August 29, 2010
We can’t say we weren’t warned! Wigan had just created two wonderful chances down the same side of the pitch – Martinez obviously recognising that Bale was bombing on, and that the gap between him and King was exploitable. I won’t often criticise King, simply because he doesn’t make many mistakes, but three times in a row he gave Rodallega far too much room – twice the Colombian picked out teammates in very dangerous positions (and both should have scored), and the third time he picked out the bottom corner.
I think it’s Hendry Thomas who picks up the ball just over the half way line, and looks to make use of a huge gap in behind Bale.
This image shows just how far Bale has pushed on – absolutely fine, as we’re looking for a goal, but King should be aware of this. Look how much room Rodallega is in.
Rodallega has pulled away from King, just as he did twice prior. Ledley simply can’t influence play from this distance.
Rodallega gets the ball under control and takes the shot early. King can’t make the block as he has given him too much room.
The ball goes straight through Cudicini.
Despite his reputation, Cudicini is not a good goalkeeper, and we saw enough of him last year to know this – why we are at this stage without having replaced him, I’m not sure.
Much will be said of the “Champions League hangover”, but Spurs struggling against a team that defends deep and in numbers is not a new thing.
August 22, 2010
David Button – Plymouth Argyle (season)
Oscar Jansson – Northampton Town (5th September)
John Bostock – Hull City (season)
Dean Parrett – Plymouth Argyle (season, with a recall clause after 28 days due to it being a youth loan)
Andros Townsend – Ipswich Town (season)
Ryan Mason – Doncaster Rovers (season, with a recall clause after 28 days due to it being a youth loan)
Jon Obika – Crystal Palace (season, with a recall clause after 28 days due to it being a youth loan)
The warning signs were not heeded and, suitably encouraged, Walsall fashioned an equaliser when what appeared to be a communications breakdown between Krisztián Timár and Button resulted in Reid hanging up a cross to the far post that Marshall looped back across the Argyle goalkeeper.
The normally sure-footed Johnson gave the ball away in midfield, allowing Reid to run in on goal and, despite his shot from 10 yards being shovelled, rather that struck, the ball somehow beat Button.
Reuben Reid’s winner seemed to catch goalkeeper David Button by surprise, and Peter Reid said: “I think it went in soft.
“I don’t like criticising individuals, but, from where was I thought ‘It’s gone in too easy, that one’.”
“Rory had the best chance of the game. It was really good build-up play by [Dean] Parrett because Walsall are well organised and held their line well, but he broke from the middle of the park and played a lovely ball in.
“In those circumstances as a striker, you have got to hit the target. Paul Mariner says you should pass those it, and he’s right.”
A shame for Button, as he had played well on his debut against Southampton (keeping a clean sheet), and drew such great praise from Reid just last week:
DAVID Button produced a wonder-save on his home debut for Argyle.
The Tottenham youngster graced Home Park with a stunning block from Ian Harte’s whipped free-kick in Argyle’s 1-1 draw with Carlisle.
“It was a great save,” said manager Peter Reid. “I know Harte from when I had him at Leeds and he won us a game at Arsenal with a free-kick, so when he stepped up, I feared the worse.
“It was a terrific save because it had plenty of dip on it. The kid looks as though he’s got a chance of being a top keeper.“
Oscar Jansson played 90 minutes for Northampton Town as they drew 1-1 with Bury. Northampton site report. It sounds as though he had a fairly uneventful game yesterday, and he’s had a mixed time so far – he conceded three on his debut (and was highly critical of his own performance), but kept a clean sheet last week.
John Bostock played 69 minutes as Hull City drew 0-0 with Watford. Hull site report. Two quiet games for Bostock now after scoring an absolute belter on his Hull City debut. Pearson was full of praise for John after that performance:
“Young John was excellent. Not only does he work exceptionally hard, he also has the ability to produce that moment of brilliance.
He is young, enthusiastic, talented and plays without fear.
