May 3, 2010

A response to an excellent article by a Man City fan

I don’t know if anyone else occasionally peers into the bizarre world that is Blue Moon, but it does leave you thinking that all City fans are egotistical, Spurs-hating morons.

I am ashamed to say that I, therefore, felt surprised when I read an insightful and interesting article written by a City fan (Bloovic), regarding Wednesday’s game: Team and Tactics v Spurs (home) Double Bumper Edition. Well worth a read, and I couldn’t help but want to write a similar article in response to this, so here it is.

I could start by emphasising just how big this game is, but I think we all already know – it’s what we’ve been building towards all season, and it’s still in our hands.

These were the line-ups when we beat City 3-0 at White Hart Lane back in December, a performance which was probably in our top three of the season (better than the 9-1 in my opinion, because the opposition are that much better):

Gomes
Corluka Dawson Bassong AssouEkotto
Lennon Huddlestone Palacios Kranjcar
Crouch Defoe

Given
Richards Onuoha Toure Sylvinho
Barry De Jong
Tevez Ireland Robinho
Adebayor

Mark Hughes was the City manager on that day, and it’s fair to say that things have changed fairly significantly for them since then – Mancini is now in charge, they’ve tended to go 4-4-2 with more regularity, Adam Johnson and Patrick Vieira have come in, Robinho has left, and Ireland has barely had a look-in.

Things have also changed for us, though. Modric has recovered from his broken leg, and has had some excellent performances, Pavlyuchenko is now generally preferred to Crouch, and Kranjcar is out for the rest of the season (and probably the start of next). The most significant change, though, is the form of Gareth Bale. He was a last minute substitute in the home game… I’d imagine that he will be near enough the first name on the team sheet come Wednesday.

There were two comments that stood out particularly to me from Bloovic’s analysis:

If Spurs decide to park the bus, City’s job will become that much more difficult – we’ve struggled against this tactic on a few occasions – and Mancini will likely have to alter his formation and approach while the game is in progress to achieve victory.

And:

I think it’s reasonable to say that if Redknapp decides to take a more positive approach, then this will suit City’s counter-attacking style more, opening up the big Eastlands pitch and creating space for Tevez, Bellamy and Adebayor to exploit.

The reason these stood out is probably clear – he could quite easily be describing us. We too have had difficulty breaking down teams that are prepared to play with two banks of four, and not be too adventurous (Wolves, Stoke, Hull, even Villa) . Conversely, we’ve had less issue with teams willing to attempt to come at us (Burnley, Wigan, and even City themselves in December).

Obviously at Eastlands, the tables will be turned somewhat. The pressure will be on City, as the home side, to come at us and play an attacking game. For that reason, and remembering that we only need a draw from this game, I’d imagine that Redknapp will be tempted to go with the majority of the team that soaked up so much pressure against Arsenal.

His biggest decision in my opinion is whether to select Palacios. We know that he is one of Redknapp’s favourites, and we also know that he likes him when we play away – even at the expense of changing a winning team (United is a perfect example). The organisation and intelligence of Modric and Huddlestone as per the Arsenal and Chelsea games, or the combative, energetic Palacios? It’s a big call.

I have an inkling that he will go with one up top (probably Defoe), push Bale and Lennon high up the pitch, and give Modric a free role. Playing this way will mean that we won’t be able to play long too often, and we will need to ensure that our passing is short, crisp and, most of all, high tempo. What it does give us, though, is defensive solidarity – effectively a midfield three, with Modric occupying the deepest lying midfield-player (presumably De Jong), and Bale able to double-up on Wright-Phillips if necessary.

I do worry about Bassong, who hasn’t had so much football lately, against a City strike paring that seem to be re-finding their form, and I also worry about the prospect of Ben Alnwick in goal. Defoe’s form concerns me too – only four league goals in 2010, although two of them did come away from White Hart Lane.

