Saturday, January 31, 2009


This is the life of a Tottenham fan, look great one day, awful the next, and have your heart broken in the process. In the first minute we looked good, a nice shot from Bentley, but from then until Bent brought us back level, I thought we looked totally out of sorts. Our problem all season has been free kicks and that was in evidence again today. I don't know about zonal marking on free kicks, it doesn't seem to be working too well for us, now does it? We showed a lot of heart coming back from two goals down, but another late goal is crushing. This game would have made us all feel a bit better about our place in the league, but as it is, we could drop down to 17th is things fall a certain way. With ARSEnal coming to the Lane next week, we desperately need at least a point, hopefully three next weekend. With 14 games to go, we still have to travel to Man United, Liverpool, and face Chelsea at home, so there will be some scraps to come.

Player Ratings:

Cudicini- 6.5 Couldn't be faulted on any of the goals, played his area well, but was left out to dry. With Gomes still injured, there's no competition, but even when he's fit again, I think Carlo could be first choice.

Corluka- 5.5 A poor performance from Vedran today, surprisingly. I've felt he's been one of the best signings this year, but never looked comfortable today, missed some tackles and gave the ball away several times. Probably did not help his confidence that Chimbonda was brought on for him, but still certainly a first choice for me.

Dawson- 6 You can never question his heart, and he put everything he had out there today. Was missing in the goals, but with the zonal marking system, can't really fault him. Stuck with his mark throughout the match.

Woodgate- 6 With King out for some time, I keep hoping for Jonathan to take the team by the scruff of the neck and lead them to safety, but so far he hasn't done it. Played his normal game, good, not flashy, I just really wish we would go to man marking on free kicks and let he and Dawson rule the area.

Assou-Ekotto- 5.5 Still not my favorite player, did a decent job today. Gave away the free kick that eventually led to the second goal, but really not the worst performance I've seen from him.

Lennon- 6 Ran at the defense, but never looked totally threatening like he did against Stoke, or even against Portsmouth. Has to work on his crossing, and then he would be totally dangerous.

Zokora- 5.5 Subbed at half-time, and I don't know how often we'll see he and Palacios paired together. They're the same player in essence, and we showed little imagination in the first half today.

Palacios- 5.5 Not the most auspicious of debuts, now was it? Gave away quite a few free kicks, I will say he's not afraid to tackle. I think nerves played a part, made some poor passes, but I think he will settle, we certainly need him to.

Bentley- 6 The boy is putting forth some effort now, I will give him that. A couple of good attempts at goal, he disappeared mainly in the second half, and he was the man on the post when the third goal went past. But, he is tackling and showing some effort, so I will give him credit.

Modric- 5.5 With the blow that he took from Pavy he never really looked the same. As brilliant as he was on Tuesday, just was not on his game tonight, and the substitution was probably good, hopefully we'll see the Luka of Stoke against Arsenal next weekend.

Pavlyuchenko- 6 Took some good chances, and was active all night. Still not quite where I would like him to be, but put forth a good effort.


Jenas- 6.5 Came on and made some bad passes yes, but was all over the pitch, and got stuck in trying to bring us back. I think he makes us a better squad, and his effort seemed to unite the team today.

Bent- 7.5 Took his two goals well. They were not great goals by any stretch, but he took what he could, and was active and almost brought us a point.

Chimbonda- 6.5 Not my favorite player, I didn't want him brought back. But, he created one of the goals, and made some great runs forward from the right back slot, a good sub by Harry I think. We'll probably see him in the starting 11 next week.

I would write more about the team, but I am still so disgusted by the late goal that I am going to leave it at that.

Team Lineup versus Bolton

The lineups for the match have now been announced, and I wasn't that far off on the starting lineup, which I'm pretty proud of.


Corluka, Dawson, Woodgate, BAE

Lennon, Zokora, Palacios, Bentley



As I thought, with Defoe out, we have Modric playing in the hole behind Pavy, with Zokora and Palacios anchoring the midfield. The bench looks like this: Alnwick, Bale, Chimbonda, Jenas, Huddlestone, Bent, Campbell.

Bolton is putting this lineup on the field, minus their former skipper, Kevin Nolan, who's completed his move to Newcastle.

Jaaskelainen, Samuel, Cahill, Puygrenier, Steinsson, Davies, Gardner, Muamba, Taylor, Kevin Davies, Makukula.

Let's hope for 3 points!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Defoe Injured

Well of course as things begin to look up for us here at Spurs, some new crisis comes along. News out of training today comes that Defoe has injured his foot, with rumors being that he had broken it at first. Some rumors even said that he would be out for the rest of the season, which made me break out into a cold sweat.

So, the news is not great, but not as bad as I thought it was at first. Defoe is injured, and will not play at Bolton tomorrow, or against ARSEnal next Sunday, and for up to three weeks. Just as things were starting to come together with Defoe and Pavy, there's an injury that will disrupt our timing. At least Jermain is not out for the rest of the year, so I doubt we'll have a panic buy like I first thought.

