Match Review, Tottenham vs Brighton.

Match: Wednesday 29th October 2014.

Competition: Capital One Cup Round 4.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

Result: Tottenham 2-0 Brighton.

Tottenham GoalScorers: Erik Lamela 54′, Harry Kane 74′.

Tottenham progress to the Quarter Finals of the Capital One Cup! Just three games away from Wembley and the thought of winning it is just about dropping into Tottenham fan’s dreams. We have been drawn to face Newcastle United at White Hart Lane in the quarter finals, a team that has just beaten us, and Manchester City away from home, so not easy but it could have been a lot worse with Liverpool and Chelsea still in the competition, despite Newcastle beating us before hand, we still remain clear favourites to progress to the Semi-Finals. Now, to look more closely at our highly contested victory over Brighton at the Lane:

In the first period, we dominated the ball, Brighton were confined to their half for 90% of the time and we were probing and poking away at their defence. The ball was played into the box numerous amount of times but we couldn’t get the breakthrough; Roberto Soldado, Harry Kane and Aaron Lennon going closest. A frustrating first half, but one in which the Seagulls didn’t threaten us and we looked comfortable in possession of the football. The problem is, although we look comfortable in possession, we don’t look threatening enough. It’s important to take advantage of that pressure and find the killer pass, or go in behind the Brighton defence. We didn’t do that enough, but it was a solid first half and you can’t complain too much when you are creating chances, and there were a few clear cut opportunities which should and could have been goals.

In the second half, we introduced Erik Lamela for Aaron Lennon who was playing well, but had a slight hamstring problem. Lamela changed the game from the outset, and we looked much more threatening and creative with the ball at our feet. And, that’s where our goal came from. The understanding between Erik Lamela and Roberto Soldado is very impressive; they are two very intelligent and creative players when the ball is at their feet and when two intelligent players combine, you will create chances and in this instance, that chance was a goal. Erik Lamela on 54 minutes played the ball into the feet of Roberto Soldado, who headed it up slightly before playing a delightful pass into the path of Erik Lamela, who slid the ball into the net with his right foot for 1-0. A much needed breakthrough that put us in firm control of the game, with Brighton not offering a lot offensively. Despite being 1-0 down, Brighton didn’t try to attack us in the way that was expected – they still sat fairly deep, let us have possession of the football and tried to play a counter attacking game, even though Tottenham had men back and were not pushing all out to get a second goal. I’m sure Sami Hypia will be disappointed with his team’s attacking performance, but pleased with how they shut Tottenham out for the most part. The game continued to be a little scrappy, without the real quality of the players shining through, and that is how our second goal came about, in a scrappy fashion. Andros Townsend for what must have been the first time in the game, got to the byline and whipped in a good ball for Roberto Soldado, which hit his leg and then the keeper parried into the path of Harry Kane, who wanted it more than any other defender on the pitch to stick the ball home to make it 2-0. Job done.

IMG_5176.JPG
There were some very good performances from the Spurs players in this game, we passed the ball well, created a good amount of chances, scored two goals and kept a clean sheet and that is all we can really ask from the team. We’re in a bit of a sticky patch of form but you could see that the players really put a shift in and worked until the result went our way and that is pleasing. Hopefully we can get the three points at Villa Park on Sunday, too. The man of the match for me was Benjamin Stambouli, I think in the middle of the park he worked really hard, he went into every challenge committed and passed the ball well. In the cup games he’s played, Stambouli has really impressed me and I think it’s only a matter of time, if he continues with these performances, that he will be pushing for a Premier League start. Another player that deserved man of the match probably equally as much as Stambouli was Kyle Naughton, he has been very good all season and coming back from injury, he was stellar once again. He put in some fantastic crosses and defended well when Brighton attacked with pace on the counter attack. In the absence of Kyle Walker, Naughton has really stepped his game up and as a right back is showing why he’s still a Tottenham player. Erik Lamela changed the game when he was entered into proceedings; he was direct, full of energy and had the finishing touch as well for his goal. He also isn’t afraid to chase back, make a tackle and work for the team and that’s always a good trait to have. Harry Kane scored again, another decent performance, but when he is scoring like this he simply must start in the Premier League, he is on fire! His strike partner Roberto Soldado also did really well, with two assists (sort of) and a very fine performance but his goal that he did deserve didn’t come, but he’s getting closer and you can see how hard he’s working and how much he wants it.

