http://www.tottenhamtrust.com http://www.spurs.co.uk
The Spur, Since 1999. "Spurs, a traditional transitional football club"

Spurs wrap it up with just a few more matches
David Moyes vows to avenge
ManUre's latest failure, flopping
2:0 at Goodison Park

The final countdown 2013/4

A better April so far after the disappointments of March gives cause for restrained optimism for next season even if we're only playing for pride and finishing above the ultimate glory hunters ManUre in the few remaining matches of this campaign.

It will be especially nice if we keep riding some recent momentum when visiting Stoke Saturday April 26 at 7am pacific time. This is a match that really could go either way.

Then into May and on Saturday the 3rd the club visits West Ham for an insanely early at 4.45am pacific start.

We finish the season at home to Aston Villa on Sun May 11 at 7am pacific.

BBC fixture list for Tottenham Hotspur.

TOTTENHAM TURFIE'S PREDICTION: We will stuff Stoke, wollerp West 'Am, and villify the Villa below.


The Spur's Premiership 2013/14
Spurs drown Geordies
AVB lost there last year, Tim took 'em to the cleaners
Wed, Feb 12, 2014 (Ssn 2013/14)
Newcastle United 0
Tottenham Hotspur 4
NUFC fan's forum

Full Time. Magnificent.

When you consider the diabolical weather conditions in the UK on the day [admittedly Tyneside was in somewhat better shape, meaning not underwater], to hear Spurs fans out-singing the home "support" was a joy to behear. They'll sing what, and when, they want. No doubt about that.

I couldn't make the first half online, but delighted to see us one up already thru Adebayor, and then Paulinho notched a second shortly after I tuned in. 'Spect.

Awesome save from Lloris from Yoan Gouffran in the 74th minute keeps the cushion. Spurs digging in however and that's allowing NUFC to take it to us.

Tim decides to replace the pace of Lennon with the "quick feet" of Belgian international Chadli.

GOOOOOOOL for Fulham, 2:1 up at home to the 'Pukes. Official. Kieran Richardson is God. Brilliant so far: ManUre 0:0 at Scum.

GOOOOOOOL for Tottenham Effing Hotspur as Adebayor blasts into the ground from a parried Tottenham shot and the ball bounces obligingly over the Newcy keeper into his goal for Ade's brace. Free-nil.

Bentaleb enjoying his game, probing and passing, and even having a pop at goal. Worra player for the future.

GOOOOOOOL for Tottenham, #4, an absolute b-e-a-u-t from Nacer Chadli. What a player, what a goal. Tim's all smiles.

Sooner or later, as it turned out later, we all knew somebody was going to get tonked by the "new" Spurs -- we'd been on the receiving end for too may times as we build up to the future -- and it turned out be the barcodes, having sold their best player in the transfer window, and fallen flat ever since.

Pre-match: Spurs hope to avenge the defeat to Newcastle at White Hart Lane earlier this season, and recently I recall us not faring well against these guys, a bogey team probably by now.

They are ravaged with injury which doesn't hurt. [-Ed.] BBC reports "Tottenham's Andros Townsend could make his first start for eight weeks after returning from a hamstring injury as a substitute against Everton on Sunday."

They go on: "The sale of Yohan Cabaye and a lack of goals amidst a drop in form has seen them fall away."

More buil-up soon and match progress reactions after kick-off coming up in what is now a matter of minutes.


The Spur's Premiership 2013/14
Emmanuel 1, Everton 0
He's done it again, Ade scores in style
Feb 09, 2014
Tottenham Hotspur 1
Everton 0
WHL, London N17
5.30am pacific time

> They think it's all over, and now it is. Spurs held on after the goal. Everton's immediate response was tame, but in stoppage time they finally found the kitchen sink, which Tottenham stoutly resisted, to leapfrog their opponents and wedge themselves in fifth place between the two Merseyside clubs. Good win. Not a stellar performance but Ade, like Bale last season, was once again the crucial difference when we meet sides that are hard to unlock.

Courtesy of The Guardian. The Spur agrees.
Thanks JD, legend. But Spurs, why now?
> Tottenham's two shots on target was even less than the visitors, and we seem perpetually dependent on a Bale or an Ade to keep us up in the running for top four. At some point, this teams needs to gell. In the meantime, nicking games is another feature a successful club needs on these occasions, many as they are for us, when top gear seems to be jammed.

> Time to put the kettle on again and let's get behind Fulham at Old Trafford.

^ The man, frozen out by AVB's frigid and unfathomable philosophy, strikes again. Another magnificently taken goal by Adebayor breaks the deadlock. Tim celebrates like a fan, life is good, poor Everton have nothing to show right now for their work at the Lane. We'll take it. We need it. Now can we secure the desperately important three points?

^ SECOND HALF. Rollercoaster fitba. Looks like one goal might be enough to nick this. EFC doing more with possession and build-up. Spurs, deep into the season, still not properly gelling. Still bags of potential but little end product. Walker determined and proactive but his crosses wasteful.

^ Spurs need to break faster and with more vision. That's how other teams hurt us, and EFC are better than us at that. It would help take us to the next level.

^ As the first half progresses thru the 1/2 hour mark we see Spurs gradually in the ascendancy but in truth this match is finely poised. Both teams playing decent football, and playing with the confidence that they can win this. As expected, both teams are at a similar level, not among the very top "super-league" sides of the Citys and CFCs, but a cut above the bulk of the Prem. But highly watchable so far, especially for the neutral who enjoys the sometimes crazy haphazardness that will lose managers years off their lives.

^ First half in progress, about halfway thru the first half, very good game to watch. Everton in particular looking threatening with incisive passing and vision, Coleman a gem, but Spurs also showing intent and flow with Eriksen and Dembele looking sharp. Great cross from Danny Rose across the face of goal and Adebayor a hair's breadth away from the slightest of contact for a guaranteed score.

Pre-match: A big game for Spurs and Everton alike as both clubs attempt to stay in touch with the ever more elusive looking, yet coveted, fourth place. The Toffees, one place and one point ahead of us going into this game, are themselves five points shy of their fourth placed Merseyside rivals, the Reds having tonked Arsenal.

Perhaps Arsenal, knowing that they are not in the two team super-league of City and Chelsea who are the only credible candidates to win the title, are now focussing on keeping us out of the top four places, with or without lasagna.

BBC's Steve Wilson: "Spurs have spent £100m but still look four or five players short of the top teams. It's as though there's a glass ceiling over London N17 through which the club just cannot break.

Maybe Tim Sherwood's more aggressively attacking style is the answer? Or maybe it will just expose their weaknesses? As usual at Spurs, nothing is straightforward."

Crackerjack Man: "I have just looked at our fixtures until the end of the season and being completely realistic I can't see us dropping any more points. Everton are in big trouble tomorrow to start with. I have a feeling a Soldado hat trick is on the cards. You would be crazy to bet against it."

Check back for post-match updates and reactions. Hope to watch match live if I get up early enough.


Paulinho powers Spurs to 1:1
Sat, Feb 01, 2014
Hull 1:1 Tottenham Hotspur [Premier league]
Live online via various. 7a Pacific.

>Full time. Despite being frail when defending [Man City would have hit double figures in this one] and effectively having only ten players, Soldado was that poor, Spurs managed to earn a point which was a fair reflection of the game.

^ A shot by Rose hits Paulinho who in turn powers into the Hull net, the second of two quality goals, this one to equalize as Tottenham started to look threatening.

^ Second half in progress. Spurs one down at half time and still trailing.

^ Spurs felt no need to buy in the transfer window. But Hull did, and Shane Long produces immediately by cutting through Tottenham's ragtag midfield and defensive lines to score the only goal so far.

Pre-match: Maybe it's time for Spurs to do what they did in the home league match against these guys back on October 27, namely to grind out a win ugly stylee.

Of course if they have been inspired from the encounter with Man City to also play at a world class level, we'll take that, too.

No doubt Tom Huddlestone, like so many ex-Spurs players who have come back to haunt us in the past, has other ideas, and it was one of the entertaining moments of their match at Palace when he put in a solid though uneventful few minutes in goal for the Tigers. A man of many talents, and no Sampson either. Hair or not, he can deliver.

The home match against City saw a typical AVB orchestrated effort: the spraying of endless back and square passes around that inevitably resulted in ultimate loss of possession with nothing gained other than a bit less time for the opponents to counter.

Eleven strangers seem to be getting to know each other better under Sherwood's guidance, and this is one of those matches that is especially interesting because both sets of fans know it could go either way, and could be a mind-numbing nil-niller, or a cascade of goals and excitement. I know that's covering all possible bases, but it is a very hard one to predict.

With all due respect to Hull, it's one we should win, even away, based on watching the latter part of their loss at Selhurst Park.

I said after our home match with Hull that "a top shelf manager would make these stars sizzle. Right now they're scraping by."

After the shellacking from City, scraping by would be welcomed with open arms, but I really think Tim has our boys on the up, and I dare to dream of more, starting as soon as this battle in what so many UK publications have identified, over the years, as England's worst place to live.

Let's not give the locals any reason to think things are improving!


The Spur's Premiership 2013/14
City run riot
Manc globetrotters showboat at the Lane
January 29, 2013
Tottenham Hotspur 1
Manchester City 5
Various online
White Hart Lane, London N17

> The difference in class, talent, and teamwork between City and most of the other Prem sides, including us, is wider than Moon River.

City are not just what Kevin Keegan described as a "massive" club, they are gargantuan.

One example of their many strengths. They don't just close you down efficiently, they don't leave an opponent in possession any passing options, and if you try to get by your man, there's another that will dispossess you. Almost every time.

^ LOL. Adebaor physically pushing Toure, substituted, off the pitch.