My first thought on hearing that Defoe could be out for the rest of the year was that Harry would panic and offer some absurd number, like 25 million for Santa Cruz, or Lennon and cash for Keane again. But now that he's out for a couple of weeks, I doubt we'll splash a large amount of cash on another striker, but at least another striker will making his way to the Lane I believe.

A player like Fred would make sense, especially for around 4 million like I've discussed in the past. A player I would have liked to have seen come into the club would have been Kevin Doyle from Reading. A good striker, he'd be great cover, especially at around 4-5 million pounds.

I tend to think that in the last days of the transfer window we'll be seeing another striker come into the fold, and players like the winger Hunt, or the left backs that have been discussed will not be purchased. I would have liked Hunt, or Nicky Shorey, but I doubt we'll see that and cash for a striker splashed in 2 days.

The team tomorrow will certainly look different with Defoe out, I suspect Harry will deploy a 4-4-1-1 like he has in the past, with Modric playing in the hole behind Pavlyuchenko. I don't think this is the best way to deploy the team, but they're not paying me to manage, though that would be great.


Corluka, Dawson, Woodgate, Chimbonda

Lennon, Zokora, Palacios, Bentley (not sure if he's suspended or not, I know he's out against Arsenal) Jenas



Thursday, January 29, 2009

What team should we play?

As we've bought more and more people, I'm wondering what Harry's ideal team would be. I've seen some articles talking about Harry deploying a 3-5-2 formation, which I'm not sure will work. I have always loved a 3-5-2, but our defensive record is already pretty weak. But I thought I would put out some of my thoughts on the teams, tell me what you think.


Cudicini (I've never rated Gomes, and would certainly prefer Carlo at this point)

Corluka, Woodgate, King/Dawson (Dawson would be the most used option, with King limited so much. At least we have 4 quality center backs.)

Lennon, Palacios, Zokora/Jenas, Modric, Bentley/O'Hara (When O'Hara is fit I think Harry will use him out wide, but Bentley would do well, and of course we have Bale, BAE and Chimbonda could be wing backs.)

Defoe, Pavy



Corluka, Woodgate, Dawson/King, BAE/Chimbonda (I have a feeling Harry is going to play him here a lot.)

Lennon, Palacios, Modric, Bentley/O'Hara/Jenas (Harry keeps rating Zokora, so I think he would be deployed, but I would not put two similar players out there.)

Defoe, Pavy

I have no idea what Harry is going to do, I'm interested to see what is going to happen at Bolton this Saturday. Jenas will be fit, and I think he plays well in the team, but I don't think we'll see him in the starting 11.

No word on transfers, other than us possibly buying Santa Cruz, which I think is a pipe dream. Why spend another 20 million on a striker? But we'll see.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

5 Days Left in the Transfer Window

So, there are only 5 days left in the transfer window, and the rumors are still flying fast and furious about who Harry wants to see at White Hart Lane before the door slams shut Monday night. We all have our opinions of who should be coming in, let me know what you think should happen in the next coming days, or should we be done with the signings based on who we've already brought in?

Players In:
Defoe 15 million
Palacios 12 million (I've also read 13 and 14 million as well, so who knows)
Cudicini Free
Chimbonda 3 million

Players Out

Rumored Targets

Stephen Appiah
This name keeps on popping up. After training with us for two weeks, it was rumored he had gone home, but now Harry is deciding whether or not to sign him. After signing Palacios, who is a very similar type of player, I wonder if the wage demands that Appiah has would be worth the trouble. A quality player, but like I said in earlier posts, lingering knee troubles worry me, look at Ledley as a perfect example. Zokora is also a player in a similar vein, and Huddlestone could be considering along this way as well, so with Palacios in, I think the Appiah deal is dead.
Chance of Happening: 15%

Stephen Hunt
A deal was done with Wigan last week supposedly, but has fallen apart. Now we are back in the frame, and at 5 million, I'd have to say this would be a wise investment. With O'Hara out, and Bale not really capable of playing as a winger we have limited options, i.e. either Lennon or Bentley playing out of position, or perhaps Jenas or Modric, whose talents would be wasted on the wing. It would make too much sense to happen though, wouldn't it?
Chance of Happening: 35%

Dos Santos apparently does not want to move to Lyon now, so a straight player swap would be out of the question. I've read 3 million, 4 million as a figure, and I've also read about a loan deal. With Defoe and Pavy playing well together, especially last night, and with Bent and Campbell as cover, I'm wondering if he's needed currently, especially since he is so hit and miss at times.
Chance of Happening: 20%

Robbie Keane
I know lots of Tottenham fans would love to see him make his way back south, and as much as I loved him when he was here, and I can't believe I'm saying this, I think we should leave well enough alone. Liverpool are said to be wanting either Lennon or Jenas, or both, plus cash for Robbie, and with the form that Aaron is on right now, I would not make this deal. And we'll just have the same problems we did two years ago, Defoe and Keane are too similar to play together, so we would be sitting a 15 million pound striker every game, and having to deal with getting a game for everyone again. Well technically, we'd be sitting two 15 million pound strikers, with Bent on the bench usually as well. As much as I love Robbie, let's just let him live in our memories now.
Chance of Happening: 5%

