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Aston Villa vs. Tottenham Hotspur.

Aston Villa vs. Tottenham Hotspur.

Ever since Villa suffered a total humiliation at the hands of Chelsea, I've been trying to decide whether that was a blessing or a curse for Tottenham.

My heart hopes and prays that Villa's young players will be crushed from the mauling at Stamford Bridge and Paul Lambert won't have had the time to do anything radical on the training pitch to in players minds, however, I do wonder if a a hefty kick up a few backsides will force a history tells us that young players and teams have a habit of being brilliant one game and absolutely useless the next.

Also playing at home might well be a problem in terms of tactics for Lambert, who may feel that playing safe and looking to regain some confidence and composure, might prove all the harder by a home support that will have been equally bruised by Sundays loss and will want to see their team come out fighting in response as opposed to looking to be cautious and keep things tight. No home fan wants to see his team sit back and play in a manner that seems negative and Spurs are perhaps not a team to be facing so soon after their own frustrations of dropping two points at home to Stoke.

Equally, can Villa seriously look to take the game to Spurs and potentially be ripped apart on the counter by the likes of Lennon and Bale? This really is a huge test of Paul Lambert's managerial qualities. Perhaps Villa fans might look for crumbs of comfort in last seasons heavy defeats of Norwich and the regenerative powers of Lambert, but in all their big defeats last season, defeat followed the next game and with so many young players at Villa, can you expect too many big characters, but do they have that 'bouncebackability' of players that defy their age? I am not sure.

Perhaps in part by his own making or at least that of a board anxious to cut costs, Lambert hasn't too many experienced options to call upon to add wisdom and organisation. Bent and Dunne are both definitely out, whilst Agbonlahor, N'Zogbia and Vlaar are all very doubtful, so it could well be that Lambert has no other option but to play pretty much the same team as he put out on Sunday. It did cross my mind that he got things wrong tactically in playing a 3-5-2/5-3-2 formation, whether that assisted in Villa's inability to take the game to Chelsea or that they were simply over-run, it is always up for debate.

Chelsea to their credit were superb, but their opposition was shockingly open and naive, with little ability to make vital on pitch adjustments and perhaps we can again look to the fragility of those on the bench such as Stephen Ireland, who were obviously deemed to be incapable of offering anything to the youngsters. If Villa and the fans keep their heads and back this young but promising side, they may well reap the benefits, but you feel there could be quite a bit of pain in the short to medium term and in this time will the struggles take its toll on the players who need guidance in their time of development.

As for Spurs, Clint Dempsey doesn't appear ready for today, however he is believed to be near enough to fitness to be available for Sunderland at the weekend. Scott Parker and Benoit Assou-Ekotto are both in the squad, though whether either will start is up for debate. Certainly in the case of BAE, the fact he hasn't kicked a competitive ball since the 1st of September, surely makes him a big question mark, however he has always appeared to be naturally athletic and capable of playing every game and may well be seen as being ready to play. With Jan Vertonghen voicing his desire to play in the centre, you wonder if it will be a pick between BAE and Naughton wherever possible from now on. It did cross my mind that certainly the right footed Naughton would be perfect to have the left footed, right winger of Adam Johnson at the weekend, so will he play today and the weekend, with Jan in the middle, perhaps alongside Gallas or Caulker?

Other than the left back/centre back position, I feel that we will probably stick quite close to the team we have in recent games, however, with a busy Christmas period, will this game be an ideal one to rest Sandro (for Parker) and play Sigurdsson behind Adebayor, and then use Defoe and Dempsey at Sunderland? Gallas and Caulker also seem good rotational options and perhaps who is seen as being a better foil for either Benteke or Fletcher, might get the nod. For me, I would be very happy to see a starting line up of Lloris, Walker, Caulker, Vertonghen, BAE/Naughton; Parker, Dembele; Lennon, Sigurdsson, Bale and Adebayor and that offers sensible rotation, whilst also offering a team which I believe will be far too strong for what I believe and hope will be a Villa side in turmoil, for one more game at the very least...