He can have a significant influence, but we have to function efficiently as a unit to make sure we get the best out of him. John produced a fabulous strike to break the deadlock, but I was also delighted for the rest of the lads and with getting the season off to a winning start.”
Andros Townsend played 73 minutes for Ipswich Town in a 2-1 win against Crystal Palace before being sent off for a foul on the goalkeeper. Jon Obika was a 75th minute sub for Palace in the same game. Ipswich site report.
Roy Keane felt Andros Townsend didn’t deserve a red card in the win at Crystal Palace but he won’t be appealing.
The Tottenham loanee was dismissed for what was deemed a high challenge on Julian Speroni in the second-half and looks set for a three game ban.
But the Town boss said: “The lad was very unlucky. He jumped for the ball and it was naive if anything. He plays for Spurs, he’s not a dirty player.
“If one of my players deserved to be sent-off, I’d say it. I don’t like to see the opposition players sent-off, let alone my players.
“The lad’s upset but I can’t see us appealing. We did that last year after Jon Stead was sent-off at Palace when he shouldn’t have been and we ended up with an extra game ban.”
Townsend had impressed on his debut against Burnley last week, but will now miss three games.
Ryan Mason played 60 minutes for Doncaster Rovers as they lost 4-0 to Cardiff City. Doncaster site report.
Comment on him from a forum, which suggests it wasn’t a great day for him…
That said Ryan Mason, what is he adding? Looked lively for 45 minutes last week then has disappeared. When he went off today several people commented around me that they didn’t even know he was playing. He needs to either get more involved or get off the pitch.
Quite the contrast to last week, where he received plenty of praise:
Thought this lad had a great game today, he worked really hard and showed some quality at times. On this performance I wouldn’t mind having him on a season long loan.
Agree. I think he needs to play down the middle in the next game – he was alot more effective there than wide right.
Excellent game – very good prospect – would like to see him stay longer
The lad was excellent today, worked very hard, good on the ball, & was Man of the Match for me. To get him on a longer deal would great business.
Started very cautiously and let the other players advance beyond him but extremely good on the ball and grew in influence as the game went on.
We’ve got our players out to some good clubs this year, and it’s worth noting that all are in a division above where they were last year, so credit to Tim Sherwood and the rest of the team.
August 21, 2010
Fancy Stoke scoring from a set piece?!
Etherington whips in a corner. There’s some commotion in the box, as Gomes feels that he is impeded in his attempts to get the ball.
In truth, Huth stands his ground, although we’ve all seen them given as fouls.
The ball finds Faye at the back post, who is marked by Kaboul. It’s tricky to tell who it comes off, but it either comes off Kaboul’s lower leg, or Faye’s toe. You would expect better from Kaboul, but he may not have had the best view, with the ball dropping steeply over Corluka’s head.
Fuller beats Huddlestone to the ball, and prods home, with Gomes nowhere.
In fairness to Chris Foy, he had an excellent view of the incident.
A disappointing one to concede, but Stoke are so well practiced at these.
August 21, 2010
Thanks to Man Utd having a dedicated TV channel (something I hope Spurs are at least thinking about), their U18 matches are recorded, which gives fans a great opportunity to see Academy and Reserve matches that they otherwise wouldn’t.
Our U18s played a friendly against them last Saturday morning (with Rio Ferdinand, Edwin van der Sar and Anderson in attendance), and the clips are now on youtube. For those who don’t have the time or inclination to watch the whole thing, I’ll highlight the key moments.
The Spurs formation was announced as:
Tapping Durojaiye Janoir (trialist) Francis-Angol
Dombaxe Hawkins Luongo Munns
From the clips, it looked more like:
Tapping Durojaiye Janoir Francis-Angol
Dombaxe Munns Luongo
Of course, Spurs often use a very fluid formation at this level, so I’d imagine that players chopped and changed during the match.