Nicky Shorey
Even though BAE played better last night, we could still use a left back, and he seems the most likely to move. 4 million would not be too much to pay for him, but he hasn't been able to hold down a place at Villa, and Luke Young has been playing on the left side, which never is good when someone is playing out of position and is ahead of you.
Chance of Happening: 35%

Nicholas Burdisso
It was rumored that an 8 million pound fee had been agreed, but since then, we haven't heard a word. Doesn't really get a game at Inter, would again be great cover, but at this point, do we need it? We've got Corluka, Dawson, Woodgate, King, BAE, Bale, Gunter and Chimbonda, with Hutton coming back into the fold at some point. I would like him for his versatility, being able to play across the line would be good. But hearing nothing for a week, I think this is dead in the water now.
Chance of Happening: 12%

Marco Metarazzi
I still don't know why we're trying to sign him, he's 35, and has been injured all season. No more injured center halves. Especially at the prices being quoted, like a straight swap for Lennon, no way would I make this deal.
Chance of Happening: 8%

There are some other names, Adriano, Leighton Baines, Nedum Onuoha, Nicholas Anelka, and Kenwye Jones, but all of these deals are so remote I don't think they even merit discussion. So, tell me, should we sign anyone? And if so, who? I think at the most, we sign Hunt, maybe Shorey, max.

This is What I've Been Waiting For

Finally! Last night, especially in the first half Spurs looked like the team that I love so much. The second half wasn't quite as impressive as the first, but the team looked like a real team last night for the first time in who knows how long? I never really felt nervous during the match, I can't tell you the last time that I watched a match where I wasn't nervous. 3 points is always welcome, now if we get 3 more at Bolton on Saturday, I'll really be feeling good.

Player Ratings:

Cudicini- 7.5 Great debut, handled his area well, couldn't be faulted on the goal by Beattie. Wasn't indecisive on free kicks, like some of our other goalkeepers have been. Made a good save on one free kick and handled his area well. Definitely competition for Gomes.

Corluka- 7.5 Looked great last night, I think he's our best option at right back. Defended well, and got involved in the play upfield. Almost had a goal, combined well with Bentley and Modric, and showed he has a few tricks as well. Great performance from him.

Dawson- 7 Great goal from him, and played well in the center of the pitch. His rating would have been higher, but his giveaway led to the goal. Handled the throws from Delap well. With King not on the top of his game as of late with all of the injuries, I think the pairing of Woodgate and Dawson is our best best in the center of defense.

Woodgate- 7 Played well last night. Had a great opportunity for a goal, but it went glancing wide. Tackled well, and like everyone else tonight, was great on the ball.

Assou-Ekotto- 7 I can't believe I am rating him this high, but he played well last night. Headed a ball off the line early on that would have changed the game I'm sure. Combined well with Lennon and Bentley, he looked like a good full back last night, I'm not sure what happened, but I liked it.

Bentley- 7.5 This looks more like the player we paid a fortune for. He looked confident on the ball last night. Made some great crosses, and actually ran at defenders, something we hadn't seen until the last couple of matches. His free kicks also are looking better, put one on frame, and another in the side netting.

Modric- 8.5 Even though he didn't score, he was clearly the man of the match for me. Was in control the whole game, showed real quality, the flick ons, the nutmeg, some great passes. Found Pavy well on Defoe's goal, and had a great cross on Dawson's goal. Made some tackles as well, he's really showing he can play in a four man midfield.

Zokora- 6.5 Probably the weakest link on the field tonight, but still didn't play all that badly. Should have been booked at some point honestly, tackled well but some were a little rough. Played well on the ball, and covered pretty well.

Lennon- 8 Great goal, took it well from a great switch by Defoe. Ran right at defenders, has been great taking the game to defenders in the last couple of matches he's played. Honestly, I think he looked better on the left side than the right tonight.

Defoe- 8 A wonderful goal, and a great pass to Lennon on the first goal. Was active and played lots of good balls around the box. Combined well with Pavy, they look like a good pairing. Should have had a second, but there was a great clearance off the line.

Pavlyuchenko- 7.5 Great pass to Defoe on the second goal, and looked great on the ball. Probably was unlucky not to score as well, took some good shots, and played some great combos with Defoe. Looks like he is settling in the league, and playing like a 14 million pound striker now. I think the goals will follow.

We'll see Palacios certainly come into the side on Saturday at Bolton, not sure about Chimbonda, the back four last night looked pretty sharp. If we play like this a few more times, I think safety will be assured, thank goodness.

Monday, January 26, 2009

More Signings for the Club

Well, Chimbonda is on his way back south. Whoever makes the gloves for the club will be happy, since he wears them all of the time, no matter how hot or cold it is. Like I said in one of my previous posts, I think he's soft, but he will make for cover in the back. Corluka can play centrally a good bit of the time now, but I'd still prefer him on the flank instead of Chimbonda, but oh well.

On happier transfer news, the deal for Cudicini is done, with Soccernet reporting it was a free. Other sites have said it was around 2-2.5 million pounds, so I'm not sure. I've always thought he was a good keeper, and will do a good job of competing for the Number 1 shirt with the club. I expect he'll be in the net tomorrow night against Stoke, and hopefully we'll see him settle quickly.

