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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Spurs expectancy gone down

Welcome to EliteFootballTalk for the season of 2008-09.

Yesterday, I watched the highlights of the game at White Hart Lane between Spurs and Sunderland. For the 2nd game in succession Spurs were made, coincidentally by a North East England side, to look 2nd best. Yesterday they responded to equalise but that came in the 2nd half and then, with experienced tall internationals like Ledley King and Jonathan Woodgate in central defence, a swet left foot Darryl Murphy cross eludes Spurs for Djibril Cisse to head in on his return to the EPL. Good header too but made easier by the non-marking goal-side of him and poor approach to the high ball by any Spurs player (it went over King's head).

Remember Spurs signing Darren Bent last year June? At the time Dimitar Berbatov, Robbie Keane and Jermain Defoe were present and there was huge expectation they would rampage up the table with four firm strikers. No, they wouldn't be playing at the same time but with Keane adaptable at right midfield two of them could or would be present and Keane is such a good assister even from right midfield, you would expect two out of the other three to be on the end of plenty of balls for goals.

Come a year or so later, Defoe has moved to Portsmouth, a regular player instead of the bit-part at Spurs, accompanied by Peter Crouch. While we have sold to Portsmouth, we have replaced with Keane to partner Ferdnando Torres. Spurs have sold on two of theirs and not replaced them. Bent is there and so is Berbatov and you would think that would be that, until you hear Man Utd are interested in Berbatov and Berbatov appears to be in preference of a move, to the degree where apparently he made clear he was not in the right frame of mind to compete at the Lane yesterday.

Think back to The Riverside last week where he came on as a sub and Boro scored minutes later and then fifteen minutes after that. We saw footage of Berbatov becoming irate with his team-mates if the ball wasn't good enough for him to grab or hold onto. Has there been no talking to Berbatov as in is he prepared at all to focus on Spurs while he is still their player, or it has been the case Spurs were prepared to release Keane in order to keep hold of Berbatov, only to hear he wants to leave as well?

Spurs played David Bentley behind Bent with Aaron Lennon on the right, Giovanni Dos Santos, who played upfront last week, was on the bench. If Berbatov is to leave WHL, then the workings between Dos Santos and Bent is crucial, as Spurs said yesterday they only have the one striker. IMO, Berbatov needs to be spoken to in depth, establish 100% where he sees himself and go on from there. Not what we've heard in the media, let Spurs speak to him in depth and take it from there.

If need be, sell him on and use the finance to get in a sharp striker of the same calibre, and if chairman Daniel Levy is of his worth, he would attract Ajax's Klaas Jan Huntelaar or Euro2008 'celebrity' and Zenit St Petersburg's Andriy Arshavin to the club. That is the level of player I would expect to replace Keane and Berbatov. I may even be pushing it to suggest Roman Pavlyuchenko.


RedsMan

16 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to the University of London when it was just a plain old polytechnic. If this is the best English usage currently available, I suggest you rename yourselves Illiterate Football Talk and admit you're no better than the rest. Here's just some of the places you've gone wrong:

• “Yesterday they responded to equalise.” “Has there been no talking to Berbatov as in is he prepared at all to focus on Spurs.” I didn't realise they taught Pidgin English at university.

• When writing the sentence “the workings between Dos Santos and Bent is crucial”, try to remember that when there are two of something, even when it's footballers, you should use “are” rather than “is”. Or write something like “the interplay between Dos Santos and Bent will be crucial” instead.

• Do you know what a comma is, or are all your spoken sentences as breathless as your written ones?

• You use different tenses in the same sentence.

If you're at university, you should already know this.

8/24/2008 1:46 pm

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to the University of London when it was just a plain old polytechnic. If this is the best English usage currently available, I suggest you rename yourselves Illiterate Football Talk and admit you're no better than the rest. Here's just some of the places you've gone wrong:

• “Yesterday they responded to equalise.” “Has there been no talking to Berbatov as in is he prepared at all to focus on Spurs.” I didn't realise they taught Pidgin English at university.

