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No defence!

It seems that the game today has forgotten how to defend and our superstar ladened teams are all style and little substance!

Now for me defending isn't all about a back four, as any team not in possession need to have players from top to bottom that can will the ball back. Perhaps the game has moved on from the hard-men of my youth, but is that a good thing? As a kid, the likes of Ron 'Chopper' Harris, Norman 'Bite yer legs' Hunter and even out own legends like Graham Roberts, loved a tackle and battle, but how many players are there in almost any teams defensive line that could be considered to be a hard-man or someone that would put his body on the line to save his team? dare I suggest that the number os very small and shrinking every season as teams strive for technical excellence and the game gets ever more sanitised.

Perhaps when we look at Tottenham's back four on Sunday, we could easily make the excuses that we had two or three of our stronger players missing. Kaboul, BAE and maybe now we can even put Steven Caulker in that category, at least to bolster our argument, but we still started with three full internationals and a player who was an U-21 regular. Add to that we played with two defensive midfielders to protect things and we still manage to concede five! Have players become wimps? Have the rules taken away the ability to tackle or has the obsession with free-flowing attacking football made the art of defending extinct and the role of the stopper or defensive rock and position consigned to history?

To be honest, I still can't decide whether to applaud AVB for his tactical changes at half time or to be questioning why we fell apart so easily in the first half. was that due to defensive fragility or indecision? Should we have capitulated so easily at the loss of Adebayor? As a fan, I have to question why our two banks of four were breached so easily and so often. Perhaps some would have felt it a defensive change, but would we have been 3-1 down if we had simply brought on Tom Carroll or Gylfi Sigurdsson for Aaron Lennon just after the sending off? Retaining two wide men is great for a counter attack, but you have to have the ball to do that and perhaps with only Defoe in attack, bolstering the central areas would have served us better than making a radical change at HT to a system that was all about chasing a game, which was a little after the horse had bolted.

As fans, we can perhaps rightly look at William Gallas, or any one of our defenders for blame and perhaps if we were able to pick our best XI or certainly kept an XI on the field for play for more than seventeen minutes, we would all be signing the praises of AVB and his players, but instead we conceded another five at the Emirates and for once we can't blame our manager for being overly cautious. That last train of thought did bring me to thinking that AVB has buckled slightly to fan pressure, in looking to play the Tottenham way and also reverting to the now fans favoured 4-4-2? Was Saturday a game where AVB showed he was learning lessons or capitulating to fan pressure?

This season was always going to be one where we perhaps had to take one or two steps back to hopefully make a long term leap forward, and for many of us, we can't truly judge our new manager until he has several key players fit and also been able to bring in others that clearly seem to fit into his blueprint of football. I seem to recall writing something similar early in the reign of Juande Ramos, but I sincerely hope that both Andre Villas-Boas is made of sterner stuff and also that Daniel levy has learned many lessons from past experience...

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The journalist

Writer: OxfordSpur Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday November 19 2012

Time: 10:00AM

Your Comments

The first thing we have to do is to defend.
Football has become more attacking because the rules were changed by FIFA to punish tackles more strictly. Touch a player twice from behind, and your off. Managers can no longer rely on strong defending for a whole season.
Tactically Challenge
Good article ox. Don't judge AVB now, just yet.
TC, I fully agree that rules have taken the bite out of the game, but surely there has to be an evolution where teams develop a greater tactical awareness as a result? today we can safely assume that defenders tend to be technically better, quicker and more mobile, but the game seems to be ever pushing for CBs that can bring the ball out and play like midfielders and full backs that play like wingers. should teams also attach an emphasis on being able to defend?
In the modern game its about being able to tackle correctly, a skill which few players seem to posses. Ledley King could do it, going back further so could Steve Perryman. But most players seem incapable of consistently going in for a tackle and getting the ball cleanly. If you can't tackle properly you are better off shielding the man and not diving in. Of course once the opponent runs at you there isn't an option. Diving and poor refereeing doesn't help.
Good point about diving Jod, its something some of the "hard men" of the past didn't have to worry about. But lets not get things out of proportion. Sandro never shirks a tackle, nor Dawson or Parker. But as has been said, there is a skill involved and most of the top teams still have need for a ball winner.
Madaboutspurs - why not judge AVB after 32% of the season gone? Of course he should be judged. I am NOT saying he should be sacked, but when you take the fact that Ramos was sacked after 8 games, and Jol after 10 games of the season - it is judgement time isn't it? When you consider that a record of 5 wins, 5 defeats, 2 draws indicate that the tactics are wrong - either win or lose in equal amounts. Given that we haven't put together a good 90 min performance after 12 games. Given that each home game, we are out-played - even by QPR who cannot win for toffee. Given that only the bottom 2 teams have conceded more goals than us! Given that the guy makes a ridiculous statement claiming that we controlled the Arsenal game from first min to last!! Given the fact that Lloris still does not know where he stands! Given that Gallas is for some reason the first name on the team sheet. I am fed up of seeing Sandro rated as our man of the match by Spurs fans, yet our midfield is constantly split open and breeched as if it wasn't there. Why can't he be judged? His performance thus far has been disappointing. He should not be sacked of course, but he needs to improve. The problem IS NOT in defence, it is the high pressing that exposes our DMs and full backs. The CBs are reduced to a last line of heroic defence. My preferred way of playing is to CONTROL the game, and win through the quality in your attack. AVB's preferred way is to press high, and hope the 2 DMs mop up behind....but it just ends up with us getting outplayed.
when have spurs ever been able to defend though?? I've been watching them since 81 and we have never had a water tight defence. Its in our DNA. I agree that AVB should get the season, so we can properly judge how bad he really is. personally i think he is terrible and couldnt understand the clamour for him by you lot on here. But give him the season as our season is already ****ed and we cant get any replacement in now anyway. Then get MOYES in.
And why the HELL is Lloris being voted as man of the match by 18% of voters? Get a grip. Why vote for him just because he was selected for a change?
The fact is, we are not defending very well at all. Their second and third goal could have been easily prevented. Its was a touch of luck and bad defending. Tactically, im on the fence. When ADE was sent off we had control of the game and was looking fairly comfortable. Tactically we had the upper hand. Although hindsight is a wonderful thing, the fact we didnít change anything until we were 3-1 down is disappointing, but like I just said, the goals were down to bad defending, not bad tactics. He changed it in the second half for the better but the damage was done. I wonder what would have happened if bale squared the ball to defoe for a tap in at 4-2? May not have changed the result, but it would have been a different last 15 mins. The main worry for me is AVB seems to think we have the players to compete with the top. We just donít.
I'm still unsure whether it's the tactics or individual errors. There was no way Naughton should have let Walcott get that cross in and there is no way Hudd should have lost his man so easily. 2 individual errors in one goal. Lennon not moving to receive the ball and letting a player nip and ending up fouling him. Schoolboy. Vertonghen giving up possession in a dangerous area albeit 4-2 down and chasing the game. We've seen instances of Walker, Gallas, Friedel etc making errors this season. How is that AVB's fault? I can't even connect it to the tactics. The only thing I do see is the full-backs exposed too much. That could be tweaked by AVB. Whether we play 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 the full-backs need protecting more as a lot of goals come in from that area.
Our defence is shocking at the moment, not that i can really defend AVB as defending should be done as a unit rather than individual efforts, but it would appear that our 2nd string defence just is not good enough. I dont think the defensive cover from our wingers has been particlualry great either. Defending is one of the easiest positions to play on the pitch as a lot of it is done without the ball. Ive also seen a couple of lazy attempts by Hudd which have led to goals being conceded.
has anyone got any stats on where the goals are coming from, set pieces, crosses? etc
Sorry TonyRich, your Ramos & Jol examples are poor comparisons & don't really stand up mate. Both had been at the Club at least a year prior to their sacking, not the same as AVB at all.

