Saturday, May 9, 2009

Starting Lineup Versus Everton

Sorry to those who read this blog regularly, I've been away tending to my grandfather, and have had no Internet access for awhile, but I'm back to keep you updated on our favorite team from here on out.

It will be a makeshift lineup against Everton today, who would be difficult enough to beat with a full-strength squad. Unfortunately, it appears another Spur has lost a brother, as Wilson Palacios' brother Edwin, who was kidnapped almost two years ago, has been found dead in Honduras. Wilson has traveled to Goodison with the rest of the lads, and sadly this is all too familiar for us, after Jermain Defoe didn't travel to Manchester after the horrific death of his brother. I know all Spurs fans thoughts are with Wilson and his family.

We've also been hit with the injury bug, as Aaron Lennon, Didier Zokora, Jamie O'Hara, BAE, Darrent Bent, and Michael Dawson miss the match through various injuries.

The team is below, and because of the injury concerns, Harry is deploying a new formation, a 3-5-2. He'll have Alan Hutton and Gareth Bale serve as wing-backs to hopefully overload the Everton midfield. Not sure if this is a winning team, but I'd take a draw. COYS!!

Starting Lineup:


Corluka, King, Woodgate

Hutton, Jenas, Huddlestone, Modric, Bale

Defoe, Keane

Substitutes: Cudicini, Gunter, Chimbonda, Bentley, Rose, Pavlyuchenko, Campbell

Friday, May 1, 2009

Defoe to Play a Part Against the Baggies and Other Team News

Jermain Defoe has been in training this week, and shown good form according to Harry, even after the senseless and horrific murder of his brother. Defoe did not travel to Manchester last Saturday to be at his brother's bedside, but Harry has said that he has been training this week. With Darren Bent out with a knee injury for the next two weeks, and Roman Pavlyuchenko not quite at full fitness yet, I would expect to see Jermain play a role against West Brom. I'm not sure if he will be in the starting 11, but it wouldn't surprise me.

Ledley King who has been a rock throughout much of our good form, is not expected to play either. His knee will need a rest after the match against United. He's been solid throughout this run, but apparently his knee hasn't recovered as sufficiently as it usually has with a week's rest.

Here's my early lineup against West Brom. I will update it tomorrow with the official lineup.


Hutton, Corluka, Woodgate, BAE

Lennon, Palacios, Jenas, Modric

Keane, Defoe

Substitutes: Cudicini, Bale, Chimbonda, Huddlestone, Zokora, Bentley, O'Hara

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Why Spurs Don't Need a New Left-Winger

For most of the past few years we have been looking for a left-winger to fill what has been a gaping hole in our midfield. I could write no fewer than fifteen names of players we've been linked with over the past three seasons. But we've never really had someone to come in and fill that role. And I want to make a bold statement. We don't need to go buying one this summer.

Luka Modric was bought last summer to be our playmaker in the center of midfield, but thus far Harry has been reluctant to play him in the center of the pitch, unless it has been in a 4-5-1 formation, other than a few isolated occurrences. But we have gained form over the past few months with Luka given a free role to move infield, but he is nominally a winger for us.

He still does keep the width in most cases, but having the ability to roam as he wants has allowed his creativity to flow, and the team looks all the better for it. BAE has done an outstanding job of covering for Luka, and providing that width on some of our forward movements, remember the cross he made for Woody's winner against Hull.

The two of them have formed a good duo on that left side, and while Harry might look to upgrade our left-back position, I would tell him not to look for a left winger now. A traditional winger is something we're all used to, so for our own sanity we keep looking for that type of player, but how can we argue with the results of the past few months?

Make sure that Luka has a good connection with his left back, and make sure that back is someone who can cover when he drifts and provide the width we need as a team, and we'll be fine. So please Harry, don't fix what isn't broken this summer.

Striker Down for Tottenham

Darren Bent has been ruled out for at least two weeks, possibly longer, with a ligament injury in his knee. That means he will definitely be out against West Brom and Everton, and just be coming back to fitness when we face Manchester City.

If this was almost any other player I would say that we wouldn't see him on the pitch until the next preseason, but since I have a feeling Harry will be wanting to offload him in the summer, he will probably try and get him some time, at the worst against Liverpool, to show potential buyers the goods aren't damaged.

Bent had finally started to show a little more form, and then he goes and picks up a knock. I assume the injury occurred when he went down early in the second half. He shouldn't be out for too long, since he was able to continue playing. I'm hoping he makes it back, I never like to see a player injured.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Can Spurs Secure a Europa League Spot?

As the season heads into the final stretch, it is amazing that we are asking if Spurs can finish in 7th position and qualify for the Europa League. Many of the biggest Spurs fans on the planet would have declared you insane if you would have mentioned it 3 months ago. But, nonetheless, the club is in a position to make that push with 4 games to go. What I want to do is look at the teams who have a realistic shot at 7th place, and determine what their point totals could be looking at the remaining fixtures. I'll of course start with the club that will finish in 7th, and no, it isn't West Ham.


