|DATE||Sunday 18th August 2013|
|VENUE||White Hart Lane|
So, the TV schedule for live coverage has Spurs playing catch up
from the very start. A Sunday lunch-time kick off at Selhurst
Park against newly promoted Crystal Palace provides Tottenham with a
tough opening game, with the home team looking to give their fans
something to give them hope for the coming nine months.
Ian Holloway is a shrewd operator, despite his knock-about jokey reputation. With Palace the latest team he has taken into the top flight, he did it the hard way through the play-offs, but he will have studied the teams he will face over the summer and be ready for the challenge.
However, it is the unknown that might cause him some problems, as well as being a major factor in the Eagles' first season back in the Premier League in a while. The impact of promoted teams often have is a new approach that existing Premier League sides are not accustomed to, but conversely, while Holloway might have studied Tottenham videos from last season, this team is different from the one that finished the campaign in May.
Firstly, Gareth Bale will not be playing for Spurs. For two weeks, because of a foot injury. And it might be even longer than that. Secondly, there have been four new arrivals and three main departures from the squad from last season. Thirdly, the team may be set out differently to the last campaign, with AVB believed to favour a 4-3-3 formation.
But Palace have been active in the transfer market, having had the disadvantage of coming through the play-offs and starting behind everyone else in buying players. Former striker Kevin Phillips, who scored the goal that won them promotion, has signed permanently for a last hurrah in the top flight at 37, midfielder Elliott Grandin has followed Holloway from Blackpool, young Spanish starlet Jose Campana will miss the game through injury, as will former WBA winger Jerome Thomas. Marouane Chamakh has joined for a season on a permanent deal and has Premier League experience, although he was deemed not good enough for Arsenal and didn't shine on loan at West Ham last season, while over night, Palace signed French defender Florian Marange on a free from Bordeaux, but he will not be available. Palace have invested heavily in their forward line with Peterborough United forward Dwight Gayle coming in and Swansea City striker Stephen Dobbie joining permanently after a loan at the Eagles last season. They have also signed competition for Julian Speroni in goal, with former Glasgow Rangers keeper Neil Alexander joining them.
Several of these players and the rest of the squad have played in the Premier League before. Owen Garvan (Ipswich), Aaron Wilbraham (Norwich), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Fulham), Dean Moxey (Stoke), McCarthy (Charlton) and Gabbidon (West Ham), but whether their best days are behind them, we will see.
Spurs are strong in midfield and will be looking for more goals from there this season, as well as now having a heavy scoring striker in Roberto Soldado. There should be enough in the squad to provide most teams with a stern test, but with time still left until the window slams shut, further changes still might take place.
With a new midfield and Paulinho being the one who might offer something very different to other Premier League midfielders, Spurs might provide a difficult team to pin down. Soldado to notch on his Premier League debut and Spurs to go on to a narrow win against a side who will be up for it in their opening Premier League fixture.
|PREDICTION||Crystal Palace 1 Tottenham Hotspur 2|
|Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.|
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
Spurs will give a late fitness test to see if Jan Vertonghen is over his ankle injury, but will have Gareth Bale missing with a foot injury and Lewis Holtby out still with his knee injury. Otherwise, the rest of the squad is available for selection.
CRYSTAL PALACE TEAM NEWS :
Winger Jerome Thomas misses out on a debut with an ankle injury picked up in last week's friendly with Lazio, as does Jose Campana (foot). Up front, Glenn Murray (knee) is still out from last season, while Marouane Chamakh (illness) is doubtful. Midfielder Yanick Bolasie (thigh) and defender Paddy McCarthy (groin) are both ruled out, while midfielder Jonathan Parr (fitness) and goalkeeper Lewis Price (calf) are doubtful for the match.
available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard
in these countries on these stations ...
Palace 0 (0) Tottenham Hotspur
Sunday 18th August 2013 Kick off 13:30
||Soldado (p) 50|
Jedinek (persistent fouling) 90
|Crowd : 23,285||Weather : Rain before the game, then warm, sunny|
|Referee : Mark Clattenburg (Tyne and Wear)||Assistant Referees : Mr. S. Child; Mr S. Beck|
|Fourth Official : Mike Jones||-|
|Spurs kicked off and attacked the Holmesdale End in the first half.|
|Crystal Palace :||kit||Tottenham Hotspur :||kit|
1 Julian SPERONI
Mousa DEMBELE (15
Etienne CAPOUE 57)
9 Roberto SOLDADO (18 Jermain DEFOE 83)
|Manager : Ian Holloway||Manager : Andre Villas-Boas|
|Sponsor : gac.com||Shirt sponsor : Hewlett Packard|
|Kit Supplier : Avec||Kit Supplier : Under Armour|
With three new signings in the starting eleven, it was a new look Spurs team. But the performance added to that impression, with a comfortable, although not entirely comprehensive victory over newly promoted Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
Where Palace had been very good at home and Spurs very good away last season, the step up was almost bridged by the effort and determination of the South London side, but the difference between the two sides was the extra quality that Tottenham had in their ranks. Soldado, Paulinho and Chadli began in the eleven and while there were new faces in the Eagles line-up, including their record signing Dwight Gayle, his fee was about a quarter of Roberto Soldado's - Tottenham's record buy.
The game had been preceded by rain showers, but the sun soon came out for a real opening day of the season feel to proceedings. There was a nervy start with some misplaced passes on both sides, but three minutes in, Speroni had to rush out of his box to the left to stop Soldado getting the ball. From the throw, Walker got into the box on the right to almost set up Sigurdsson, but the ball was intercepted.