The move for Kane’s goal starts at 5:52 – lovely football from Hawkins, played into Oyenuga, and Hawkins feeds the return first time into Kane’s path – good finish across the keeper.
Second goal at 8:20 – glorious pass from Hawkins to Kane, great first touch and cross from the left, and Oyenuga made a good run and tapped home.
Fantastic save from Jordan Archer on about 9:40.
United goal around 10:15, top finish from Cofie after a give and go.
Nice effort from Kane on 11:30.
Third Spurs goal around 4:40 – clever Dombaxe free-kick into Kane, who is tripped in the box. Oyenuga scores the penalty (risky one straight down the middle!).
Great effort from Jesse Waller-Lassen at 6:05.
Durojaiye angered by a bad challenge at 7:00, Kane and Oyenuga do well to drag him away. I noticed that Durojaiye and Lingard kissed and made up at the end of the match.
It looked like a strong performance from Spurs – the commentator claimed that it was a slightly older Spurs side, but that wasn’t the case – we had plenty of youngsters involved.
Janoir looked OK at centre back – certainly better than Blackwood – so I wonder whether he will be signed up.
August 18, 2010
Having looked so strong, and so assured against Manchester City on Saturday, Spurs turned in a nightmare of a defensive performance against Young Boys last night, primarily due to being overrun in the middle of midfield (which is where all the goals came from).
Young Boys had an extra man (owing to their 4-2-3-1 formation), but then so did Manchester City on Saturday. There were two main reasons for Spurs’ failure this time round: 1. an inability to keep the ball, 2. an inability to keep an organised defensive shape.
Lulic’s opener was quite a lucky goal in many ways, but it had been coming, even at only 4 minutes in.
Doubai picked up a loose ball, and drove at Giovani.
Not only did Giovani not do much to stop Doubai, he had nobody to pass him on to as Palacios was slow to come out to him.
Doubai shoots from distance – there is clearly a player in an offside position. The ball strikes the offside player, and the flag should go up. It doesn’t, and the ball ricochets to Lulic.
Lulic makes no mistake with his finish, which is crisp and into the bottom corner.
12 minutes on the clock, and it goes from bad to worse.
Pavlyuchenko surrenders possession cheaply. Doubai intercepts and runs from deep in his own half.
Doubai continues to carry the ball forward, and our players seem unsure of what to do.
Instead of attempting to restrict his options, whilst jockeying, Palacios makes the decision to go to ground. He may make a bit of contact with the ball, but if anything it steers it further into the path of Bienvenu. Note the positioning of the Spurs defence – Dawson is the deepest, but still at least 5 yards higher up the pitch than I would expect against a quick counter-attacking side.
Dawson is caught horrendously flat-footed. He should have dropped off further but, instead, he is totally outstripped by Bienvenu, who has a clear run on goal.
He calmly steers the ball passed Gomes.
Costanzo picks up the ball in a ridiculous amount of space – not a Spurs player pushing up to restrict him, and Defoe’s token effort to close is virtually pointless.
He carries the ball forward and sees an opportunity to thread a through-ball to Hochstrasser, who is alive to the situation.
It’s a very well-weighted pass, but Bassong really shouldn’t be letting his man in beyond him. His positioning has meant that he hasn’t got a chance, but he isn’t helped by his lack of reading of the pass – he initially moves towards it.
Hochstrasser powers the finish, but I’m sure Gomes will be disappointed to be beaten at his near post.
A nightmare first half for Spurs with the midfield totally overrun, and the defence flat-footed and sloppy positionally. Assou-Ekotto struggled (especially as he was given a questionable yellow very early on) as Young Boys looked to get two against one on their right, and Corluka had no support from Giovani on our right.
Redknapp should have opted for a 4-5-1/4-2-3-1 for this match, or at least asked one of the strikers to play a more withdrawn role (as Defoe occasionally did at the end of last season). Still, we managed to get out of the first leg with a good chance of still qualifying for the Champions League proper, and hopefully the match will act as a wake-up call to the manager and players.