5/2: West Brom- The Baggies have played hard throughout the season, but are going down. Have to take care of business. 3 points.
5/9: Everton- Going to Goodison is not an easy task, and I would love a win, be happy with a draw. 1 point.
5/16: Manchester City- The final home match of the season, and City are in the Europa League hunt as well. Another must win. 3 points.
5/24: Liverpool- The final game of the season sees Robbie return to Anfield, where I think the reception will not be as cool as it could be. Liverpool could be playing for nothing at that point, and we did beat them earlier in the year. 1 point.

So I see 8 points from the next four games for the club, giving us a total of 52, 50 more than when Harry took charge of the club, he'll be sure to tell you.

West Ham:

5/2: Stoke City- Going to Stoke is not an easy task this year, and West Ham will consider themselves fortunate to get a point. 1 point.
5/9: Liverpool- Liverpool will be fighting for the title, no shot in this match. 0 points.
5/16: Everton- The Hammers go to Goodison the week after we do. If we get a point, they won't get anything. 0 points.
5/24: Boro- By then Boro will be relegated, and West Ham will take the three points easily. 3 points.

So for West Ham I see them getting 4 more points, although I will admit my view is a bit biased. Total points: 49 points.


5/2: Chelsea- Hiddink has admitted the title is not within their reach, but they'll still come out firing. 0 points.
5/9: Aston Villa- The Villans are in a nosedive and I can see Fulham taking some points easily. 3 points.
5/16: Newcastle- Shearer won't keep the Magpies up. But he'll get a draw here. 1 point.
5/24: Everton- Everton plays a role again, a good solid draw on the last day. 1 point.

So Fulham should take 5 points over the last four matches, for a total of 51.

Manchester City:

5/2: Blackburn- Big Sam will be working to make sure Rovers are safe. City are awful away. Loss, 0 points.
5/10: Manchester United- Will be dismantled by United, who will be looking for another championship. 0 points.
5/16: Tottenham- Well, we all know how this will go won't we? 0 points.
5/24: Bolton- The last day of the season, Bolton will be safe and stranded mid-table, should be a win. 3 points.

So, this is probably unlikely, but I see City only getting 3 points over their last 4 games, giving them a total of 47.

So, let's look at the totals based on my crystal ball.

7. Tottenham- 52 points
8. Fulham- 51 points
9. West Ham- 49 points
10. Manchester City- 47 points

So, based on my scientific analysis, Spurs will finish in 7th, and qualify for Europe, who would have thought it would be possible in October?

Zokora Looking to Exit

In the last week, Didier Zokora has been quoted as saying that he may be looking to move on in the summer from the club if he isn't playing regularly. Since he has come to the club, Didier has been a lightning rod of criticism. He came in to replace Michael Carrick and has never quite done that. Granted, he's a better tackler than Carrick ever was, but what made Carrick special was the way he transitioned from defense to attack, with incisive, probing passes, something Didier cannot do.

Many attacks have gone the way of the dodo in the past few seasons because of errant touches or passes by Didier. If there are three options on a break, it seems that he'll choose the one that will break down the attack. I have never faulted Didier's effort, or his tackling, but at this point, we need more than that in a holding position, and Wilson Palacios fills that role.

I am not going to criticize Didier for his comments, because he was simply speaking the truth. He said that he wants to make sure he is contention for the World Cup next summer, and the only way he can be sure of that is if he's playing regular football. Didier has filled many roles, and he would be an invaluable utility player in the next few seasons, but as a good servant of the club, I can't fault him for looking to new challenges.

What do you think of Didier? Would you be sorry to see him leave? Or would you help pack a bag for him?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Jenas' Remarks Show Some Fire

Well, I needed a few days to bring my blood pressure down before I started posting again after the performance we had on Saturday. It was really a shock to have this incredible high followed by this tremendous low with those halves. As most Spurs fans know, Jermaine Jenas made some comments about Howard Webb's refereeing Saturday, notably the dubious penalty that started things off for United.

The FA have now written to JJ and asked him to clarify his remarks. We all know that JJ will be fined some amount for stepping out of turn and criticizing an official, even though Webb has admitted that the penalty was dubious at best now. But the FA cannot be seen as not backing it's officials, so JJ will be given a slap on the wrist for his comments.

Personally, I'm fine with those comments. Many people who support the club are not fans of JJ, and often times what I hear is that he lacks fire, isn't concentrating, or doesn't give his all on the field. I saw him give his all on the pitch on Saturday, but those quotes have shown me a lot about JJ and his character. He is normally pretty soft spoken, saying the right things when needed, but this showed some fire. He was upset, embarrassed, and quite frankly, pissed off the team had lost the match. He didn't agree with the call and said so. It may seem like spoiled grapes to some, but this shows me the lad cares about whether we win or not.

Granted, I might have been happier if he would have ripped into the team, but they all played hard, they were outclassed and shellshocked in the second half. I want to see more from JJ like this, this showed more leadership than almost any other thing he's done this season. We all agree the penalty was wrong, and he stepped forward and said so, knowing he would probably take a hit in the wallet care of the FA for it, but he stood up for his goalkeeper in a round about way.

And honestly, would any of the teams in the Top 4 not had at least one player who said the same thing, and more than likely each of the managers rehash it for an entire week? I think we can all agree that they surely would have. I don't want our players acting like petulant children on a regular basis, but this one time I think it showed more good having said it than anything else.