A good win, and into the quarter finals. Cup runs are always fun and hopefully, we can continue to win when we face Newcastle. A trip to Wembley would be fantastic. Not looking too far ahead, this Sunday we travel to Villa Park for an away Premier League tie against Aston Villa. A tough game but it’s crucial we return to winning ways in the Premier League. Remember to follow me on Twitter: @AddictedToSpurs. COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Brighton at the Lane:
Vorm – 7
Naughton – 8.5
Fazio – 8
Vertonghen – 7.5
Davies – 7.5
Stambouli – 8.5 – Man of the Match.
Dembele – 7
Lennon – 7.5
Townsend – 6.5
Kane – 8
Soldado – 8.

Subs:
Lamela – 8
Chadli – 6
Paulinho – 5.

Match highlights from our 2-0 win over Brighton:

Pochettino speaks to the press following our 2-0 win:

Match Review, Tottenham vs Nottingham Forest.

Match: Wednesday 24th September 2014.

Competition: Capital One Cup 3rd Round.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

Result: Tottenham 3-1 Nottingham Forest.

Tottenham GoalScorers: Mason 72′, Soldado 83′ & Kane 91′.

Nottingham Forest GoalScorer: Grant 61′.

Well, it took us a long while to get started but we got there in the end! We’ve cemented our place in the Capital One Cup Fourth Round. We lacked penetration, passion & that little bit of quality in this game, but we got the job done, scored 3 goals and now we have a clear focus on the match against Arsenal on Saturday evening, which I’m sure was in the minds of all the Spurs players against Forest; or I hope it was. We can’t overshadow the performance with the result; we didn’t play well, looked shaky, slow and uninspiring. That is cause for concern, even though I never like to moan if we have won, I’d like to see much, much, much more on Saturday against Arsenal, albeit with a completely different starting 11. We have to show pace, passion, intensity against Arsenal if we are to stand any chance at all.

The first half was completely irrelevant to the game in the end. We didn’t show any threat whatsoever, and Nottingham Forest looked more dangerous, but we went in 0-0 at the break, with improvement needed in the second half, otherwise we may as well have run a replay of the West Brom game instead of this one. We can’t ignore Nottingham Forest’s performance in the first half though, they nullified any threat we had and worked tirelessly, with a definite threat on the counter attack. This continued for most of the second half.

In the second period, we didn’t start well, Pochettino didn’t make any substitutions and the players on the pitch just didn’t look at all capable of hitting the back of the net or showing that intensity that we lacked in the first half. We got what we deserved in the 61st minute, Nottingham Forest got in behind our defence, got the ball into the box and Grant slotted home for 0-1, way too easily. This though, kickstarted Tottenham into action, at last! Mauricio Pochettino made two substitutions, Ryan Mason & Harry Kane. Tottenham fans were a little wary with these two subs, instead of Erik Lamela & Christian Eriksen, but Pochettino’s choice was justified when Ryan Mason, in just his 5th appearance for Tottenham and 1st of the season, received the ball from Ben Davies about 30 yards out from the goal, took a touch and smashed the ball into the net, an incredible goal with brilliant technique. Then, it flowed from there. 10 minutes later Andros Townsend got the ball from Ryan Mason outside the box, with only one thing in his mind – a shot – he took his chance but his disappointing effort found Roberto Soldado, who stuck out a boot and the ball flew into the roof of the net to make it 2-1 Tottenham over a now tired Nottingham Forest team. We were controlling the game, as we had all match, but, this time there was an incredible difference in how much more threatening we were in the final third. The introduction of Erik Lamela furthered the pace we had up front, and it was he who found the killer pass to Harry Kane in the 91st minute, who secured our place in the 4th round with a calm finish into the far bottom corner. Game over.

IMG_1963.JPG
There were some really frustrating performances in this match, with players capable of more not showing their true ability. In a game which gives you a platform to show what you can do, ahead of a North London Derby, I was expecting more from our fringe players, you’re fighting for your place, show the boss and everyone at Spurs what you can do! A few players did exactly that; and none better than substitute Ryan Mason, who showed everything you’d want from a Tottenham player coming on – passion, desire, enthusiasm and that bit of quality you need in difficult situations such as this match. It’s always great to see an academy product be involved in the first team, and I hope we can see Mason more and more as the season goes on. He was my man of the match, even though he didn’t start the game. It wasn’t just only his goal, either, he showed composure on the ball and got his head up, always looking forward, which is exactly what you want from a Tottenham midfielder. Another who did well was Kyle Naughton, he gets his fair share of stick but he is a decent right back who has been played out of position at left back far too often. In his favourable position on the right, he 8 times out of 10 puts in a good shift, so he is a valuable squad player. It’s great to see Roberto Soldado get a goal at White Hart Lane, it was a quick thinking finish and we pray to God it is one of many he can get this season.

