Match Review, Stoke City vs Tottenham.

Match: Saturday 26th April 2014.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: Britannia Stadium.

Result: Stoke City 0-1 Tottenham.

Goalscorer for Spurs: Danny Rose 33′.

Delighted with the three points. We move just 3 points behind Everton in 5th and 6 points clear of Manchester United in 7th, and we are only 4 points off the top four and Arsenal, which I find quite funny, even if they do have a game in hand. The football we played wasn’t pretty, but we hung on and got the result, which is what you have to do at places like Stoke, a place which has taken points off Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United. Now only 2 games left and I’d love to win both for a great finish to the season.

In the first half, I thought we played some nice football, but we lacked cutting edge and were wasteful with the ball, despite finding spaces in the right areas we were too slow at releasing the ball to the wingers or finding the killer pass to the strikers, and when we did find the wingers the crossing wasn’t hitting the right areas. Breaking the Stoke defence down was something we found difficult throughout the game, but we did find the killer touch on one occasion, Aaron Lennon flicked the ball towards Emmanuel Adebayor wide on the right hand side, who controlled the ball well and poked it past the Stoke defender Marc Muniesa and showed a good turn of pace and then delivered a delightful ball into the danger area for Danny Rose who jumped highest to nod home in the 33rd minute to make it 1-0, his first Premier League goal of the season. The second half was very difficult for us, early on the Potters were awarded a red card for Ryan Shawcross for a late tackle on Danny Rose, his second yellow card, and it was deserved. You’d think that this would help us take the game away from Stoke, but it meant that the home side sat back and made it even more difficult for us to break them down again, despite still having some space in the midfield. We held on in the end for a good three points.

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The defensive back 5, including Hugo Lloris played very well. For me, Michael Dawson was man of the match, he returned to the side after a hamstring injury and he played superbly, making crucial tackles and winning headers all game, a great decision from Tim Sherwood to re-include the skipper in the starting 11 ahead of Vlad Chiriches and Zeki Fryers. Alongside Dawson, Younes Kaboul was very solid, the same as Dawson he made some great tackles and looked much more comfortable with an experienced head next to him, he looked much more free to run with the ball and take it out from defence and I think that was his best performance since his return from injury. The full backs Kyle Naughton and the goal scorer Danny Rose also played great games, and hopefully they can continue this form in the last two games of the season. In midfield I though Paulinho played well, but other than him I thought we were very sloppy, even Christian Eriksen wasn’t on form. Upfront, Harry Kane had his first bad game in a Spurs shirt and Emmanuel Adebayor continued his average form of late.

You can’t complain with 3 points! We are 6 points from our record points tally in the Premier League, 72 points, so 2 wins is the aim! Our next game is against West Ham at Upton Park on Saturday 3rd May. COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Stoke at the Britannia:
Lloris – 8
Naughton – 7.5
Dawson – 9 – Man of the Match.
Kaboul – 8.5
Rose – 8
Lennon – 5.5
Paulinho – 7
Chadli – 6
Eriksen – 6.5
Kane – 6
Adebayor – 6

Subs:
Townsend – 6
Sigurdsson – 6
Fryers – 6.

Match highlights from our 1-0 win over Stoke:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1rjb8r_epl-stoke-city-0-1-tottenham-all-goals-highlights-hd_sport

Tim Sherwood talks to the press after the Stoke victory:

Match Preview, Stoke City vs Tottenham.

Match date & time: Saturday 26th April 2014. Kick off at 3:00pm.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: Britannia Stadium.

TV: Not live on TV in the UK.

We’re in to the last three games of the season! It’s been highly documented that our season has been thoroughly underwhelming, but we’re in a position that means we’re able to gain a lot of pride. We’re battling for 5th place, which isn’t really the glamour battle of the Premier League, but it’s something and something is always good. We have scored many more goals recently and played some very good stuff, and now dare I say it, we’ve hit some very good form! Now to continue it against Stoke.

Our recent form as I say has been good. 3 wins in 5 games, with 1 draw and a loss. Obviously the loss to Liverpool was very disappointing, and the West Brom draw was displeasing, but the wins against Southampton, Sunderland and Fulham were great, with 11 goals scored in those three games and 14 goals scored in our last 5 games. Defensively, it’s been atrocious though, we have not worked as a unit and although it’s not cost us heaps of goals, against better opposition, we look like we would get torn apart, but I guess Sherwood has decided for the Liverpool approach of out scoring the opposition.