More stuff today about Fred coming to the Lane for Dos Santos and some cash, and the next offer for Kenwye Jones is said to be Darren Bent, plus 6 million. Also, we're reportedly offering 4 million for Nicky Shorey, and the rumors of Robbie Keane coming back to the Lane will not die, especially after being left out of the team for the FA Cup tie on Saturday. With Defoe and Chimbonda both back with the club, it wouldn't be beyond the realm of possibility, though I still doubt it. Though I certainly wouldn't mind at all.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to drink heavily to try and forget about the Chimbonda signing.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

We're Buying Who??

Okay, please tell me I'm having a bad dream, but the Sun is reporting that Pascal Chimbonda is going to complete a transfer back to us tomorrow for 3 million quid. I really hope this is not true, I never rated him when he was with us, and always saw him as a mercenary. The way he turned in the transfer request at Wigan always rubbed me wrong. He never got stuck in in the tackles, and his movements up field always led to him getting caught out it seemed.

Beyond the fact that I don't want him coming back, I am wondering if he can. There is that FA rule that prevents teams from re-signing a player within a year of selling them, we had to have that cleared up with Defoe. Perhaps this will be our saving grace. I rate Chris Gunter, and he's good cover for Corluka at right-back, I definitely think Gunter is better than Chimbonda.

So the rumor mill has Stephen Hunt moving to us this week for 5 million instead of Wigan like was reported. A good left winger would do us good, so you won't hear me complaining.

Fred may become a Tottenham player before the week is through, with several papers reporting it will be a straight swap, Giovanni Dos Santos for Fred. It's clear Harry doesn't think Dos Santos can cut it at the Lane, so letting him move on would probably be good for everyone, and if we can get a decent striker to be cover, all the better.

Nothing on Nicky Shorey, I don't think this is going to happen, I've heard nothing for two weeks. The Burdisso rumors are now silent as well, I would certainly prefer him to Chimbonda, but no word as of yet.

And finally, Shay Given has signed for Man City apparently, so Newcastle will be keeping Steve Harper. But several papers are reporting that Cudicini will move to the Lane, with the reports being anything from a free transfer to 1.5 million. If I hear anything, I'll be sure to post it.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Not a bad effort

Well, even though we lost 2-1, I was impressed with the effort by the team today, not quite what I would hope for, but it was a thousand times better than Burnley the other night. The early goal from Pavy was great, nice flick on by Huddlestone and a good glancing header, we need more of those, that is what Pavy does well. Alnwick played a lot better, he's still not ready to be our No. 2, or to challenge Gomes, but with a little more seasoning he should do well. The team played with heart tonight, but I think we all knew what was coming before the goals arrived. United were pouring the pressure on, so it was only a matter of time. The first one was a fluke, you couldn't fault Alnwick or Huddlestone. The second one we were caught napping. I never like to see us lose, but with the League being the priority and the League Cup and the UEFA Cup still coming, I am kind of glad we have the fight on one fewer front.

If we put forth this effort against Stoke Tuesday night, and have some more of our injured come back in the side, I think we'll find three points the result.

Player Ratings

Alnwick- 6.5 Night and day compared to the other night. Couldn't be faulted at all on the first goal, it was going wide before it deflected off Huddlestone. He couldn't really be faulted for the second either, Berbatov slipped in between Dawson and Corluka and that was all. Made a tremendous save in the first half off Tevez. Has a bright future, but isn't ready as of yet, but much better today.

Gunter- 7 I know I'll probably be seen as crazy, but for me Gunter was our best defender tonight. Covered well at right-back, made some good moves forward, but what was impressive for me was the way he slotted inside to cover in the center several times. Made a great stop in the first half on Welbeck coming across and other tackles as well. Looked better on the ball, he's young as well, and I think with a loan or an extended run of games could be a great right-back for us.

Dawson- 6 Solid, not spectacular, exactly what you expect from him. Did well captaining the side, did the dirty work and worked hard. Caught napping when Berbatov beat Corluka in the first half, but otherwise a decent performance, nothing less than I expect from him.

Corluka- 5.5 Did not look as comfortable in the middle as he has on the right side. Maybe was playing through injury as well, but didn't look sharp at all, clearly beat with the Berbatov goal, and never looked comfortable on the ball all evening. As consistent as he is at right-back, not great in the middle tonight.

Benoit Assou-Ekotto- 5 Well, he didn't try to score on us tonight, but didn't do much more than that. Caught out several times, Welbeck ran all over him, and was lacking in cover. I know it seems my judgement is clouded against him, he just seems to be a liability, though Bale is no better. Tonight it seems like the two were acting out "Dumb and Dumber."

Bentley- 6 Put forth another good effort, we're seeing glimpses of the player we paid so much money for, with a couple of the crosses this evening. Defensively he didn't do much, and he needs to be more consistent, but not as bad as previous outings.