Eight minutes in, Rose got a yard to cross from the left, but Soldado's header ahead of the near post, but 12 yards out, went wide. A minute later, Paulinho, Lennon and Walker work space on the right wing and Lennon's cut back is put out for a corner. As usual, nothing came from it !!
It was in the 12th minute that former Swansea City striker Stephen Dobbie got away on left in Palace's first foray forward, but he delayed his cross and it was cleared away. Within a minute, Spurs were on the attack again, with Soldado's back heel on the right to Lennon, who then played it to Dembele an the Belgian let fly from 25 yards out. The ball dipped just scraping the bar on it's way over the top. It looks like Mousa has been told to get more shots away and more goals this season.
Dobbie got away on left once more and pulled the ball back, but there was no-one in a red and blue shirt on edge of box to cash in on the opportunity. Soldado got his first effort on goal in the 21st minute, when a foul on Rose on left wing saw Gylfi Sigurdsson put a low ball into near post. Roberto got there with a flick of the outside of his foot, but it flew over the top. The combination on the right was working well and Kyle Walker played a great ball inside the full back to Lennon, but his cross was cut out again. Spurs had been working both the flanks well and getting into crossing positions, but they need to get the ball away quicker to cause more problems in the goal mouth.
A 27th minute free-kick
brought Palace's first on target effort, as a free kick 30 yards out
was flighted onto Aaron Wilbraham's head, but it was straight in the
middle of the goal and straight at Lloris. The home fans were
making a lot of noise and having a fine time with their coloured
sheets making a mural before the game and singing their weird songs,
but then this is a big experience for them and they are out to enjoy
Chances were slipping by and
Spurs had to be vigilant as Palace pressed at the end of the game.
With 90 minutes showing on the clock, a long right wing cross saw
Phillips head the ball back for Dikagcoi to shoot low to Lloris'
right and the Frenchman dived to make a good stop and then saved at
the near post with his feet from the same player who got the
follow-up. There was also a nervy moment in added time, when a
long ball was played into the Spurs box, with Walker heading it back
to Lloris, who had to jump high to reach it !! Another few
inches and it could have been very embarrassing.
The outcome of this game is not really an indicator to how the rest of the season will go, but it will act as a useful introduction to our new boys about how the Premier League works, with this one of the teams tipped for relegation and they pout in a good shift, letting the incoming players know that they have to perform to a high level consistently. Paulinho was neat and covered a lot of ground, always making himself available, while Soldado looked to get an effort on goal whenever he could, but also linked play well and set up some chances. Chadli warmed to the game as it went on and he will be a sound winger, who can give Rose a bit of protection behind him. Capoue didn't get a full run-out, but looked strong and someone who doesn't mind a tackle and likes to go forward with the ball.
Swansea at home next and that will be a very different match ... but not half as different as the Dinamo Tbilisi one that comes before then in the Europa League !!
|Match ball sponsors||-|
|Match programme sponsors||-|
|Match shirt sponsors||-|
|What you thought|
|Baz from Basildon||I
thought that Ian Holloway was going to give up his humorous persona
Seems like he is still doing it, as he must be having a laugh going on about some clubs get more decisions than others. Talk about talking out of his backside !
Today was our first Premier League penalty since 6th May 2012. More than a whole season ago. And frankly, we should have had one just before we did, with Paulinho being bundled over.
For Holloway to say that his team should have had a free-kick for a foul on Dobbie by Chadli, when his players were getting away with going through the back of the Tottenham players or wrestling them off the ball is a joke.
Mark Clattenburg had been getting better as a ref after his problem with Chelsea, but today, I thought he allowed a lot to go and most of it was Palace's way ... and they still couldn't get anything out of the match.
Nice to see our new boys in action and the team looked strong and smooth in possession. Need to sharpen up some of the passing and crossing, but a good start and we sit nine places above Arsenal ... so that can't be bad !!
Average without Bale ?
That was the cry from a lot of on-line and on air Spurs fans after the 1-0 win over Palace, but I will settle for an average display if it means we win more games like this. but let's look at the stats ... not the answer to everything that went on, but a good clue.
Possession was in Tottenham's favour and the team looked more comfortable on the ball after an early spell of early season nervousness. This was not just relying on Bale to take the game to the oppo, but for everyone to get involved.
Shots on goal ... Lots !! Unfortunately, not enough of them on target, but then it only took one of the two the BBC claimed we had to win us the points.
Palace shots on goal ... five shots, three on target. The defence looked less likely to concede than in previous seasons, with the defensive set-up in front of them solid, with Paulinho and then Capoue giving the team an energy and willingness to get a foot in than maybe others have done in the Spurs team of late.
Hugo Lloris ... OK, so he fluffed the catch from the corner, but he was down to save the shot that came after and then did well to stop Dikacgoi twice. Swept well and looked comfortable in most things he did.
Roberto Soldado. A striker who seems to love scoring goals. Especially from the penalty spot !! Let's hope that Holloway was right in his comments ;o) The Spaniard also held the ball well and looked to bring people into the game, so I am hopeful he will go on and improve game on game for Spurs.
Early days. Players still settling in, Maybe more players to join and some to leave. What the side have achieved for traditionally slow starters, is a good first day win and hopefully, it will give them confidence to go on from there.
|Other scores during this week :|
|Swansea City||1||Manchester United||4||Saturday|
|West Bromwich Albion||0||Southampton||1||Saturday|
|West Ham United||2||Cardiff City||0||Saturday|
|Manchester City||4||Newcastle United||0||Monday|
|4||West Ham United||1||1||0||0||2||0||3||+2|
|15||West Bromwich Albion||1||0||0||1||0||1||0||-1|
Position before match :
Position after match : 7th
Position after the weekend : 9th
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