• When writing the sentence “the workings between Dos Santos and Bent is crucial”, try to remember that when there are two of something, even when it's footballers, you should use “are” rather than “is”. Or write something like “the interplay between Dos Santos and Bent will be crucial” instead.

• Do you know what a comma is, or are all your spoken sentences as breathless as your written ones?

• You use different tenses in the same sentence.

If you're at university, you should already know this.

8/24/2008 1:46 pm

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to the University of London when it was just a plain old polytechnic. If this is the best English usage currently available, I suggest you rename yourselves Illiterate Football Talk and admit you're no better than the rest. Here's just some of the places you've gone wrong:

• “Yesterday they responded to equalise.” “Has there been no talking to Berbatov as in is he prepared at all to focus on Spurs.” I didn't realise they taught Pidgin English at university.

• When writing the sentence “the workings between Dos Santos and Bent is crucial”, try to remember that when there are two of something, even when it's footballers, you should use “are” rather than “is”. Or write something like “the interplay between Dos Santos and Bent will be crucial” instead.

• Do you know what a comma is, or are all your spoken sentences as breathless as your written ones?

• You use different tenses in the same sentence.

If you're at university, you should already know this.

8/24/2008 1:46 pm

 
Anonymous loozegear said...

BADGE WHORE BAITING
Spurs should stop paying his wages,when real workers go on strike then they forfeit their earnings this feller should be banned from playing anywhere let alone Old trafford.
These kind of players and their agents undermine everything that is good about the premiership,we need players that play for the badge with pride which ever club they are with at the time.
IMO Berbatov is a badge whore and the premier league has become the bait

8/24/2008 2:47 pm

 
Blogger RedsMan said...

Anon (1.46PM), the University of London has never been a polytechnic, it's federation of other academic institutions, colleges, and universities. The University of Westminster use to be a polytechnic before it was renamed a university, Perhaps it is there you went to. But this site wasnt set up to speak about universities.

Then your method of 'teaching'. Necessary? ""Yesterday they responded to equalise.” “Has there been no talking to Berbatov as in is he prepared at all to focus on Spurs.” I didn't realise they taught Pidgin English at university."

Yes, you wouldnt, or rather 'would not' know about it for you're more interested in nic-picking. I'm not even going to go over explaining the comprehension of the sentence you brought into question. But please don't tell me you deliberately spelt 'Pigeon' incorrectly.

You're new to the site otherwise you would have been well aware of the numerous articles written by myself and my EFT colleagues with grammar and punctuality, not to mention in-depth research, analysis and thorough points.

One letter in 's' between 'workings' and 'working' and you made such a beehive out of it. As a matter of fact the word I was aiming to use was 'relationship' but instead, perhaps automatically, I put in 'workings', explaining why I still used the singular 'is' rather than the plural 'are'.

Note the comment above has a comma.

Different tenses in the same sentence? For goodness sake, why did you pass through here? Didnt you have a point of view on the Spurs v S'land game or you troll through sites making pedantic comments? The article was making a point regarding the expectancy of Spurs from last year to now and how, in my opinon, that same expectancy has gone down. You preferred to deliver pettiness, viewing one aspect of a circumstance instead of the many others that exist, just to make a little point.

Ah, you say, but it is a point nonetheless. No. We want to talk about football and regardless how you wish to state it, people have been understanding the context of our articles since day one. We all went to and graduated from the same university, dont question us about our grammar, punctuation or 'different tenses'.

Posting the exact comment three times just comes over as pathetic.


Loozegear, I hear you. While Berbatov is still a Spurs player, he should still perform for the club until he is not, if that is to be. Barry has played on where he left off before the issue of Liverpool came up, after being banned from training, fined and stripped of his captaincy.

Is Barry making something out of it? No. Moaning, saying he doesn't want to play? No. He puts on the Villa shirt and goes out and plays, says something about his character. I wish Berbatov would do the same.

