Tag Archives: Crouch

Spurs Vs Manchester City Review – Blue Moon? No Pure Heaven!

3 Nil looks an easy win and it was a fine performance but at 80 minutes with City giving it a bit of a go 2 nil did not look so comfortable with our record for clean sheets!

And had City been awarded a penalty – that we couldn’t see in Block 53 – or Adebayor take the clear cut chance the fell his way it could have been really nervy. They didn’t and instead we capitalised from a short Lennon corner that allowed Kranjcar a skipping run into the box before beating Shay Given on his near post to crystallise a fabulous victory.

The first 20 minutes were the most testing. City mirrored United’s tactic of dropping their front men deep in an effort to unsettle our marking and outmanoeuvre the midfield. Tevez looked most impressive of the three City starters but once Lennon got going and at Sylvinho we got ourselves into the game and after Kranjcar’s opener we got our confidence and took the game to City.

When Defoe pounced on a Crouch header early in the second half we should have felt nearly home and dry but Everton came back to mind and Man City are no slouches. Barry looked good, De Jong reasonably effective until a yellow card tamed him and Ireland simmered but our boys were as good if not better. Palacios ended up putting in his best shift since I don’t know when, Tommy was effective in getting the ball into space Lennon and Kranjcar at times unplayable, ably supported by Assou-Ekotto, Dawson and even Defoe who ran the line really effectively.

Peter Crouch took some stick from many Paxton Roaders yet conspired to set up two goals and made a number of important clearances from corners. Sometimes it’s better to watch on SKY. If you do you only see the ball and don’t hear some of the nonsense. Granted Crouchy did waste possession by blasting the ball wildly into the Paxton Road End rather than get the ball under control but his view was that it wasted valuable time when we were two up and 80 odd minutes played.

Our view was that it could have been a goal scoring chance and opportunity to kill the game dead because we’ve been here before. Losing tempers was maybe an extreme reaction but it does show that we want to see beautiful play throughout.

We still gave the ball away a bit naively in the first half but once the game opened up with us leading two nil our confidence rose and we played some really good stuff against a strong opponent. Down the left the link up play was excellent. Benoit, verbally abused on Saturday got a standing ovation from the area from where his abuser appeared when he was led away injured at the end.

Lennon too showed how difficult he is to play when the opportunity to play presents itself.

Dawson was a lion at the back and must surely push himself into either Upson or Lescott’s England squad place.

This presents an excellent problem for Harry. Where do I put Modric? It has to be in the middle and in Tommy’s place in my opinion but that may not be his view.

The weekend game at Blackburn is now crucial to keep our challenge on track having done far better than I had hoped for in my preview. I’m delighted with this win. Overall we deserved it and a clean sheet was the icing on the cake for a memorable night.

The programme even had a write up on Alan Gilzean and Steve Archibald – I wonder where that news came from?

Spurs Vs Wolves Review

This was the second “one of these days” home games this season but different to the Stoke game. We gave Wolves the lead inside three minutes and failed to create clear cut chances of note despite much industry throughout. There are going to be games like this as we transform ourselves from relegation certainties when Harry was appointed to  champions league qualifier if we do achieve this. What the team has to learn is how to deal with opposition who are not going to let you play and so far this season we have not yet done that.

Yesterday Hahnemann sat back in the dressing room thinking about how that could have been much much worse for apart from getting a deserved booking for time wasting he had really had little to do thanks to the great work of his centre backs. When the teams were announced I could not see the Wolves back line holding out but give them credit they stuck to their jobs really well and two lines of four stayed deep all afternoon allowing us little opportunities in front of goal.  Even the introduction of Peter Crouch did little to upset although the referee was looking away an awful lot when man handling was going on and Crouchy did not get much rub of the green.

Our build up play was slow, too slow in my opinion. As a consequence when we were ready to strike or get the ball to Lennon Wolves were back and in position to close us out. These games also call for a piece of individual creativity and whilst Lennon is often the provider of such magic it does not always have to be him. Step up Tom Huddlestone who played some beautifully weighted long balls but did not really ever threaten going goalwards carrying the ball instead always looking to the flanks.

I thought Michael Dawson played well at the back and some of his long passes across to the left were both accurate and perfectly weighted. It is an area he has struggled with but yesterday he was on form. Often his colleagues were not at the same level of performance. Keane and Defoe linked but not as we would like and when Crouch came on and won aerial battles JD was never well positioned for the knock down.