^ All the time and space in the world for City's fourth. Spurs running out of energy after a spell where it looked like we could actually come back.

^ Amazingly, Spurs playing better with ten men. First time they played a meaningful accurate passing game leading to a corner which in turn led to a home goal from Capoue. Great to see this, it augurs well for the future. Some real fight to the Lilywhites now.

^ Bye bye positive goal difference.

^ Penalty scored. Ten man Tottenham in deep trouble.

^Looks like Spurs have been watching Chopper Harris videos. It finally leads to a penalty as Rose gets sent off. Game over. Now it's a question of Tim not getting whacked by a bigger margin than AVB.

^Looks like Spurs have been watching Chopper Harris videos. It finally leads to a penalty as Rose gets sent off. Game over. Now it's a question of Tim not getting whacked by a bigger margin than AVB.

^HALF TIME.

^ Someone needs to explain the offside rule to our players, especially Adebayor, but also Dawson.

^ Dawson needs to be careful, his elbowing could get us a man down. Not a match for the faint hearted, this one. "Old fashioned" challenges!

^ Dawson "goal" offside. Looked like it first time, but other angles suggest it probably was a legit goal. Aˆrgh!

^ Quarter way thru the game. City running riot all over the park. This is a side that would win the world cup no probs.

^ Within fifteen minutes City, passing it around as if an exhibition game, score the opening goal. Aguero, later injured.

^ OK here we go.

Pre-match: The long break is almost over and once more back into the breach, fellow cockerel.

Spurs were hit for six back in late November when we joined a growing list of clubs to get tonked at the Etihad Stadium.

It was the beginning of the end for AVB, who lasted a few more games but then broke the camel's back when Levy, along with the rest of us, witnessed our players wandering around in a collective trance as we were annihilated [weird word to spell, that] by Liverpool at the Lane, and the executioner's sword was fully polished. Excuse the mixed metaphors.

Please check back because the build-up is about to begin for one of the toughest home fixtures any premiership club can play right now, even though City's away record is not a patch on their home form, and therein lies our glimmer of hope.

The shift in Mancunian power took a year or so longer than I expected to cross from the red side in the west to the sky blue side in the east, mainly due to the singular skills of Sir Fergie, but that change in leadership at Old Traff has sent the scales lurching to the City side, and they are now the outfit most feared and respected in the land.

But what of Spurs? Well things haven't been as upbeat for us since, oh, Harry was leading the team to some outstanding Euro Champs successes back in his hey day.

But what will Tim do to try to nick something from the globetrotter superstars? That's where the discussion is of course already beginning to turn, and it will be fascinating to see what Sherwood decides to do with the resources available.


Tottenham Hotlinks & Football links

Supporter sites, message boards, podcasts

The long running and consistently readable spurs odyssey

fighting cock mb [also has podcast]

tottenhamhotspurs.tv forum

The Spurs show podcast

Glory glory forum

not 606 spurs message board

TV & radio

BBC radio five live

BBC radio london with frequent Spurs match commentaries

Talksport

telly time and here
Match of the Day and other UK footage from nice uk you-tube footie fan

General footie

At a glance premier league fixtures and results

All time worst goalkeeper

football grounds guide great ground and stadia site

Britain's most atmospheric derby is in glasgow

Misc.

girl warns guy not to go to tottenham

Canada's version of the park lane boys re-added yet again in nov 2013

Nice timing portland coach [now ex-coach]

Football ramble blog -- link updated sept 13

Clips

That match against Arsenal, also on u tube

Spurs v Man City 1969 classic footage shows glimpses of the magic of greaves & gilzean, and pat jennings, despite the loss to manchester city

Links to Official Spurs USA Supporters Clubs:

New York City: New York Spurs Supporters Club meet regularly to watch games. Ian Harris at the helm.

Los Angeles: LA Spurs

These official Spurs supporters clubs took over from CAATS, part of The Spur. The CAATS page still exists and will stay on the web for posterity but The Spur -- this page -- is where future updates will occur from this US based Spurs webzine.


The Spur's Premiership
Jacks 1 Spurs 3
Swans sunk by confident Spurs
Jan 19, 2014 (Ssn 2013/14)
Swansea City 1
Tottenham Hotspur 3
US TV & online live @ 5.30am

Excellent win for Spurs as Tim's reign goes from strength to strength.

The man AVB shunned has been resurrected by Sherwood to become, dare we say it already, the heir apparent to Gareth Galactico.

OK that's going too far but Manny Adebayor is doing the business and we now have a bona fide striker that, shocking by our standards, scores regularly. Rather helps.

And it looks like, with the three top spots clearly reserved for City, CFC, and L'arse, our own Spurs are in reality competing with the two scouse-gits for the final Euro Champs place, while ManUre and Newcastle, both potentially strong sides, are visibly not yet ready for prime time.

United are still in transitional mode, attempting to break opponents' legs along the way, and Newcastle seem as unpredictable as we were under our previous boss.

More reactions soon.

Pre-match: Early start for viewers on the west coast of north America.

In the corresponding fixture last season the same text applied: "Tottenham Hotspur travel to Wales this weekend to take on Swansea as we continue the quest to ensure a top four spot to secure a champions league berth next season." The Spurs mantra.

The Swans had just been beaten at home 0:2 by Arsenal.

On that fateful day of March 30th 2013 Spurs went two up from players not around to help us this time, namely Vertonghen [injured], assisted by Bale, and a goal from the Great Welsh One himself, with Verts returning the favour of the assist. Quite the dynamic duo for this one.

Back then Gareth Bale almost WAS Tottenham Hotspur and we are still struggling to right the ship after he "baled". In the long run it's better to not be so heavily dependent on one super star but this will require the side to be firing on all cylinders and that hasn't happened yet.

The amazing thing is we are in the top six with everything to play for, and if we do gell, we are only a few points shy of a great finale to the season.
Must win this as the other top six sides will cruise theirs   
otlen

On the other hand, the other top teams are winning consistently and nobody above us looks like wavering. So even if we kick in, we need at least two other clubs to stumble. Meanwhile just below us the David Moyes behemoth appears to be stirring!

Anyway, two up at half time but Sung-Yong Ki assisted Michu to claw one back for the Liberty Stadium dwellers to finish 1:2 to the Tottenham.

Swansea, like their Welsh rivals down the road, have tremendous support and on their day they can play some good flowing, exciting football. But in recent encounters I recall them creating a lot fewer chances than Spurs and, like us sometimes, they occasionally seem bereft of guile and changing their tactics to suit the situation.

Even with the support of their North Bank behind them, I predict our own vociferous traveling fans will spur us on to a narrow away win by a one goal margin.

Swansea blog pierre91 was a good read for previous encounters but seems it dried up in November.

On a personal wish list I'd like to see up and coming French midfielder Nabil Bentaleb get more time, really excited about him as a Spur, and of course a huge wish for Erik Lamela to be part of the action. Still, there's lot of potential talent for relatively few spots, the key is getting the people that play to work together and set this side on fire.

More build up and post-match reactions still to come here at The Spur. Please check back soon.


The Spur's Premiership
Swan song for AVB?
Slaughtered by the scouse
Sun Dec 15, 2013 (Ssn 20013/14)
Tottenham H. 0
Liverpool 5
by Rob Francis

USA: various online [and TV for those still watching that way]

I can't upload fast enough to keep up with Liverpool's goals. It's finally over. Our worst home league defeat to Liverpool in history, said one of the commentators, but even if he was mistaken, it was certainly a landslide disaster. Clipboard man strikes again.

I predict AVB will be gone by the time we play West Ham in the league cup.

Surely we're not gonna wait to be done by them yet again, and risk getting tonked at Southampton in a match that we just must win to stay in touch with top four, still having done nothing to indicate we mean business? Folks, we are deep into the season, and deep in the you know what.

Barely had time to sip on me cuppa and we're already into damage control. But wait, this is Spurs, it's gonna get worse. It did get worse. Damage control didn't work, either. We can't even do that.

We joked about it being a game of two halves -- let's hope it's actually true because we were totally embarrassed in the first half by an injury ravaged visitor. [It was. Awful to diabolical -- Ed.]

The midfield imbalance of power is shocking. Liverpool have had a mediocre away season but we are making them look like Barcelona on tour.

Second half: Lots of amazingly fast running by Lennon but no end product. Soldado has decided to help the midfield leaving us with no striker.

Paulinho sent off. For him, it's total frustration. The players are, once again, totally confused as to what they are supposed to be doing. It's already damage control but now it's a case of.... I dunno, like AVB, I'm out of workable ideas. But we need someone who has some.

We may have to get Harry in again to save what's heading in a Ramos or Santini direction.

First half: This is the story of a manager you hire -- enter Brendan Rodgers, and in the other corner a manager, lost in his notes and theories on high lines, that should be at an esteemed academy of calcio, but not on the touchline of the premier league with a club in desperate need to justify one of the costliest squads in the world.

Look at the difference. Reds flowing, hunting, closing down, marauding, scoring. And with a player called Luis Saurez. He bites and he scores. Choose your poison. Lilywhites: kicking aimlessly over the touchline, afraid of the ball, running at our own goal in a panic, goalkeeper trying to be a defender and a keeper at the same time.

Rodgers knows where AVB has it wrong, and adjusts his tactics accordingly. Let Spurs come at you, and then rip their high line a new one. Over and over again.

He knows that Spurs in possession means Spurs making fatal errors.

This loss will be pivotal. The title race, if we were ever in it, is over. Now we are hanging onto hopes of fourth spot by a very thin unraveling thread.