Our form against Stoke in recent times has been mediocre or inconsistent, in with the great results there are some real stinkers. Starting with the good results; our last two games against them have been very successful, in our last visit to the Britannia we won 2-1 late last season, Clint Dempsey scoring from range with an instinctive effort, and then Emmanuel Adebayor late on got the goal to win us the game in AVB’s tenure. More recently, at the Lane under Sherwood we put in a complete display, winning 3-0, three goals and a clean sheet in a great performance from the lads, Soldado, Dembele and Lennon got on the scoresheet in that one. Now onto the stinkers (sorry); in our last 5 games with Stoke we’ve been unable to win on 3 occasions 2 draws at home and a loss at the Britannia, so it has always been a difficult time except for the game this season. The good news is our form at the Britannia is good, winning our last 4 Premier League games up in Stoke.

Stoke have had a good season this year, there has been a transitional period during the take over of Mark Hughes, in which he has implemented a much more attractive footballing philosophy compared to Tony Pulis’ effective but route-one style. For the most part, it has worked for Stoke, they sit in 10th place and are safe from relegation, and it’s a good position for Stoke to now push on next season. The Potters have been in outstanding form recently which has made sure that they will stay in the Premier League, in their last 8 games they have won 5, with 2 draws and only 1 loss, and that was to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. In those 8 games they have beaten Arsenal at the Britannia, so we know what to expect! The thing that is in our favour is that Stoke are now safe and don’t have anything to play for, which may lead to the minds of the players wandering, possibly to the beaches of a holiday.

The team news for Stoke is that winger Oussama Assaidi, on loan from Liverpool, is back, along with full back Erik Pieters. Former Spur Matthew Etherington (back) and defender Robert Huth (knee) have been ruled out of the clash at the Britannia. The players to look out for, for Stoke start with striker Peter Odemwingie, who has hit real form after his career majorly stuttered with West Brom and Cardiff, he has 4 goals in 12 appearances for the Potters this season. Another player who has done very well for Stoke is forward Marko Arnautovic, only 4 goals this season but he has 6 assists which is a decent tally in his first season. I really like him as a player and he’s a definite threat from Stoke. In midfield, Charlie Adam and Steven N’Zonzi look to bully the opposition, and it’s up to our midfield to counter their aggression.

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The team news for the Tottenham is that Jan Vertonghen (ankle), Etienne Capoue (foot), Erik Lamela (back) and Kyle Walker (pelvis) have been ruled out of the game, with Mousa Dembele (ankle) a doubt. Although, skipper Michael Dawson is available again after an ongoing hamstring injury, which is a big plus for the squad. It’s also good news that Jan Vertonghen and Etienne Capoue have returned to training and are in contention to play in the last 2 games of the season, along with Kyle Walker who is scheduled to return to training next week.

I don’t expect much of a change in terms of the team, although personally I’d replace Nacer Chadli with Sandro in that central midfield role, simply because of the midfield pair that Stoke have, Charlie Adam and Steven N’Zonzi are known for their big challenges and strength, so I think the best way of dealing with it is counteracting it with the strength of Sandro, especially as we are away from home. Alongside Sandro I’d stick with his Brazilian partner Paulinho, who played a good game against Fulham at the Lane, and was sublime in the home leg against Stoke. In defence, I’d replace young Zeki Fryers and place Vlad Chiriches in alongside Kaboul; although he has been shaky in his last two games against Sunderland and West Brom, I think he should be given the chance to redeem himself and rediscover his form that he had earlier in the season. Upfront, there is no doubt that Harry Kane and Emmanuel Adebayor keep their place; Harry has been in great scoring form and I think the time has come for Adebayor to rediscover his.

Match stats provided by Opta.

– All five Barclays Premier League meetings between these sides in Stoke have ended 2-1, with the Potters winning two and losing three.

– Tottenham have won five and lost just one of their last eight Barclays Premier League meetings with the Potters (D2).

– Stoke have been level at half-time in their last seven home matches against top-six teams.

– Tim Sherwood has the best win percentage of any Tottenham manager in the Premier League (58%).

– Mark Hughes’ Stoke have picked up four red cards this season; Hughes has seen his various teams collect 40 red cards in Premier League history (in 305 games).

– Stoke have had Over 2.5 goals in their last five home matches against Spurs.

– Tottenham have the fourth highest points total (30) away from home this season despite having a goal difference of -2 on the road.

– Spurs have conceded a total of 11 goals in their last three Premier League away games.

– Spurs have had both teams scoring in their last five away matches against Stoke.

– Tottenham Hotspur have failed to score in three of their last four away games.

– Stoke have won their last four Premier League home games, three of them ending 1-0 to the Potters. They have never won five home games in a row in the Premier League.

– Stoke have had draw/draw results in their last four draws against top-six teams.

– Only two teams (Liverpool and Palace) are on longer current unbeaten runs than Tottenham (three games).

– Tottenham have come from behind to win a league-high 17 points from losing positions this season while Stoke have the second best total (15).

