The Blog that's not always wrong.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Are we nearly there yet?

Whatever you can prove on paper about the relative strengths of the two squads, on the day, on the pitch we were out played, outfought, out thought and exposed as mere pretenders to the higher reaches of the league. We were not in the same league as Arsenal. Actually that is the problem: we are.

Now let's not get carried away. This was not one of those must win games on the points chart on the back of the kitchen door. That was last week against Stoke. We have two winnable games at home coming up and six points would put us very much back on track with 25pts from 13 games, only one off the magic 2pts per game tally. As I write we are still in the top four although Man. City could overtake us this afternoon. I said that last week when once again results went our way. But the pack is bunching up behind us.

But the manner of the defeat was disheartening. We came for a point and hoped to do a Stoke. We played O.K for 42 minutes and then led by Ledley King auditioning early for pantomime villain didn't just shoot ourselves in the foot but performed ritual hari kari. I'm not sure what Panto that is. We didn't get a shot on target in open play during the whole game and but for an early Gomes save from Fabregas and poor finishing from Eduardo it could have been much worse.

Fabregas was absolutely fabulous and ran the show. He scored an inspired solo goal when gifted the ball by Palacios, nipping between Jenas and Huddlestone, evading a trademark Palacios lunge and tempting Ledley into a uncharacteristic wild, last ditch tackle 30yds out to leave Gomes helpless. All this within 11 seconds of our own kick-off from the first goal, another tale of slack defending; no Bassong in place to cut out the cross and Ledley slow to respond to the near post ball that Van Persie converted.

We played the ball too often hopefully towards Crouch who only managed to lay the ball off twice and nothing came of anything we did. In midfield we were slow of thought and movement but with little signs of life up front there were only limited possibilities. The full backs were rarely able to make progress down the wings and crossed from too deep towards Crouch who was always marked by two or three strong defenders. Bentley forgot that he was our new saviour, again.

The third goal was the result of our defenders disobeying the first rule of football: ' Play to the whistle' and Gomes and King confused each other and gifted the ball to Van Persie. A catalogue of horrors right on cue for Halloween. Just as the lads were anticipating hot mugs of cocoa and warm words from Harry at half time the Nightmare on Ashburton Grove began. The villain is usually some extra terrestrial or malignant force but in this new age of computers this was more like an internal virus.

Blame who you like; Ledley, Gomes, Huddlestone, Bentley, Harry or pencil in your favourite scapegoat. We were without Modric our most inventive player and Defoe and Lennon our quickest and most threatening forwards. Draw what comfort you can from this but against the Top Four in four games we have lost three and scored three goals against ten.

'Are we nearly there yet?' Three errors do not a crisis make. Our season will be defined by the results against the teams beneath and around us but our performances against the top teams used to give us reasons to dream and hope. We will probably get into Europe this season which will be a sufficient sign of progress for me but Top Four is clearly revealed as a fantasy too far too soon.

Are we nearly there yet?'
We've clearly packed the car and filled up with petrol; we are heading for the motorway. But the SatNav is on the blink, the traffic is building up and according to that last signpost we have further to go than we thought.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

Face the facts, you lot are not yet ready for anything other than a mid-table position, and please learn to do your talking on the pitch. Old Shovel face shot himself in the foot big time. Lol

P.s Nice well balanced article though.

Anonymous said...

Not sure I agree with the mid-table comment there son. We are good enough to finish 5th, there's no doubt about it. In 2 weeks, for the first time this season, we might well have a fully strength first 11. Spurs will be up there.

That isn't fantasy either. Are Villa and Everton better than us? Nope. City perhaps with their billions will pose the biggest threat to the Top 4 so I wouldn't be wetting your panties just yet gooner. Its one game. Three points. And a long long way to go.

Anonymous said...

Harry should, whenever possible have this squad as his first choice: Gomes, Cerluka, King, Woodgate,Dawson, Modric, Lennon, Jenas, Kranjcar, Defoe and Crouch.

I cant believe how slow Palacios and Huddlestone were as if playing on the winning side.

Anonymous said...

gomes,corluka,king,woodgate,assou-ekotto,lennon,palacios,jenas,modric,defoe and crouch.....that team IS capable of top 4 with a bench of cudicini,hutton,dawson,bassong,huddlestone,bentley,keane.....its just a matter of keeping everyone fit.....modric is such a miss when hes out, as is lennon and defoe.....thats possibly our 3 bst players right there , so that torres,gerrard and masherano for liverpool, van persie,arshavin and fabregas for arsenal, rooney,vidic and giggs for united and lampard, drogba and terry for chelsea....u take those players outta those teams and they WILL struggle...