Pre-match: "It will be a game of two halves, the lads will give 110% and at the end of the day football will be the real winner." -- 90291 spur

We have a great recent home league record against the 'Pukes, including a bunch of consecutive home wins with my dodgy memory conjuring up a 2:1 win in last year's corresponding match, a 4:0 the previous year, and another 2:1 win the year before that. OK I cheated and looked up the last one. Three years is too long, bro.

The only one I really remember quite well was the 4:0 drubbing we gave them a couple of seasons back, as this site crowed: "Spurs sink rubbish Reds". Modric played a blinder.
TOP SIXPGDPTS
Prior to weekend
1. Arsenal15+1935
2. Liverpool15+1630
3. Chelsea15+1330
4. Man C.15+2629
5. Everton15+928
6.THFC15-127

It was early in the season after we'd been hammered by the two Manchester teams, then gone to Wolves and won, and then came the surprise walloping of the Reds to get our goal difference column finally into positive territory at +1.

After that we went on to achieve a kick-ass eleven game unbeaten run in the league with all but one of those being wins, including 2:1 over the gooners. Oh 'Arry, what a season that was.

Back to that magnificent four-niller, what seems surprising now is that Adebayor scored a brace, with Modric and Defoe also getting onto the score-sheet.

"Every pass applauded by the crowd as if it was an exhibition match," said the commentator that day.

In injury time we got the final goal as this site trumpeted "Adebayor, it's four!" -- a dashed good volley I think it was.

More build-up coming soon.


Tottenham Hotspur: line-up


Lloris

Walker Dawson Vertonghen Rose

Paulinho Capoue Dembele

Townsend Chadli

Soldado


Pride of London
as vs. Swansea [H] season 13/14


The Spur's Premiership 2013/14
Soccerly Says
Welcome to the new season
July 29, 2013

Welcome to the new season, fellow Real Mad Yids. So far, Bale is staying. Until he's not. The pundits on Five Live Sportsweek are putting their money on him staying for another year.

Meanwhile Soccerly web-site writes:

On the face of it, the sacking of Harry Redknapp has not worked out as hoped for Spurs, considering that their new manager, Andre Villas-Boas, was not able to steer the club into the Champions League places, which is surely what he was brought in to do.

Nonetheless, last season was not a total disaster for AVB, and there was enough promise shown by the team to imagine that, with new signings also recruited, that the club could make a stronger challenge for a top four place this time round.

However, this is entirely dependent on the club retaining the services of Gareth Bale. No matter how much money Tottenham could acquire for Bale, there is no conceivable way that they could replace him. They would struggle to attract any of the few players in the world that are close to the standard of Bale, and would have to resort to signing several players in an attempt to compensate instead.

Should Bale leave at this late point in the transfer window, just weeks from the start of the season, there is no doubt that Tottenham's chances of Champions League football in the 2014-15 season would go down the toilet completely. And along with it may be the future of Andre Villas-Boas. If fourth place under Redknapp wasn't acceptable for the Spurs hierarchy then it is extremely difficult to imagine that their league placing without Bale would suffice.

When Villas-Boas states that Bale isn't for sale, he's literally hanging on to his own future with his fingernails.

Lamela and Eriksen's roles. Don't forget to make the run, Coco!

Here's the take of Michael Cox in The Guardian: "It is easy to see where Erik Lamela will fit into the Spurs team -- on the right flank, from where he'll run directly with the ball and score with his favoured left foot. In that respect, he's an obvious Gareth Bale replacement -- while the Welshman rarely started from the right, towards the end of last season he scored his best goals from that flank. Eriksen's position is less certain. Andre Villas-Boas said after the defeat to Arsenal that Spurs' 4-3-3 system was "more or less the way we want to go forward this season", yet then insisted Eriksen was "a good solution for our No10 position", a role that doesn't have an obvious place in a 4-3-3. Spurs will probably shift between 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3. In the former Eriksen will be at the head of the midfield trio, in the latter he can play from the left, or in a deeper central position."

Hopefully Lamela's been studying this Guardian tactical chart carefully. Don't forget to make the run, Coco!


Glory days: Jurgen Klinsmann enjoyed two spells at Spurs in the 1990s

'Tottenham is a way of life and I didn't know that until I got there,' he said. 'I signed my first contract and thought, "It's cool to be in London". And then after two weeks I said to myself "Oh my gosh, what is this here?"

'The supporters are very special. They live and breathe for that club. You go to White Hart Lane and there are 36,000 people singing. It's not just one section. It's the whole stadium singing. You go there and think "Wow".'


The Beautiful Game: Remember when

"Yer havin' a laff......."

"if you get the chance to go to Arsenal, you go. But the deal fell through and Tottenham came in." -- Michael Carrick

Ah the good old days. From a 60's edition of the Daily Mail: "A police officer kicked a man so hard in the face that the sole of his boot came off, it was claimed in Leeds County Court. The man, Mr John Marshall, was accussed of criminal damage to a police boot."

"I don't think Manchester city is a big enough job for Sam Allardyce. There is no club in this area - other than United - who are on the same footing as Bolton." -- Wanderers chairman Phil Gartside

"When you're watching tv and your replacement scores three, that's Zamora!" -- CP, GMB, Fulham vs Wolves prem 2011/12 season.


The Spur's Premiership 20013/14
Spurs in control
Kane and Lennon among two enjoying a late season flourish
April 19, 2014
Tottenham Hotspur 3
Fulham 1
The Lane, N17
Various online

Match
Tottenham Hotspur do the double over hapless Fulham with a 3:1 win. The home side were in control and sure enough new boss Tim Sherwood, despite some major blips and antics before he settled in, has steadied the ship and even kept the glimmer of a 4th spot alive.

Hey, if we finish above ManUre that's a result in itself.

Paulinho's opener was answered by Fulham's Steve Sidwell to level the half-time score at one apiece, but the Lilywhites quickly asserted themselves after the break thanks to a terrifically executed Harry Kane header with perhaps the goal of the game as Aaron Lennon, experiencing a renaissance on the wing, provided.

And Christian Eriksen continues his rise to stardom at the club with another creative contribution to a positive result, admittedly ensured by top shelf goalkeeping by Hugo Lloris and a solid defensive display from Danny Rose apart from the almost-penalty.

The one player still conspicuously struggling out there is Roberto Soldado. It just ain't happening. You do wonder if Soldado had clicked and Erik Lamela had come good, whether we would have pipped Arsenal and/or the Toffees for fourth spot, or better? Of course venturing into the world of make believe isn't particularly productive, but it is technically possible, if they stick around, next season.

Younes Kaboul gave the visitors little chance of bouncing back with a 63rd minute goal to secure a two goal cushion for Tim Sherwood, who since he has settled down to his reality as caretaker boss, is now enjoying a team that finally is settling into a side that looks like a winning proposition for the future. Ironic, but letting go is sometimes the best path to success.

If Spurs keep on winning -- or bouncing back to nick points away from home like at Albion -- who knows? If LVG is poached by ManUre perhaps Tim may yet tee off with Spurs come August for another season. Stranger things have happened on the High Road.

Pre-match
In the league match at Craven Cottage back in early December 2013, Tottenham Hotspur beat Fulham 1:2 with goals from Vlad and Lewis Holtby, the latter assisted by Erik Lamela.

All three goals were notched in the second half with FFC going ahead and playing better under their new manager but still a side that Spurs should have beaten, but we almost came unstuck.

In the end two tremendous strikes gave the Lilywhites victory in a match that saw them still look unconvincing as a unit and seemingly baffled by what their roles in the team are supposed to be, and how they should be linking up. It was not clicking, despite 60% possession, and the teams around us were mostly winning consistently.

Spurs lost possession coming forward and Fulham score a quality goal with a long Berbatov pass to their unmarked man Ashkan Dejagah moving in from the other side to oceans of space at the far post. If only we could play with that speed, precision, and cutting edge. We seemed lost in the first half but managed the turnaround to win from being down.

Vlad Chiriches turned a muffed Walker corner into a sublime individual half volley, in off the post.


The Spur's Premiership
Six goals shared at the Albion
From 3 down, Spurs find a higher gear
April 12, 2014 (Ssn 20013/14)
West Bromwich Alb. 3
Tottenham H. 3
Live online various.

Well at least it makes a refreshing change from the dull days of AVB. A six goal action packed event that neutrals probably enjoyed more than either set of supporters because one point for Albion's survival bid and for Tottenham's outside glimmer of a Euro Champs spot is not enough.

But for Spurs to bounce back from three down, and a missed Ade penalty, felt like a happy ending for the Londoners.

A terrific cross from Aaron Lennon which was guided into the WBA net by Harry Kane for THFC's second and from that moment it looked like something was on. It was also great to see these two players, often questioned as to whether they are good enough, combining so brilliantly.

The propensity for Spurs to begin most of their matches looking so frail and wobbly remains a mystery. Is it something the head coach is doing, or are individual errors largely to blame, therefore, short of fielding different players, there's not much Tim can do?

That's Tottenham's version of the chicken and the egg conundrum.

Contrast that with the way Liverpool usually come flying out of the gate leaving opponents reeling from the start. [I didn't yet see their result today, so hopefully they didn't get too badly damaged by City to weaken my argument!]

Tim maintaining the previous manager's "high line" concept is identified as a issue if a team and players can't make it work.

"Our season was already over so I'm glad at least we got a somewhat memorable game." -- rhonkt, thtv board

More reactions soon, even as we roar on Wigan in their Cup Final against Arsenal.

Not a dull Saturday to be sure.

Pre-match: Well it's a bigger deal for Albion who are just above the drop zone and very much involved in what for them is a familiar fight to stay in the top flight.

But technically the Lilywhites still could get into Europe even at coveted Champs League level, but it ain't gonna happen, and clubs like Spurs have deeply ambivalent feelings about the much maligned Europa League, which can do more harm than good for a club like ours with loftier ambitions.

