Tag Archives: Tottenham Hotspur Match Reports

So will West Ham just fade and die? Spurs V West Ham Review

A convincing 2-0 win was only spoiled by the lack of goals required to set out how convincing it really was. Once again we battered a team visiting White Hart Lane but until 80 minutes had only one goal to show for it and our opponents were having their best period of play.

It took a goal of genuine quality from Jermain Defoe to settle the result having worked cross field to find a shooting chance which Green allowed to canon off his shoulder back to Defoe to return it with a thunderbolt shot into the net.

I like the West Ham derby because there is a lot of banter between the two sets of fans throughout the season and also because it is often winnable. Our record of late has been exemplary but when you hear the away fans spark up their one song each year with about 10 minutes to kick off it can all get a bit nervy. In these games nothing goes with form and it is up to the side wanting to win the most to take the advantage. Today it was Spurs and after Parker and Illunga limped off West Ham, already decimated by injury, had an incredible uphill battle.

To see them coming back into the game in the middle of the second half begged the question why did we not do better with some of the chances first half to put the game to sleep? Our first goal on 11 minutes saw a fabulous break down the right flank in which Defoe and Lennon linked up beautifully to allow the winger to sprint away into space and play a difficult low cross to the near post for Crouch. The ball was half cleared but only to Modric who bounced it into the turf and back across Green into his net.

After that we had a lot of possession and after another swift Lennon break Illunga decided the dressing room was a safer place and Spectre was forced onto the field. Palacios was having a decent game and is starting to look back to his best. In another break he worked space for himself on the right and carried the ball to the danger area before crossing  for Crouch whose effort was cleared by Tomkins.

Huddlestone had a couple of decent efforts on goal and Defoe went close from a free kick from some distance late on in the first half. Once again the half time whistle provided a welcome break for the opposition and the opportunity to regroup whereas Harry must have been left wondering “how is this game not safe?”

After the break it was more of the same. West Ham defending for their lives and Spurs missing the final pass or having it blocked as Upson did from a Palacios pile driver. Huddlestone was then in on goal and his short hit the base of the post. Ominous signs as West Ham must play better at some point in the game?

Lennon is then scythed down – not for the first time in the game – and after the resulting action Corluka heads onto the roof of the nest when with more precision he could have beaten Green and scored. There were a number of handball shouts at this point and Corluka ends up booked having not got one for hacking down Diamanti.

It was now getting a bit fractious and the referee was called to flash a few cards to regain control. Some of his decision making was strange today. His decisions for goal kicks and corners particularly unusual – it is normal for a goal kick if the attacking team kicks it off and corner if the defending side does. Mr Foy needs to remind himself of that tonight.

West Ham were using the unruly play to claw themselves back into the game and it looked like they might pressurise us. On a couple of occasions they did so but their shooting was a little wayward though Gomes was called into action and handled his duties well. As space opened up Stanislas came on for West Ham and was immediately allowed to run far too far with the ball but thankfully he chose to stay outside the box before crossing.

It was then down to Defoe to settle the game and take the sting out of West Ham’s fight back and our priority to record another clean sheet – our fourth on the trot and make it 442 minutes since we conceded a goal plus whatever stoppages the officials have added.

 The comfortable win we asked for and for West Ham a worrying period to come as injury and a lack of money put additional pressure on their already precarious place in the table. I hope they stay up but it may prove difficult on this showing.

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Gomes proves “a point” – Fulham vs Spurs Review

I missed the start of the game having immersed myself in Tottenham Hotspur: A Nostalgic Look at 100 Years of the Club but got a feed on YES in time to see Dempsey rattle the bar with a free kick. The book is part of a series entitled “When Football was Football” and the match confirmed this on a couple of occasions. Firstly Kranjcar was called for a foul when trying to hit a shot inside the box on a dropping ball. The Fulham defender got there first only to get hit by Niko’s boot. Purely accidental, no one hurt so why a free kick?

Then in the second half another 50/50 ball produces a free kick when allowing play to continue was the better option. These days the slightest contact causes the referee to blow his whistle. Is football no longer a contact sport?

The game finished goalless and provided a valuable point for us to add to our tally. It was really as a result of a faultless performance – in the part of the game I saw – by Heurehlo Gomes including a number of blinding saves and one excellent double effort by Schwarzer from firstly Crouch and then Jenas to prevent us nicking the points.

Fulham looked the better side and more likely to score though we had our fair share of possession throughout. I did not see the Crouch effort that was disallowed but Fulham looked comfortable at the back winning nearly all the second ball from Crouch’s knockdowns. Dawson and Bassong were struggling with Zamora who has made himself into a much stronger and effective player since his short spell at White Hart Lane and had Gomes not been in fine form we would have conceded.

Fulham are no longer the clueless side who we thrashed 5-1 on boxing day a couple of seasons ago. Roy Hodgson has built a capable group of players and their performances last season and so far this allowed their supporters to taunt us with an “only one team in Europe” in Europe chant. This result will do no damage to Harry’s own quest to achieve a European spot. Expecting a midfield struggle Keane and Jenas came into the side for Defoe and Huddlestone and this proved to be the right decision. Robbie is more willing to drop deep in support of the midfield and JJ may be better in the tackle.

Modric came on for a quiet Kranjcar, Defoe replaced Keane and King had a few seconds at the end after Bassong was knocked out by a Fulham boot. I fancy they will all keep their spots for the visit of West Ham on Monday.

Blackburn Rovers Vs Spurs mini review

A family meal saw me travel to the West Midlands rather than see Spurs on a dodgy feed for our game at Ewood Park. After a tough start to get off the estate we had a pleasant journey on the A12, M25 and M1. We passed the deer at Brentwood and saw them in a similar position to that of the Wigan game. A good omen I fancied and so it turned out with a pleasing 2-0 victory with Peter Crouch scoring both goals.

I’ve only seen the limited footage on MoTD which was understandably relegated with both United and Liverpool losing convincingly and Arsenal knocking in a few at home. Plus we were at Blackburn which from its unfortunate camera gantry looks the emptiest ground in the Premier League. They missed chances and we did not was the conclusion I drew. Frankly the first goal was laughable – but not if you support Blackburn. Tommy’s shot nearly hit the corner flag only for Niko to chase it down and put in a decent cross which Crouch appeared to stand tall to head in off the bar leaving Robinson rooted to the spot.

The second was much better. Substitutes Keane and Jenas combined to set up Crouch who beat Robbo comfortably to seal the win. Lennon also hit the bar – unfortunately it was ours from a free kick after Daws had slid through a Blackburn attacker.

And so the players return to Spurs Lodge for Harry’s pre trial inquest over the Christmas party. Having thought about it I think Harry was set up when he was asked about the party days after it had happened. I wonder if the players will ask Harry for help with their tax returns in return for suspended sentences? So how should Harry deal with it?

After two clean sheets and some excellent performances from Dawson and decent ones from Gomes we need the squad’s confidence to carry through to Fulham and West Ham to avoid defeat in these games.  Fines and retribution may not be the order of the day. We don’t need a Liverpool situation on our hands but whatever Harry decides to do he has the experience of management needed to deal with it.

Two wins takes us into the Christmas holidays in fine form let’s hope that we finish it in similar fashion.

Come on You Spurs!