Zokora- 5.5 Always battles, but his touch was clearly missing this evening. Gave away several balls in bad positions, and came late on several tackles. But came through when needed, and like I said, you can never fault the effort.

Huddlestone- 6 Played a lot better than the other night. A wonderful pass to Pavy for the goal, and made some good passes throughout the night. Tackled decently, looked more settled than as of late, but still needs to bring his tackling and some of his passing up a notch. No shots taken tonight, one of his strengths.

Bale- 5 The other half of "Dumb and Dumber" for me. Welneck made Bale and BAE look awful, the tackling was non-existent, Welbeck, Tevez and O'Shea just ran past them a lot. Bale's strength has been his passing, but tonight was clearly missing. And he shouldn't run at the center of the United defense when Pavy, Modric and Bentley are available, but just my opinion.

Modric- 5.5 Missing in action a lot tonight, Carrick seemed to have taken the role of shutting him down, and did so well. Went off at the half, injured maybe? Never looked comfortable, and not sure what Harry was thinking, having Luka mark Carrick in defense, definitely not his strong suit. Hopefully he'll look better Tuesday.

Pavlyuchenko- 6.5 Great goal, well taken, beating Vidic. Combined more with Modric, Huddlestone and Zokora. Didn't get the service he needed in the second half, but definitely plays his best football for us in the Cups.


Giovanni- 6 Had a decent effort near the end of the match, but largely got lost in the play. Didn't take the game by the scruff of the neck, but he's not that type of player, but still was invisible at times. I would think he'd put more of an effort in knowing he doesn't get many chances, but got lost tonight.

Taarabt- 6.5 Another good effort from him, he brings a spark to the side. He has some flair, and puts in some bite, I want to see him more in the side. Don't know if he's ready for the starting 11, but a great spark to bring on in the 70th minute I'd think. Ran at players, made decent crosses, that's where he needs to work, but overall showing why Harry called his play "genius" in training a month or so ago.

Defoe- 5.5 Didn't have a chance to get involved really, no service was coming forward at this point. I think pairing him with Pavy is the best partnership, but they didn't get a chance to show it tonight. No real efforts, but did make some good runs.

Overall, not as bad as I thought it would be, but let's for better Tuesday night.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Everyone is Injured

Judging by the story that the official website has put up, I might have a chance at a run-out tomorrow at Old Trafford. Those that are officially ruled out are Gomes, Corluka, King, Lennon, Jenas, Bent, O'Hara and Hutton. That's almost a starting 11 right there.

Harry also stated that Woodgate, Modric and Dawson were all unlikely to play, completing the starting injured 11.

I know United are going to field a weaker team because of injuries as well, but this is ridiculous. Without Palacios until next Saturday at the earliest, we have no cover.

I guess the starting 11 will look something like this: Alnwick, Gunter, Rocha, Zokora, BAE, Bentley, Huddlestone, Taarabt, Bale, Defoe, Pavlyuchenko. Dos Santos, could also start in place of Bale, and the rest of the bench would be made up of academy and reserve players.

If you want to see the bad news for yourself, check out the official team news.

Man United Preview

Tomorrow's match at Old Trafford is one where we all know we won't field our best team. The good news is that United are facing a major injury crisis as well, with Darren Fletcher set to start at right-back. The strike force is still in fine form for them, and with our defense in bad shape that could be a problem.

Like I said before, Alnwick will start in goal, and more than likely Zokora will feature as a center back. Keeping the defense tight will be a priority, and with Gunter, BAE, and either Corluka or maybe even Rocha in the back, I would hope that neither of our backs push forward too much. Bale will likely start on the left wing, probably his better position currently, and if he can get forward, BAE can hang back and hopefully not put it in our own net.

Valencia looks to be securing Cesar's final signature today, and now there are rumors that Kranjcar could be moving to London, to either Arsenal or us this summer. He would be a fine left winger, especially since we haven't heard a peep about Stephen Hunt throughout the week.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Injury Update

Well, the injury front does not look good to me. After reading around a bit when I had the chance today, it appears that Gomes will still not be fit for the FA Cup tie this weekend, and neither will King, Hutton, Woodgate, Dawson, Jenas, O'Hara and Lennon. I'm not sure about the status of Corluka, but it'll be tough either way.

Cesar should complete his move to Valencia on Friday, so Alnwick will certainly line up in goal, with Gunter, Corluka (if fit), Zokora, BAE, Bentley, Modric, Huddlestone, Bale, Defoe and Pavlyuchenko would be my lineup, though I'm not sure what Harry will do.

I've read in several spots that Man City are now in the race for Cudicini, are they just trying to sign everyone we're interested in? Nothing else has been heard about Harper, so our goalkeeping problems could continue. Shorey, Fred, and Hunt are still being mentioned, though not nearly as often, so who knows what will happen there. Nothing else new on the Burdisso front, with Materazzi looking less and less likely to happen.