But the real reason for us to win is plain old fashioned pride and the belief that we have good players, for the all the stick the new ones have received for failing to set the league on fire.

We want to see our possible future stars gel, not just once in a while, but on a regular basis.

To build on our thrashing of Sunderland by adding WBA to our current very sparse portfolio of domestic matches won convincingly will help the players, supporters, and the outside world, to continue to take us seriously and bolster the belief that we really can be a big club, not just an also-ran outfit that used to have Gareth Bale.

We'd like that.

MAN OF THE MATCH: To be decided.


The Spur's Premiership
Spurs sweep sad Sunderland aside
Glorious win by Everton over Arsenal on Sunday
April 07, 2014 (Ssn 2013/14)
Tottenham Hotspur 5
Sunderland 1
Rob Francis to react

No time to react in detail on this match, but after going a goal down, Spurs rebounded to boast a resounding 5:1 win, a massive tonic to the club even though it won't change much -- we are thankfully out of Europa and with potentially a chance to have a pop at top four next season.

Great that our fans, who are still sticking by the club in the twilight zone of this year's Prem with nothing riding but pride, could see this side doing what we all know they can do: win matches and show great potential.

Pre-match
Monday lunchtime viewing for west coast supporters in norf America.

Spurs supporters are glowing from Everton's convincing 3:0 trouncing of the gooners on Sunday, and amazingly, even though we are out of the running for fourth, the Toffees are now in a reasonably strong position to eliminate L'arse from next year's champions league.

At the time of writing a top bookie is giving odds of 8 to 13 against AFC getting into the champs league. Klopp or Bergkamp buzzed as next goon boss.

Good weekend so far.

Talksport radio notes: "Tottenham have won five and lost none of the last seven Barclays Premier League games against Sunderland.

"Sunderland have scored a league-high 46.4% of their Barclays Premier League goals from set pieces this season."

Please check back as the story of Tottenham's final few matches of the season unfolds and more specifically home to bottom of the table [but with games in hand] Sunderland just a few hours away.


The Spur's Premiership
"Ik ben geschokt"

Tim's tepid Tottenham tonked
Sorry sandbagging Spurs sink
March 30, 2014 (Ssn 20013/14)
Liverpool 4
Tottenham H. 0
Roberto Francisco watching from 8am Pacific

Even Tottenham Hotspur women's team had a bad day, losing 0:4 at home to Gillingham in the Jills vs Gills south-east derby.

Spurs are most lost than a Malaysian airliner.

The disaster is not so much that Tim's post-CFC public bollocking of the players was the beginning of the end of retaining the dressing room and that erosion is now complete, but it's the spectacle of watching highly-paid professional players not even interested in playing for pride or their future.

Firing AVB was necessary, but the disfunctionality of the team and club goes so much deeper than one nut job manager flying blind on a fictional reputation.

And here's the scariest bit. I'm not sure there's a solution. The club seems to be out of options. Even Van Gall may have serious misgivings about taking on the poisoned chalice.

If there was any doubt that Spurs have packed up for the season, it's gone now.

I hoped that they would feel unrestrained and play free-flowing joyful football and really show what a potentially talented squad could do in the future.

Not a prayer. What planet was I on? Embarrassing. They are not even good at sandbagging. You have to at least pretend to be committed footballers.

Spurs are close to openly sandbagging with an own goal and then a pass to Suarez who accepted the gift in a "match" that one team wants to win and the other wants to lose.

Nobody wants to go to Ukraine, Moldova, and seemingly countless other east European countries and breakaway regions that have different names and governments depending on which mob of bandidos or uniformed militia are demanding bribes from you. Plus it's effing cold, not worth a hundred grand a week when you could be slugging it out in a London nightclub.

Aruba beckons [pictured].

Wayward passes to nobody in particular but preferably a red shirt.

It's a bit sad though for Spurs fans who have actually paid money for this, and won't win any new fans around the globe for a "brand" that will never take off in its present incarnation.

We're informed Aaron Lennon is on the pitch but as usual you'd be hard pressed to find him.

Still, without the awful Europa Cup we might do well next season. A new squad is going to be expensive though. By the time he's finished spending on THFC, Joe Lewis could have bought Aruba for less.

Pre-match: In the corresponding fixture last season, played March 10, 2013, it was a thrilling five goal encounter under The Spur's headline "Bale and Verto brilliance not enough" to save the Lilywhites from succumbing 3:2.

In the previous season we drew 0:0 at Anfield with a solid Spurs performance, and the year before, in the 2010/11 season, we actually won 0:2 with goals from Modric and Van der Vaart, so Tim has got his work cut out to match our recent displays there, despite us having won, drawn, and lost there over those last three visits.

Anyway, back to last year's corresponding head-to-head on Merseyside, here's an excerpt from the report:

Disastrous blunders by Spurs players cost north London not only a victory but ultimately a defeat for the Lilywhites despite 55% of the possession.

A dive by Suarez earned Liverpool the penalty to make it 3:2. Defoe created the problem by lobbing back into the Spurs penalty area for some bizarre reason.

Awful back pass from Walker ably bungled by Lloris brings Liverpool level via Downing.

I said "there's every chance we can take this one in the 2nd half" and that became even more likely with a second for Jan Vertonghen, who subsequently got booked for handball. Sig hit the post after Bale took the piss with his speed and sets up Sig.

After sustaining a head injury, Bale soon after provides a perfect cross for Vertonghen to head in at the far post. Great goal.

Tottenham's new never-say-die attitude means that if we go one behind, there's the belief by players and fans alike that we have the ability to bounce back, not capitulate as is the norm for previous THFC incarnations.

They are dangerous on the break. But playing a team that likes to maraud forward, as we also do, it creates a dynamic in which this present Spurs outfit thrives. In other words, it could go either way, but there's every chance we can take this one in the 2nd half.

Change of plans so watching live, unfortunately tuned in to foxsoccer2go/usa (live) to hear the commentator shriek "suarez" and, rushing over to the Macbook screen, saw the reds had scored, Lloris beaten on his near post at the Anfield Road end.


The Spur's Premiership 2013/14
Action & goals as Spurs carry on
Spurs becoming the comeback kids
March 23, 2013
Tottenham Hotspur 3
Southampton 2
Various online
White Hart Lane, London N17. 6.30am.

From two goals down Spurs managed in the last dying seconds of stoppage time to conjure up a winner in fine style, Eriksen passing square inside to Siggy who clinically drilled it past Southampton's Polish keeper Artur Boruc.

Both sides try to play open attacking football yet have suspect defending abilities, and this recently has made for some good value encounters for people who like action and goals even if it's not top shelf quality.

There is also no doubt that without the usual high pressure expectations the players seemed more relaxed and willing to test their individual and collective skills for the enjoyment of playing itself, rather than if their lives and credibility depended on it.

Siggy, Chadli, and Soldado were good examples of this.

I doubt Liverpool are quaking in their boots as they await us at Anfield, but it's nice to get a win again, does us the world of good, even though there's still only the slimmest of chances to make top 4, with [at the time of writing] AFC six points ahead, a game in hand, and +19 to our zero goal differential.

Pre-match: Thanks to the British government's joy in keeping its citizens cloaked in darkness for much longer than the Americans, and therefore balking at springing forward with the clocks until very late March, us USA West Coasters only have to be up at 6.30am instead of an hour earlier for the early Sunday match, THFC vs Soton.

The downside is that our season is over, now it's an attempt to get the players to really gell for next season whilst at the same time sandbagging enough to avoid the dreaded fifth spot and having to schlepp around the azz-end of Eastern Europe in midwinter.


Lilywhites in the Europa League 2013/14

Thurs, March 20, 2014
Benfica:
massive club
Spurs so close to the improbable in Lisbon
Benfica vs Tottenham Hotspur 2:2 [Europa] FULL TIME. [Agg 5:3]
11.05 am pacific
US online various

A brave effort by Spurs "laced with heroism" as the commentator put it. How many times? Firemen, not professional sportsmen, display heroism.

This will send THFC home with some belief rather than despondency, and that's a big deal. A lot of players impressed.

What's more, had a penalty been given for the foul on Harry Kane in the box near the end, Tottenham would have been level on aggregate with the momentum in their favour. That decision, which would have been given to the home side, or any of Egnland's "top four", was crucial and a huge blow to foiling us from a sensational turnaround.

But yes, those who played for Spurs this evening showed character and determination and almost became, but for a penalty conceded, being the last kick of the match, the first side since Barcelona to beat Benfica on their turf.
"Since 4th place is pretty much already sown up, we now have the sureal spectacle of 3 teams - Everton, Spurs and Man Utd - fighting it out to not finish 5th. It's a fine art - making sure you don't pick up too many points, but not looking too crap in the process."  
gaudino stole my volvo, gmb

Pleasantly surprised that it's damage control time for cynical The Spur, as the Lilywhites score two, a brace, and a couple of good 'uns, for Chadli, in reply to Benfica's opening goal. One more in the next ten minutes and it's extra time. Wow.

Spurs trail by the only goal at half time. Playing well with the usual defensive and midfield -- did I mention goal-scoring? -- frailties, but this game is about as academic as it gets.

Credit to the players and supporters of Tottenham Hotspur who made the swan song trip to Portugal for the inevitable farewell match after a long campaign in the 2013/4 Europa League.

It's taken a lot out of the club and all the previous trips to riot, recession, and war ravaged wastelands seems like a huge distraction from our efforts to become a top four club in the all important Premiership, the passport to the "real" Euro contest where most of the stars play.

Going through the motions in an admittedly attractive corner of the world like Portugal doesn't seem like a climax worth the effort.

