After a depressing spell without a league win in four games, Spurs finished a good week, in which they have collected 7 points, with their second away win in four days. It should have been a more convincing win, with Jermain Defoe hitting the post twice, and other great opportunities going begging, but there was enough good football played today to convince me that Spurs have turned a corner, and that they can be optimistic about the games to come.
Andre Villas-Boas has used his squad well today. The need to replace Vertonghen was forced upon him due to injury (I believe Vertonghen tweeted “COYS” from in front of his TV screen today), and Kyle Naughton filled the left back slot more than adequately. In addition, there was a late injury to Vlad Chiriches, and today we found Etienne Capoue stepping in as the right-side centre back, with Michael Dawson moving to his left. Paulinho stepped back to partner Dembele, but at times, both played an attacking role, and both ended up either scoring or creating Spurs’ goals.
Aaron Lennon carried on where he left off on the right wing today, with Lewis Holtby starting in the middle and Nacer Chadli on the left. Whilst he didn’t score, Jermain Defoe was one of those who played a full part in some good skilful short passing forward-moving football by Spurs, which should have yielded a higher return in goals.
On a night when any other result would have been feasible, second half substitute Lewis Holtby was the hero of the hour with a fine finish inside goalkeeper Stekelenburg's left post to snatch victory with less than 10 minutes of normal time remaining.
Rene Meulensteen's Fulham side had taken the lead in the 56th minute, and gave a spirited performance for their new head coach in a game where they desperately needed some sort of return in their endeavours to climb out of the relegation zone.
As for Spurs, on a night when Manchester United lost at home to Everton, and both Newcastle and Southampton lost, they climbed three places up the table......
It was a cool evening for Spurs' opening cup match being played at Leyton Orient's ground where a noisy crowd supported the team throughout the game. Middlesbrough are mid-table in the northern group and lost to Spurs at Hotspur Way in August 4-0. The tie was being played early due to the Academy taking part in a tournament in Florida later in the month.......
.....This was an easy victory for an in form Spurs. The visitors were out-played for most of the game, which was more one-sided than the scoreline suggests. Spurs Academy now travel to Florida to take part in a tournament in Bradenton while their name goes into the hat for the next round in the New Year.
This was not a good performance by Spurs which is not surprising as they have not played a competitive match for over a month. The injury to Kane meant that full back Ward was played in midfield. Wolves deserved their win as they were too powerful and while the referee allowed them to get away with some physical challenges they were more up for the game than Spurs. There were signs towards the end that Spurs' passing game was coming together so hopefully when they meet Fulham on the 13th they will do better.
(Ed:- The U-21s' commitment on 13th December means we cannot expect to see any of them in our "dead rubber" Europa League game against Anzhi. On this form, that is just as well)
My pride in Tottenham Hotspur Football Club was restored today, thanks to a performance which was full of the intensity and vigour that any football fan likes to see, especially those that follow Spurs. A draw was arguably a fair result in a game that was comparable to the traditional Spurs v United matches down the years, in which both teams played with no other intent but to attack. There was no "ten men behind the ball" football today.
Either team might have snatched victory, and in terms of the Premier League race for glory, or at least Champions League, one point was not the ideal for either side. Football was definitely the winner today in what I consider to be the best game I have seen in person so far this season.
Spurs' goals were quite sensational, with Kyle Walker scoring direct from a first half free kick, and "The Beast" Sandro giving us an early second half lead, with a superbly struck right footer that beat De Gea in his top left corner.
It was as expected truly Arctic conditions, 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle, but after struggling with the conditions, particularly in the first half in sub-zero temperatures, Spurs found their feet in the second half, and at last managed to score two goals, one of which was actually an own goal, although initially it looked as if Vlad Chiriches had converted Gylfi Sigurdsson’s free kick. Mousa Dembele completed the scoring with his first goal since February in Lyon in last season’s Europa League Round of 32. Now Spurs can go forward to the knock-out phase of this season’s competition knowing they will be seeded and guaranteed a second leg at home.
Spurs have only conceded one goal in all seven of their Europa League games so far, and this has proved to be a competition in which they can score goals, with a total of 19. Group K has been settled before the last game is played, with Anzhi drawing at home to Sheriff, to guarantee their qualification. Spurs did take a few youngsters with them to Norway, but apart from Naughton and Fryers in the starting line-up, left the job to the experienced players, with Vertonghen, Holtby and Lamela coming on for the latter stages of the game. Andre Villas-Boas could now play some of the Development squad against Anzhi on December 12th.
The Spurs Odyssey message board is often the first place to hear genuine "ITK" information about our beloved team, and it also has an off-topic section where non-football matters are discussed.
There is also a great archive of filed material with links to some great Spurs history and goals.
If you would like to become even more involved, then please e-mail me (email@example.com)
stating your full name, address (Town and Country will suffice!) and desired user name, and I will do the rest.