Everyone seems to lack patience, fans, media pundits, reporters etc., these days. FFS, how long would Fergie have lasted at Manure today? Not the 5 years he got, thats for sure!

Kyle Walker is soooo overated and the other Kyle is yet a novice. We need a top quality right back and Thud to score so benny can get his hair back and play againg. Seriously Walker is not a quality Full back. Gallas is too old now but he was a good buy for Harry. When we get the silky vertonghen and and the Klassy Kabould in the middle we will be a tough to get past. Even a back 3 with Kab, Vert, and Caulk. But must bring in anew RB at Jan.HHXX
Horny Helen
TonyRich you are constantly banging on about how bad our central midfield is under AVB (as usual blaming it on AVB's tactics and mis-management) yet we have gone from Parker and Modric who were one of the best central midfield partnerships in Europe to Sandro and Hudd. I agree with you that although Sandro is a great athlete he has nowhere near the right levels of concentration, positioning and discipline YET to play that role. And well Hudd's been out for 2 years and is even more immobile than he was before. I don't quite know what you were expecting to happen? Or what/who you would want AVB to do differently just now?
Like it or not - we have had a massive player turnaround and injuries to key players compared to Harry's team. Get over it. I see a team shaping up of Lloris; Naughton, BAE, Kaboul (Caulker), Verts; Parker (Sandro), Moutinho; Bale, Willian, Lennon; Ade. If we are struggling to produce with that team i'd start looking at AVB, but at the moment we have to be patient and pragmatic and stop this knee-jerking, whilst we sort things out.
It is a crime against football management that Harry's team of Friedal, BAE, Walker, King, Kaboul, Parker, Modric, VDV, Bale, Lennon, Ade didn't win anything and worse STILL couldn't finish above Arse. Redknapp should have been locked up!! What he did was the absolute minimum that could have been expected with that team. This season is a different season, different players (mainly downgrades), different manager and different set of circumstances. Some fans angst is a result of them not adjusting their expectations accordingly.
SRV - wake up and smell the roses. Neither Willan or Mouthino will join us if we are mid-table at Xmas. That is the reality if we don't start winning soon. It is only the inconsistancy of the rest that has kept us in touch and we have missed a golden opportunity to show potential players CL probability. I'll still be cheering next week and every week but blind optimism isn't going to teach AVB how to organise and motivate the great squad he inherited with or without Modders and VDV.
Love totty
Football is all about money & no fan is going to pay hard earned money to sit and watch two teams defending for 90 minutes. As a spectator sport, goals are what get bums in seats. We have goal of the month, but I dont quite see tackle of the month catching on.
We have a few players coming back over x-mas. Parker, Kaboul, BAE will give us a boost. But if AVB / Levy thinks fior one minute that the return of those players will be enough to get us up the league table we are in for a big disappointment. We need one or two truly great players in January to replace the ones we have lost. We were struggling to break into the top 4 with VDV, with Modric, With walker on top of his game, not only have we not replaced the players lost, we havenít improved on it! I think someone touvhed on it earlier, but we cant put all the blame on to our defenders. The fact is we are loosing possession so easily at the moment, and still need 3 clear chances to get one goal. Two players like Ganso Damiao or Willian Llorente will make the difference, but considering we havenít spent that much combined in the last 4-5 years we aint gonna do it on 2 players in one window, and whoís to say they would even consider spurs. Very pessimistic and I really hate to say it but I can see a mid table finish and a new manager next year. The manager merry-go-round continues! When will the board just give the manager the time and tools to do his Job properly.
Lovetotty - so you think Sandro and Hudd are as good as Parker and Modric? And you think Dempsey is as good as VDV? And you think Gallas/Caulker are as good as King/Kaboul? And you haven't seen that Ade has hardly played all season because of injuy/suspension? Or BAE? Get a grip - its a different team and manager - its going to take a bit of time. Get over it. And even despite all the player/manager changes its STILL only between us and Arsenal for 4th (currently a 2 point difference in mid-November with our hardest games played - hardly mind the gap territory) forget all the other dross. This is the Predictable League remember - not the Premier League. You can name the league positions before the season starts and only be 1 or 2 positions out. Vital Knee-Jerk back in full force!
I think defensively Sandro's doing the job of 2 men, has Thudd even won a tackle yet this season? I see players stroll past him all the time. At least Modric would help out defensively with a high amount of interceptions, but Thudd isnt the player he was 3 years ago imo, and having barely kicked a ball in 2 years that's hardly a surprise.
Injuries have ripped up the first team and the loss of Dembele and Kaboul have hit extra hard. I still would rather see Daws play in front of Gallas, but the chairman has really stitched the manager up. Apart from Verts, and it is too early to judge Dembele or Lloris but does our manager fancy any of the other players brought in. Both Dempsey and Siggy are not good enough players and are not Spurs type players. Thudd is only playing as AVB has no choice but to play him. This season was always make or break for the chairman Levy as far as I was concerned. He took the decision to remove Harry and it is him who deals in incomings and outgoings. His dealings have really set us back in the last few transfer windows and while I agree it maybe a touch to early to judge AVB, I do not think the same with the chairman. Where are we in terms of moving the stadium plans forward. We do need to turn not only results around but also performances otherwise I do fear that AVB will not see out the winter months.
Tony, I'm not sure what you are rich in, definitely not common sense. In am sick of typing the same thing, the spine of last season's team is either gone or being unavailable for most of the season so far, Adebayor, VDV, Modric, Parker, King, Kaboul, Ekotto, we have a new manager with his own ideas/tactics that will take time to implement. He has got some right and some wrong but surely you have to give him the time and players before anyone of us can say good coach, bad coach. I heard one of the moronic Talksport presenters state the least Spurs should expect top four this season because that is what Redknapp achieved last season, as if it would have been guaranteed under Redknapp without Modric, VDV and half the first team missing. I will say it again, I gave it two years before deciding Redknapp was a poor coach regardless of our top four finishes, we owe AVB a decent squad and a year before deciding is a good/poor coach. COYS
By the way good, balanced article Ox.
Top post Hudderspur, Levy has shortchanged AVB. We are now selling our best players without even seeking out the promising type of player a la Bale, Ekotto, Modric etc
We should defend as a team. Which means from the front. Now we have played a lot of games with just Defoe up top who has no idea how to defend, he showed that at Utd when he allowed Scholls to play with ease. Secondly Ade has only just come in to hold the ball up which is like defending but his big ego made sure he yet again cannot give us a run of games.