JimmyG2 said...

Agree with Anon 15.21 Arsenal fan
We will make sixth at least.Man.City with their buying power in January and their present squad will probably pip us for fifth.
And try not to confuse facts with opinions.
However you are very welcome and all Spurs fans are well balanced.

Anonymous said...

This seems like a sensible blog where opposing fans can give their views without the usual inane "we're better than you" stuff, which makes a chnage.
As an Arsenal fan at the match I was quite surprised by the game, it didn't seem like a derby, there wasn't the usual bite in the tackles (only 2 bookings must be a record for a north london derby).
I have to admit to being more confident in the knowledge that Defoe, Lennon and Modric were out. That does take away a lot from Spurs, but I have to say, I expected more from them. You seemed light-weight in midfield and rather sluggish at the back. In the end, I though 3-0 was a fair enough result to be honest.
As you say, it was only one game though, but I'm not so sure 5th spot will be that easy to get this year. Man City could easily get into the top 4, and lots of those teams from 5th-10th seem to be getting stronger. In my opinion, you need Lennon and Modric back sharpish.

Anonymous said...

So Tottenham needs a full strength team all season to break into the Top 4? Whereas Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool & United can have injuries to key players and still keep on performing. Hence, the difference between the Top Top Clubs and the pretenders.

mr_rossi_da _gooner said...

its nice and refreshing to here an honest account from a spud, robbie keane and harrys pre match ramblings were rubbish mid games (well i hope they were mind games cos if they really think what they said is true then they should stop smoking so much crack), look the spuds have some very decent players and the first 11 when all fit is a good outfit and will fin in top 6 but they need to understand they are way off arsenal at the moment, but very good honest article

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I'm a life long Spurs supporter - over 40 years - this is a mediocre squad not capable finishing any higher than 8th

Anonymous said...

arsenal are trying to win the league and champions league. where as spuds are trying to get 4th. arsenal dominated the game from start to finish. you could argue that it was a away game but if you want top 4th spot you dont bend over like spuds or wigan do; thats what mid table teams do. tottenham are a very good side. defoe akotto modric and lennon have class but the rest are abit below that. as for crouch if they leave c cole and take crouch we might as well not go to the world cup.

JimmyG2 said...

Very nice to have so much praise from Arsenal fans but don't overdo it lads or you will get me lynched, verbally at least.
The one thing that Spurs fans appreciate and know about is quality football and we know a good footballer when we see one.
Some have a ritual blind spot about Arsenal and not all of you are so civilised.

Mr_Rossi_da_gooner
We are undoubtedly missing our best players, for the first part of the season at centre half and lately Modric and up front.
We haven't done badly without them but you get found out in the end.
We have a good squad when they are all fit but need some backup for Palacios and for Lennon. Bentley is not the answer.

Anon16.49.
Thats the first time Huddlestone been accused of being lightweight.
We gifted it to you really and Ledley who is usually Mr Reliable and a class act went walkabout I'm afraid.

Enjoy it while you can you lot' We'll be back.

east stand dave said...

Good article well balanced. I was at the everton match and hoped the same team would play again however Harry chose another unbalanced side (remember the chelsea match)and got another pasting.
King shouldn't be playing when we have cover. Dawson and Bassong worked well against Everton and I think Harry always picking King and Keene regardless of performance on the pitch is our achilles heel.
Ultimately the most disapointing thing was the lack of fight. Let's hope Harry learns from the experience and ensures we always have a left sided player in the team in midfield however you can only choose the players you have and it's obvious we need better players in the midfield area.
Crouch can be effective but lumping balls up the centre doesn't work. We need to cross the ball from the touchline to give him a chance to get it into the net.

Anonymous said...

