Tottenham’s less than glamorous start to the season

by Ben McAleer

Monday, September 27th, 2010
 

Apologies, first of all, for another Spurs related post. However, their poor start to the season is something I can’t turn a blind too, being a Spurs fan and all.

Admittedly, it wasn’t as bad as the 08/09 season when we had 2 points after 8 games yet, for a team hoping to become a solid top 4 outfit, things aren’t looking ideal at the moment.

A massive contributing factor to this has to be the current injury crisis facing Tottenham. Gallas has since become the latest defensive casualty joining Dawson and Kaboul along with frequent visitors King and Woodgate in the physio room coupled with Gomes and Defoe playing their trade in there at the moment, it isn’t a position I was hoping to find Spurs in so early into the new season. The 4-1 defeat to Arsenal on Tuesday night was swiftly followed by a 1-0 defeat to a West Ham team that took full advantage of a weakened Tottenham team and kudos to them for doing so.

However, to be hitting the crisis button now would be a mistake of immense proportion. Spurs are in a bad run of form to put it bluntly. The North London outfit have the players to make things right as was proved when Redknapp took over in October 2008 and make it right they will. A positive result on Wednesday night against FC Twente will give confidence back to the players ahead of the visit of Aston Villa at the weekend. Personally, I have no idea on the outcome of Wednesday’s fixture and I don’t care how it’s done as long as Spurs win with Redknapp today stating he will go on the offense against FC Twente simply because he has 2 centre backs to pick from – Bassong and Corluka. Yes, Huddlestone can fill in at CB if need be yet, to take him out of Midfield would be a bad move by Redknapp as much as I dislike Corluka at CB.

Sticking with Redknapp briefly, he today claimed he would like to mirror the style of Arsenal’s play by purchasing more ‘flair’ players instead of defenders when he is given the opportunity either in January or in the summer transfer window. There are 2 mistakes with Redknapp’s statement here. 1) What Wenger has done with Arsenal has taken over 10 years to accomplish whilst, with Capello leaving his post as England manager in 2012 and with Redknapp the favourite to succeed him, I can’t see how he would accomplish this feat in just over 18 months. 2) Preferring to buy ‘flair’ players ahead of a much needed world class CB is criminal especially as we are facing a minor defensive crisis. With Woodgate on the verge of retiring and King with his long standing knee problems, another CB and a new striker should be taking priority in January. Granted, South African CB Bongani Khumalo (Mbulelo Mabizlea MK: II perhaps?) is set to join in January but he doesn’t strike me as a world class CB. For all I know, I could be proved wrong and I hope I am yet, I cannot see that being the case.

All in all, I am praying for a win against FC Twente on Wednesday night in Spurs’ first ever, proper, Champions League fixture at White Hart Lane not just for the sake of the Champions League but to give Tottenham confidence ahead of the visit from Aston Villa over the weekend to gain all 3 points and propel the North London outfit back up the league.

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  • jj

    i understand your worry but the level of expectation of our fans is the real worry. We did fantasically well last season and by doing so most of our fans now think we should be a permanent fixture in the top 4. This is utter nonsense. We are a top 6 team who over achieved but if we get 6th ogether with our run in the champions league this would result in a great season. Sadly some of our idiot fans wont accept this, like some moron i read today ‘ we should be top after these fixtures so far this year ‘ Why should we? What basis does he have to expect that?? We are Tottenham, can beat anybody, can lose to anybody, thats why we love ’em. I just wish we could rid ourselves of our idiot vocal minority.

  • GRAHAM

    It is scoring goals the problem . We are not conceding even with a make shift defence – 1 conceded v WHU and Wigan and a clean sheet v Man City but none scored . I knew Defoe would be a loss but never this bad . Harry must play 2 strikers even if it means Lennon is scarficed .

  • dexylongshot

    Totally agree, you did over achieve last season, i put at the start of the season that you will struggle to match last seasons tally, especially with The Champions League distraction. You were nothing like contenders on Saturday against the Hammers, (i was there and it was so sweet, it was a well overdue victory for the Irons!!!).

  • JB

    Well said, JJ. A Spurs fan with a sense of perspective is a rare thing and I think you are right, JJ. They are not yet an established top 4 team. I htink they could be eventually, though. Van Der Vaart looked a real class act on Saturday. I thought Gareth Bale was very poor, though. Not so good going backwards. Twitchy Redknapp might need to accept he isn’t a left back.

    A great chant at Upton Park on Saturday in relation to Bale’s monkey like features. There’s only one Charlton Heston. I thought it was funny anyway.

