View From
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08.01.2013

I would like to start off by wishing you all a Happy New Year and the club an even more successful 2013 than 2012 was.

Without wishing to disappoint anyone, I think AVB is doing well as Spurs boss and I think that there is still more to come from our Head Coach.  I know that he is not everyone's cup of tea, but his low profile (after his initial Chelsea baiting) has seen him have to play the first half and a bit of the season without Scott Parker, Younes Kaboul and Benoit Assou-Ekotto.  He had a team that had Modric and van der Vaart removed from it and new players signed in the summer still to settle in.

What has happened is that the players have bought into the way he wants the game played instead of digging their heels in the mud and sticking their heads in the sand.  While the early experiment with 4-2-3-1 might have been modified to a 4-4-2 that the players are more familiar with, we seem to be relying more on how our play will win games rather than letting the opposition dictate our approach. 

The win at Manchester United was a prime example.  A thrilling game ... a little too much so for some of us, but one in which there appeared to be the first seeds of a belief that we can go to play teams and take our game to them.  Sometimes, it doesn't work and Newcastle came too early for us to have adapted and for the Toon to be so crap !!  But the biggest challenge is to try and break down sides who come to the Lane to waste time, make it difficult to break them down and kick lumps out of our players whenever they can.

It is ironic that we have suffered two of our heaviest defeats this season to other London teams, but there were extenuating circumstances in both.  At home to Chelsea, we lost Bale who went to be at the birth of his first child.  Some may rant against him missing a Spurs game, but to be present at that moment will live with him for the rest of his life and the understanding behind that fact may go to show what "a club with human factors" (as AVB might say) that Tottenham are.  The loss at Arsenal came about when Adebayor got sent off with Tottenham leading 1-0, but even then, with ten men, they looked rocky when Bale got the score back to 4-2.  The team kept playing their football, as they did against Chelsea and it did pay off to a limited extent.  Going 2-1 up against Chelsea and coming back with a goal against the Arse.  Shame we were sloppy in the run up to half-time, as a narrower score-line at the turnaround might have meant more anxiety among the bottle-thrower's team.

With Jan Vertonghen and Hugo Lloris shoring up the defence, there is also an element of them also being par to f the attack, as AVB seems to want the ball played through the whole side form the goalkeeper forward.  How often do you see Lloris looking to release the ball to a man wide as soon as he can ?  That helps maintain a tempo to our game that wears teams down.  Swansea were nothing more than Stoke with more passers in the team, but their lack of attacking effort saw them eventually succumb to a Vertonghen goal and it is a shame that we could not condemn Stoke to the same fate.

But overall, there has been the right approach to games and now we are attacking with two forwards at home, there is more opportunity to get at the oppo's back four.  It helps that Defoe is in such good scoring form and that Gareth Bale is storming through to score a fair number of goals.  With Dempsey and Sigurdsson both fitting in with the team pattern better with the more games they play, there should be a spread of goals, which will help with Emmanuel Adebayor looking out of sorts and suffering "second season" syndrome.  He got a goal against Reading but looked poor again against Coventry, when he should really have been shining, so the African Cup of Nations might see him away from Spurs and in his absence, he might return to find a player added to the competition for places.

It has been pleasing too to see player stepping up to the plate when required, with the most recent example being Aaron Lennon, who has been in great form while Bale missed out a game through suspension and it offers another threat to attack the other side with.  And while Mousa Dembele has been out injured, Sandro has been "The Beast" that he likes to tag himself.  In any other team, the media would be raving about him, whether it is popping up with the odd goal or shot at goal and then stretching his go-go Gadget legs to put in a last minute saving tackle in his own box.  He won't be include din the Player of the Year nominations, but if he carries on like he has been playing, he would deserve to be.

The buys in the summer have proved to be shrewd.  Sigurdsson and Dempsey have not made the immediate impact of Jan and Hugo, but they will prove to be good solid signings, with more to come soon I reckon.  The two deals done so far are ones for the near future, with Ezekiel Fryers a dashing, attacking left back and Lewis Holtby, an attacking midfielder who can play across the pitch, both young players who were much in demand.  The fact that Spurs managed to secure their signatures shows that there must be something that the club are doing right.  It is not the wages, as we don't pay top dollar like Chelsea and Manchester City, but with our new training ground open at Bulls Cross, the new ground on the way (hopefully) and a good coaching staff, the appeal seems to be brining players in over clubs more able to fund temptation.

With our Under-21 and Under-18 sides doing well, as well as the Next Gen squad, the club's future seems well set and the comments made in the last 'View' about the coaches and their experience in youth systems seems to be coming to fruition.  As does the comment about Modric and his place on the bench at the Bernabeu.  Gareth Bale take note !!

Some players will no doubt be on their way out of White Hart Lane during the transfer window, with not as many fringe players being involved in the cup games and with some players coming back from loan (Jenas and Bentley), they might be loaned out or sold to get some of them off the wage bill.  Heurelho Gomes hasn't featured all season and players want to be playing, so some money will be coming back in, even though little has been spent so far.  Biog money might have to be spent to bring in a top-line striker in the January window, but it could prove well worth the outlay if they score the goals that propel us into the Champions League or beyond.  Leandro Damiao looks a class goal-scorer, as he demonstrated in the Olympics and has done for his national side.  If Daniel Levy can pull that deal off, then it will be the biggie.  Rumours in the paper link us with talks for Crystal Palace's Wilfred Zaha, which would royally pee Fergie off if he didn't get him, as well as bringing Fryers to Spurs via Standard Liege.  And while Zaha has been grabbing the headlines, Spurs might want to take a look at Yannick Bolasie, who looks just as good a prospect.

With some excellent results away from home, Tottenham are starting to get some consistency going and with a few more minutes concentration in the home games against Norwich and West Bromwich Albion, along with away games at Manchester City and Everton, our league position could have been even better ... but ... if it wasn't for ifs and buts ...

With a good last five months of the season, Tottenham's end place in the table could go a long way to affecting the players that we can bring in during the summer and the players who we can retain too.  With everything put in place to take the club to the fabled next level, AVB will feel some redemption over his footballing beliefs and Spurs fans might feel that there are even more good times ahead.  With a level of consistency in the league and some good performances in the cups, this season could see the beginnings of a dynasty being built.

It won't be a case of who shouted "Shoot JD", but there will be a fork in the road to be taken and whether that is the South one, Spurs need to make sure that it is the right one ... for ours if not the fork's sake.

Keep the faith.


MY EYES HAVE SEEN THE GLORY OF THE CUPS AT WHITE HART LANE
MY EYES HAVE SEEN THE GLORY OF THE CUPS AT WHITE HART LANE
MY EYES HAVE SEEN THE GLORY OF THE CUPS AT WHITE HART LANE
AND THE SPURS GO MARCHING ON.

BRUCE CASTLE

 

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