Midfield, Bale has been poor in doing any defending, his ego is growing all the time, he is not the player he was going forward and he hardly defends, he spends a lot of time roaming. I do not mind losing his defending responsibilities if he runs up that wing as he used to do but he doesn't becoming very lazy.

Lennon is quite good at defending especially for a small guy. There are times he is easily beaten but he has a lot of defending to do with Walker being positionally pance and woefiul, so credit to Lennon in that department.

Sandro does well as he has very little help in the middle, so credit to him.

Hudd well hopeless at defending, easily beaten and immobile most of the time.

Player behind the striker, Siggy or Dempsey, well I have seen Siggy try and defend but he is not that good and hasn't impressed me with his work rate in defending or attacking and Dempsey, absolutely useless, lazy, ineffective and disinterested, noway will he take responsibility to defend.

So back four. Vertonghen class act but can be beaten when on the left side, he is a CB but he also needs a good partner to compliment his game. A player that is class and will get better and better with time and right partnership - well done to him.

Gallas - oh dear a CB that did well for us when needed but clearly out of his depth. Too slow, gets out of position, and has a weak heading ability, how many times has he either missed heading the ball or when he has head the ball it hasn't been strong enough. Time to go, no way is he good enough and a top four player.

Walker as mentioned, woeful. Got his reputation on speed, even last year it was clear to see his positioning and defending was average. Now PL players have sussed his speed game his weaknesses are being highlighted even more. We need a better RB and Walker needs to up his game and get his head down if he is to become a regular PL RB.

BAE for all is mishaps is a very good player and has been missed. Naughton is not good enough yet, will he be, well he hasn't shown me enough to say yes, but it is a learnong curve for him but he is not good enough for us his defending is weak.

Last;y GK. Friedal, he doesn;t know how to defend, and yes I believ GK need to be able to defend as well in the modern game. Lloris I think does know how to defend just hope he knows how to be a GK in the PL. If he does then we will have a very good GK but until we see more of him we don;t know enough.

So at the moment we have imo Vertonghen, Sandro and Lennon all doing their defending duties with Caulker who is a very good defender still finding his feet and Lloris potentially. Now how can you expect us to be in that top four when it is clear to me that too many players are not pulling their weight.

When you scrutinise what players are contributing as a team such as defending you start to see there is a problem running through the team.