The reply by Anonymous 15:11 sums up all that is detestable in smug ArseScum fans. You won one home game...ONE. Make some kind of comparative comment at the end of the season, and especially after the game at the Lane. If you lose that, what does it say? Not much, really.
The fact is that Spurs were out played yesterday. It is also ttrue, as the author of the article rightly says, that our most creative (and pacy) players were absent (yes, the Goons had players missing too). Robbie Keaen is seriously off-form, but that can return, and Pav is obviously suffering from a lack of confidence, as well as match fitness. As for David Bentley...don't even get me started. But the point important players were out, and other are off-form, lacking match fitness at the highest level, that is not the same as saying the squad is light years behind the Goons...I don't think they are. I think, under these circumstances they lost an away game to a very good. It ain't trhe end of the world. For thosse who follow horse racing and understand form lines, then surely your beloved Goons are on a par with WetSpam, a tema who Spurs beat and so must be better than the Goons.
And the point that (obviously cerebrally challenged) Goons don't seem to get is that Spurs fans are looking to 'close the gap', and optimistic that there are 'closing the gap'. That in itself implies that there 'is a gap'. So why are ArseScum fans goin' on about Spurs fans being deluded for imagining that there 'isn't a gap'. What a sad bunch.
Hey you won one game, well done, but there again Liverpool did last week, and so must be better than United :-|

ps I should point out that I am always very vocal in stating my belief that Arsene Wenger is a footballing genius, and in stating my admiration (as a football fan) for the football he has ArseScum playing (no matter how saying this pains me as a Spurs fan). Just a pity the Goon muppets can't be so even handed, eh ;-/

Anonymous said...

fifty years since you won the league at least another hundred years before you win it again but robbies right you do have a wonderful squad!!!!

Anonymous said...

you need to understand a derby is a derby , and 38 games later if we are not in the top 6 we will be stunned as we feel like we hav made progress in the first period of the season in ealtion to the last season , we need to be more compact and not fall to bits this is what happened yesterday , we had the game just passing us by but this is not allowed we need to let pav play or go and make our mind up quickly , we are undeveloped in the youth team send the players out on loan to get experince it wont work , i was so happy to play liverpool bet them when modric got injured that was the creative spark gone kean is not as great as he used to be a much faith as i have in him he is just a provider for defoe , and as for defoe the dopey cunt cost us the last 2 out 3 games , rolickin he needs to remember football is a team game and he never had them on his mind , maybe he needs to understand that so much more ,

hope we finish top four because if we dont harry wont want to win the europa , plus united n the cc what a set up

Anonymous said...

gomes

corluka king woodgate B E A


lenneon palicios niko


modric


crouch
defoe

Anonymous said...

at least we have won more trophy in Europe lol

Sean said...

Excellent analysis.
I'd love to think we were Top 4 Class but did not realistically believe we'd get anything from yesterday (which I guess says it all). I was really quite hopeful up until the the first goal apart from a number of poor balls hit sideways and intercepted by a rampaging set of gooners. I thought Keane was very poor and Bentley completed frustrating with his flicks that rarely found a Spurs man.

We are improving and teams like Liverpool are certainly sliding. Our test this year will be up against Villa and Man City!

colin said...

I cannot believe redcraps comments there is not a lot of difference between the teo teams! as a spurs supporter for 50 years he wants to get real arsenal are way ahead of us and if eduardo had taken his chances and gomes a couple of good saves we could have been on the end of a real drubbing would we be so upbeat then. Only one game rubbish its our biggest game of the season what a spineless gutless performance it was get real

Anonymous said...

there is 1 spot in the top 4 up for grabs and 4 teams in the race for it THFC,MAN CITY,LIVERPOOL and ASTON VILLA and we have shown we can beat any of these four the top 3 look strong again so the question is can we do it this year I believe we can if we add 2/3 players in jan (cb,cm and left winger with a left foot) also we need to change our captain as i don't believe that we should have someone who gona get subd each week

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear: Colin I admire your honesty, for we all know that losing to your most hated opponents runs Deep, some can pretent its just another game, but we all know. Yeah its me, Anon 15:11

Anonymous said...

Another Arse fan here - again, good article mate. The anonymous poster who said you're in a four-way mini-league for the 4th CL spot is right (although I would make it a 5-way with Everton). Of your rivals in that group you have better attacking options than all except Man City (yes I'm putting you ahead of Liverpool because they are totally reliant on one striker), but your defence is probably not as strong as City's, Villa's and maybe Everton's. The key is midfield creativity. If Modric can stay fit for most of the campaign I could see you doing it, but on yesterday's showing Huddlestone is not up to it and Jenas is too inconsistent. I fancy Liverpool to drop out of the top 4, so it could be interesting.

JimmyG2 said...

Anon 18.24

You have left out our captain which Harry won't do and are asking Palacios to run the midfield virtually single-handed.
He's not playing that well lately.

East Stand Dave.
Generally agreed . I would have liked to see a more attacking start, 442 from the off and was surprised that Kranjcar didnt feature at all.
To be fair to Ledley this is the first ever game when I can remember when he has not been top class.