We want to win our last three games! Starting at the Britannia. Expecting a difficult game, as always, but if we play how I know we can, we’ll have no problems. I’ll be providing match updates from my twitter account @AddictedToSpurs, including goal updates, photos, videos and vines. COYS!!

My predicted/preferred team to take on Stoke at the Britannia:
4-4-2
Lloris
Naughton – Kaboul – Chiriches – Rose
Lennon – Paulinho – Sandro – Eriksen
Adebayor – Kane.

Tim Sherwood’s press conference prior to our trip to the Britannia:

Match Review, Tottenham vs Stoke City.

Match: Sunday 29th December 2013.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

Competition: Premier League.

Result: Tottenham 3-0 Stoke City.

Tottenham goal scorers: Roberto Soldado (pen) 36′, Mousa Dembele 65′ and Aaron Lennon 69′.

What a win! We finally win a game at White Hart Lane by more than 2 goals. We were brilliant and it’s so good to say that after a very difficult period for us Spurs fans. To win 3-0 and put in such a convincing performance is so relieving, hopefully now we can put our goalscoring and performance troubles at the Lane behind us and move ahead to make the Lane a fortress once more. A lot of negativity from Spurs fans heading into the game, expecting once more a hard fought 1-0 win, or a disappointing drop of points, but we pleasantly surprised everyone. From the off, we dominated the game, our passing game in full flow and making chances very well, which we couldn’t seem to finish. Frustrating that we couldn’t finish our opportunities, same old Spurs. Finally, in the 36th minute Emmanuel Adebayor tried the spectacular with an overhead kick which didn’t find the net, but the second best thing is that it hit Ryan Shawcross’ arms and resulted in a penalty which Roberto Soldado calmly put away, same old Soldado. We continued to to play well and attack Stoke City really well, keeping Stoke at bay excellently, only having 2 shots in the whole game on Lloris’ goal. In the second half Mousa Dembele and Paulinho dominated the midfield and Mousa got his reward for such a brilliant performance, getting a brilliant goal, shifting onto his left foot in style and rifling the ball into the bottom corner. He’s capable of that! Soon after going 2-0 up, we went 3-0 up, as the ball fell to Aaron Lennon’s feet and he half-volleyed home to make it a comfortable win at such a crucial time.

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My man of the match is definitely Mousa Dembele, he was phenomenal on the ball, creating attacks and showing his undoubted class, and his goal topped off a great day for the big Belgian. His midfield partner Paulinho returned from suspension and arguably had his best performance in a Spurs shirt to date, being open minded in attack, passing brilliantly and showing his skill with flicks and tricks that caught the eye, unfortunately he got a knock in the second half from a Charlie Adam tackle and we hope he’s okay for our trip to Manchester, a key player. The formation we played really allowed our players to express themselves, Adebayor and Soldado were impressive as a partnership but Ade peeled off and helped out the midfield really well, letting our wingers Aaron Lennon and Christian Eriksen get involved in the play a lot more, Eriksen coming in more central and Lennon working the wide spaces well in the absence of Kyle Walker. A 4-4-2 turned into a 4-3-3 and it worked really well, I hope this sort of offensive display can continue. Defensively, we were solid and it was a much improved display from our back four, and credit to Sherwood for tightening it up, Dawson and Chiriches were very good, and so were our full backs Naughton and Fryers, it’s clear Naughton is much better in his preferred position of right back, rather than left back. The nerves were there for Zeki Fryers on his Premier League debut (start), but he dealt with them well and put in a good performance.

Three points and three goals make me a happy man. We now need to push on and get a run together, starting with a tough match on New Year Day against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Got to put in a good display! COYS!!

My player ratings of the team that faced Stoke City at the Lane:
Lloris – 7
Naughton – 7
Dawson – 7.5
Chiriches – 7.5
Fryers – 7
Lennon – 8
Paulinho – 9
Dembele – 9 – Man of the match.
Eriksen – 8.5
Adebayor – 8
Soldado – 7

Subs:
Capoue – 6
Chadli – N/A
Lamela – 7

Match highlights from our 3-0 win over Stoke:

Tim Sherwood’s post match reaction:

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Stoke City.

Match: Sunday 29th December 2013. Kick off 4pm GMT.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

Competition: Premier League.

Our home form this season has been nothing short of dismal. Only 1 win in our last 7 games at White Hart Lane is something we certainly aren’t used to at Spurs, our home form is something we pride ourselves on, being a ‘fortress’ and a difficult place to come. What has become apparent is that it is our away form that is keeping us in a decent position in the League, the lack of pressure from the fans and the ability to express ourselves more in an open game of football is something we seem to have enjoyed this season, but now we need to translate that away form into our home games, play without fear, with an offensive bite and get some goals to put a smile on the faces of the home support. This game is a must win, to try and release the pressure that the players are under and get some confidence back into the team ahead of two very big games against Manchester United and Arsenal coming up in the New Year. We need more of a plan and a much improved starting 11 to the one that faced West Brom, our passing play needs to improve, about 50 attacks broke down in the final third and I think it was the lack of number 10 that caused it. We were overrun in midfield with the 4-4-2 against a much weaker West Brom, so it can’t be used in my opinion. I’d sacrifice a striker and play Eriksen in behind Adebayor, it’d be interesting to see that partnership develop.