We could do the opposite and ask do we attack as a team?
"Do we attack as a team"?? Very often, NO. Defoe is greedy and bale is greedy, both would rather shoot than pass to a team mate in better position.
AVB hasn't buckled to pressure from fans - get real. He is however working with a makeshift Team and in particular, the defence. It's a fair point that with the players on the pitch are good quality you could maybe expect a better performanc, but I didn't sense overwhelming confidence before the match especially from the fans and you'd imagine the players are only too aware that they were not the first choice players. Then to lose one of our top players psychology takes over, heads drop and before you've had time to gather yourselves your 3-1 down. With BAE Kaboul Parker and Dembele out plus the walking wounded out there, we only had a slim chance of turning out a result. When Ade was sent off, the writing was on the wall. it's just a shame we weren't able to limit the damage, but 5-2 was a very flattering score for the Arsenil and their fans can't see past it. I can't wait to see a full strength Spurs against a crap team like Arsenil. You could sense the relief from the Arsenil fans all the way through the game. They know the truth.
SRV - you are disingenuous and so rooted it you own views you miss the point of others' posts. Yes the top three are predictable but 4th is there for the taking even with a weaker squad (debateable) than last year. Every manager has injuries and good/bad luck to contend with. I can only base my views on the evidence to hand which is of missed opportunities through poor team selection, motivation and substitutions. Not in one game but consistently. We are still in it but things must change quickly or we are goosed for this season. The teams we are vying with for 4th are not that good.
Love totty
Thanks Ricky, Hudds and Italiano - for saying what a lot of people outside this site think. We've lost the 2 best midfielders we've seen at WHL for a long time, plus possibly the best defender ever seen at WHL. Ade coming in late (facking around with contract) or out (unfit), 3 new midfielders, getting Defoe to adapt to lone striker role (largely with some success), top defensive midfielder out (pfa voted parker), new creative midfielder out, 1st choice LB out - wtf? If people can't see that in any other situation this would have been seen as a firefighting exercise, then they're delusional. We've even beaten Man U away FFS. OK there's a lot that is not right, but for the most part AVB's tactical choices seem to make sense - including breaking Lloris in gently - the EPL has broken other great GK's dumped in too soon - why take that risk? It's gonna take time to get consistancy and AVB needs that, and support from us - cos he ain't gonna get it anywhere else. My concerns are more to do with why are we getting so many injuries? And why are we still leaving important signings to the last minute. If we don't see more financial support in Jan and we still have injury problems, then AVB might not get the chance to learn more (which of course he needs to at his age) and prove himself. COYS!
Doc - there is no point whatsoever in comparing this season's squad with last year's - they are not playing each other. The point is that AVB inherited a squad rated by most pundits (and me) as better than the rest bar the 3 big spenders. I was at OT and thought that display was fantastic both in ist half attack mode and 2nd half defiance (not mis-spelt). That however was the exception, AVB has failed to recognise that the loss of Dembele who was pivotal in that small purple patch, needed a different approach.
Love totty
Great post DocHot, shame the usual crowd are going to give you a shedload of $h1te for it. Never mind mate, just console yourself with the fact that the truth hurts & they're more to be pitied than scorned buddy.