Anonymous said...

i cant believe the rubbish you spuds come out with. you wont be contending for the top4 more like a relegation struggle after what i saw yesterday

Anonymous said...

absolutely right the spuds are in dreamland!!!

Anonymous said...

Fuck knows how Ledley manages to play the game in his physical condition, he's not gonna last much longer imo.

Anonymous said...

We were pretty hapless, unfortunately, no elaboration needed really, still some Way to go, to catch up with the scum even...

Anonymous said...

dont you peple ever stop you will never catch up

Anonymous said...

This whole "we have three of our best players out" thing is utter gutter talk to be honest. Hiding behind the fact that three of your most important attacking players were out injured reveals the joke that is the idea that tottenham have strenght in depth. Arsenal had the following players out Rosicky, walcott, Denilson, Vela, Wilshire, and Nasri not ready to play. I count 4 players who could and three of those definately would have played. And also im sorry but saying losing defoe lennon and modric is like losing gerrard or torres or mascherano, or Van persie or fabregas or arshavin or rooney or valencia or giggs is, if it is not evident to you already laughable. V Persie is world class fabregas is world class and arshavin is world class defoe is not neither is modric (at the moment although a player i like a lot) and lennon definately is not so it becomes obvious that a team losing world class players suffer a greater impact than a team losing its best three player who are 'quite good but not world class'. Also this injury stuff doesnt wash with arsenal fans because we have not had a full and fit starting eleven going on two years now we have suffered long term injuries to fabregas van persie rosicky eduardo walcott and others. Even though im an arsenal fan i do not post this to "rub it in" but because you guys let your club embarrass you constantly. Talk big about squad depth when you dont have world class players and the ones you do like king and potentially woodgate are injury prone.Finally lets look at keanes "squad as good as arsenals" gaff. Look at your players like huddlestone and jenas and bale and keane and crouch and Bentley can you really compare to a potential bench of diaby denilson walcott bendtner eduardo eboue gibbs vela wilshire and Ramsey. Actually keane would have a better shot of saying you guys have a better bench than man u who have players like park nani anderson evans macheda and that other kid or chelsea who pretty much have kalou mikel and alex of any real quality on the bench. But for attacking and midfeild depth there is no team that has better in the prem.For god sake this is a team that has an entirely reserve eleven playing carling cup beating big teams not including the players who would have played carling cup but have been covering rosicky denilson walcott wilshire and vela's injuries. For the sake of the north london derbies i hope tottenham improve because it could be a great event as much as i have enjoyed our dominance over the last ten years you have become like our annoying little brothers and like a ittle brother always admiring and hating us but little brothers grow up to challenge the older brother my question is when will you?..

Anonymous said...

How can people put Crouch in their favoured starting-line up? Don't you all realise he is THE reason why we've stopped playing football. Keane has been crap I know but look at our style of play! We made our best start for years with the two little ones up front. It's not (just)about personnel, it's about systems and style. Lumping high balls to the big man is not the Spurs way and, frankly, I'm embarassed by it, especially when the goons think they invented it.

Anonymous said...

What Exactly is the Spurs way? You lot have had far too many manager's to have a style or a particular playing characteristic, apart from being emm, Shite!

JimmyG2 said...

To all our Arsenal comrades out there, welcome. Remarkably civilised discussion considering the deeply held and for some longstanding passion.

Last poster
A long and detailed analysis and some telling points made. Many of your youngsters are good but inexperienced which will have an effectduring the season in the crucial matches.

We love Tottenham and like you other lot do get over involved and get carried away but I would never belittle your manager, your team and its achievements.
Succesful teams are cyclical and your decade is coming to an end and ours is just starting. Next year, next year. I know its always next year at Spurs. But don't say you wern't warned

However the season is not over yet and you've still got to come to the Lane so don't get too far ahead of yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous22:03... you need to learn some history

Anonymous said...

Anon 21:41 back again just to pick up a point here. Very lazy statement made below

"Many of your youngsters are good but inexperienced which will have an effectduring the season in the crucial matches"

Fabregas is 22 will his age affect us on the bench is Fabianski, silvestre (joke of a player i know) Senderos (not as much of a joke but close), Eboue best back up right back in europe (really no joke, joke as a midfeilder but running sagna close) eduardo denilson rosicky/walcot gibbs (young) Ramsey (young)Diaby. If fab is injured denilson comes on nasri takes over fab job or even diaby or ramsey who may be young but like fab is old enough. Defence enough experience and also djorou is out. Upfront v p out eduardo in or bentner or arsh in the middle. This youngsters thing is a myth put about by lazy journalists. Also unless tottenham has the money to buy world class then even next year is a stretch because man shitty will buy bug again liverpool will have to and as usual unless chelsea are banned (god i hope so) they will to as will man u arsene will probably find more gems for peanuts and turn them world class and these group of players who have a good chance at the league this year will be even better and stronger.