A good win, in the end! Improvement needed in our performance but we got the job done and are into the 4th Round of the Capital One Cup, where we will face Brighton and Hove Albion at White Hart Lane. Next up though is the big one, the North London Derby at the Emirates Stadium, Saturday 27th September, an evening kick off in the Premier League. Anything can happen, keep faith and support the team. Let’s get this season off and running once and for all. COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Nottingham Forest:
Vorm – 6
Naughton – 7
Fazio – 6.5
Vertonghen – 6.5
Davies – 6
Bentaleb – 5
Stambouli – 6.5
Lennon – 7
Townsend – 6.5
Paulinho – 4.5
Soldado – 6.5.

Subs:
Mason – 8 – Man of the Match.
Kane – 6.5
Lamela – 6.

Match highlights:

Pochettino’s reaction:

Townsend & Mason reaction:

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Nottingham Forest.

Match date & time: Wednesday 24th September 2014. 7:45pm KO.

Competition: Capital One Cup 3rd Round.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

TV: Live on Sky Sports 1. Worldwide TV listings HERE.

Our Capital One Cup campaign starts here; with a tough match against the Championship league leaders. Tottenham Hotspur and it’s players have to want & fight to win every competition entered, but it’s always difficult to use the squad in a good way which doesn’t effect it too much in the Premier League, which is always the main focus, especially with the North London Derby coming up on Saturday. We have a strong squad, with a lot of depth and we have the gift of being able to rotate the starting 11 in the Europa League, Premier League, FA Cup and the Capital One Cup. We have to look to go far in every competition, but this takes mental & physical strength from the players. This game against Nottingham Forest is important for Tottenham, not just because it would be great to go far in the Capital One Cup, but because we need a win after a short drought. Especially ahead of a North London Derby, we need to go in with a win and possibly a little boost of the confidence.

Nottingham Forest have been fantastic this season. They are unbeaten in all competitions after 9 games, winning 7 and drawing 2. Under new boss Stuart Pearce the club have been very impressive, with the Forest legend reinvigorating both the players & the fans, which has now turned into a winning mentality. This team will be no push over, they have good players but it is their togetherness as a team that makes them so much of a threat and difficult opposition. For Tottenham, our form has dwindled since a loss to Liverpool at White Hart Lane, going 4 games without a win in all competitions; this game represents a chance to end that run dead before four difficult fixtures against Arsenal, Besiktas, Southampton and Manchester City. Having the game against Nottingham Forest at White Hart Lane makes me more confident, despite our loss to West Brom at the Lane the past weekend.

The team news for Nottingham Forest is that club captain Jack Cohen, Jack Hobbs, Jack Hunt, Matty Fryatt & former Spur Andy Reid will not feature for the Reds. The main threat for Nottingham Forest is their striker Britt Assombalonga; he has incredible strength and a clinical Goalscoring rate so far this season. In the Championship, Assombalonga has 8 goals in 8 appearances, which highlights his incredible ability to get goals, important ones too. Last season he was with Peterborough in League 1, scoring 33 goals in 58 appearances in all competitions. Now, he’s showing he can cut it in the Championship. Another very important attacking threat for Nottingham Forest is winger Michail Antonio; the pacey, direct and effective wide man has 5 goals in 10 games so far this season, which is a very good tally for a winger, he can provide but he can also contribute to scoring goals. He’s rapid, and alongside Assombalonga is a real threat in behind our defence, so we have to be on top of them from the start to nullify their threat.

IMG_1927.PNG
The team news for Tottenham is that Kyle Walker (abdominal) remains out, but Andros Townsend is expected to return to the squad after a dead leg that kept him out of the game against West Brom. Roberto Soldado is expected to start up front, with Michel Vorm also expected to get his debut in goal. We have a fully fit squad expect for Kyle Walker, which is a rarity in Tottenham’s case. Hopefully, we can take advantage and get some good results in the near, near future.

