Sunday, March 15, 2009

Spurs Do In the Villians W/Player Ratings

Where has this team been most of the season? We went out flying and were in great control of the game until that late goal by Carew. I think they just want me to have to start seeing a cardiologist with these late sweats in matches. Overall, a great performance by the team, I was hopeful for a win, but I would have been very happy with a draw. Villa have been great all season, but have had a dip in form as of late, and I think we caught them at the right time.

Harry had said after the Hull game that we would need four wins to make sure we stay up, we're halfway there only 3 games after he made the proclamation, not bad at all. Looking at the League, since the beginning of February against Arsenal, we have drawn 2 and won 3, and more importantly, no losses.

Our midfield was outstanding, with Lennon and Jenas really doing well dictating the play today. It seems that this midfield is starting to gel, and even our favorite whipping boy Darren Bent showed something today.

I was curious as to what Harry was doing when he put in Zokora at right-back. I guess I am still wondering, but my guess was that Zokora had more pace than Corluka to keep up with Ashley Young but it was clearly a mismatch from the start. You can't really fault Zokora, he was out of position, but just looked second-best, and I was so relieved to see Corluka come on.

More results like this will do a lot for building confidence ahead of next season. With Chelsea coming to the Lane next week, I will be hoping for a draw, they have played a lot better since Hiddink took charge, and look forward to trying to grab 3 points against Blackburn, Newcastle and West Brom down the road. Good performance overall, it was nice to enjoy a game and not sweat and swear through the whole thing.

Player Ratings:

Gomes- 7 Gomes did well overall, it seems like he has reestablished himself as the No. 1 at the club. That was not something I would have expected even a month ago, but that's how football can be. Made some good stops, and handled his area better, still is a little shaky, but he's getting there. Couldn't be faulted on the goal, unless he had come out to punch it away, but Woodgate had been winning those challenges all day. The only thing that baffled me was him chasing that wayward cross early in the first half and then letting it run into touch, giving Villa a throw. But that's Gomes now isn't it?

Zokora- 5 Playing out of position, and was torched by Ashley Young constantly. Harry was smart to sub him, already on a yellow and not able to keep up with Young he would have been trouble throughout the match if he'd stayed on.

Woodgate- 7 Would have been higher except for that late cross where he was out-jumped by Carew. He has been so solid this season, and today was no different, he contained Heskey and Agbonlahor well throughout the match.

King- 7.5 Another fine performance from Ledley. He and Woodgate work so well together in defense, you can only imagine where we would be if Ledley didn't have his knee problems. Did a good job of controlling play and patrolling the middle.

BAE- 7 If there was an award for most-improved player this season, BAE would certainly deserve it. He was my whipping boy, and I still doubt him at times, but he has been solid in the last month and a half. Did well containing Milner today, and only had one true lapse in concentration, with that give away in the first half. Is getting to be pretty solid, and combining well with Luka.

Lennon- 8 Another performance from Aaron that should have Fabio Capello thinking. He made Luke Young look bad throughout the match. Great ball in on the JJ goal, if he keeps popping in balls like that, there will be nothing defenses can do to stop him short of fouling him. Also had a great shot that was inches wide, which would have totally iced the game for us.

Palacios- 6.5 Not Wilson's finest performance in the shirt, but he did well. He made good tackles and helped control the middle of the park, but his dribbling and passing were a touch off today. Still better than most holding midfielders even on an off day though.

Jenas- 8 My Man of the Match. Did well to be in the box for the early goal, something he needs to do more of. Had several other shots that looked good and did very well controlling play in the middle of the park. Tackled well, helped close down Ashley Young when needed, and his passing was crisp and creative today. Combined well with Lennon and Keane, and looked like the player that was in the England squad several years ago.

Modric- 6.5 Not the best day for Luka, but not a bad one either. Had some good movement and passing, the only real fault I have is he probably should have squared the ball to Keane or cut it back to Bent in the first half instead of taking the shot himself. A good shift, he's showing he has the mettle to handle the Premier League.

Keane- 7.5 He's really regaining the form that he had before he left the club in the summer. Dropped back and picked up play, had good passes and a couple of good shots, though I don't think the second goal would have gone in without Bent's help.

Bent- 7 A surprisingly good game for Bent. Was in the right place for the goal, but more importantly, he made good runs, fought for the ball and was active throughout the game. One of his best performances of the season, I was pleasantly surprised.


Corluka- 7.5 Came on in relief of Zokora, and barely put a foot wrong the rest of the match. Young was almost completely shut down after Corluka came on. Even got forward and had some good play, which wasn't really needed, but is nice to have from your right-back.

O'Hara- 6.5 Came on late for Modric to help kill off the game, and played his role well. Made a couple of passes and got the ball clear, which is what was needed.

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