The Blog that's not always wrong.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Up Pompey

With more sub-plots than an Agatha Christie murder mystery we survived a hectic game at Portsmouth to emerge with all three points. Harry despite press rumours escaped the ordeal intact and only two of the six players with Tottenham connections were sent off.

Man.City failing to win at Wigan means that we maintain our third place for another week, the first time we have been in such a position after 9 games since 1984/5, 25yrs ago. We finished third that season in case you were wondering.

Our inability to close games down or come back from behind and the myth that we are vulnerable at set pieces are filed at the moment in a box marked 'not known at this address'. Only 4 of our 13 goals conceded have been at set pieces unlike Liverpool who have conceded 10 of their 13 from them, and one from a beach ball.

We had more than our share of luck in terms of their inability to put the ball in the net from inside the 6yd. box. A match winning performance from Gomes helped , especially when Defoe was sent off with half hour to go for a stamp on Mokoena's leg which seemed to be delivered more in regret than anger but tactlessly right in front of the referee. I forecast that we would win this easily and I was half right, although at half time it was looking as if I might have got it spot on.

Kevin 'Prince' Boateng with something to prove did just that, not only scoring but playing well in an aggressive attacking midfield role that perhaps had Harry wondering if he had done the right thing. If the Spur's fans were looking for some support for Wilson then we might just have let one slip through our fingers. If it gives us pause over Dos Santos and Taarabt then it might have been a mistake worth making.

Jenas played positively and combined well with Huddlestone to set up Defoe's goal on the stroke of half time. Ledley King scored the first, again from a Kranjcar corner. James came, changed his mind, and was retreating as Ledley's header sailed past him. On the positive side, Defoe hit the post with James beaten and Lennon should have scored at the end. I think the James for Gomes question was decisively settled.

Michael Brown, another Tottenham Old Boy, was sent off late on and comparing him with our current mid fielders is a measure of the massive improvement in the squad over the last three seasons. I have sometimes criticised Palacios for underwhelming performances and wild tackling but Brown gave a display of pointless aggravation and petty nastiness which makes Wilson a shoe in for the Nobel Peace Prize.

His reputation as 'Iron Man Wilson' was confirmed as he apparently only arrived back from Honduras shortly before the game and came on soon after Boateng's goal before jet-lag had time to fully take effect. No doubt a quiet word from Joe Jordan convinced him that he was fit to play.

So that's defending a lead with 10 men to add to the roll call of achievement so far this season, along with three hat-tricks; coming from behind twice to get a draw away from home; beating a 'Top Four' side; winning away three times; scoring 5 goals four times. And that's only after 9 League games and 2 Cup matches.

Did I doubt that we would hold on against Portsmouth? To be honest I did but I should have had more faith because we are not the same team nowadays in terms of attitude. The midfield trio of Huddlstone, Jenas and Kranjcar performed well in a hostile, excitable situation where football might well have come second best more than it did.

Progress then all over the pitch with Modric and Woodgate still to return.

(Statistics from Spurs Odyssey and The Observer)


Lennon said...

good post! very good! :)

and good win, of course!


Anonymous said...

Let's just hope that our other strikers and midfielders step up to the challenge now Defoe's out for three games,saying that though we have had goals come from all areas of the field already this season.

I would like to see more goals from direct free kicks though,and with such good ball players this really shouldn't be a problem.

It is nice to be writing about changes needed to challenge for the title,rather than worrying about the threat of relegation (yes you read correctly,)well were up there aren't we,)

Greavsie said...

At this rate we'll be safe from relegation (usually reckoned to be 40 points) before the end of the year. OK, so I'm a typical pessimistic Spurs supporter. But if we do maintain the momentum we currently have there is a good chance we'll still be third by Christmas and can start thinking about CL football. The game at the Emirates will be the real test of how much we've progressed. Hopefully Wenger will be seething by the end of the game.

JimmyG2 said...


I think we have 11 different scorers this year as well as the three hat-tricks.

Will you lot forget the 'R' word; that was last year.
If we win next week against Stoke then even if we lost to Arsenal we would still have a 2pts per game average.
I don't think the Arsenal game will prove anything, we usually play well against them. But the way things are shaping up this could just be our year.

elwehbi@ibleedhotspur said...

Ledley is a legend. Was so happy to see him score the opener! It's like watching your child take his / her first baby steps. Quite the joyous occasion.


Lennon said...

Hello Spurs!

I'm from Georgia (republic, Europe)

there are only few Spurs fans in my country, probably 5 or 6... (including me)... other people find it funny when we tell'em we are supporters of Tottenham Hotspur... their football knowledge is in very low level. But, we don't care anyway, just LOVE SPURS! I even made Spurs blog in Georgian language... and I get 4-5 visits a day... not more... :) but, that's OK, the main thing is we are all fully devoted to Spurs and hope we'll finally get that CL spot and show to everyone (especially in my country) what we are really capable of ! :)

glad to see you guys!

and once again, very good blog Jimmy :) keep going!

greetings from Georgia!

Anonymous said...

All the best from Pompey. Despite our second half performance, you just about deserved it in the end. best of luck for the rest of the season, you will be top 5 or 6 no problem.

JimmyG2 said...

Very discerning of you to choose Tottenham over the more obvious clubs. I trust you will not be disappointed.
This could be the year!

Portsmouth Anon.
You are very gracious in defeat and I hope you're right and I thank you.

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