I see the armchair football managers are out again this morning. Criticising AVB. What amazes me is that they are not in top football management jobs themselves - I wonder why?
So Doc, what you are actually saying is last year with King, Modric and 11 players we lost 5-2 away to Arsenal with the god that is Harry calling the shots? I really see this as an improvement them as AVB had 10 men for 72 minutes along with key players (Modric and King) not available. People really need to start seeing the light!! ;-)
I'd give Carroll a run in the first team - can't do much worse than Hudd has recently. His passing has always made up for a lack of mobility, but even that has been a bit suspect of late.
Zummerzet Spur
Is that the light at the end of the tunnel, Yb? How long is that tunnel do you think?
Love totty
up until ade was sent off we were controlling the game, after the sending off too many went missing, bale was useless, thudd was invisible, walker and naughton weren't getting help from either lennon or bale, defoe was a headless chicken, sandro was superb as was lloris, and the tactical changes by avb were brave to say the least. with a passing team like the woolwich wanderers 10 men are going to get run ragged, but as per usual too many on here aren't happy unless they're moaning as per usual.
Ta Spuds! @ Totty - I agree that the squad is possibly good enough for 4th - but it's largely young, not packed with natural leaders, needs time to gel and every time it has started to gel another cog's been removed thru injury. Is it that he's failed to recognise it or that he's been forced to go with Hudd, who isn't up to it. He's worked his way through the previous options of Livermore and Sig - who were both fitter and more mobile than Tom at the time - it didn't work, but you can see the reasoning behind nearly all of his decisions - the truth is he's running out of options - the next one being Carroll - who again on paper seems a lightweight option in terms of experience. To drop him in against Arse away obviously seemed too much of a risk for AVB - personally I'd have gone for it, but the team he chose looked to be fine until Ade's rush of blood, so we'll never know, will we? Well done for your trip to OT btw.
DocHotspurs - You're making a lot of sense mate. Don't bother trying to argue with the idiots, you're wasting your time, they don't WANT to see sense.
Actually YB, - just in case you're being ironic, I do think Saturday's performance was an upgrade on last seasons 5-2 because the 2 goals we scored then were jammy flukes, this time they were the result of good team, individual play and the tactical approach of the manager. We imploded last year, this time we were in sight of pulling it back. I'm not slagging HR off as I enjoyed a lot of what he gave us, but he looked like a rabbit in the headlights at that game (which surprised me), slumped in his seat and facked off with his players who were scuppering his England chances. Compare that to AVB who came out 2nd half stalking the touchline - gave us a fighting chance, and still wouldn't admit defeat after the match by talking up the positives (ok I know he went a bit over the top). What people need to realise is that if we get rid of him sometime soon, as some seem to want, we'll not be a good prospect for any other manager in our range - Levy is getting a bit of a questionable name for himself as it is. I think AVB has got a hell of a lot to learn, but I also think he's capable of doing just that, and to our benefit.
You're right Doc, we did start the game very well having at last put Ade with JD. It wasn't AVB's fault that Ade got himself binned but most managers would have reacted immediately to shore things up. I would not have complained if he had taken Lennon off, brought Daws on and moved Verts alongside Sandro. Then with a bit of the OT spirit we may well have hung on or even pinched a breakaway goal. I personally don't think he has got the best out of Dempsey and Siggy who were seen as great buys, but there you are, it's a forum despite what Dumb and Dumber says. COYS it's not too late yet thankfully.
Love totty
I agree totally with you Doc, I also believe if Levy gave Harry 4 years then at least give AVB the same. The worst AVB will do is win nothing, but then compared to Harry he'll be on a par
Hopefully lloris can now settle in to the side, I also think Jan needs some time to settle in at CB. He reminds me of Kaboul when he first arrived wanting to push into midfield Kaboul got caught out a couple of times and has learned more discipline, jan will hopefully learn when to go without getting caught out! Gallas is left sided but has been playing on the right, he leaves Walker exposed and is easily bullied in the air I'd much prefer Daws in there who is about the same speed as Gallas Caulker injured? but of course it's a team game...
There's 22 men on the pitch and only 1 ball, the thing that scores the goal. It seems the modern game is about what an individual can do when they have the ball as oppossed to what they can do when they don't - which is most of the time! The first thing you have to do is get the bloody thing back so tackling is something you want all of the team to be able to do not just one or two 'ball winners' we need to perfect the pressing and shape of the team as a whole and we'll stop conceeding so many....
thfan- total agreement, esp, regarding bale. most sense thats been written today. need a good transfer window and return of injured few and we wont be too far away.good tactics by AVB sunday, but should have made them before half time.Can understand the hurt of some fans, but ADE was a bit of a plank.hope we stick with lioris thou
@ Love totty - Actually I'm surprised he hasn't pushed Verts into midfield anyway, at times. Naughton being at LB is probably the reason - good young prospect, but not up to Benny's standard. I'd have kept Lennon on - he may not be delivering as much as we'd like, but he still carries a percieved threat and puts the work in covering back. I spose one question over AVB is if he can lift the team and spur them on - it looked like he managed that to some extent on Saturday. To be honest, after seeing us slide down the table last year, miss out on CL and lose Modric, I can't be arsed to panic after every negative result. I'll be pretty surprised if we hang on to Bale, even if we do get 4th this year, so I'm thinking about Spurs as a 3-5 year project at present. Oh well, time for some grub - off sick with a cold, hence posting COYS fans!
Doc what a shame it'll be to see Bale go, his rise with us has been nothing short of spectacular! We need to do everything possible to keep him at the club for as long as possible. Our best player by a mile, well Lloris, Verts, Dembele, Sandro and even Caulker might have something to say about that in the future but at the moment he does stand out as our only true match winner!
El Jefe
No defence? surely no judge in the land of football would sanction the rumour going around about Knickerless Bender, joining us. That has to be a wind up, i even checked the date twice, it's not april fools day.
spu 4 life
Just read the article. There are still top quality DM's about as our own Sandro and Parker have shown. Funnily enough though and in keeping with the first part of the article, Arse played with 6 attacking players from midfield up and not 1 defensive player. Arteta, Wilshere and Cazorla are all attacking, technical CM's and then there was Podolski, Walcott and Giroud. In saying that the top 3 team's all have DM's in their team so it is very easy to see that the best consider them worthwhile. Considering the second part of the article, do not think its a case of buckling to fan pressure, its more a simple case of seeing that Ade and Defoe were in form and our best options up front. for the moment. Demps and Siggy have been poor so it really is a no brainer that our 2 main attackers should start together. Also with Dembele missing its not as if we could go with 4-3-3 or even 4-2-3-1 really.
El Jefe
Agreed El Jefe, it's a shame at Spurs over the last decade or so we don't seem to get all the right ingredients at the same time - I understand why Levy didn't splash the cash last Jan, and only in regards to the 1st 11, but I really feel we were only 1 or 2 top players short of really challenging Citeh and Utd at the top for the run in. Lol 'Knickerless Bender' - I'd rather not. I expect the transfer talks gonna kick in big time soon, I'd like to see some other wing options available to stoke Lennon up a bit, and maybe someone creative in the middle. I wonder if we're looking to bring the young blood thru rather than spend?
If we have any intention of signing Moutinho it will have to be in the summer, Porto are going into the knock stages of the CL. So talking around the defence and all post's have a point, is it not sometimes the fault of us not keeping hold of the ball when we attack, many times in games we just can't keep hold of the ball, like one post mentioned if you havent got hold of it, you can't do much, but end up chasing it back, a lot of goals we have conceeded have come from us losing the ball, not so much about the other team taking it of us, when that happens our midfield gets done for pace, is it the high line, well not when you look at the goals against us, I still have reserved opinions about Gallas, his the captain, so he would be the one directing operations at the back, is that the problem? You (not aimed at anyone) could say Dawson is not that quick, well when he chased over and took walnut out getting the ball first, he was not that slow then. Dolski went past gallas as if he was standing still, for one of the goals, is walker fearful of gallas, is this the reason he looks out with the fairys at times, not knowing if to stick or twist, he never showed any signs when Kaboul was next to him, something is missing at the moment, but what?
spu 4 life
DocHotspurs -'Knickerless Bender'- you sure? LOL
spu 4 life
AVB i'm 110% behind him, as a coach, don't start.
spu 4 life
Still Ricky Villa - I agree with everything you say
I agree Spu - like you say (apart from the recent howlers - re Europe) we're getting done giving the ball away high up the field. That and the mertesacker header - which is probably another argument for Dawson over Willy. I think Gallas has been great at times, but shouldn't be a shoe-in - and maybe Dawson can compensate for pace with better positioning, he certainly took Walnutt out with a satisfying splatt. I wish Hudd would play the simple ball more often - he keeps giving it away because he dwells on it. Maybe Carroll can bring us some joy here.
CRACKED IT, the ideal christmas gift
spu 4 life
GET THE AVB LOOK, not your primark rubbish, top of the range. It could be a trend like the fancy dress at cricket, dress as AVB, adopt the crouch position, no not the robot one, and point onto the pitch, YOU CLUB NEEDS YOU.
spu 4 life
First of all, i am not sure what to think of AVB. But i am behind him. I thought we would easily go on to win the game with Ade on the pitch, yet losing him we crumbled. I don't know what that means. Maybe it shows how badly we need Ade. Arsenal are there for the taking. I have been saying that for the last few seasons but this year, they are really poor. Levy needs to fcking back AVB properly because if AVB does not work, i think we could do with a new chairman.
Lol notebook - at least it's not a 'managers manual' - page 5 'On going 3-1 goals behind frown intently and strut sorcibly around the technical area' Page 6 'On going 5-2 goals down snort 2 lines of cocaine and prepare post-match team talk, under no circumstances put head in hands or slump to floor et la keegan'. Page 7 'on going 7-1 goals behind return immediately to Switzerland'.
Oops! That should have been return to QPR - I'd remembered one of my worst nightmares with the wrong manager.
I'm reserving my opinions on AVB for the foreseeable future, i'm still not happy with Levy for appointing AVB but technically, despite not playing well we can acheive 4th, still in Europe and the FA cup. Around Janurary i think we will all have a better idea of how far AVB will go. The guy has been a little unlucky, but he wants to get back to coaching the basics, defend and attack team espcially when the back 4 has had so many combinations.
Doc for me Lennon to squad player and a new RW brought in. Also either a no.10 playmaker like perhaps Isco or a deeplying playmaker a la moutinho!
El Jefe
off topic and i'm not sure what side this is coming from,(i.e.bale's agent,media bullspit or the spanish clubs),but barca and real are again sniffing around bales' backside like dogs in heat.
g. roberts testes
big- when you have a different opinion to Hot Spur. lol
BC - had not thought of it like that, but think you are very correct with that analogy!
El Jefe
Don't think we can hang avb after this defeat...maybe adebayor ! What we should have learnt. Naughton is NOT a left back ...cos' he is not good enough on his left foot. I.e..had he tackled with his left foot, walcott would have not got the cross in for girouds goal. Also slightly concernend about lennon. Maybe....townsend's chance. He was awsome for the under21's sunday....right and left foot dangerous inswinging corners. The young chap may have more to offer than lennon. Keep an eye on cristian cellabos ...another two footed player with a turn of speed. Ryan mason has good composure and maturity too. ryan fredericks / grant hall ..also have great potential.
Personally think that Moutinho might no longer be what we need as we have Sandro and Dembele in CM. We need a playmaker further ahead in midfield someone similar to Cazorla unfortunately. Then a quality RW capable of scoring into double figures season in, season out and we should be capable of challenging not just for 4th but higher also. Ultimately a top no.9 also would not go a miss.
El Jefe
thfan, long post but I agree totally. As for defending Ox, I think it's good that the game has moved on and refs give red cards for tackles like Ade's and Hangeland's at the weekend. Anyone remember Eduardo's compound fracture, the one where the bone sticks out through the skin!
El Jefe, I believe the answer to our midfield problems is Isco. We need to snap him up in January. And hopefully another striker.
have to admit I can't stop laughing at the thought that we have improved cos last year we lost 5-2 with 11 men, and lost 5-2 this year with 10 men, time to start popping the champagne!!!. I understand that some want to put some perspective on this defeat but come on.
Tony Rich- "I am NOT saying he should be sacked, but when you take the fact that Ramos was sacked after 8 games, and Jol after 10 games of the season - it is judgement time isn't it?" Are you so dense and retarded that you don't realise that Ramos and Jol were in charge the season before the season that they were sacked? Has anyone got anything you could be colouring-in?
SRV, great post, right behind you all the way boss.
Rome wasn't built in a day, but some day-care centre chumps think AVB's team should have been. Why hasn't he got it right yet, he's had 16 years less than Wenger, who's now a MASSIVE and unassailable two points above us, it's simply not good enough and I wont tolerate it, we should be top of the league by now, AVB out, he's had more than enough time. Born yesterday? More like this morning.
Last seasons substitutes for the Arsenal 5-2 capitulation were Defoe,VDV,Sandro,Lennon,Dawson and Rose. Could have added Corluka and Pav if they had not left in January. And Modric on the pitch. A bit different on Saturday. As for AVBís choice of players, we donít know if he wanted them, but I think we can assume he has been asked to develop the young players and I think we can be fairly sure Levy wants no more ageing injury prone players tapped up the Redknapp way. If we had Modric this season we would easily be sitting 4th.
matt hoten
Defense is a two sided story. You can't sit back and adsorb pressure for 90 minutes and expect to win consistently. We conceded less with Modric in CM because we controlled the game on the offensive end as well. To be fairly honest though Corluka, King, Woodgate, Dawson, BAE, Bassong, ect played well together and were far better choices than Walker, Caulker, and Naughton who are just not good enough to be relied upon week in and out if we are to be a strong defensive side. Sorry to break your hearts about the youth but overall its fairly average and if they do get better there is no promise of it. Just as the big rage over Walker years ago the same risk comes with Caulker a Naughton as there is no promise a player ever will get any better. I wish them all the best though and maybe they turn into something over time.
Crissyboy - how can you be so naive to suggest that AVB is starting from scratch. We have changed a few players some better some worse but overall still rated by most pundits to be stronger than the rest outside of the top 3 big spenders. He has yet to show he can get a sustained performance from them. You can argue that he is trying to be successful with a different approach but the proof of the pudding is in the points total. I'm not writing him off yet as other teams results have kept us in it but that won't last. He needs to get them winning first before gradually instilling new disciplines. He's not got the best of any player yet and that is a coach's primary responsibility.
Love totty
Matt holten, spot on. Last year's defeat was a lot more painful because we went into the game with a strong team riding on the crest of a wave, only to be given a tactical and footballing lesson by Arsenal. It was different this time, we were bossing the game and winning before the sending off and at 4-2 they were seriously worried even with 11 against 10. Try and make our Sun reading fellow Spurs fans see this. COYS.
Love totty, simple question, would you say that Ade, Dembele, Parker, Kaboul and Ekotto would be first choice players if available?
Levy for the chop!
Lewis for the chop!
Gallas has been a good stop signing for us, but he peaked about 6 years ago yet he's our first choice centreback. WHY? He's been our worst player this season imo. Surely Dawson deserves a run whilst Kaboom is out. Kyle Walker is running Gallas a close second mind and i don't even class Dempsey as a player as you at least have to play football to be graded and not just run about like a headless chicken for 90mins.
As for people slating Levy....Crazy. Who would you prefer, Txasin Shinawatra???? Carson Yeung???? Both will be available in a couple of years when their paroles are up
It's all about the money, money, money. Apart from the lack of decent investment in players the thing that winds me up is the charging of top dollar for tickets and the lowest possible facilities for the fans. I sit in the east stand, try and get a coffee and a burger at half time, impossible task. At least at the Emirates and Old Trafford they get treated decently.
Harry out
Just watched Gary Neville's MNF analysis of our games against City and Arse. The plethora of armchair football managers on here should take a good hard llok at it, because it rightly ridicules the mountain of bulls**t you guys regularly post here,
You make very good points in your post Love totty. No-one is suggesting AVB has done well so far, but the logical train of thought is that we should see an improvement as time goes by and the players adapt to a new way of thinking. Kaboul was our best defender last season, maybe our best player, a total rock, if people think that Caulker and Vertonghen were just going to make their debuts for us this season and we'd keep all clean sheets all the way, with big changes in defence, with no teething problems AT ALL then these negative thoughts are probably conjured whilst someone helps them get dressed every morning. AVB has a lot of time from me to get it right, it's too early to tell, but the fact some people who always moan about everything, sometimes even when we win, are already rocking the boat just grates me. How many accounts does Adrian Durham log onto this website with? It'll take time to adjust to actually having tactics, "Just f****** run around a bit" isn't in the coaching manual funnily enough.
Crissybwoy - Frank, that one's for you boss, I don't necessarily agree with it, but to be honest it actually reads like Levy wrote it himself.
@ El Jefe & BC - Until these recent defeats I'd thought AVB had got Lennon into some good form and that he was more effective - I do think he's the best we have in that position (although we haven't seen much of anyone else there for a long time) and shown a lot of commitment, but I have to agree that there could be more end product especially regarding confidence in front of goal. It would be a good move to buy someone to pressure him at least - also I can't see him adapting to a front 3 which is what AVB will be moving towards at some point, I expect. I don't think Bale's ideal for a front 3 either, but you get the impression he'd love to try and AVB might be able to get it out of him. He's already made the jump from LB and could shift his training towards shorter acceleration. If 6 ft 5 UBolt can do it I'm sure Gareth can - it's technique (stride length), believe me - that's why 6.1 Ronaldo looks weird when he runs with the ball (understriding) you can coach this stuff. Are willian and Zaha realistic prospects in Jan?
COME ON STOKE, Gypsy rose Carroll and Mike Bassett, peg sellers
spu 4 life
watching wet spam reminds me of the old wimbledon side, the shots of mike bassett chewing on his gum, reminds me of a bulldog licking the pi$$ off a thistle
spu 4 life
SpursEagle - what did he have to say, we would all like to share it?
spu 4 life
It's OK, don't worry, Gary Neville has got the answer so all you so called football managers who come on here, the reason why we lost to Chelsea, Wigan, ManCity and that lot on sat, plus any other games we lost the answer is simple, they scored more than we did, Cor Blimey, why did i not think of that?
spu 4 life
I have to ask everyone on here if Ade got sent of and we are up 1-0 in the 17th minute when is the right time to make a substitution to keep this game from going the right way? I would say on the road with a man down at the 17th minute you have to make a change that will at the very least attempt to keep you from losing the game over 90 mintes. To allow 3 goals in 25 minutes simply because we went a player down is unacceptable. I'm not picking on AVB just for the fact of this Arsenal game but for the fact that the motivation levels of the players doesn't seem to be there even in mid-week games vs Europa teams or getting knocked out of the cup to Norwich. Something isn't's worry some. Yes, I am understanding it's not an overnight process and we lost our best player but so did arsenal and for many more years in a row than we did.
lol Sorry spu 4 life ... got two very sick, and very clingy little girls here, so just popped on to mention it. Jeez, I figured at least ONE other poster must have seen it! lol I'm not saying anything, because I don't have the time right now, and I also don't think anyone will want to listen (apart from your good self). Anyway, if anyone is really interested, then I'm sure you'll get it on YouTube or Sky Sports. I get the feeling that not many will though, as they are just all to happy being a part of the thriving hate club here. Laters
Raging, there are issues, to be sure. There are concerns, to be sure. There is also reason for optimism. We were not played off the pitch by either of City or Arsenal. Arsenal hardly touched the ball before the sending off. AVB got it right. In the 17th minute, hands are forced. What to do? Easiest thing would be to go from 4-4-2 to 4-4-1. That's what we did. It was forced. Not part of theplan. Dempsey for Defoe was not an option. Myself, I'd have taken off Defoe, told Bale and Lennon it's on them and brought on Carroll to help clog up the midfield. But that's me. I can't really blame AVB for doing nothing at that point and I'll go even further to suggest that all of his changes could have resulted in a glorious comeback. The 4th goal should never have been conceded. Just sloppy and just when we were turning the tide. Defoe had a goal on a platter. Swing and a miss. There were chances. Nothing I saw from Arsenal suggests they are a better side than us. Nothing I saw from City suggests we can't play with them. Chelsea, same thing. So, the fundamentals are there. Get BAE, Kaboul, Caulker, Dembele, Parker avaialble for selection and suggest to Adebayor that 170k/week merits better discipline than that and we could have had that game in a walk.