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:OxfordSpur
Date:Wednesday December 26 2012
Time: 11:53AM

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Comments

0
COYS!
Hotspur 1882
26/12/2012 12:00:00
0
Time to make experience count.
Time to start making possession count.
So often Spurs dominate matches, without applying the killer touch - goals.
Hotspur 1882
26/12/2012 12:03:00
0
villa will win 1-0...
shlok27
26/12/2012 12:14:00
0
we need to show a bit of creativity and score today...Jan to keep Benteke quiet....naughton start LB, BAE to come on later in the game when we're 3-0 up...;)
shedboy2
26/12/2012 12:19:00
0
Hear hear Hotspur. We need to do something about our goal difference. I also hope Walker can get his game together. I am fed up seeing him get the ball and then stop and wait for all the opposition to get back in position before he kicks it either sideways or backwards. How many attacking opportunities have been wasted by his slow decision making. Apart from that we MUST get 3 points. COYS
Big Ron
26/12/2012 12:26:00
0
I have a feeling BAE will start today, guessing from comments of Vertonghen today.

My XI - Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, BAE, Sandro, Dembele, Bale, Lennon, Adebayor, Defoe.
I want to give a start to Gylfi, but considering Villa are slightly edgy in their defense after 8-0 drubbing, I want to go for Ade & Defoe.
sydqcb5
26/12/2012 12:39:00
0
We are one of the leagues top away scorers, so hopefully shlok27 is wrong. Villa are also weak at the back, but we need to go at them from the off. Maybe a few changes to rest players and keep some fresh in this busy period. Parker to give sandro a break before Sunderland match, tell bale to produce an hour of magic and then get siggy on. In fact, I would start with siggy instead of jd or ade after their woeful performances in last match. Coys
Windlespur
26/12/2012 12:40:00
0
Can we go with only three at the back. Our last two games have seen the opposition park the bus. I can see Villa doing the same after their last game. We need someone with a killer pass in them. Maybe a game for Hudd. He's slow but I don't think pace is what we need in this game.
In-spurs-ational
26/12/2012 12:48:00
0
What's Up with Spurs being heavily linked with Wesley?We cant even afford his salary!and for today's game 2-0 to spurs.My team would be-Lloris,Walker,Dawson,Verts,Naughton,Sandro,Dembele,Lennon,Siggi,Bale and Defoe up top
SilwalYid
26/12/2012 13:30:00
0
another draw.... the attacking players of Spurs have started to compete against each other, rather than the opposition... sad to see.
Viyyash-Ramosh
26/12/2012 13:32:00
0
SilwalYid, I posted the following on an earlier thread : As for Sneijder, I think the following article hits the nail on the head http://m.ibtimes.co.uk/ tottenham-transfer-news-wesley-sneijder-inter- january-418258.html A quote from it " Sneijder is paid a staggering £200,000 per week by Inter Milan.... And this, in turn, could also mean problems for Tottenham, who do not have the wage structure in place (or finances) to offer such enormous wages." Nuff said
In-spurs-ational
26/12/2012 13:33:00
0
I hope that we see either BAE or Naughton at LB and we see vertonghen now playing at CB for the long term. if that is the case, it will be interesting to see who AVB selects over the next two games as his partner
oxfordspur
26/12/2012 13:37:00
0
@ Viyyash-Ramosh. I agree 100% re our strikers playing for their own place as opposed to as a team. I have mentioned exactly the same in a couple of recent articles and it is a big reason why I have talked of playing one of Defoe or Ade instead of them as a pair. I feel it can work together and we have seen brief occasions when it has shown potential, but in recent games, they look to play as individuals, which hasnt worked
oxfordspur
26/12/2012 13:40:00
0
I am too in the camp of suggesting that too many players are playing for themselves rather than the team. In view of that, I’d like to see Defoe on the bench, Ade upfront on his own with Gilfi in the team. Agree also that we need to stop this holding on to the ball too long. About time we saw that incisive fast passing team that made us envy of many in the past few seasons. We have enough in our locker to win this comfortably. 2-0 to Spurs, as long as we go for the jugular from the off!. COYS!