Perhaps we should have retained AVB as our "Euro specialist" to helm the foreign sojourns, as he was quite good at those [not to mention 'Arry], whereas Tim's a homeboy thru and thru and doesn't like all this fancy pants "si si, je non parle Francais" nonsense.

In this context, can't say I blame him.

But we could use a win from somewhere. S'hampton, anyone? Any of our players who hasn't yet departed for Aruba or Tahiti is welcome to play. A chance to find out who the upstart who replaced you in the England world cup squad is.

Thurs, March 13, 2014
Frail Spurs set to exit Europa
Tottenham Hotspur 1:3 Benfica [Europa] Final Score
1.05 pm pacific
US online various

Tottenham's generations old inability to play as a tight defensive outfit was exposed again by a hungry, organized Benfica outfit that made it look all too easy, relegating Christian Eriksen's fine free-kick goal to irrelevancy, along with the 2nd leg in Portugal. Just go and enjoy the sun, lads.

Sluggish and easily outflanked, Spurs were slow to react to any threat, almost mechanically stiff against a lively, flowing, motivated Benfica unit.

One shudders to think of the scorelines against Arsenal and Liverpool based on our last two performances.

David Pleat to the rescue?

Pre-match: OK this is where the Europa league gets really exciting. [Please stop cutting and pasting this phrase for every new Europa match. Just kidding. -- Ed.]

Of course in truth the second leg against Dnipro was, in the end, magnificent, but now we have a "big name" opponent to boot.

BBC Football reports that Christian Eriksen (back) and Danny Rose (knee) could return while Mousa Dembele is in contention.

Meanwhile I completely agree with Gary Lineker, as reported in The Guardian, when he voiced his concern in the aftermath of Sherwood's comments on Wednesday, saying that the manager would do better to keep criticism of his players behind closed doors.

It's scary that a few days away from our home match against Arsenal, reports are reflecting a strong sense of togetherness in the goon camp despite their ouster from the Euro champs league, whereas the atmosphere at THFC appears to be claustrophobically charged.

Slamming the players in front of the cameras and press is usually a sign that a gaffer is losing control, unfortunately.

I strongly supported change when AVB had the players looking openly confused on the pitch, but I fear Tim is on a dangerous tilt at present, no matter how sincerely he feels.

There's a right way and a wrong way in handling a shellacking.

AVB slammed the fans, Tim is slamming the players. By contrast, look at how Wenger handled himself when Arsenal flopped recently and Ozil looked like he'd given up. The Frenchman took the loss on the chin, made himself responsible, apologized, and [unfortunately for us] they have bounced back with a Cup up for grabs and top 4 looking like a very strong possibility for their club.

It will be a brutal assignment at the Lane for the derby. Let's hope we can do well today because that will even a very wobbly keel.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thurs, Feb 27, 2014
The Juande
of you
Sensational Spurs comeback
Tottenham Hotspur vs Dnipro [Europa] 3:1
[FINAL SCORE]
US online various

Sensational comeback by THFC against 10 men Dnipro. Whilst other British sides in Europe have so far been blown away in the knockout stage by the foreign outfits, with the exception of a plucky Swansea side who were nevertheless eliminated earlier in the day, Tottenham Hotspur showed a fighting spirit to come back from an almost dead position.

Yes, Spurs almost always do it the hard way. At nil nil we were looking lost as to how to get back into the tie, needing a minimum of two goals.

> "We're in the last sixteen, say, We're in the last sixteen." What a tremendous recovery from the Lilywhites who seemed down and out when the visitors went a goal up with an away goal advantage, leaving Spurs with a mountain to climb. Amazing second half.

^ Superb save from Hugo Lloris prevents Dnipro from nicking it back in stoppage time. Benfica here we come, it seems.

^ GOOOOOOOOOOOOOL -- in ten minutes it's all turned upside down for Dnipro as Ade scores a sublime third for never-say-die Tottenham Hotspur, what a breath-taking comeback. Ade takes the ball with his head, nods it forward, and unleashes the goal that proved to be the coffin for the Ukranians.

^Dnipro down to ten men and very soon after Adebayor socres an absolutely vital goal for THFC to give the Lilywhites a serious chance to nab an overall winning third to take us thru.

^ GOOOL for Eriksen gives us a glimmer of hope. We need two more without conceding. But the way we have responded since conceding gives us hope that we could pull off the impossible and beat 'Pool, United, EFC, et al, for fourth spot in the Prem.

^ SECOND HALF. Disaster for our Europa hopes. Spurs go one behind. Bye bye Europa. Now to focus on Top 5, I mean top 4, and try to catch up with the rapidly accelerating Liverpool. Actually, seriously, there is a masive silver lining, because, much as it sounds like trying to rationalize our mediocrity, finishing Top4 really is the only thing that matters for this club given the way the world works these days. By the way, props to the 1882 mob who are singing like Palace fans do, no matter how bad things may be getting on the field of play.

^HALF-TIME NOTES continued. Tim has to shake something up. Our last two matches and this first half have seen us descend into lacklustre mediocrity but we have half a game to save ourselves from a too-early Euro exit. If we worked so well in Europe in the group stages, why just let it all fizzle out in front of our expectant fans without giving it a proper go?

^ HALF-TIME. Soldado won't like it but we need someone else on. Ade & Sol are completely ineffectual as a fornt pairing so far. Spurs hardly tested the keeper first half except for an Eriksen free-kick. The relatively bright start from both sides has petered out with Dnipro feeling they can time-waste, get the ref to blow early, and generally cancel out anything THFC tries to do. And it seems our lot agree.

^Around the half hour mark. Balanced game that could go either way, but THFC must score to stay in the Europa, twice to win, without conceding. Spurs sometimes look like they are bout to do it, but at the vital moment an errant feed, a miscommunication, an interception, a clearance, it just isn't the finished article, and neither side is really creating the space to look truly threatening.

^ Dnipro have an air of confidence about them whilst Spurs came out looking like they are motivated to turn this around. Zippy stuff from the start with neither team getting the upper hand as yet.

Pre-match: Tottenham Hotspur's swan-song in the Europa League, or a dramatic comeback to storm into the next round? Put the kettle on and we're about to find out.

Thurs, Feb 20, 2014
Dnipro vs Tottenham Hotspur [Europa] 1:0

Is this match really going ahead when the deeply corrupt Russian backed regime of Ukraine are shooting their own people, including medical volunteers?

Rob Francis attempted to stay awake but failed

OK I tried really hard to whip up some excitement about this fixture so I have to tell the truth and say this was a complete non-entity of a footballing event.

To be honest, despite ramping up the coffee, I actually fell asleep in the 2nd half and when I woke up we had conceded a goal.

I am in admiration of the THFC fans who actually made the effort to travel to hell for this one. For me, the walk from one room to another in my corner of heaven to unflip my laptop screen seemed a massive effort, wasted at that.

Apparently it was a penalty. Don't tell me. Before I look, was it Michael Dawson perchance? Let's 'ave a butchas.....

Well the BBC "report" is about as informative as a bargepole. [I later read it was Verts.]

Anyway conceding didn't surprise me, for while I was actually watching, admittedly by no means spellbound [in contrast to was when watching Bayern's glorious movement whilst eradicating Arsenal], our defence looked as porous as I've ever seen it.

What we know is that toothless Tottenham's Soldud-=o missed a sitter, coz I was still awake at the time, although my eyes were starting to glaze over.

One site reported our formation as being "not really identifiable". Good old Tim, keeps 'em guessing 'e duz.

At least AVB had an identifiable shape. High line, which got easily and often spectacularly punctured. Please welcome West Ham to White Hart Lane, 'n all that. Tho' he did better than Tim at this Euro lark nonsense.

Good to see Brad Friedel really cares about days like this. A true pro. Most of the other players, even Bentaleb, seemed mentally elsewhere.

And who wouldn't to be anywhere else in Europe but Ukraine? Once again the footballing powers of Europe show that $$$ takes precedence even over human life and their dispiriting lack of ethics show no signs of improvement.

Pre-match: How in the name of humanity does UEFA allow an international club match to be played in a country on a day in which its deeply corrupt Russian backed regime are shooting their own people with live ammunition, including medical volunteers?

This is completely insane.

Very readable interview with Juande Ramos in The Guardian helps set the scene for the first in the knockout matches of the Europa league when this competition finally gets interesting.

Guardian: "So Ramos comes back to the Europa League and will reappear at White Hart Lane as the only manager to have won a trophy [for Tottenham] in 15 years. "The reality," he says, "is that we're [Dnipro] light years away from Spurs right now."

For all this site's criticism of AVB, let's give props where due and acknowledge once again that his one success as Lilywhites boss was to get us into the fun part of the Europa. It's good that the authorities will soon make winning the Europa a passport into the Champions league, but that won't help us in our quest for the best, so we will have to accept that we are fighting on two fronts.

But since we are out of the other Cups we do now, just about, have the capacity to do this, though it does mean a slight risk to our Prem top 4 holy grail in the process, since some players will inevitably have to double up if we are serious about the Europa. But that's fitba, innit?


Group Stage

Thurs, Dec 12, 2013
Tottenham Hotspur vs Anzhi Makhachkala [Europa] SPURS win 4:1
Goldado takes the match ball home
GOALS 1st HALF: Soldado -- deflected in by him. They all count. Then a 2nd and it's finally happened: Lamela and Soldado combined to leave their defense stranded and the Spanish poacher bagged his second.

GOALS 2nd HALF: Holtby scores and Soldado nabs his hat trick from the penalty spot. Wow.

And the Holtby goal was my favourite for lots of reasons which include that it showed what Spurs can do when these footballing stars are gelling. It was a superb build-up and a magnificent assist from Andros.