There is blame for AVB in my opinion though in some player selection. Gallas, but for a couple of games, has been horrid. The ManU game was the perfect example. OK we won. He was hobbled most of the game (hamstring he has been holding most games). Showed himself to be the class warrior we all know him to be. BUT..... he also showed himself to be slow and unable to keep the line. He and Walker were a collander (sieve would have slowed the flow a little). I would rather have Dawson in there. His long balls are no worse than all of Gallas' errant passes and dare I say, long balls. And his reading of the line is no worase than Gallas who consistently plays guys onside when Walker isn't. Dawson is not better than a 27 year old Gallas, but he is miles better than a 35 year old Gallas who loses players in the defensive zone, is at full stretch on everything and thus makes errors like heading the ball right back in to the middle. It's just too much. Gallas was awful at the start of last season, came in to his own and then petered out. He was done then. He should not be ahead of Dawson in this squad. Lloris played well. Friedel would not have made any saves on the goals conceded and there were two saves lloris made that Friedel never does. It's time for Gallas and Friedel to sit. COYS
spu4life, or....we just conceded more than they did? Cech made 2 brilliant saves. That was the difference. But for a couple of consolation goals that were unstoppable, I can point to mistakes that resulted in the chance. We have to defend better. We lost our striker the other day, not Vertonghen. All I saw the other day was yet another example of how Defoe, up top alone, offers nothing. He does not hold the ball up, he is not a conduit to our wingers, he is not the end product of the crosses and he does not defend. 2 goals in his last 8 PL appearances - and this is our go-to guy. We so need a striker or two in January. COYS
I also need to say that although the crunching tackles are largely a thing of the past, strikers never used to be bothered wasting their energies on a tackle the likes of which Adebayor put in on Saturday or Crouch did against RM. No reason for the tackle. No reason to go to ground. No reason for two feet. No reason for foot off the ground and no reason for studs up. It was a dangerous tackle. There was no intent to injure. He didn't go for the planted foot. The whole thing was milked. It was a straight red though and if any player comes in on another with all three of those boxes checked, I expect a red. Poor, poor tackle and now he's gone for three more games. Back to Defoe up top alone, he of the two goals in his last 8 appearances in the PL. Mouthwatering, really. Falque or Mason might be better answers at this point. COYS
Peter talking to yourself is the first sign of you know what!
El Jefe
Going in 2 footed was truly an idiotic thing to do. No other way of putting it. I don't care how much adrenaline was coursing through his veins but when you have Howard MU 'look at me' Webb officiating, he's gonna want to flash the red. Really dumb.