This game could be a classic – there will be plenty of pace and attacking ability on display, and there is so much to play for. On the other hand, with so much at stake, both teams could play a cagey game, and try to grind out a result – especially as a draw for us would be seen as an excellent result. I don’t think that style suits us, so I hope we try to play football.

The nerves are building in anticipation, and they will only get worse. I just hope our players play to their true ability, and do themselves and us proud. COME ON YOU SPURS!!

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  • Anonymous says:

    It’s a trap! Don’t listen to them, we can’t park the bus to save our lives, it just isn’t in our DNA.

    Forward! Attack!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    JD always score against citeh ! it is always a big match for him! I reckon 5 in midfield would ensure the point we need and give us the chance to win it but only if lennon is a starter. COYS!

  • Catcher says:

    No need to park the Bus, but five in midfield will help us control the game. We only need a draw but God how i would love a win, to avoid any last day howlers.

  • Anonymous says:

    I predict a 1-1 boring draw, I just have a funny feeling on this one, all they hype often produces a boring match. I see the last day of the season being the true decider but even I am not willing to predict an outcome as both teams have fluffed their lines this season. If both sides had done the business at the right time, if both teams had produced the goods week in and out, then the top four would have been Chelski, MU, Spurs and MC with the inconsistent Arsehols in the Europa league – but with the rise of the new dawn, next year that is how I see things finishing, Liverpool have had their day, Villa will never quite make it, Brum and Everton will yet again be also ran’s.

  • Anonymous says:

    I agree with anonymous 12.59 – we don’t do well when we try to park the bus, as against Man U, for example.

  • Anonymous says:

    Spurs 4th, With a classy 1-2 win. I think to our shock on wed night we will be confirmed 4th. I also think we will go on to win well on Sunday. Giving us 73 points. Just 3 behind Arsenal.

    What a shame about the silly dropped points this season. We could already be confirmed in 3rd

    Obviously City are a good side well able to tuck us away at Eastlands, so we will need to fight play well close them down and work our proverbial nuts off for the whole 96 mins.

    I always worry when we get to these huge “life changing crossroads” I really hope for the club that this time lady Luck will be with us. I call on the gods of luck to pay back all the times I have sat in a room with Arsenal, Liverpool or Man u fans and had to explain why Spurs just gave away a 2 or 3 goal lead to lose a game we were winning, or why we were able to lose to a down and out Portsmouth team in the FA cup semi final…I will be honest that was an F**k up the like of which only Spurs fans can we used to.

    Please Please not this time… BY ALL THAT IS GOOD SPURS FANS DESERVE A BREAK. GIVE US A WIN THAT ACTUALLY MEANS SOMETHING. COYS

  • Anonymous says:

    Just take us to THE PROMISED LAND Spurs and all will be forgiven . imight even forgive Judas Sol what am i saying no chance there. COYS

  • TMWNN says:

    Completely agree with Modric in a free role with one up top.

    4-4-2 with two out of form strikers will see us get hammered. We’ll be totally overrun in midfield.

  • Anonymous says:

    Ooohhh how I love the comment of Anonymous…It’s not in our DNA to park the bus…Forward!!!Attack!!! lovely 🙂
    I absolutely agree with the 1st part…and somewhat with the 2nd part for this match.

    Let’s pray the Octopus will be ready…then keep Kaboul at right back…use all the glue we have to patch up the King to partner Daws with Assou-Ekotto at leftback. A 5 man midfield of Lennon, Huddlestone, Palacios, Modric and Bale and Crouch as a lone ranger up front. Modric could play in the pocket just behind Crouch. Pav could score to save his life at the mo’ and Defoe is a definite option up front although Crouch’ height gives him the edge.

    Forwards and Onwards…get a win..any kind of win because hell…a draw means we have to endure another final day on Saturday. Please boys wrap it up on Wednesday…

  • Anonymous says:

    When do we ever “park the bus”, and when have we ever played 5 in midfield? I think a couple of our (good) games recently have proved that we can play very well with a 4 man midfield.