Of course it's easier to be impressive when the opposition is, let's be honest, about Conference North/South standard -- no disrespect to those at that level in England -- but Anzhi are not Man City or Liverpool.

This was the first of eight games in 24 days ITV informs us. Danny Rose was back in action. Great Spurs support even before the kick-off - bit like the old days.

Thurs, Sept 19, 2013
Tottenham Hotspur vs Tromso [Europa] 3:0
Live online via various. 12n Pacific.

Fed amply by the likes of Holtby and Lamela, Jermain Defoe punished the Scandinavians with two first half goals. 2nd half underway.

Spurs took the foot off the pedal but were still well in control and Eriksen delighted the crowd with a pin-point middle distance goal that shows why he's a cut above. Cool.

Among other solid performances Sandro and Lamela impressed. The Argentine is not just talented, with a super set-up for Defoe to score, but willing to be anywhere, moving fluently off the ball, and literally running the extra mile to help the team maintain its edge over the opposition. He even popped up in defense to save Spurs' blushes on several occasions.

Holtby was eye catching until he seemed to run out mental steam in the 2nd half.

Lanny Raney, GMB: "The 4-2-3-1 is conducive to resetting attacks from the back rather than risking surrendering possession in key areas. Spurs are going to be a more controlled and possession oriented team this year, picking and choosing the right attacking opportunities rather than Harry Redknapp's balls to the walls somewhat kamikaze style of play.

It seems AVB has instructed players to either reset the attack or find space to shoot if they don't see a real play unfolding. It is a very concerted effort to stop hemorrhaging the counter attacking goals we did last year. With so much responsibility for the full backs, he does not want to risk exposing the flanks unless he absolutely has to.

The result has been 12 goals for and 1 goal against in the opening matches and an average of nearly 60% possession (you can talk about the quality of opponents if you want, but plenty of top teams are leaking goals against inferior opposition this season). When the team gels it will be more fluid, but expect long periods of controlled maybe even ponderous play this year. This is a team built to win matches, not dazzle crowds."

Pre-match: Wiki tells us Tromso holds the position as the northernmost top-level football club in the world. ESPNFC's table has them, at time of writing, fourth from bottom of the Norwegian premier league. Thurs, November 07, 2013
Spurs thru to knockout stage
Lamela shines, Defoe gets record
Tottenham Hotspur vs Sheriff Tiraspol [Europa] 2:1
Rob Francis reacting

With two games remaining AVB, who has always taken this competition seriously, admittedly unlike myself, has guided Tottenham Hotspur through to the knockout stage of the Europa league.

I also credit AVB for judging that the club now has the depth to seriously challenge in Europe as well as flourish domestically, and further it does seem to have been a way for the likes of Erik Lamela to acclimatize to his new club and teammates.

So all in all a massively positive step in the right direction, but now it's all about taking the momentum through to the home league match against Newcastle on Sunday.

Second half: Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen combined to score a classic old-school type Spurs goal allowing the new boys to enjoy a massive shot of confidence in addition to breaking down the obdurate Sherrif defence. This is the combination we've been dreaming about, and this evening it happened.
Eriksen, sen, sen.... he's our number 23
Eriksen, sen, sen, came to play for AVB
To the left to the right, he's our midfield dynamite
When he plays for the Lilywhites
He makes Ozil look shite
  
Spurs chant singalong here

About seven minutes later Lamela ghosted into the penalty area and was brought down one time too many for the likes of the ref, and the spot kick was dispatched with venom by Defoe to become the all time record scorer for Spurs in European competitions.

But the game was back on with a 72nd min goal for the visitors.

But Spurs kept going and continued to enjoy the greater amount of space afforded as the visitors still needed to come forward for any chance of getting a result or go out of the competition.

Job done and two of the best things about watching this:

-- Lamela has arrived psychologically. He's magic.

-- The 1882 fans were magnificent. Took me back to my days the Lane back in the 70's. Great to hear the Eriksen-sen-sen chant being belted out. Shame it wasn't really his night, but he had one cracking shot at goal and of course combined stupendously with Lamela for the first all important goal.

First half: Lots of passing and possession once again amounting to few real goalscoring chances for Spurs.

Lamela showing increasing signs of confidence in addition to class this game. As the pundits remarked, he's getting fouled a lot this game because, finally, he's become a serious threat to the opposition's game plan.

Pre-match: Very decent line-up selected by AVB to start this match includes Erik Lamela. Defoe is selected and continues his quest to overtake Martin Chivers as THFC's top scorer in European matches.

A win for the Lilywhites takes us through into the knockout stages, so this finally makes a group match compelling.

Friedel
Walker, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Naughton
Capoue, Dembele
Lamela, Eriksen, Sig
Defoe

Here wo go again. Gotta steal some of the spotlight back from A*se after their undeserved win at Dortmund. If we go through, we beat A*se in the race to get through the group stages in Europe this season. The plaudits just keep on comin'.

Match just minutes away and her in the States many Spurs fans will be arranging a longer than usual lunch break to nip down the pub or fire up their laptops to follow the game.

Please check back for more updates before, during, and after the Europa League encounter with "oo the effing ell are yoo?" Tiraspol.

Spurs win at Sheriff in the Europa League 2013/14

Thurs, Oct 24, 2013
Sheriff Tiraspol vs Tottenham Hotspur [Europa] 0:2
Live online via various. 10am Pacific.

GOALS: Verts, Defoe.

Clint Eastwood would be proud of the lads, but Spurs defending was often suspect and there was a lot of luck involved in getting off with a clean sheet.

Pre-match: Another trip to a god forsaken outpost in a land long forgotten by time and humanity. They don't even know for sure what country they're in, so, lazily, people generally designate them as being in Moldova, but the actual breakaway state sounds like something to do with transistors, and they have their own money, and a postal service that only delivers in their breakaway state.

Yes they really are called Sheriff and their badge is a sheriff star in honor of the security company that runs a legal protection racket to finance their fantastic indoor training facilities, whilst many of the locals rummage around for a moldy crust of bread.

The Europa League is a plot by the Illuminati to ensure Spurs don't finish top four.

Well it's Spurs innit so it's a big deal, to us.

Spurs win at Anzhi Europa League 2013/14

Thurs, Oct 03, 2013
Anzhi Makhachkala vs Tottenham Hotspur [Europa] 0:2
Live online via various. 9am Pacific.

GOALS: Defoe 34', Chadli 39'.

BBC: "Tottenham were dominant tonight but against a side that looked of Football League standard. Will they be capable of beating the big teams this season in their trophy chase?"

The home club played over a thousand miles away from the actual home stadium because of social unrest in that part of Russia. The world in crisis closes in on the bubble of professional football, except this club is so obscure that few took note.

Pre-match: Gotta say you get some pretty obscure opponents in the two-bob Europa, uh, "League". Kinda means we've got to win these games or become a laughing stock, altho' a draw in miserable outpost Ruskie would work, much as these time wasters threaten to derail a crucially important Prem season with West Ham in the real league a million times more important.

Word on this Russian shower is some rich bloke bought the club in 2011 and blew a lot of wad on some superstars, did well for a while, then nosedived as the billionaire realized he was about to become a former billionaire unless he pulled some big plugs. Whooosh......

"Lots of rich men own football clubs in the hope that their club will end up being noticed. Some succeed and some don't. Nothing new here. Anzhi's owner didn't do anything illegal just didn't get the end result he was after." -- world soccer report poster

Thrilling. Ok let's take a butchers at the match and see wot 'appens, like.

"Eriksen, sen, sen.... He's our number 23,
Eriksen, sen, sen.... Came to play for AVB,
To the left to the right, he's our midfield dynamite,
When he plays for the Lilywhites he makes Oz*l look shite."

Thurs, Aug 29, 2013
Tottenham Hotspur vs Dinamo Tbilisi [Europa] 3:0 [8-nil on agg.]

Thurs, Aug 22, 2013
Dinamo Tbilisi vs Tottenham Hotspur 0:5 [Europa] Full time
Live online via various.

A very assured Spurs, way more impressive than at Palace last weekend, in control with two away goals to the good by half-time. Andros Townsend netted after just 12 mins with a great solo run and cracking finish.

He set up the second goal for Paulinho who nodded home in the center of goal from a pinpoint cross.

It was beautiful to see Spurs passing and building with such confidence and consistency.

The was a scare at one-nil up with Devali forcing a great reaction save from Lloris.

In the second half Tottenham assumed complete control and added three more. It could have been six nil when Kane headed onto the far upright.

This was amazing to watch for Spurs fans as this was surely the most impressive and comprehensive away performance in recent memory, and above all, augurs extremely well for how these players will gel in the season to come, including some up and coming squad players who all impressed.

Sensational performance said the match host on ITV Sport and Gus Poyet added "everything perfect for Spurs. And with no Gareth Bale!"

Props to AVB for making three subs and getting as many players Euro experience as possible while not overdoing it with some of the stars, with so many matches already rushing in.


The Spur's Premiership
Time to build for 2014/15
Spurs gave it some but trailed after 72 seconds
Tottenham Hotspur 0
Woolwich 1

March 16, 2014 (Ssn 2013/14)
Check back Monday for reactions

An encouraging performance from Spurs and the second half as riveting as the first, but it's all over for Spurs this season, and we still cannot score goals. But the team played with heart and for long periods we pinned the enemy back, not often that's happened.

Don't have time to distill more reactions until Monday, but don't feel too bad about this. Once again the potential that is this group of players has shone through again, but you have to score goals to win football matches and our goal difference tells the story.

Our season is ticking away as the second half is about to start, but it's an exciting match and if we played with this commitment and intent every week we'd be in decent shape.