I know and I agree we have not been playing poorly considering the resources available to AVB. Also, AVB seems to be making reasonable decisions on game days. However, bottom line is we are losing games and that is disappointing, especially when all our direct challengers are not firing on all cylinders. :-(
Peter, without a doubt I think we are a better team than the majority competing for 4th but at the end of the day if you don't get the results you are not playing good enough. Arsenal loss is just the icing on the cake of losses in a row now and while I do agree Ade lost it for us vs Arsenal and he admits it I still look at the other recent losses and am fairly saddened. To be fair I don't think we were missing any of the players you named to much vs teams like Wigan and Norwich because that is simply poor coaching but without a doubt they would improve us. I can't sit here and say I feel bad for AVB because he hasn't really had a game where I felt heartbroken we lost because we outplayed the other team. When we have lost we deserved to lose and also have been lucky to tie a couple. At the end of the day we have approach tactically each game the same. How critical we all were on HR for the 442 we play only the 4231 this season at home vs bottom table teams? In a midfield who has minimal goal scorers...To be fair you can call us all on here arm chair managers but I feel like most of us on here know its common sense that we cannot play 4231 at home vs lower level teams who park the bus. I know everyone on here has watch the Spurs more than AVB over the past few years to know what works and doesn't. I'm not saying I'm a genius but for the love of god if we play 4231 vs Wigan with only Defoe and Bale on the wing as true goal scoring threats than you can expect to lose or tie even at home! We don't miss Parker we miss a real goal scorer in midfield or someone who can boss the game not another ball winner. We concede because we can't control a game not because we can't defend. When we are put under pressure we collapse constantly and concede late on. Kaboul is good but he isn't going to take us to another level defending just as many thought we were missing Dawson a couple years back and came back to do nothing out of the ordinary. This team as a whole needs to play better...we need to do something when we have the ball and not simply kick it to bale to do the work or pass the ball around nice and pretty and have nothing going on. The fact we let VdV go put me over the top with AVB...some can say he was injury prone and can't play 90....but he was a winner and a leader and he is something we don't have in the team today. This team doesn't have a leader.
RagingSpur, that was an excellent post. Like I said previously, we may be playing ok but if you keep losing then that's bad. Only when you are losing do you realise what we are missing. We are missing the VDV in our team. Siggy and Dempsey were supposed to be the cut priced alternative to VDV/Modric and thus far that plan has fallen flat on the face. We are truly only relying on Bale to weave his magic up front. Lennon may be quick and zippy but he does not contribute enough in goals. I like him but he needs competition for that position.