  • Ben McAleer

    I agree JJ about the ‘Newcastle Syndrome’ some Spurs fans have and even the players themselves. My previous article outlined the problem with some of our players running their mouth to the media about how we are better than Arsenal prior to the fixtures against the Old Enemy and time and time again we have come out embarrassed as fans and as a team. I would bite your hand off if i was told Spurs will finish 4th again this season but i cant see it happening. Top 6 at least whilst getting to the knockout stages of the CL will be ideal coupled with, maybe, winning the FA cup and i will be a happy Spurs fan come May

  • davspurs

    Dexy You may or may not no me and my rant about the curse of the Cinderella Teams . I call them Cinderella teams because they are generally out of form in the bottom three and just like a fairy godmother has waved her magic wand they pull out a great performance full of energetic high pressing and attacking on the break. Another feature of these sudden surge of form and shocks his the Goalkeepers make some world class saves. Most of these games end with Spurs not scoring Last year both of Wolves wins where 1-0 Hull 0-0 Stoke 1-0 Wigan 1-0 this year. We would have lost to Wolves only for the soft penalty they gave away. The score against West Ham did not shock me because against Stoke and Sunderland the Energy levels rose dramatically a sure sine We where heading for a changed West Ham and i warned my fellow Spurs fans’ when we played Wigan and last year when we played Wolves and Stoke . I wont bore you with why i know we are going to get beat for two reasons firstly you wont believe me and secondly its a hard thing and a dangerous subject to tackle. This is some of the details that may just make your thinking a bit differet in future there has bean a record number of Footballers and Rugby players dying on the pitch or in training and also Strokes also players with massive weight loss and gaunt ill looking faces late late goals and plenty of shocks mainly 1-0 unless both teams are Cinderella TEAMS. This his not fantasy but was confirmed by a young lady from the Testers at the time three seasons ago there his new testers but the same people running it who told me they cant catch players who are just under the radar ..So i have to ignore the signs except the shock results and panic every time we play a Cinderella Team. The next one up are Aston Villa who have gone from a crisis Cinderella club into one inspired by a rejuvenated Heskey and a Goalkeeper in Great Form after his shaky six goals against Newcastle This will be t another shock unless i warn them of the energy West HAM escaped my publicity because i was away in Yorkshire Villa and the more mobile Heskey have bean warned i am watching .

  • AlexYid

    I see no reason why we shouldn’t be able to aim for fourth spot, and the fans have every right to be frustrated by some of the performances this season. Some players have simply failed to get started following the world cup (notably Lennon and Palacios, both big players for us last year). I think Harry made a massive balls-up dropping so many for the arsenal game – Lennon could have done with extended run on the right against weaker opposition, with bentley playing through the middle if necessary. Winning breads winning, and Harry took a big gamble and lost. Definately need some analysis into why all our centre backs are injured, it can’t just be coincidence!! Something needs to change in the fitness training are players are receiving!

  • Telegram Sam

    Heres what I dont get. You knew, everyone knew, Harry must have known that we would have had to be the luckiest football club in history, to believe and plan on having Woodgate and King healthy enough to play every 7 days or so. It wasn’t ever going to happen no matter how hard you wished it to. Never.
    As the summer progressed and we essentially did nothing, my frustration grew each day that I read player after player linked with the club. None of those players materialized but the fact that not a single one was a CB was dumbfounding.
    This isn’t hindsight. Whats happened now could have and should have been expected and planned for by bringing in two top quality CBs. We got Gallas, though quality, he is a stop gap measure and quite clearly a move that happened only when HR woke up and realized the season was around the corner with Woodgate not even close to a return and King questionable at best. Wow…go figure? Duh.
    You want to blame this on bad luck go ahead. To me the blame is squarely on HR and staff who failed to put some common sense ahead of their optimistic hopes for King and Woodgate.
    King should have been released (make him a coach) and Woodgate abandonded as well. Enough is enough. Only 2 CBs to select from? Thats not bad luck, its bad management.

  • Peter T

    JJ, Dexy and JB – give me a break – should we expect to loose against West Ham and Wigan even if you where right on overachiving last year? Absolutely not. Off course we should have won theese games and of course we have to aim for at least the same results as last year. We didn´t overachive but exactly played up to our skills.
    We have improved this summer, and have squad of young and at the same time experienced players, so we have every rigth to expect a top 4 finish.
    I don´t share your mediocre expectations – and frankly I am a bit disappointed, that you don´t aim higher.

  • JB

    In response Peter T, I said they are not an established top 4 team yet but have the potential to be. Do it for 2 or 3 seasons on the bounce and I will believe Spuds are an established top 4 team. London derbies are often physical, intense affairs and the game on Saturday was no exception. The atmosphere was great and all of this was is a great leveller. I don’t think you should expect to beat West Ham despite their poor start to the season.

    Lennon’s form needs addressing. He is not playing as he did in the first four or five months of last season. He was red hot before Christmas and I thought the main reason started as well as they did last year. His injury conincided with a dip in form for a while and it was only when Bale started tearing down the left wing that the pace came back in to the team and they looked like they could beat anyone. Harry needs to weave his magic and get Lennon going again. I am not a Spuds fan but I think you have a potentially brilliant little team but this Premier League season is going to be tougher than last. The 3 promoted teams have started very well. The other teams in the league look as if they have improved their squads, not just Tottenham!!

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