Everyone knows Roberto Soldado’s story. The clinical striker from Spain coming to Spurs and failing to live up to the billing in his first season. I still believe there is a player in there, somewhere, buried underneath his personal doubt and lack of confidence. Glimmers of hope have emerged throughout the season (and a bit) that he’s been with us, and every game he plays is a chance for him to score a few goals and regain at least some of that confidence and clinical nature. It’s another chance for him at White Hart Lane against Nottingham Forest. A player with a lot to prove is Andros Townsend – after an injury in the second half of last season, he hasn’t regained the sort of form he had in the first half. Every game is a good chance for him to get up to scratch, but he needs to be more effective with assists and goals to have a chance of gaining a regular place in the starting 11, I’m sure he knows that. In defence, Federico Fazio has a chance to get his first appearance at White Hart Lane; every game will help him bed in to the side and understand his team mates more, and I think he will be paired with either Vlad Chiriches or Jan Vertonghen for this match against Nottingham Forest. Personally, I’d prefer Vlad to play, and save Vertonghen to play in the North London Derby on Saturday evening after being left out of the side to face West Brom.

A return to winning ways is on the agenda. A tough task against a flying Nottingham Forest, but at White Hart Lane we have to be confident of earning a place in the 4th round of the Capital One Cup. The game is televised on Sky Sports 1, but I will be providing match updates, videos, pictures and more from my Twitter account. Follow me here: @AddictedToSpurs. Let’s get to the next round.. COYS!!

My predicted/proffered team to face Nottingham Forest at the Lane:
4-4-1-1
Vorm
Naughton – Fazio – Chiriches – Davies
Lennon – Bentaleb – Stambouli – Townsend
Kane
Soldado.

Short views from Mauricio Pochettino on Nottingham Forest;

Tottenham Hotspur 2014/15 Season Preview.

The new season is upon us. We’ve had an action packed summer, with the World Cup, pre-season tours and transfer rumours/deals. So it’s made the wait for the new season to start a little more bearable. We’ve got a new Head Coach for the new season, and hopefully it’s the start of a new, successful era under Mauricio Pochettino. In this article I’m going to share my general expectations for the season in the Premier League, FA & League Cup, as well as the Europa League. Also, I’ll be looking at the players I think will be key to success this season, player awards and my season conclusions:

Premier League:
For many years our goal in the Premier League has been the same; break into the top four and secure Champions League football. And this season, the hope and urge that we will, continues to burn brightly in the hearts of Tottenham fans. Having those glory glory nights back at White Hart Lane, and then eventually the new stadium. It’s a dream. This season, with Pochettino being appointed, I think most fans for this season just want improvement, in the style of football we play, and the results we get. If we can get both of those things then I think the season will have been a success and a stepping stone to better things. Daniel Levy seems to, according to Mauricio Pochettino himself, not set any targets for this season and that for me is such a sigh of relief. We need to give Pochettino time to make this squad his own and this takes at least a season. What I want is to enjoy watching Tottenham again, with free flowing, fast paced football on the agenda and always being a threat to the big teams on the pitch, not just rolling over and letting them trounce us. Despite what anyone will say, it is a season of transition for Tottenham and us fans need to be patient and stay fully behind the team and the manager.

Getting in the top 4 is very difficult this season. A lot of the top teams in the top 4, and just outside it have strengthened a lot while keeping a stable core of their team. It’s very hard to see where we fit in to that elite group, so in all honesty I think it would either take one team having a season like Manchester United last season, or Tottenham having a miracle season. Both are difficult to see. For this season, I’d be content with 5th, which is an improvement on last season’s 6th place finish. But, I’d want us to compete further in the cups, and if the draws are kind, go on and win one. I am confident we will be competing for the top 4 spaces, we have a good squad with a great manager who is known for getting the best out of his players, and I think back to last season when we got these players and people believed it was a squad that could compete. If we can get the players back to the level they were when they arrived, who knows what could happen.

Prediction: 5th place.

FA Cup and Capital One Cup:
To win one of these competitions you need two things; a good team, and loads of luck. It’s all about the draw you get. Whether against a big team or little, at home or away and praying you don’t get the game just before a big Premier League game. It’s difficult to see Tottenham being fully focused on winning one of these trophies, even though I’d sacrifice any top 4 space offered to me for a glory day at Wembley. We have a lot of focus on the Premier League, where ultimately your season is judged on, plus the commitments of the Europa League, which now offers the winner Champions League football, so I think the priority of these Cups is down the pecking order, although I would still love to go for one. It’s always nice playing teams away from the Premier League, striving to get into the next round. Something very special about it, but if I had to chose a trophy to focus on it wouldn’t be the FA Cup or Capital One Cup, it would be the Europa League.

Prediction – FA Cup: 4th Round.

Prediction – Capital One Cup: Quarter Finals.