  • Anonymous says:

    I agree that Lennon, Huddlestone, Palacios, Modric and Bale is our best midfield option with Crouch up front. Crouch should be better at holding up the ball and provides a greater physical presence – with their not so commanding stand in ‘keeper, this an area where we could cause them problems. Just don’t let Wilson into our own box for any crucial tackles!

  • Anonymous says:

    Mancini for me looks a conservative character and remember italians dont like the wing game they will always try 2 shoot(if we let em).parl the bus,i agree with the guy who said its not in our DNA,dont want 2 c the 2006 movie again seen it,SO COME ON YOU SPURS!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I think the one to watch will be Bellamy. Kaboul will have to work his socks off containing him. Citeh tend to work very quick around the 18yrd, spraying rapid one two’s between himself Ade and Tevez. Very likely to go for a sly peno or two if the shit hits the fan. Defensively, I think they are frail, so a nice composed array of build ups on the wings, pleny of possession and most importantly a no nonsense approach to ensuring we work like dogs to get the result we need. I would start with a 5 man midfield with Modric on the top of the Diamond for whoever he decides to put up front in the first half, and in the 2nd if we have the edge go fo 4-4-2. Citeh tend to switch Johnson from left to right, which is what we should do with Lennon, pushing Bale inside occasionally. There will be a mix of strategies employed on the night, and we have to cop it very quickly and adjust. I have a feeling it’s going to the last day. I also Believe West Sham will want to climb a couple of places up the table, so I think they will give Citeh a run for their money, give me Burnley any day. I have never been as nervous as I am now and I can’t wait, it’s in our hands. We should well be 3rd by now. Wolves home and away O – Stoke at home O from 9. Come on Spurs rise to the challenge and feel the support from all the great fans and make them proud. Prediction Citeh 1 – 1 Spurs

  • Anonymous says:

    Just in ! Steve Bennett will officiate the game on Wednesday. Pleased to hear that. Thanks god it wasn’t Wiggy Clattenberg or no wig Howard Webb. Both refs have been unkind to us in the past. Happy with that !! COYS !!!

  • Anonymous says:

    ………………………Gomez
    ………Kaboul Bassong Dawson A&E
    ……………..Palacios Huddlestone
    Lennon…………………………………….Bale
    …………………Modric
    ……………………………Crouch

    Kaboul was our best player on Saturday.
    Bassong because Deadly is crocked.
    Palacious and Hudd to sit, Lennon and Bale to push on.
    Modric in the hole.
    Pav has stopped scoring, defoe cannot hold the ball up so it’s either crouch or gudjohnsen as one up.

    IMHO of course.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think a good mind set pre match would be to concentrate on closing in on Ar5ena1 for third automatic group stage spot 🙂 Muppets were beaten 2-1 so a very nervous game against Fulham awaits especially if we beat Citeh. That would more than make up for 2005

  • Anonymous says:

    the time has come to make amends for lasagnegate, we r spurs and we do things the hard way, 1-1 on wed and 0-3 victory on saturday, champions league here we come,,come on u spurs fans lets enjoy this moment.

  • Anonymous says:

    Forget changing anything! Keep things as they are. If we think that we are better, force City to change not us.Win,lose or draw, I want to see us having a right good go!! The key will be Bale and Lennon having a go at their full-backs.Iam confident. COYS!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I can’t see HR playing anything other than 4-4-2. I’m nervous he’ll line up with Bale at LB Modric in LM, with Thudd and Wilson in mid and Bentley starting on the right. Bellamy is the big worry and the question is whether Kaboul can cope? Should we be a goal down on 60 mins, then he’ll switch things around by bringing on Lennon for Bentley and BAE for Wilson. IMO, I agree with most of the debate here – best to start with a 5 man midfield with Crouch up front but I doubt that HR sees it as we do though. I don’t think I’ve ever been so nervous before a game – win and it’ll be the healing of years of hurt since Lasagna-gate, lose and it could well ruin my summer. COYS FFS.