We did see a welcome return for Luka Modric – who I expect to start against City in the week – and Giovanni Dos Santos who must get some playing time to see if he can replace Pav as fourth striker or be an asset come January. Otherwise he may become another moved on to increase the quality of the squad for the top 4 push. Unfortunately neither made much of an impression but it is tough coming on a goal down and with a well organised side in front of you.

Wednesday may be another matter. City will fancy their chances and play a more open game. Space will be easier to find and we may see a better spectacle. We can’t blame Wolves for playing as they did. They must get points to stay up and taking on a side who can score freely could for them pose problems on the road. Our responsibility is to use our guile to unlock these defences to make them come out and play a bit more. Against Stoke we were unlucky, yesterday the same cannot be said.

The last three weeks have been disappointing but we did get points on the road at Villa and Everton. We need to kick on now and get back to winning ways before we get detached. Thankfully most results went for us but because Villa won they leapfrogged us into third. If you look at the table and add on points for wins over Wolves and Stoke we’re right up in the mix but we haven’t and we’re on a bit of a slide. Last year we were in West Ham’s position – I’d still rather be where we are than where they are so let’s be grateful for what Harry has done and support him through this patch and into the January window.

Will we be first on MOTD2? Tottenham Vs Wigan Review

We’ve already seen Robbie Keane score 4 goals this season against Burnley so to expect to see someone score more in a game would have been more than a little bit greedy. But we got it and what’s more all in the space of 45 minutes for he wasn’t breaking the offside trap in the first.

Firstly the team. I called for width and balance and got it. Keane was rested and I bet he enjoyed his drive home tonight – Not! Lennon on the other hand will be enjoying his having returned to the side and putting in a devastating shift which provided goals for firstly Crouch, then Defoe before helping himself to one and Kranjcar put in a superb performance carrying on from where he left off against Sunderland. His vicious shot which became the ninth goal was really deserved to round off his best performance in a Spurs shirt.

And really in the second half they were all outstanding passing it around at will and taking the game by the scruff of its neck and forcing home the advantage. Had we played like that throughout, instead of allowing Wigan back into the game in the latter stages of the first half we would have broken the Premier League highest score record. Granted we did not keep a clean sheet and as it was a hand ball goal a West Ham friend of mine has already texted suggesting the game should be replayed but a momentary lapse could not detract from the sort of performance all football fans dream of.

In my preview I did suggest that if we got the show on the road we could score more than my 2-0. I said to G before the start this could be good today having seen the team sheet and so it proved. After a quick start which saw long balls floated in for Lennon to attack and deliver deadly crosses which produced an early goal for Crouch and a second near miss.

Then there was a quick corner which saw a ball laid across the face of goal for Tommy to hit a powerful shot which was unstoppable and just wide. Palacios took a ball and carried it before hitting another powerful drive that Kirkland acrobatically saved at his top corner.

At the other end Wigan were also attacking and Gomes was made to take crosses and make saves one from a long throw out of his own that was picked off and driven low to his left corner.

At half time we questioned why we had let go of our early grip and could we pick up our play once more to get the second goal. G felt a rocket from Harry would put it right and as usual he was on the button! After the second goal the game burst into life with a flurry of Defoe goals running onto through balls and finishing in style. And that was history of the second half. From the Paxton Road you thought on occasions he had gone too wide only for him to rifle it into the far corner.

Lennon left the proceedings to much deserved applause and Bentley came on scoring an excellent goal from 25 yards from a free kick which we understand is credited to Kirkland as it came back onto his back from the crossbar.

Can it get any better? Probably not. You don’t want to criticise on such a day but we did give the ball away too easily in the first half which might have been punished by a stronger opponent but you can only beat what has been put in front of you and those sloppy passes were made in an effort to provide the type of entertainment that Harry knows Spurs fans expect to see. I’ve seen 10 in a game before at White Hart Lane but that was 6-4 against Reading. I didn’t see the 9 against Bristol Rovers when we were in Division 2 as it was then so this is the pinnacle in scoring on my many visits. I loved it and congratulate the team for delivering a result far beyond any of our expectations at the kick off.

So what now for Robbie; how doe he get back into the side? And Jenas and what about Modric who we understand is nearing fitness? Performance is the answer, they may have to wait but they will know that none of those who performed so well today can be dropped without good reason for the next game. This team looked miles better than the starting line up for Sunderland and got the result in confident fashion. That’s what this game is about. Come on You Spurs!