Some on here say we have a similar team to last year and therefore should perform as well. No, we do not have the same team. We lost 2 of our best players in Modric and VDV. I don't care that VDV cannot play 90 minutes but like Raging said, VDV is a winner and leader plus when he comes on things happen.

I am not sure what SPURS management is trying to achieve for us in the next few years. We seem to be taken a step forward and then we take a step back. Are we really saving up for the stadium? Have we genuinely replaced the loss of Robbie Keane and Berbatov from 3 years + ago? Could Levy have done better in the last 2 years? I think the answer is a resounding yes! We have some good players in our books at present. If Levy does not get his act together soon, players like Bale, Dembele, Vertonghen and Lloris are not going to want to hang around for too long.

Finally, can we all stop comparing HR and AVB. HR had 2 years to have a good go at it and gave us a taste of CL. Thanks. However, in the final 12 months, he basically stuffed up in more ways than one and he had to go. COYS and To Dare is to DO
thfc1882whl, ItalianYiddo, I would love to join your 'We love Tottenham' orchestral chorus ... LEVY/LEWIS/ENIC OUT!!!
Peter, we just conceded more than they did? now your just being a spin doctor, LOL. Spurs Eagle i hope your daughters get better soon. All the best guys and thanks for having a GSOH, but then being spurs fans, boy do we need one.
spu 4 life
what you call a hard man is really nothing more than a thug... the game has moved on from the mud-laden pitches of yore and the snail-like pace in relation to the modern game.... ppl want to see technique, movement, and fluidity of play and not some neanderthal approach based on playground-bullies kicking lumps outta each other.... there is also the other side of the coin where an opposing playercould just as easily target a Wilshere or Cazorla and cause long-term injury. is that what fans really want ?.... the game in this country is a bear-pit of snarling, vicious conflict especially for derby-games, and those bigging-up Wilshere acting the big hardnut and picking fights with players cos it shows 'heart' need to wind their plebeian necks in somewhat... what goes around comes around.
.....reading your artic;le again, I have to agaion decry this kneejerk response for more 'hardmen'.... the 1st half Arse goals came cos they were hugely under pressure to take the game to Spurs after going a goal down and now against 10-men, it was by far the easier option for players as to do any less wudda left them open to attack from their own fans (even for the 'sin' of slowing the game down before passing). ... the 2nd half goals came about cos the 10-man team had the belief and will to attack a team leading by 2 goals. it showed the character and spirit of the team in a way I didnt quite expect and was far more impressive than the end-score was depressive. if we continue to play with 2 forwards centrally (with Ade/Dempsey dropping off, pref. Ade) then we will match the the best teams also playing now with 2 strikers centrally eg. the Mancs teams..... dont look at the scoreline, look at the performance under handicapped conditions after 20mins.

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