Stoke City will be fairly pleased with their first half of the season, they sit in 10th place, already hitting the 20 point mark with 18 games gone, and so are right on track to hit the magical 40 point mark that will be their aim first and foremost. The team news for Stoke is that they are without Asmir Begovic (finger), Matthew Etherington (back), Robert Huth (knee), plus, Marc Wilson and Glenn Whelan are suspended. A few key players out for the Potters, but we have our own injury and suspension vacancies to worry about as well! We expect Stoke to come to the Lane with the mentality of ‘do not lose’, trying to stunt our offensive guile, it’s what we’ve come to expect of Stoke in recent times, but under Mark Hughes they have been better at passing and creating chances, so hopefully it won’t be too badly closed down and tight and we can get a good game of football.

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Although it is easy to blame the manager for bad form and lack of tactics, our players need to stand up and be counted, especially the fringe players who want to be in the starting 11 week-in-week-out, they have to take responsibility and for once this season take a game by the scruff of the neck and change it, instead of what seems to be waiting for something to happen and the ball to fall for us. We have so much quality in our squad and I truly believe that, but they need to now prove that to everyone else, not for Spurs but for themselves. The team news doesn’t look kind to us I must say, it is difficult when you’ve got arguably 7 players out who are starters when they are fit or not suspended. Sandro (calf), Younes Kaboul (quad), Andros Townsend (hamstring), Jan Vertonghen (ankle) and Kyle Walker (suspended) all out for the Stoke game, with Mousa Dembele (ankle), Jermain Defoe (hamstring) and Aaron Lennon (stomach) all doubtful. The only good news is that Paulinho returns to the squad after his suspension. With Kyle Walker out, we lose one of our best players of the season, Tim Sherwood has a choice between Kyle Naughton and youth player Ryan Fredericks who impressed when featuring against Anzhi in the Europa League and is well known by Tim Sherwood, so I’d expect Fredericks to make his first Premier League start, big prospect! Vlad Chiriches had a poor game against West Brom, so he needs to up his game facing the aerial prowess of former Spur Peter Crouch. After Nacer Chadli played poorly against West Brom, I’d give Erik Lamela his first Premier League start at White Hart Lane, he needs a run in the team, we’ve nothing to lose with him starting but a lot to gain I feel.

Match Stats and Facts provided by tottenhamhotspur.co.uk

– We are unbeaten in our last three PL meetings against Stoke (1 win, 2 draws).

– We have only lost one of our last seven PL meetings against the Potters (won 4, drawn 2).

– There has only been one 0-0 PL draw in our 10 PL meetings – at the Lane in December, 2012. This is our only goalless draw in the last 24 league meetings against Stoke dating back to October, 1977.

– We have scored in six of the last seven PL meetings and in eight of the 10 PL clashes overall.

– We are unbeaten in our last three home PL meetings against Stoke (1 win, 2 draws).

– We’ve drawn our last two home PL meetings.

– Our biggest league win against Stoke is a five-goal margin, last achieved in a 6-1 victory at Stoke’s former Victoria Ground home in the old Division One on September 15, 1951.

– Our biggest league win at the Lane is by a five-goal margin achieved by the ‘Push And Run’ title-winners, a 6-1 win in Division One on October 21, 1950.

– The highest aggregate scoreline is seven goals – last occuring in a 4-3 win at the Lane in Division One, October 7, 1972.

Only two players have scored hat-tricks against Stoke in our history, both at the Lane.

– Frank Osbourne at the Lane, a 3-1 win in the old Division Two, October, 1929.

– Steve Archibald at the Lane, a 4-1 win in the old Division One, May, 1983.

Big game! Sadly the game isn’t televised, but I’ll be sure to provide you with a stream on my twitter account @AddictedToSpurs, as well as updates on the game including match events, videos and pictures! COYS!!

My predicted team to face Stoke City at the Lane:
4-4-2
Lloris
Fredericks – Dawson – Chiriches – Rose
Lamela – Paulinho – Eriksen – Sigurdsson
Soldado – Adebayor.

My preferred team to face Stoke:
4-2-3-1
Lloris
Fredericks – Dawson – Chiriches – Rose
Paulinho – Capoue
Lamela – Eriksen – Chadli
Adebayor

Tim Sherwood previews our clash with Stoke at the Lane: