Tag Archives: tottenham

Toby Alderweireld (vs Manchester City 14/02/16)

Toby Alderweireld (vs Manchester City 14/02/16)

 

Ball-playing

A fair amount of Alderweireld’s first half was spent in positions ready to receive the ball, as opposed to having to do much defending. During this time he executed several decent passes – through the opposition midfield or cross-field to Danny Rose, one of which forced Sergio Aguero back to head it away – though he wasn’t particularly under much pressure when on the ball. Continue reading

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North London Derby: Arsenal were crap edition

Arsenal vs Tottenham, FT 1-1

[Premier League, 08/11/2015]

After the Manchester Derby a few weeks ago, Louis van Gaal’s insomniac-healing handprint all over it, Sky executives were probably hoping for something a little more exciting. Such excitement was always likely, given past North London Derbies and the fact that both sides are currently performing very well, with systems a far cry from that of the current United side.

Both teams fielded the same centre-backs for the entire game; Mertesacker and Koscielny for Arsenal, and Alderweireld and Vertonghen for Spurs. Continue reading

Despite the goals, not quite a hurriKane in the Harry Redknapp derby

Bournemouth vs Tottenham, FT 1-5

[Premier League, 25/10/2015]

The Harry Redknapp derby (or, in this age of corporate frontism, the Mansion Group derby) did not quite go the way that the home team would have wanted, especially seeing as they were leading within the first minute. Spurs, however, were good enough in this match to overcome their were-once-managed-by-a-man-who-spawned-a-leaning-out-of-a-window-meme rivals, continuing their theme of being quite good this season, which seems to be genuinely concerning some of their supporters. Which is a strange response to being good. Maybe they’ll get used to it. Continue reading

(clickbait) What will Santa be putting in YOUR club’s stocking this Christmas? (/clickbait)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. With the games piling up, those teams stuck in a rut can climb up the league. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Yes, it’s Christmas/the non-denominational festive season. And because this time of the year conveniently falls roughly at the half-way point of the season, it’s a good time to ask what presents Premier League clubs might be hoping that Santa/Superman/the Holiday Armadillo brings them. So here they are, club by club (do not expect to be pleased by what your chosen folk legend brings you, and the gifts are non-returnable).

Arsenal: A Christmas Kanu. Clearly, Gooners don’t care about the FA Cup, as they’ve won it and they’re still complaining, so it’s not trophies per se they want, it’s the league. Since Kanu left the club, they haven’t won another Premier League title. He moved on a free to West Brom, where they were the first team to dig their way out of a PoW camp, or something similar. After that, he went to Portsmouth where he helped them win an FA Cup. Clearly, he is a good luck charm that Arsene was an ‘idiot’ (French for ‘idiot’) to let go.

Aston Villa: The season to end now. They’re twelfth, if you can believe it. Hey, twELFth. Geddit. The rest of this is better than that, honestly.

Burnley: Some cough sweets for Sean Dyche. Not for their benefit, but for everyone who has to listen to him give a pre/post-match interview. #ClearSeanDychesThroatOUT

Chelsea: Gaffer tape for John Terry’s mouth. Not to stop him saying racist things, but to stop him ‘doing a Gerrard’ and jinxing the title away. Although, to be fair, he’s already had a trophy-losing slip, maybe he’s got it out of his system.

Crystal Palace: A change of name. They never seem to have done all that much as ‘Crystal Palace’, which is a very ostentatious name that it would be hard to live up to. Perhaps their fortunes would switch and they’d go on to be successful if they called themselves something less showy.

Everton: Two words: David Moyes. I would say they and Real Sociedad should do a manager swap to save David Moyes from the cringe-worthy experience of having to learn Spanish in public, but I’m all for people learning new languages. In that case, Martinez needs his gift to essentially be David Moyes’ Everton tactics – in other words, Tim Cahill up front.

Hull: A real life tiger, which might have the dual purpose of motivating their own players and scaring the opposition into submission.

Leicester: Ulloa to be visited by the ghost of Michus past, present, and future so that he can manage a scoring record that will drag his team up out of the relegation places.

Liverpool: A priest. It’s obvious that, in their handling of Luis Suarez, they did a deal with the devil and now that he is gone they’re lingering in the uncertain fuzziness of mid-table. Failing a good priest, if they’re lucky they might be able to buy their soul back from Milhouse.

Manchester City: What do you buy the club who can buy everything and, if it can’t, threaten to withhold it’s oil supplies until the prices are lowered? Socks.

Manchester United: Magic plasters. With their back-line resembling a cartoon mummy, with bits always falling off – sometimes at unfortunate moments, sometimes just for comic effect – they could certainly do with some way to keep their squad fit. Added to this is Falcao’s knee problems, which may or may not stop him from returning to the quality of player that he may or may not have been, depending who you ask.

Newcastle: I would say Pardew and Ashley being kicked out of Tyneside for good, but where would be the fun in that?

QPR: Probably something that more closely resembles a coherent transfer policy.

Southampton: A limelight, seeing as West Ham are doing such a good job of stealing theirs at the moment.

Stoke: *shrugs* Something to play for.

Sunderland: To play Newcastle United every week. They seem to be mostly rubbish against everyone else but verging on competent when playing against their rivals.

Swansea: A new web address. They’ll never achieve anything with a .net domain name.

Tottenham: Like West Ham (below) they don’t need a thing, because like Arsenal (above) what they need is something with a candy-cane pun related name (Harry Kane).

West Brom: I dunno, something to make them a little more interesting I suppose.

West Ham: Nothing. They have clearly already been gifted the gift of Sam Allardyce being born in England, thus him not being named Allardici or Bigsaminho, meaning that he has to make do with the Hammers rather than being let loose with the Galacticos or something.

A Poor Team or a Team Playing Poorly?

This won’t be a shocking revelation to anyone but sometimes teams and players can play badly and sometimes they can play well. And while judging a player on their reputation isn’t always a good idea, if a player has a good reputation but has not managed to reach the heights expected of them at a club you are perfectly entitled to wonder why.

It could just be that the player was overhyped but it could be that they’re being played out of position, haven’t ‘fully integrated with the team’ yet, the player’s attitude isn’t right or the coaches and manager aren’t managing to motivate them effectively. Continue reading