Lilywhites a goal down after just seconds but since then Spurs look like a decent side. Aint seen that in a while. But very vulnerable at the back, as usual. Just no cricket score we ask.

Pre-match: Somebody called this "last chance saloon" and that's the golden three word description to describe our situation going into this "even more massive than usual" fixture.

Because..... a loss sees the last embers of our top four quest extinguished. A draw keeps us hanging by a thread. But a win puts us right back with a fighting chance [assuming we still have a side that is up for fighting].

I believe we've beaten AFC at home in the league 2:1 in the last two seasons, not a stat I particularly relish as the odds of sustaining those admittedly ecstatic wins are not good.

Arsenal, despite being eliminated from Europe, look bright and confident in their recent domestic performances, and, to put it politely, the true north London side in white have been, shall we say, underperforming. Bedraggled, even.

So that adds to the stress level. I've never enjoyed watching these bitter clashes. Obviously it's majestic to win, after the fact, but I cannot say this event is entertainment. It's 90+ minutes of stress that is anything but relaxing.

If we were the clear favourites, as they usually are [the bookies have them pegged to win, the bets mostly being laid as to by how much], then it wouldn't be so bad. But we're not, even at home.

Last year it was all roses. "Our commentary box was literally shaking," said Alan Green on 606 call-in, as The Shelf and Park Lane bounced in celebration of our victory.

Last year in this fixture we were a team in full song for this one. We played well, moved rapidly on the break, and without our usual inferiority complex or propensity to fold.

"A good spectacle and a great win for Tottenham," said AVB post-match last year.

One can only hope it happens again, at least once more in our lifetimes. Though not, I would suspect, under AVB again!



Spurs hold CFC so ref steps in
March 08, 2014 (Ssn 2013/14)
Chelsea 4
Tottenham Hotspur 0
Stamford Bridge
US TV/online live: various. FINAL RESULT.

If anybody is still left doubting that the Prem refs are in the pocket of the richest clubs, this match dispelled any lingering doubts. A ref loathe to book any Chelsea player but quick with yellows and a red for THFC, and yet again Chelsea had the ref available to break down any visitor that might look like getting a point.

Anyone who saw their home match to Albion already knows how heavily the deck is stacked thru corrupt or easily influenced officialdom in favor of the mafia or oil backed laundering operations.

It's a free country that this can still be said, but the reason it can be said is that knowing it, and telling people, doesn't change anything. The one per cent are in total control and don't feel their position can be threatened any more.

I'm glad this crap league isn't costing me any serious dosh, just valuable time because of my enthusiasm for Spurs.

>Kaboul harshly sent off. Penalty for CFC. 2:0. It didn't take long in the 2nd half for it all to unravel, now it's damage control.

HALF-TIME: Vertonghen slips in possession at the back, tried to recover with a lunging back pass that falls to Etoh-no, who dispatches after losing Kaboul, who seems to be adjusting his boot.

^ Pleasantly stunned by how confidently the 'Whites played in the first half. Yes we had our usual defensive heart-stoppers but then again we played the ball around with confidence and there was not much between the supposed World XI and the injury ridden, supposedly tactically confused visitors.

We had one shot on target via Sandro, with none for CFC, although they had a couple of golden opportunities to crush our hopes. However, our hopes live on for the second half.

However, Chelsea often play a cagey first half, even at the Bridge, and then do enough to nick the win at some point after the break.

Whatever the outcome, it was not a horror show to watch as could have been the case. Tottenham played a half that the fans could be proud of, and the support from the away following sounded strong.

^Tottenham Hotspur Line-up at Stamford Bridge:
Adebayor
Lennon --- Sig --- Walker
Bentaleb --- Sandro
Verts -- Kaboul -- Dawson -- Naughton
Lloris

Pre-match: Bad day for results so far. Scum won in the FA Cup. Manure cruising to a comfortable Prem win, and Saints winning at Palace. The omens are not good.

Spurs are seeking to claim their first win at Stamford Bridge since 1990. Don't hold your breath. We do have the best away record this season but Chelsea are on fire in the Prem and whilst we can be impressive away once in a, uh, blue moon, like at Newcastle, playing CFC away these days is not usually a pleasant experience for any visiting side.

Any hopes that Eden Hazard would be unfit for the blue scum have been dashed.
"Walker and Kaboul are in contention, but Eriksen's doubtful and Rose, Capoue, Lamela and Chiriches are out."  
Gaffer's tweet

"Courageous Spurs lack the edge to triumph" was our headline for the corresponding fixture last season at Stamford Bridge. Spurs twice pulled back to equalize and any point at CFC is rare for any side, but the 2:2 draw, whilst highly commendable, left the Lilywhites as the outsiders in the three club race for two Euro champs places.


The Spur's Premiership 2013/14
Spurs give Tan and Ollie the blues
Soldado nets with rare open play Prem goal
"My confidence in Ollie
is so great it won't
fit into my head"
Sun, March 2, 2014 (Ssn 20013/14)
Tottenham Hotspur 1
Cardiff City 0
Final score @ the Lane, London N17
US TV & online: Live.

Other than penalties, Soldado had looked washed up as a striker and was in danger of fading away completely as a marksman, but it was he who gave Spurs a 1:0 edge in the first half, and the home side then ground out a single goal win and making extremely heavy weather of poor opponents.

With weather that heavy they need to tow it over to California and turn it into rain.

How can it be? The Welsh Red Dragons lost to a team that wears white and, horror of all horrors, blue. Really blue. Really, really, blue. Like deep, very dark, intoxicatingly blue, as un-red as blue could possibly be.

"Ollie Ollie what's the score, Ollie, what's the score? Ooh ooh."

"Vincent Tan, Vincent Tan, loves his red and eats his spam, ooh ah ooh ah aye!"

Yes, pop pickers, Soldado scores in open play. Good old Adebayor really made it obvious he would do whatever it would take to serve up a chance on a silver platter for the jinxed Roberto, and Tottenham's hitherto forlorn striker duly dispatched, much to the surprise but delight of every Lilywhite watching throughout the globe.

What doesn't quite fit The Spur's party line so well, however, is that Tottenham's defence was all at sixes and sevens following our opening goal, and we could have easily conceded a brace in return.

This continues to concern. Had it been CFC, AFC, or LFC, all of whom beckon, they would have destroyed us in that period of the first half after we scored.

Pre-match: In the 2nd half on Wednesday night the players did Tottenham Hotspur proud and never stopped playing and never gave up and turned it around in a match that finally brought the previously lifeless Europa League to life.

Now it's time to keep the momentum going on the bigger stage of the Premiership.

This week the media has really being hyping all things Cardiff City for some reason: Vincent Tan sells copy and attracts eyeballs, it seems, plus the spectacularly ineffective start to Ollie Gunnar-S's managerial career, eyeing the fake reds as his stepping stone in which he would dazzle the world with his 'out of the gate' success and then takeover the real devils, Manchester United, but it's all gone pear shaped.

Let's Tan Cardiff's hide this weekend.


The Spur's Premiership 20013/14
Narrow at the Carrow
Honeymoon over for Tim and THFC with top 4 slipping away
Sun, Feb 23, 2014 (Ssn 2013/14)
Norwich City 1
Tottenham Hotspur
0
Carrow Road
by Rob Francis

Well pre-match The Spur asked "will it be narrow at the Carrow" and predicted one goal would decide the match, if a goal was scored at all, and indeed, one goal was the decider in favor for the home side.

I couldn't watch this match because I was doing what Spurs are failing to do currently, winning my own match -- tennis actually, and the result was 6-0 6-0 in my favor. Beat that, Spurs! You can't win by more than that in tennis, for those not in the know.

Not gratuitously blowing my own trumpet, just prefer to be in control of my own destiny and that's not the case being a fan of a professional sports side.

it's getting to that point where the honeymoon is over, the stimulus of a new boss appears to have worn off, and everything has gone rather "blah" with Tottenham's season, and some brutal fixtures coming up.

I'll continue to support the Lilywhites of course, always will, but being active in a sport, to be honest, is far more rewarding than just being a fan. The latter seems so helpless, unless you're a glory hunter, and we Spurs fans are not that, nor will we be attracting any of those types anytime soon.

After so many years of hoping we can establish ourselves as one of the big four, and failing to do so, admittedly narrowly on occasion, or doing so and still by freak of chance finding ourselves excluded from the CL that fateful season, it's reached the point that we have to conclude that it's a pipe dream that Spurs can become one of the truly major players in English football anytime soon, if ever.

Pre-match: Very few of our competitors for a euro champs league spot are slipping up, so Spurs have to win just to stay abreast, and the 'Pukes are heavily favoured at home to Swansea.

Pundits point out that Norwich can't score. Nor can we much, except against Newcastle, so this could be a game decided by which way an only goal goes, or even a nil-niller.

Ade should be fit to play so we can hope he does another "bale" and pulls one out of the hat for us.

World class keeper Hugo Lloris is back from being rested for Europe, so have a raft of potentially quality players to choose from.

BBC Football says: "Tottenham have recorded seven wins and just one defeat in their 10 Premier League matches under Tim Sherwood.

"The way they took apart Newcastle in their last match suggests that Spurs may repeat their victory over Norwich at White Hart Lane last September, when Gylfi Sigurdsson scored twice in a 2-0 win."

Goal.com notes: "There have been six meetings between Norwich and Tottenham at Carrow Road in the Premier League era, with the north London side winning four and drawing two of those fixtures.

"Tottenham has experienced something of a revival since Sherwood succeeded Andre Villas-Boas in December as only Chelsea has amassed more points in the period since he took charge."