  • Anonymous says:

    We can’t and won’t park the bus, and I very much doubt harry will switch from a 442, although I do like the idea of modric sitting behind gudjohnsen – what great touch he has. I feel confident about weds, but expect city feel the same. COYS make us proud, 3rd place is up for grabs!

  • Anonymous says:

    Windy trust me if we park the Bus two thing s will happen firstly Penalty’s and Secondly the bus will get stolen. This is the Team to beat Man City Oilers Pat Jennings Kaboul Dawson Bassong or /King .Midfield Lennon Gudjhosen Huddlestone Moderic Bale crouch Defoe ,This could work by Lennon and Bale tracking back and playing a high line offside trapp risky but we could overun them with that Midfield and Crouch and Defoe .Just look at the ball players Gud Hudds Modds this would only happen if Gomesis injured because we don’t want to defend with a rookie Keeper. Coys win 4-2 davspurs

  • Anonymous says:

    I am quite baffled why no one is predicting a higher scoring game. This is Spurs!! And it is against Citeh!! At least 4 goals in this one… Really really tough. I am worried as a Spurs fan. Citeh have too many danger men up against our makeshift defence. With Shay out of the team, we MUST shoot on sight (I am talking to you Hudd!) Everyone knows that Spurs cannot park the bus. We must study the Citeh vs United game – Citeh were up for that one too, but were rather ineffective. Again please!

  • Anonymous says:

    I like the idea of a 5-man midfield, and I think ‘Arry might go for it next season, but I’d be surprised if he did on Wed. I also think we’d need a new striker – none of our lot are really suited to playing on their own.

    I’ve had to change my boxer shorts seven times since Saturday. Please, if there is a God, let him be a yid.

  • GGspur says:

    Lennon has got to start and Kaboul behind him. That way, not ony have we got the pace to deal with Bellamy, he’ll also have to track back to try to stop Lennon.

    I disagree about the 5 in midfield though. The best form of attack is defense. If we have two up front, especially against a dodgy keeper, we’ve got much more chance of putting them on the back foot and forcing the issue that playing 5 in the middle and trying to keep the ball there. One mistake in DM and Bellamy, Adebayor or Tevez could be through on goal.

    Personally, I’d go for the tesm that beat Chelsea. Modric & Thudd showed that they can mis it with any CM and their passing along with the pace of Lennon on the right and Bale on the left, would really put ManCity on the back foot.

    Fact is, if we score, they have to score two. That would open even more space behind for us to exploit.

  • Anonymous says:

    Advice to 22:14 – Wear the Navy Spurs boxers – as opposed to the lillywhite ones… But I also would like the OPTION of a 5 man midfield – and yes it would require a new striker. Whatever happens Euro-wise, the striker section is our weakest component and needs adressing…

  • Anonymous says:

    Said like so many fans before Man.u game don’t change anything but of course Harry thought he knew better.Perhaps his tactical selections have not been his strongest point and cost us at times but he must be doing a hell of alot right for us to have made such progress this year.With 4th in our own hands now and even a chance on 3rd now it’s like being in dreamworld.Please give Palacias and especially JJ a seat in the royal box for the game,my heart won’t take the sight of them entering the game at any time.

  • Anonymous says:

    i don’t think playing modric in hole really counts as a defensive 5 man midfield. with lennon, modric, bale supporting crouch with movement and crosses, and hudd playing quarterback while giving us the grit and cover of sgt. wilson in front of the back four. we options all over the place…
    tear them apart with pace and movement, go wide and get crosses in, go long, play on the break. but most importantly, they would want to double up on bale and lennon, but with modric switching the play they’re going to struggle.