Oh, since I didn't do player ratings for the Burnley match, I found this and found it pretty close to my opinions on some of the players.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Disaster

Well, that was not pretty to watch. What words could describe that outing? Atrocious, abysmal, horrible all come to mind. I think that it is pretty clear that Alnwick will not be serving as our backup for anytime soon, and the signing of Cudicini could not come fast enough. If Harry prefers Alnwick to Sanchez, I understand why he didn't relieve Gomes with his injury last weekend. I don't believe that many of the squad did themselves any favors. I had hoped to avoid injury, but Woodgate, Dawson, and O'Hara all picked up injuries last night, which makes the starting line-up at Old Trafford on Saturday look scary. Assuming Corluka is fit, which is a doubt, it could be Corluka and Zokora as our center backs, or Rocha could see his first action of the season.

I think one of the few who showed some fight and came out of this match with a good performance was Adel Taarabt. We haven't seen the youngster much, and I expected him to be sold when Ramos was still in charge, but he showed some fight, and while not quite ready for prime time, could definitely serve us well off the bench. Defoe and Pavlyunchenko saved us late on, which would have been humiliating if we would have gone out of the competition.

I think the less said about this match the better.

Official Lineup for Burnley

As expected, Ben Alnwick is in between the pipes for us this evening. The lineup is as follows.

Alnwick, Gunter, Dawson, Woodgate, Assou-Ekotto, Bentley, Zokora, Modric, Huddlestone, O'Hara, Defoe.

A few changes from what I was thinking, but not too many. The back four should do fine, I'm going to give BAE another chance, and not swear the first time he has a bad touch on the ball.

Running a five-man midfield makes a lot of sense, since we don't need the goals. The comments were correct about the midfield, and Bent and Pavlyuchenko being eligible for the squad. I think I didn't mention Bent earlier because of a mental blockage, but he didn't make the bench today. If his confidence wasn't shattered before, it certainly is now. Defoe as a lone striker will be interesting, he's not one who can hold up play.

Here's the bench: Cesar, Rocha, Bale, Taarabt, Pavlyuchenko, Campbell, Giovanni.

I would save Pavy until the weekend, to make sure he's fully fit, and to give Campbell a run out if Defoe needs to subbed. This also might be a good time to see how Giovanni plays for Harry, and to get Taarabt on the field as well.

I have DVR'd the match, since I can't sneak away from the office. I will watch when I get home and post my review as soon as I finish watching our Spurs play.

Come on you Spurs!!!

Line up for Burnley?

Was just thinking about the possible line-up for Burnley tonight and thought I would share. Tell me if you feel I'm off base.

Alnwick, Gunter, Dawson, Woodgate (c), Assou-Ekotto, Bentley, Zokora, Modric, O'Hara, Defoe, Campbell.

I don't think that Defoe is cup-tied, if he is we only have Campbell and then Huddlestone would slot in I would think. It's pretty clear that Harry prefers Assou-Ekotto over Bale, and though I don't think Bale is a Maldini or anything, I think Assou-Ekotto is just awful at times. He gets caught out a lot of times, though Bale does as well, but at least with Bale it seems he has better movement on his crosses when he moves forward. I don't think either of them are great at closing people down, which is what we need, but I digress.

With Corluka hurt, we'll see Gunter again, who I think has played decently when given the chance this year, he's still very young and could do good things for us. I would like to see Huddlestone in the starting 11, but it looks like when Harry plays a 4-4-2 he likes Zokora behind Modric, though this will change when Palacios is eligible I am sure. I'll try and update the starting 11 when it's announced.

New Signings Galore!

Well, the Palacios deal is finally done, with the player's work permit being the only thing holding things up. I hope he gets registered today, that way he can serve his suspension against Burnley and Man U, where he was cup-tied with both competitions anyway. Otherwise, we'll have to wait until the 31st to see him in action.

I checked last night and another surprise signing seems to be creeping up, Carlo Cudicini will be moving across London to provide cover and dare we say a bit of competition for Mr. Gomes? I think those of us who follow Spurs have had our eyes focused north, first on Shay Given, and then on Steve Harper, and this seems to be out of the blue, but it makes sense. Cech is a given at Chelsea, and Cudicini has to have gotten frustrated from not playing regularly. This allows him to try and get in a game without disrupting his family too much. He is a good shot-stopper and would be great cover for Gomes, if he doesn't compete with him for the Number 1 shirt.

I don't have anymore information on the Burdisso transfer, but there are rumors that Marco Materazzi could be moving to Spurs, he of the head-butting fame with Zidane in the World Cup of 2006. He has only played 5 times for Inter this season because of injuries, I think the last thing we need is another center back who is struggling with injuries. I also question us bringing in a 35 year old player, he seems to be breaking down as he gets up there in years. I prefer Burdisso, because he is a little more versatile and only 27.

We'll see how the squad does this evening in the return leg at Burnley. Gomes, Lennon, King, Corluka, Jenas and Pavlychenko are all out with injuries, so we'll see the young Alnwick in goal. Nothing impressive needed, with a 3 goal lead let's just not get anyone hurt and play some decent football.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Palacios In?

Well, it looks like Wilson Palacios has agreed to terms with Tottenham. He is at the Lane for a medical and the Sun and the Daily Mail are reporting that he has agreed personal terms. Like I said earlier, I think he's talented, and will add bite to the midfield. I wonder, he moved for 1 million quid last year, and now Wigan are getting 14 million for him, I hope he plays well, but it will be difficult for a holding midfielder to live up to the expectations of the price tag. But he's young and combative, and if he helps shore things up, I think he'll do well.