Europa League:
This competition always splits opinion. Some say all it does is distract from the Premier League, offering up games on the far side of the earth until the teams from the Champions League come in and knock you out, others say it’s a real opportunity for European Glory, something that Tottenham should always strive towards having won the competition twice. We have to learn to deal with playing in the Europa League, in my opinion, if we ever want to compete in the Champions League and Premier League simultaneously, which is the long term goal. Last season we made the round of 16, Benfica getting the better of us, but this season I want us to do better. Show Champions League credentials by taking it by storm. Starting with AEL Limassol in Cyprus. There’s nothing better than a European Glory night at White Hart Lane. If that means the Europa League then I’m all for it. Mauricio Pochettino has said in the past he doesn’t like the Europa League, but has recently admitted that the option for the winners getting Champions League at the end makes the competition more appealing, so I do sincerely hope we take it seriously.

Prediction: Quarter Finals, but I’d love to think we’d go all the way.

Key Players for the 2014/15 season:
We have a lot of great players who will definitely be very important for our 2014/15 campaign, but there are a bunch that stick out as being extra special and the players I’m predicting to have a big season:

Christian Eriksen – Our player of the season for the 2013/14, expectations are high for his performances but I think he will just continue to improve and improve. At only 22 he still has a lot to learn, but he’s on the right path to be considered a World Class player, even if people would argue he’s at that level right now. It’s a pleasure to have him at Tottenham and I’m predicting him to have another massive season, getting into double figures for goals scored and assists made.

Erik Lamela – A difficult season last campaign, but he looked reinvigorated in pre-season, and after a long term injury, he’s back and looking sharp. He has undoubted quality, can play in any position across the three behind the striker. Left wing, central attacking midfield and right wing. He is creative, skilful and in my head is a traditional Tottenham player. As Bill Nicholson once said, “Finding, making and using space is a distinction of all great players” that is what I think Lamela can do for us this season.

Emmanuel Adebayor – Our top scorer last season, playing just half a season under Tim Sherwood. He’s our main man up front and we need him to be on form this season. If he can continue his form that he showed last season we don’t need a new striker as I think he can be classed as a top class striker. Hold up play, link up play and the finish on the end of it. I’m predicting Emmanuel to have a really good season and I think he’s a dark horse for Premier League top scorer, if he can stay fit and on form.

Jan Vertonghen – Jan didn’t have the best of seasons last year, inconsistent, injuries and didn’t repeat the quality he showed when he first joined the club. Now though, with a new season on the horizon and a new challenge, I think Jan will play a major role in any success we have this season from centre back. He can focus on being our main centre back, as we have a lot of back up at left back now, so I think he’ll show his quality once again that once got him mentioned as our new Ledley King. I hope he can rediscover that.

Other players that will be key are of course Hugo Lloris and Kyle Walker, they bring great quality to the team. There could be a few surprise packages, too; if Roberto Soldado can find his form in front of goal he could be the difference for us, if Emmanuel Adebayor goes off to the African Cup of Nations and Lewis Holtby, who was on loan at Fulham last season; I think he can break into the first team this season and Etienne Capoue, who had a great pre-season is another that I think can become a really big player; composed on the ball and solid in his defensive duty. Others include a few younger players, Nabil Bentaleb, Andros Townsend and Harry Kane could all be really important players for us this season.

Player awards predictions:

Player of the season – Christian Eriksen.

Young player of the season – Erik Lamela.

Top scorer – Emmanuel Adebayor.

Most assists – Christian Eriksen.

Conclusions:
I’m excited. I always am for a new season. Surely we will have a better season than the last. I’m hoping for progression, but also to enjoy watching Tottenham again. One or two decent Cup runs and 5th in the League. That is what I think ‘success’ would look like for Tottenham. A season full of excitement, thrills and as little spills as possible. I believe in the quality of the squad. We have a lot of depth and good players, so despite it being a sort of transition period, I think Spurs can make this season memorable.

It all kicks off on Saturday, 16th August at 3pm. West Ham await at Upton Park. Let’s get this one out of the way with three points and then push on. Let the madness commence… COYS!!

What are your hopes and aspirations for the new season? Comment below!

IMG_0969.JPG

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.

20131031-013050.jpg
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

Subs:
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.

20131029-112747.jpg
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.
Tottenham

– 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:
4-4-2
Friedel
Walker – Dawson – Chiriches – Naughton
Lamela – Paulinho – Dembele – Chadli
Adebayor – Defoe

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.

20130924-165355.jpg
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, 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.

20120926-165654.jpg
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:

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