  • Anonymous says:

    This is the match of the season, without doubt. I think Harry should stick with the 4-4-2 that beat arsenal and Chelsea. It pissed me off when he changed the team against united. Pav can’t score at the moment but I think we need a striker who’s goin to run his socks off all match and get in vieiras face. But I love the idea of playing crouchy up with him, toure and kompany can be quite suspect. Not sure about starting Lennon yet either. Don’t know how much he’ll get in the game, whereas bentley will like to come infield and get on the ball. Need modric in the middle to do what scholesy done to city in the derby and control the game, he’s good enough. Tough decisions all round, big day for both managers, i guarantee there will be a masterclass from one of them Wednesday night. Come on ledders get fit as well.

  • Anonymous says:

    All i know is that if we have any chance of winning on wednesday we need a natural right back like k.walker…Kaboul as well as hes played there, will get completely ruined by a.johnson or bellamy!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Meh… no pressure for the Lillywhites. Just another game in our stride really but PLEASE stay away from the Lasagne lads.

  • Anonymous says:

    Who cares about the Shitty City game???? Get real!! This is just a formality on our way to the CL where we will beat the Goon on the biggest stage of all and prove that we are the rightful owners of North London. Lets hear what they have to say for themselves come this time next year huh?

  • Anonymous says:

    Bentley will need to start to offer a bit of protection to kaboul, who is really the only option we have at RB for such a big game. Just look back to the ManU game when BAE and Wilson were exposed. This is no game for Kyle walker yet. Bentley has been solid, allowing all the midfields to keep the ball and pass it around. Plus it will allow HR to bring on Lennon as and when to mix it up.

    Crouchy will get the nod over pav and be a physical threat against their CBs like Carew was on sat. We need Defoe to find his shooting boots now more than ever to prove he is the player we know he is. I’m sure capello needs to see it too! I don’t care how city line up, if gomez and king are fit and we play at our best then this one is ours!

  • Anonymous says:

    Let’s not change a winning formula.We did this for united and look at waht happened.
    Possibly Lennon for Bentley – thats all

  • Anonymous says:

    Dont care what the formation is, Citeh will win in style, no worries.

  • Anonymous says:

    Manchester City. Or City, not Citeh.

    This is the biggest game ever as a yid.

    End of.

  • Anonymous says:

    Any thought of getting a draw will see us lose. Guaranteed! We need to attack them from the start and play for a big win, otherwise we’ll be pushed deeper and deeper and inevitably crack. The only way to get the result we need is to play the match in their half.

  • Anonymous says:

    Very little chance of Harry playing one up front……it is not something to try out in the 37th game of the season. We have to play our normal game…..get the ball on the floor and pass it non stop. We need Huddlestone centrally with Bale left and probably Bentley to start on the right. I feel he will go with Crouch and Defoe up front but expect to also see Lennon, Palacios and Gudjonsen get a run at some stage. Even when being heavily pressed by the Arsenal we still played 4-4-2…..so that it what we will stick with. Kaboul and BAE will keep their places while only Ledley knows how he feels. A 2-0 win for Spurs….a goal either side of half time from Defoe. COYS

  • Anonymous says:

    The one silver lining, if we do lose to Man City tomorrow, is it will prepare me well for supporting England at the World Cup.

  • Anonymous says:

    If Spurs lose, its will be all over for, Liverpool, Spurs, Villa for many seasons to come. City have money (loads of it) and having the attraction of Champions league football will inevitably attract bigger players. I can see them wining the league within 3 years if they get champions league football this year..

  • Anonymous says:

    Keep tevez out of the game as Daws did at WHL…job done…we will win 3-1….

  • JimmyG2 says:

    If Spurs go into the game with the same mind-set as most of the posters on here then it will be a breeze.
    Such positivity!
    Our defensive record is excellent,’makeshift’ or not, and we need the forwards to come good again.
    Lennon and Ledley to start if fit.
    Palacios gnawing at his chain on the bench.

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Just added Davinson Sanchez to a spreadsheet I keep of our squad (neeeeerd), sorted by age. He comes between Will Miller and Joe Pritchard!
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