And also, a bid for the Argentine defender Nicolas Burdisso has been accepted by Inter for around 8 million pounds. It's funny, when Harry was in Milan next week, we heard about Adriano, Crespo, even Christian Abbiatti, but I didn't hear a peep about this player. I suppose this is the reason he made the trek to the continent last week. He can play right back, as well as center half, so he will make for great cover throughout the squad. I've only seen Inter play a few times this year, and didn't take much notice of him to be perfectly honest. With him coming in for this amount, and with Ledley still out for awhile, do you think Corluka would slide inside and pair up with Woodgate, and Burdisso play at right back?

No word on any other moves, nothing concrete on Stephen Hunt or Nicky Shorey, or Steve Harper either. Oh, I did read that Harry is looking at Fred again after realizing he isn't going to secure the services of Kenwye Jones. Ten more days in the window, we'll see what happens.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Who are Spurs Buying Next?

Well, we've been linked with just about every player in the Premier League, as well as Serie A, the Bundelisga, and the Championship as well it seems. With Jermain Defoe being our only purchase thus far, and the window about to close, I thought I would put in my two cents on the players we've been linked with, and talk about what I think we need.

Wilson Palacios- He has shown that he has some quality in the Wigan side, and could be that strong holding midfielder that we often need. 14 million pounds seems like a lot, but with Man City bidding on every player on the planet it seems, it's just the cost of business now. Will he move? The Sun said the fee was agreed, but the Daily Mail says that he is settled in the northwest, and may not want to move to London. I think he would be a great addition to the team, but he alone is not going to turn us back into a top 5 club.

Stephen Appiah- He's been training with us, and we had a closed door match to determine his match fitness, but I don't know if he's what we need. His wage demands will surely be high, and for someone who's been out of the game so long, I don't know how he'll settle. We see how knee problems can be with Ledley, but we can't deny his quality. I think he would take too long to settle though, and we need someone who can get stuck in right now.

Kenwye Jones- Suddenly he's a huge target for us, and I'm not positive why. He has formed a good partnership with Cisse at Sunderland, but I don't see him meshing too well with the team. He wouldn't work at all with Pavy, and I'm not sure who he'd pair with Defoe or Bent. If we could get him at a cut price, I'd say alright, but over 10 million for him? No thanks.

Stephen Hunt- Now that it appears that Stuart Downing is going nowhere, he's the next one up to solve our long-standing left-wing problem. I watched him play with Reading several times, and he is a good winger, able to whip crosses in and take players on. O'Hara has been serviceable on the left flank for us, and I think he has a bright future, but Hunt would be a major upgrade in my opinion. Bentley hasn't settled on the left, he's not a left winger, so Hunt would seem to a great option to come in and balance the team.

Shay Given- I would love to have him, but there's not a chance that we'll be able to get him to the club. An excellent shot-stopper, and distributor of the ball, he would be an ideal replacement for Gomes, but Newcastle aren't going to let him go, so Steve Harper, Given's understudy, would be a much more likely signing since he's out of contract in the summer. We need cover in goal since Harry clearly doesn't rate Cesar.

Adriano/Hernan Crespo/Craig Bellamy- I lumped all of these players together because they all seem to be more trouble than their worth, and I hope we don't see any of them pulling on the shirt. It seems City have agreed a 14 million price for Bellamy, so hopefully we won't see him. He is a cancer in a changing room, it's all about him, and not the team. And his goal return for the problems are not worth it. I should also add Nicholas Anelka into this group. He made his name at ARSE-nal first of all, and he's a mercenary, wearing out his welcome quickly at a club and then moving on. Arsenal, Real Madrid, Fenerbache, Bolton, Man City, Chelsea, and who knows how many other clubs he's come and gone for. As for the Inter twins, Adriano is someone who could hold the ball up, but I don't know about his fire for the game. And Crespo doesn't want to come back to England, so why get a player who doesn't want to be here?

Fred- Losing his place at Lyon, he would be a good buy at around 4 million pounds. He would be a good squad player, really serving the role that Frazier Campbell is right now, but he's not going to net us 20 goals a season, so we don't need to pay Lyon like he would.

Nickey Shorey- Was a good player for Reading, and has totally fallen off at Aston Villa this year. Speed was never his strong suit, and he seems to be getting caught out a lot. I like him, but not more than Bale, or Assou-Ekotto.

There are more players we've been linked with, but I forget after a point. After I remember, I'll add them in a future post.

What do we need?

I would say our biggest problem is goalkeeping cover, followed by a left-sided winger. And I think we need a winger, someone who can whip in crosses, and take on defenders.

Another striker would be nice, especially with Bent being linked to leaving the club. Another holding midfielder seems to be a priority, which Palacios would be good for. I think we need another defender, a right back or center back for cover, especially with Ledley only being able to play sporadically. With Hutton out, and Gunter not deemed ready yet, we've only got Corluka on the right side, so some cover might be welcome there.