Where Barry is concerned, for me it shows he still holds feelings for Villa, regardless. Spurs gave Berbatov his break in the EPL, he should show some gratitude back in at least preparing himself to continue playing.


RedsMan.

8/24/2008 9:15 pm

 
Anonymous WhiteHartCock said...

We found Berbatov and took him from Bayer and he goes and wants to leave the club for somewhere else because he wants champs league football? Fair enough, cya Berbi, or Barbie with his hair curl, we want players who want to play for us not primadonnas. he used us to show himself for the top four to show interest, thanks a lot hope he flops like Saha and gets nothing hope Man Utd flop as well the greedy mancs go make your own players instead of poncing off us

LOL at anon, what a cock. Talk football mate not books ya twat!

8/25/2008 6:12 pm

 
Blogger T said...

Excellent subject to write about Redsman - one that has caused debate in my household.

Spurs transfer policy has been unbalanced in my opinion. Their problem last season was conceding too many goals and their strength was their attacking play.

So it is unusual to me that they did not focus their attention on a strong defensive midfielder and allowed a situation as you describe of allowing 2 of their 4strikers to leave without replacing them - especially with Berbatov also desperate to leave.

Expect some movement in and out of White Hart Lane by the end of the week - they have the makings of a really exciting team so if they get it right in the next few days I would expect a better league performance than last year.

A word to anon - it's disrespectful and a bad reflection on you that you chose to use some of your own time to have a go at someone who you don't have the privilege to know and who was not attacking anyone. Shameful.

8/28/2008 9:35 am

 
Blogger RedsMan said...

What has arisen since my comment is something T touched on - the defensive CM. That's central midfielder to Anon above, since we like to be ultra-specific. From what I have perceived from the Spurs fans Zokora is not the flavour for the role, neither is Huddlestone and certainly Zokora relinquishing the right-back slot couldnt come soon enough. Hutton is missed.

When you consider that Roman Pavlyuchenko is on the cusp of signing, Bent upfront with Bentley Modric and perhaps either Lennon or O'Hara, then Spurs miss the defensive man. I dont see why Huddlestone cannot adapt that role thoroughly, more thoroughly than the fans believe he does. He has height, passing ability and tackle well. If he could use those qualities and let Modric carry the attack, I believe Spurs midfield would be very suitable. More interesting will be the link between Pavlyuchenko and Bent.


RedsMan.

8/28/2008 11:26 am

 
Anonymous Nturtle said...

Good to have you back guys. Ignore the first anon - not sure why there are tirades aimed at genuine attempts to give a different view to the "world game"??!

Spurs look a bit frail to be honest and I think you have hit it on the spot with the defensive play missing - the situation with Berbatov can't have helped, but no doubt we'll see some kind of resolution in the next 17 hours or so.

I thought Sunderland were unlucky not to get anything for their efforts at Liverpool, but got a hiding last night at Man city with a resurgent Wright-philips.

Looking forward to how the league turns out - it shall be intriguing I think, as there are a lot of injuries out there, C Ronaldo, Torres now....there's no guanantee the Top 4 stay there...I must say Chelsea look strong in depth, and Bosingwa I thought was a winger for much of the game against Spurs on Sat! Impressive!!

9/01/2008 6:45 am

 
Blogger RedsMan said...

Yes, it is a point I felt to mention sometime back but decided not to, that with J Cole either on the left or Malouda, the right side is more frequented by Boswinga than anyone else, his attacking down the flank has been more prominent. I dont even recall who was on the right yesterday.

9/01/2008 11:13 am

 
Blogger T said...

Nice one Nturtle and Redsman.

Yes, Chelsea are looking strong, although missing out on Robinho would be disappointing. If they had him the 'aura' surrounding Chelsea would have been immense.

I guess to counter-act Bosingwa you need to field a good left winger and keep him occupied in his own half?

Talking of injuries - I was relieved to hear RVP only got bruising to his foot. I would have despaired for him if he had another major injury again - he is a player deserving of showing his worth over a full season.

9/02/2008 12:26 pm

 
Blogger alex butterfield said...

