expect him to start, he brings pace to our team, and he works very hard down the right hand side, massive player for us, good to have him back. Lewis Holtby has had limited opportunities in the first team, but this could be him chance to show what he can do, very creative and should add a lot to our team. Adebayor, if he plays, needs to up his performance, he has the quality, but mentally he is just not right, and this means my patience is thin with him, but hopefully he proves us all wrong. The game is not televised unfortunately, but the game is on Sunday, at 3:00pm. COYS!!

My preferred team to face Fulham at the Lane:
Lloris
Walker – Dawson – Vertonghen – Assou-Ekotto
Lennon – Parker – Dembélé – Holtby
Bale
Adebayor

Match Review, Liverpool vs Tottenham

Liverpool 3-2 Tottenham
Suarez 21′ Vertonghen 45′, 53′
Downing 66′
Gerrard 82′

Very disappointing to lose this game, after a good performance, we deserved much more, but this is the Premier League, and frustrating defeats are very common for most teams. We went 1-0 down, Luis Suarez with a goal, and it looked like it was going to be their day, but then just before half time, Jan Vertonghen headed home and we started to really threaten. Second half, we played very well, and went ahead with another goal from Super Jan, this time with his feet, this made it look as though we could get an extraordinary win. Then a Kyle Walker mistake led to Downing getting the equaliser at a moment where we were comfortable. Then disaster struck, another mistake, this time from Jermain Defoe, led to Luis Suarez gaining a debatable penalty, Gerrard dispatched, unfortunately.

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Mousa Dembele was absolutely brilliant, he played an unbelievable game, in a position where he isn’t comfortable, worked hard and pushed us forward really well, massive player for us. Jan Vertonghen was almost the hero, two really well taken goals, and he defended well all day, great performance. Scott Parker had a good game, tackled well, and when he had the opportunity to push forward, he did so effectively. It’s disappointing, but we still have third, and in a good place, a loss to a good Liverpool team isn’t that bad, we push forward and look to the next game. Our next game is against Inter Milan at the San Siro on Thursday 14th March, have to get through that. Then our next Premier League game is against Fulham at the Lane on Sunday, 17th March. COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Liverpool at Anfield:
Lloris – 8
Walker – 6
Dawson – 8
Vertonghen – 9
Assou-Ekotto – 5
Dembele – 9
Parker – 8
Livermore – 6
Sigurdsson – 8
Bale – 8
Defoe – 6

Subs:
Holtby – 6
Carroll – 7

Match Preview, Fulham vs Tottenham

Fulham are going to be a very hard team to beat, they have good players and a very good manager, three points would be a bonus. Dimitar Berbatov will be a big threat to our defence, and so will Bryan Ruiz, both players have tremendous talent and can cause problems for any team. Their defence is week without Brede Hangeland, and this means we might be able to get quite a few goals in with our attacking ability.

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With Dembele and Dempsey both returning to their former club it could be a very feisty affair, both definitely have the quality to hurt Fulham, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if at least one of them got on the scoresheet. Caulker should return, which means Gallas will be dropped to the bench. Jermain Defoe will be important, he needs to influence the game more than he did against Liverpool, and he must score today to keep Adebayor out of the next game. The team looks to have started to settle, and more or less the same team should go out at Fulham and come home with three points. Craven Cottage is a hard place to go but I’m quietly confident of a good win. COYS!!

My preferred team to face Fulham:
Lloris
Walker – Dawson – Caulker – Vertonghen
Lennon – Sandro – Dembele – Bale
Dempsey
Defoe