Anonymous said...

pfft modric and lennon out
same as arsenal
rosicky>modric
walcott>lennon

Anonymous said...

rosicky and walcott are no where near in the same class as modric and lennon lol

JimmyG2 said...

Still a lot of opinions masquerading as facts here.
As somebody pointed out on another forum Keane's comments might have been entirely accurate , the result of one game does not disprove them.
That could be down to a number of factors: team selection; tactics; individual errors and so on.
However I won't labour the point, we lost partly because we played badly and they played better on the day whether they are 'better' than us remains to be seen.

Anonymous said...

jimmy you cannot be serios bro, there are soo many flaws in your argument that it is unreal. All the evidence suggests that your not Arsenal quality not just becuase you lost but look at the teams, name one tottenham player who could make the Arsenal first eleven? The guy above already said it arsenal have world class players, how cna you claim to be equal with them when you painfully dont its blind optimism of the worst kind mate. At the very least challenge Arsenal in the league before you claim equality. Have a player in your squad of fabreagas quality or vermaelen or arshavin v persie nasri before you talk. Also enough with the injurey talk eleven against eleven you are no match. an attack of arshavin v persie rosicky and midfiled of nasri song and fabregas only team that can match that in world football is barcelona not im afraid tottenham.

hammerboy said...

one of the reasons people cant stand tottenham is the lack of class. Im west ham and even though we are not huge hate rivals like you guys and Arsenal most hammers cant stand tottenham. Every season "oh were gonna make top four, were gonna displace arsenal blah blah blah" why dont you get some class and not say anything until you reach there because every year you humiliate yourselves. Arsenal were in the champions leauge semi finals its a joke you even compare yourselves to them. Keep your eye on villa and sunderland in fact we are far closer then you and the goons lol

JimmyG2 said...

Anon 13.39

Actually its blind optimism of the best kind.
Modric, normally King, Defoe, Lennon, would all make your first team squad.
Fabregas is outstanding and has no right to be so good at his age.

Hammerboy.
Please I don't mind Arsenal fans having a go, they've earnt it, but you are even more delusional than us.
Check the records and the statistics for yourself.
I don't dislike W.Ham, we've nicked enough of your players over the years for a start and Zola is a gentleman and I wish him well.
Closer to what?

Anonymous said...

lol your mug!!!!!

Anonymous said...

hey jimmy anon 1339 here good debate and civilised which is wierd but unfortunately i and most of the teams in the league who are objective would disagree with you entirely. Firstly king i agree would be in the first team but he is mr injury so there is no point making that point because at the moment due to his lack of training and years of missed development he is nowhere near getting ahead of gallas vermaelen no chance easily the best centre back since sol (sorry) and Adams (legend). The others you have mentioned modric and lennon have no chance in hell of being in the first team let me just lay thge team out for you

Song
Fabregas Nasri

Rosick/Walcott Arshavin
Van Persie

The lennon argument i cant take serious at best you can say he is as good as walcott (which Capello no less thinks he is not) and even walcott is miles behind rosicky who for is the most gifted baller we have next to fabregas. Who would modric replace? Arshavin, no way in hell, rosicky never, Nasri we have seen modric is too weak in the middle so who? Defoe i just cannot believe you have the audacity to even mention this guy who is unbelievably overated has he even reached 20 goals yet seeing as he has no other attribute than goal scoring not much by way of evidence. Big continental teams would snap up v persie (barca have been trying over the summer) Defoe no chance not even man u or chelsea wante him.

Anonymous said...

To the close minded Goon 20.27, it's a travesty for you to have the last word on this, since it's obvious that you fail to grasp the situation. It is aterrible little argument saying So and so is better than him or him.
If you do not have the parallel situation to 'Our 3 best attacking players by a country mile were missing' then shut the f@ck up.

elwehbi@ibleedhotspur said...

2 goals in 11 seconds was shameful. Worst part is I was sitting in between Arse fans watching the match and had to endure their chants and celebrations.

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