Redsman, no offense, mate, but don't try and defend your grammar (and you might want to do a search on pidgin). Anon is accurate in his proof reading, he's just way off target when it comes to the point of this board.

I, as many readers do, continue to frequent this blog because it offers insightful takes on the issues that are on my mind. I don't know how you guys do it--even when stories are conspicuous in their absence from the newspapers and major websites--you guys seemingly predict exactly what I want to discuss.

This isn't the forum for strict constraints on grammar, that's why I don't worry about my own too much.

As for Spurs. I think you are all underestimating them. I have the advantage of posting a couple of days later than you lot, and know what Spurs have to work with this season - or at least until Jan.

I saw them against Chelsea, and while they only equalised with a very fortuitous goal from Bent (well-taken, mind) they played some nice football and stifled a very good Chelsea.

They one-touch passing from both teams in that game put the performances of Liverpool and Villa, later that day, to shame.

I don't know about Ramos' tactics though. I concede he was working within some strange confines and unusual circumstances during the transfer window, and maybe he can put all that behind him now.

Not to drag this out too much, but a quick glance at their team looks pretty impressive.

Gomes looked like an astute signing, very well suited to the Premiership with excellent handling, let's not play down the role that Robinson played in the downfall of Jol's Spurs rule.

The back four - not without injury problems - looks steady. Woodgate is as good as it gets at centre back, maybe in the world, he's just injury prone and not always in the best of shape. (Ramos has a strict fitness regiment though - let's hope he doesnt push Jon too far then)

Hutton and Bale are both excellent wingbacks with great service.

King is the weak link - I know Spurs fans love him - he's just not smart enough. He has all the physical qualities he needs but is too slow to react to dangerous situations forming. I'd go with Dawson, even if he's a bit frail.

Up front, with Pavlyuchecko Spurs have bought a winner. I had a feeling we'd see Arshavin in the premiership (at Spurs or Chelsea) and thought that the over-rated (good but not all time great, as was claimed) performances he put in at the Euros would not translate to the prem. He was a Rebrov int he making. They steered clear, well. Pav reminds me of Shearer, he's strong with a wicked shot and he's knows where the goal is, he can turn and shoot from anywhere and he'll be a hit.

Bent, well he's proven he can be a 20 goal man and a 5 goal man, friendlies this season suggest the former, but then players inevitably don't carry friendly form into the season-proper.

Midfield is the key. I fell for Modric in the Chelsea game, he's an exciting boy who carries the game like he carries the ball, with style and directness. But he doesn't waste possession. Bentley is maturing and as long as he isn't played out left he'll be a great service for Pav or Bent. I'm not a fan of Zakora, I'd go with Huddlestone and cross my fingers. He has everything to be the next Gerrard, but unfortunately he has everything for breakfast as well. He might have lost half his boy weight last season, but he still needs to lose more. He's too slow to hold the midfield alone behind Modric, but Spurs will have to just hope that the centre backs do their job. O'hara has a sweet left foot and is a good utility player, while lennon makes a good left winger as well right. the problem is balnce, they have four out of five to choose and they need to get the right combo or they could end up all over the shop like an England midfield against the Czechs.

I wonder how Dos Santos wil fit in. I'd play 442 with Bent missing out. I don't think Bent and Pav are compatable and Dos Santos is a neat little player to play in behind a true striker like Pav.

But then maybe Modric or Bentley could fill that hole.

Spurs don't have the centre mids to play a 4 3 2 1 (with 2 wingers). The formation that Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd, Barca all employ so well. And they might be forced to play 451 to accommodate their best midfielders. And you just don't finish top 4 with a 451.

If they bite the bullet and drop bent so that they can play 442, I think they'll do very well though and could push for the top 4.

9/03/2008 9:06 am

 
Blogger alex butterfield said...

I totally forgot about Jenas. He could either sit in front of Huddlestone while Modric moves out left, or if you accept that Huddlestone can't do the defensive job well enough, then Jenas could just replace him. Jenas wont do the holding role, but if noone is you might as well get your best central midfielder out there, even if his natural position is bit too old fashioned.