Palace wonder
how this
unravelled
The Spur's Premiership
A win is a win
Two up front in question for Lilywhites

Sat, Jan 11, 2013 (Ssn 20013/14)
Tottenham Hotspur 2
Crystal Palace 0
by Roberto Francisco
US live online & TV: yes

Sherwood's record as manager of Spurs, at least in the league if not the Cups, is impressive, but the results, though the most important stat of course, belie a real struggle for the Lilywhites to penetrate opponents and hold both the midfield and defense, both of which were run ragged by the south-east London visitors.

The difference though was the finishing. Palace muffed all their chances, whereas Spurs, when they eventually did create, and it took forever, showed immense finesse in front of goal on the occasions of Eriksen's and Defoe's superbly taken goals, enough to sink a hard working Palace side.

The two up front proved near disastrous for Tottenham in the first half, leaving Palace to boss the midfield and control the game, with both Soldado and Ade failing to track back or even move into spaces.

In the second half Spurs came to life and Palace paid for their missed penalty, awarded very early in the first half, as the home side swept forward and finally looked threatening.

But questions have to be asked about our formation and tactical game-plan because we looked every bit as vulnerable as at Arsenal in the Cup defeat. The difference was that Palace are not, unsurprisingly, as clinical as Woolwich.

Starting line-up


Lloris

Walker Dawson Chiriches Rose

Lennon Bentaleb Dembele Eriksen

Soldado Adebayor


Tottenham Hotspur vs.
Crystal Palace [H]


Pre-match: After a mundane exit from the FA Cup, the league table shows it's all to play for as Tottenham continue the quest to translate their galaxy of talent into on-field success.

The Eagles are the classic never say die team with the most consistently vociferous supporters in the land.

AVB might have struggled with this one but I'm brimming with rampant optimism that we will score more than them. Adebayor and Soldado will gel and THFC will embark upon an unbeaten run that will clinch the championship with two games to spare.

I just hope I feel the same way when the isopropylene wears off.

Palace beat WBA away in the FA Cup, and have won, drawn, and lost, in their last three league matches, their defeat unsurprisingly coming at Man City away, but even then, a narrow 1:0 with CPFC almost nicking a draw at England's toughest fortress.


The Spur's Premiership
Magnificent Spurs
Sherwood's blue & white army just 2 shy of 4th spot
Wed, Jan 01, 2014 (Ssn 20013/14)
Manchester United 1
Tottenham Hotspur 2
Check back for more reactions

Now just two points and two places behind fourth spot, Tottenham Hotspur move up to sixth place leapfrogging Manchester United by beating them 1:2 in a thrilling encounter where time seemed to stop, as the Rags, desperate to equalize after having pulled one back, threw the kitchen sink at the visitors with Lloris escaping a penalty shout from referee Howard Webb who, refreshingly, came down heavy on simulators, and boy did United put the scuba gear on for this one.

It's pathetic to see ManUre stooping to dives and simulations at every opportunity because they don't feel they can compete in any other way.

However, props to the United fan who came on to Talksport to congratulate Spurs on their win. It's hard to hate ManUre when a bloke like that shows his class.

One thing about United is how heavily they depended on feeding Valencia down the right. In the past they had many different options and you never knew what they would do next.

Now they are more predictable and easier to cope with.

Both Lilywhite goals were a combination of teamwork and individual brilliance, with Christian Eriksen instrumental in both.

Eriksen's quick running off the ball was the reason why, ultimately, Adebayor was to score a superb header into the far post. United's Smalling lived up to his name and was nowhere near preventing Tottenham's Togolese talent, later worryingly injured, from continuing his scoring ways since being brought in from the cold by Tim Sherwood.

Again Eriksen's terrific ability to run tirelessly into the right spaces as he streaked forward, leaving his marker stranded, as he swept home Spurs' second.

United immediately pulled one back within seconds of Eriksen's goal.

This was a more convincing win than AVB's success at Old Trafford last season, but there's no doubt that the Cockerels made it the longest half hour of my life -- I haver never experienced time slow down to an almost complete stop before -- and I hope that we learn to retain possession, in my lifetime, to make it more difficult for opponents to run us ragged at those crucial times when victory is on the line.

But we won, and what a win it was. I had other good news today, so with this briliant result, it's a Day One of a new year that's almost too good to be true.

Am I dreaming? No. It's just that 2014 is looking very good right now, and so are THFC.

Pre-match: At the time of writing Sandro will not be fit enough to replace Paulinho. Bummer.

It also looks like they will have Rooney fit enough but with RVP still out. That's good because if we do it right we have a chance to keep Rooney relatively quiet, but RVP was always too hot for us to handle and with him out, we're in with a shout for a point here.

Spurs starting over and our chance to see just how good we do in our first of two matches against "the big four", which I still classify without any doubt as Man City and Chelsea [the guys with the dosh], Arsenal [the club with the manager], and Man Utd [the global brand selling the merchandise]. Liverpool are doing well at the minute but they're wannabes like us, Everton, and Newcastle, and we, the "shadow four" if you like, can no longer rest on our historical laurels, we have to prove ourselves capable of mixing it with the real big four, consistently.

We may have drawn with Chelsea and Man Utd at home this term but nobody in their right mind would say we are where we need to be in the big games after being tonked by City and Liverpool, disasters that contributed to yet another managerial change at THFC.

AVB may have won at Old Trafford in last season Prem in the corresponding fixture but a draw under Tim would be hailed a big success as the Red Devils have found some form after a wobbly start under David Moyes, and are motoring up the table as expected.

However our recent track record is as good as theirs and going into this round we're level on points. If we beat them eight-nil we will be level on goal difference.

The players have done Tottenham Hotspur proud in recent clashes with United, recently we have been up for this one, and I think most Spurs fans just want to see us really have a pop at them and show that we have, at the moment, players who are at least as good, and a team that has at least the same potential.

We just don't want any more embarrassments like the awful game at home to 'Pool.

I don't think will look punch drunk like that, ever, under Tim. Even if we a get well beaten in either this or the Arsenal match I sense we will be up and at 'em and not "befuddled" -- the word could have been invented by AVB.

I can't help but reprint one sober reaction to our win at OT last term: "We may have fluked an undeserved win again a very poor and depleted Manchester United side on Saturday, but seasoned observers will not be fooled by this remarkable slice of good fortune. AVB is still a hopeless manager, staggeringly naive, woefully out-of-touch, tactically inept, appalling arrogant and destined to fail." spurs vitalfootball.co.uk

Christian Eriksen: "The coach is saying to play more free. We have seen that in the games. He said it looked like we were a little bit afraid. We shouldn't be afraid, just play and now you see we are good. If we dare, we have a really good team and really good chances."


The Spur's Premiership
A Tim home win
1st half 'Dado penalty & two impressive 2nd half goals
Dec 29, 2013 (Ssn 2013/14)
Tottenham Hotspur 3
Stoke City 0
WHL, London N17
US live online: various 8am Pacific.

Thanks Spurs for the Xmas gift of a manager that believes in the Tottenham way, and allows the players to express themselves. We knew they had the talent.

Tim Sherwood's first home win as manager of the legendary Tottenham Hotspur. Good day. Next up a trip to Old Trafford for the real test, and site of AVB's biggest coup.

Ten minutes to go: 20 shots for Spurs, just 1 for Stoke.

AVB must have died inside watching Tottenham's tactics after Soldado scored the penalty. "Back in your shell, back in your shell" he may have been muttering, fantasizing about drafting in a phalanx of defensive midfielders.

The horror of Lamela coming on to join Adebayor and Soldado probably pushed him beyond the edge of sanity's outer limits.

Not to be outdone by Dembers, Aaron Lennon finished a wonderful Spurs move mostly involving Adebayor, with one of the best Lilywhite goals at the Lane this season, not that there's a embarrassment of riches to choose from.But that could change.

Dembele was certainly not lacking confidence as he created his own chance and took it, giving Spurs that highly desirable 'insurance' goal.

Despite his confidence-sapped struggles open play, which show no signs of turning around, Roberto Soldado is clinical from the penalty spot, giving Spurs the lead at the half.

Early doors Spurs created several good scoring opportunities but Adebayor and Soldado couldn't connect goal-bound finishes at the crucial moments.

Usual THFC pattern. Lots of possession, lots of running around, not much end product and most forays cut out by the visitors.

Alright we're into the game. Feed is good. Run around a bit.

Last season: Prior to the corresponding fixture last season on Dec 22, 2012 Spurs were battling to retain top four as Arsenal, among others, stalked from below.

It turned out to be 0:0 with this site's headline "Potters harry Spurs".

In the build-up to that match The Guardian chirped: "Momentum is building at Tottenham. Their form is good, with four wins in five; they are beginning to play the way Andre Villas-Boas wants, and injured players are returning. The visit of Stoke marks the beginning of a festive programme that, on paper at least, promises points, although the visitors should not be underestimated given they are unbeaten in seven games. Gareth Bale returns from hamstring trouble but he will not face his old adversary Charlie Adam, who has been granted compassionate leave following the death of his father."

The BBC wrote: "Away victories have been scarce for Stoke this season, with just one win on their Premier League travels at West Bromwich Albion earlier this month. Stoke took a point home from White Hart Lane and won at the Britannia last season, and this should be an intriguing encounter. Tony Pulis's side are unbeaten in their last seven, while Spurs have won four of their last five in the league.

The most interesting fact about this match is that 19 of the 24 goals scored at White Hart Lane in the Premier League this season have come in the second-half of matches; any Tottenham fan will tell you that they fear the last 10 minutes of games because of their poor defensive record in the latter stages.

Stoke will look to take full advantage of that and I wouldn't be too surprised if, just like in March, they returned to Staffordshire with at least a point."

That was all prior to last season's corresponding fixture.

Check back as the action for this upcoming 2013 match is only hours away.