The Blog that's not always wrong.

Monday, 16 August 2010

A rest is as good as a change

Aug. 14, 2010 - 06322581 date 14 08 2010 Copyright imago Roberto Mancini of Manchester City and Harry Redknapp of Tottenham Hotspur Shake Hands Barclays Premier League Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City 14th August 2010 PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK Football men England Premier League 2010 2011 Vdig 2010 horizontal Highlight premiumd.

                                   How many you wanna swap Harry?

They used to say that a change is as good as a rest. Tottenham, this close season, showed that the reverse could also be true. Starting the season with the same management, manager and squad after admittedly a short break we picked up just where we left off. Unfortunately in more ways than one. The confidence, pace and team play were there in abundance, but so too was the ability to create chances and not take them. Although the fact that the opposition keeper was the 'man of the match' tell its own story.

I am delightedly disappointed in the sense that we didn't actually miss many chances but were thwarted by exceptional saves and a defensive set up that put plenty of bodies in the way of the ball.

A fine performance then that points to a promising season on all fronts. Familiarity here breeds teamwork rather than contempt and this was an excellent display from all the players. City came out determined not to lose and passed well but without penetration until Wright Phillips should have scored from a ball over the top. Ekotto played him onside but then redeemed himself with a saving tackle which could easily in his rasher moments have resulted in a penalty. A shot from Tevez that cannoned off King and went just wide with Gomes stranded was the only other scary moment.

We beat them in every department except fouls conceded, possibly thanks to the absence of Wilson. Modric and Huddlestone ran the show apart from a 20 minute period after half time when they came out fighting but we matched them even at their best and slowly dominated the game again. In the end Bale who again played well hit the post and should have clinched it late on but sliced his shot wide. Huddleston, Ekotto, Lennon, Bale, Pavlyuchenko,Crouch and Defoe all had shots on target which were well saved or blocked.

A performance then to savour. The covering and closing down were excellent, the passing and movement were accomplished, and the defence solid. Make no mistake City will be formidable opponents for fourth place if they can settle such a large squad of expensive talent and the pundits who said that it might be a good time to play them were right. Critics who say that we have a good but not exceptionable strike force will use this match as evidence that we need a a top class finisher although today we were thwarted by England's new number one.

With no place on the bench for JJ or Kranjcar and only Gio of our ascendent youngsters this is a strong squad. Gio, Pavlyuchenko and Keane came on and like the rest looked lively. Gio might well be in the starting line-up soon. Although Crouch started we kept the ball down in the main and were the more effective for it. Of all our strikers he is the first on my replacement list followed by Keane whose enthusiasm will probably wane if he is not a regular starter.

The starting eleven for the away leg of the Champions' League game will be interesting. I can't see a lot of spark in the Crouch/Defoe partnership and we could go one up front with Keane or Gio as support striker to Pavlyuchenko. The possible combinations of Defoe, Pavlyuchenko, Crouch, Keane and Giovani are to this innumerate commentator infinite though I expect the mathematically talented amongst you could put a finite value to it. Defoe still seemed to be carrying an injury before he went off. If we set up more conservatively in midweek then Palacios might appear. Bassong will probably replace Ledley as the Astro-turf surface, in the experts' view, is decidedly Ledley unfriendly. Kaboul might get a run out at full back.

So it could be a season of two squads though I was surprised not to see at least one of our young hopefuls who are not on loan get at least a taste of the big occasion. With so much nostalgia around: a new biography of Sir Bill; the occurrence of one's in the year and the parading of the 1961 Double squad for the 50th anniversary celebrations at half time. it would be nice if we can get ourselves up to date with a really successful season. It would give another generation of Spurs supporters their own glories to recount and help me as the years fade to have something more recent, concrete and literally memorable to hold on to.

9 comments:

galvin was good said...

thanks jimmy. its not often a 0-0 leaves you thirsty for more. up front, the various little and large permutations/rotations might work well for us this year. did we get our 2nd sponsor for cup games or will there be blank spaces on the shirts tomorrow ? just a thought.

Alan said...

Delightedly disappointed - nice one, sums up my feelings too.

We played well - great first half, wasn't it?

And we enough for two decent squads. all this optimism - what's happening to us, eh Jim?

Regards,

Al

ALWYN said...

Jim, if we haven't bought a new striker - and I don't think we have - then wouldn't be wiser to *keep* folks like Crouch and Keane? Because given the heavy match schedule (what with Champs League stuff and all), don't we expect strikers to tire out?

overall, i'm glad the new season has begun - and that at least Liverpool and Arsenal aren't lookg **all** that much better than us ;>)

JimmyG2 said...

galvin was god.
Good question about the sponser. Havn't heard anything. Perhaps they are holding fire like Levy with the money for transfers until we actually qualify.

Alan.
It will end in tears mark my words.
Hopefully of joy but as it's Spurs possibly not.

Alwyn
Welcome to the new season.
Yes I wouldn't sell anyone before we get a replacement.But a new holding striker gives Harry more options and might just put everyone on their toes.

JimmyG2 said...

galvin was god

Just read on the official site that we have a 2yr deal with Investec the bank and asset advisor.

Neat plain shirt with white shorts as near the old fashioned all white Spurs European kit as we are likely to get these days.

elwehbi@ibleedhotspur said...

Just saw the Investec jersey JimmyG2! And thank the heavens that there isn't a droplet of red in their logo!

COYS!

alwyn said...

one q on my mind since Saturday's match: who the hell's AUTONOMY??? ;>)

Thomas Rooney said...

Could you drop me an email when you get the chance? Something I would like to run by you.

Thanks

Thomas

thomas dot rooney @omruk dot co.uk

JimmyG2 said...

Alwyn.
Software company with some link to Enic that like you nobody has heard of until now including me.

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