9/03/2008 9:26 am

 
Blogger T said...

Superb analysis Alex, good to see you back.

The good thing about Spurs are that they have a lot of good players to watch. Since I commented they have made two very good signings: Pav will lead the very line well and Corluka is a fantastic addition to the problem Spurs defence.

Add that Spurs bought Modric, Gomes and Bentley earlier in the summer and the acquisitions show a trend of buying high quality and consistent performers who all are still early in their careers.

However, they still need to work on their attack/defence balance. Until they do that I would stick with my opinion that they have the makings of a really exciting team but will drop too many points due to defensive failings to halt them making a real surge for the top four.

9/03/2008 10:08 am

 
Blogger RedsMan said...

Hi Alex.

"Anon is accurate in his proof reading, he's just way off target when it comes to the point of this board.

"This isn't the forum for strict constraints on grammar, that's why I don't worry about my own too much."

Precisely. I am usually insistent on such things, regardless, but here it is not so much of an issue, to a certain degree. The jist of this site is in the point of the article and the comments themselves. It's not so much about defending the grammar, what is wrong is wrong, it's defending against an unnecessary attack which is equivalent to berating someone for not passing to you when that person chose to shoot instead.

Anyway, the Spurs expectancy is still questionable, albeit it may well be deemed lighter than before. Gone is the brooding, unhappy Berbatov, in his place arrives Pavlyuchenko alongside Bent. It will be interesting to see how these two function. Frazier Campbell on loan is a strange acquisition, Spurs are not prepared to guarantee on his future at the moment. Will he get to play enough to score enough to warrant a permanent move?

It does seem to be off-handish for Berbatov to be speaking to Man Utd without permission, despite Spurs stated to have agreed a fee with Man City. Daniel Levy is not pursuing a complaint against Man Utd, just as he did with Liverpool, and it would appear he has given up his best two strikers with an initial roar only to be reduced to a minor whisper.

Spurs are not giving up on Huddlestone and Jenas, two internationals, so they will have to decide on which one of them is suitable to defend behind Modric. So far it's Jenas. And it is here in midfield that spurs need to balance that expectancy. O'Hara is naturally left-footed but with Bentley playing, the money is on Lennon starting on the left more regularly. No more playing Bentley behind the striker with Pavlyuchenko having arrived.

Defensively, I disagree slightly with Alex. Woodgate has shown to be quite reliable but on other occasions quite open to a show of flair and pace. I agree that King has the physical attributes but in reading ahead is lacking a little. But these two are prominent and will not be changed.

I cant wait for Hutton to return, not only to release Zokora from RB but I liked Hutton from seeing him in action for Scotland in the qualifiers. Bale had impressed with his bursts down the left and his free-kicks and had a good game on Sunday, so he could well be rising up to his best potential.

That expectancy now looks likely to be given a major boost.


RedsMan.

9/03/2008 2:52 pm

 
Blogger alex butterfield said...

I never actually addressed the issue of the weight of the expectancy on Spurs.

Last season they were under a lot of pressure to perform - this season, despite spending so highly (Although they may have recouped that from Berbatov and Keane, as well as a good portion of what is now Sunderland's squad) the expectancy has dropped.

After losing their two established strikers, and bringing in so many new faces, they have to start over, and a grace period is usually assigned where expectancy is lowered.

I think Spurs will do well, as I think the players they have bought have shown signs of adjusting without a season of bedding in. And Pav, who is the only news signing from outside the league yet to play, is a player I believe fits so perfectly to the English style that he won't need time to adjust.

Good point about Corluka, he will give good cover for Hutton, and also put pressure on the other centre backs.

I guess we just disagree on Woodgate, Redsman. I don't deny his off games, but I think that's always been attributable to lack of fitness.

Over the last few seasons, Spurs have become a very entertaining side to watch - I always look for their games in the TV listings - and I don't expect that to be any different this season.

9/03/2008 8:12 pm

 

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