Again this is just my two cents, but let me know what you think.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Spurs v. Portsmouth 1/18/09

Okay, I'm always wanting to try and get 3 points from a match and when I watched the first half I was positive that we were going to pull 3 points out of this. Pavy and Defoe looked like they might make a good partnership before Pavy went down, I was gutted when he had to go off so early on. It's pretty clear that Bent and Defoe don't get on, on the pitch that is. From what I've read they don't get on off the pitch either, but all I care about is what is going on on the field. They are too similar, looking to make runs off the ball, they need someone to hold the ball up for them, which is what Pavy does.

Losing Ledley is always trouble, but I give Dawson less stick than many others do. He puts his all out there on the field every match, and had a good tackle in the first half. Where I get nervous about Dawson is his touch when on the ball, but if Ledley is going to be out for sometime we'll see how it goes. Corluka can also shift inside and would make a great partnership with Woodgate, if only Hutton wasn't hurt.

I had that sinking feeling when Nugent scored that this was going to be another day that I would be pissed off at the result, but Defoe came good with a great strike. I really felt that we had the upper hand and should have scored a second, but with the sitter that Bent missed, I knew we were destined for a draw.

We've got several who are nicked up, with Ledley having a potentially torn hamstring, Corluka, Lennon and Gomes all nicked up as well. Not to mention Pavy, Jenas and Hutton as well.

So that is basic view of the match, 1 point is better than none, and at least we're off the bottom of the table now.

Player Ratings:

Gomes: 7 Couldn't be faulted on the goal that Nugent scored, with the deflection. Harry even admitted he shouldn't have been out there with his injury, but did well. I don't know if he's turned the corner, but he did the job yesterday.

Corluka: 7 I think he's been the best of the summer buys thus far. Did the job yesterday, solid in defense as he's been all season. He's getting forward more than he did when he first got here. Made a great tackle in the first half, and is looking more comfortable in attack.

Woodgate: 8 Solid as always. Is comfortable on the ball, and had was solid in marshaling the defense after Ledley went off. What would we do without him?

King: 6 Can't really get too much of a read on him, he went off early, and it looks like it'll be awhile before we see the captain leading out the team again. It looked like he was struggling, which was painful for all of us to watch I'm sure.

Bale: 6 It looks like he's playing a little better. I'm not sure who'll be playing at Burnley, it seems Harry had preferred Assou-Ekotto, but Bale is looking more confident than he has in a long time. Still hasn't been on a winning side in the Premier League, let's just hope it's a matter of time.

Lennon: 8 Probably the best player on the pitch for us tonight. His darting runs infield kept Portsmouth on their toes, and he looked dangerous almost every time he was on the ball. Starting to look like the Lennon of 2006 again, it seems he and Defoe have a good rapport, let's hope this keeps up.

Zokora: 6.5 Solid as the holding midfielder. I know many Spurs fans don't rate him, but I think he's been solid for us, not the best at getting forward, but as the link between defense and attack he was very solid last night. I might prefer to see Huddlestone in this role sometimes because he's a better passer, but Didier did the job yesterday, and you can never doubt his commitment to the shirt.

Modric: 6 I love Luka, when he's been on he is one of the most creative players around, but when he's not on he can certainly get lost in the fray like he did yesterday. He made a couple of good balls, but I didn't feel he every got comfortable in the game. When he and Lennon both are on their game, we'll be in business.

O'Hara: 6.5 Solid on the left again. Not the typical winger, but has been doing the job. Maybe sits on the ball too much at times, but his balls in were pretty solid. Moved back when Bentley came on, and held the fort well.

Defoe: 7 Delivered the goal that moved us off the bottom of the table, and was dangerous throughout the first half. Doesn't link well with Bent and got lost a bit in the second half, but got stuck in, and was active, hopefully Pavy will be better and we'll see how they really link up.

Pavlyuchenko: 5 Looked like he was linking up well with Defoe before he got hurt. Had a chance to put one in, but Defoe was in the way, but he is getting in better positions.


Bent: 4 Doesn't link well with Defoe. Missed a sitter, we all know that. Made some good runs, and put forth good effort, but it looks like his confidence is shot at the moment.

Dawson: 6 Solid in defense, not super comfortable on the ball, but did well in the air. He and Woodgate will work well hopefully over the next couple of weeks.

Bentley: 6.5 Looks more like the player we paid for, and not the one we've had. Looked a little better on free kicks than he has, hopefully he's turned the corner.

An intro to the Yank's View on Tottenham

I live in Atlanta, Georgia, across the pond from Tottenham Hotspur. As a football/soccer player all my life, I came across Tottenham several years ago and have been crazy about the club since. What I want to do with this blog is to express my feelings about the squad, the game, and all of the potential transfers we might have.

Be warned that these will be only my opinions. I am sure that not every Tottenham fan is going to agree with me, but we're all still united in our devotion to Spurs. Feel free to drop me a line and tell me what you think about the team, or what I think about the team. Look forward to chatting with fellow Spurs fans. Glory, Glory Tottenham Hotspur!!