As for the Wesley rumours....well, think about it. We had the same issue with Ade’s signing. IMO, it can be done. Wheeler dealer Levy can buy him on the cheap and compensate by paying higher salary. IMO also, Wes would be a better option than Van der Vaart.
Critical_Spur
26/12/2012 14:04:00
0
Critical_Spur, personally I think the Sneijder rumours are so that he can get a move to a bigger club. Basically you start a rumor saying a team is close to buying you in the hope that it will trigger a counter bid from someone else. Why choose Spurs for the rumour? Simple, we are a big enough club that Sneijder "might" join us, but we are not big enough for other clubs to think they have no chance of hijacking the deal. If the rumour was that City wanted him, every other club would think they have no chance. With Spurs, clubs will know that we don't pay huge wages so will think that there is hope for them
In-spurs-ational
26/12/2012 14:19:00
0
Oh, and starting the rumour in the first place just reinforces the message of "I'm available, come get me"
In-spurs-ational
26/12/2012 14:21:00
0
Although one game should never be sufficient to draw conclusions from, it is sobering to realise that if we lose, at the half way point we would then need to be ten points better in the second half to reach the 70 point target. Win and making up 4 points doesn't seem too bad.
Love totty
26/12/2012 14:25:00
0
In-Spurs, I agree with your thinking. Wonder if we are to make a marquee signing or look to sign a little known gem in the shape of Benteke, Michu, Ba, Cisse. Back to the old scouting system to unearth that gem. But imo we have a good mix of youth and experience at the Lane and most have said, we do need an EXPERINCED playmaker and a Striker. Wesley ticks one of the boxes. I think this windows will be one for a mass clearout, which is well overdue. Just hope Levy doesn’t tighten his belt too much, nor demand a king’s ransom for the likes of Bentley, Janas and Gomes.
Critical_Spur
26/12/2012 14:29:00
0
I think there is a lot of truth in the rumour regarding Sneijder. As the Italian expert point out on Talksport, there are not many clubs that can afford him that actually need him. we certainly do need him, in fact, probably the kind of player we need most. We cannot afford to pay 200k a week to any player as well as shelling out the 25+ million Sneijder is worth. However, Inter are desperate to get him off there wage bill. I think a deal is there to be done and there is still the money left that we would have paid for Moutinho.
asherthesmasher
26/12/2012 14:30:00
0
Even if this Sneijder rumour was true would we want him? transfer fee too high; wages too high; form has dipped dramtically and no doubt he woudl demand to start every match - possibly a signing thats more hassle than its worth and not really an AVB signing in my eyes.
MrSpurs
26/12/2012 14:38:00
0
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Parker start this match. My Line-up would be:

Lloris
Walker, Gallas,Vert, Naughton
Parker,Sandro
Gylfi,Dembele,Bale
Ade

Defoe and Lennon to come on in 2nd half.

COYS!
Critical_Spur
26/12/2012 14:46:00
0
Considering the Villa Chelsea result this will be a tough game controlling midfield will be key, need to play 5 in the middle and Sandro + Parker should give us that energy and physical presence. My only concern is Ade he really needs to be up for it today if selected in one up front.
MrSpurs
26/12/2012 14:57:00
0
What about a back line of Naughton Dawson Vertongen and BAE. Give Walkier a rest What about a back line of Naughton, Dawson, Vertongen and BAE Mid field the usual culprits Lennon, Dembele Sandro Bale with Gylfi and Ade up front?
Big Ron
26/12/2012 15:24:00
0
sorry about the formatting
Big Ron
26/12/2012 15:25:00
0
so Chelscum and Everton both are winning!
SilwalYid
26/12/2012 16:42:00
0
Danny Rose having a good game against City, one of Sunderland's best players, 1-0 to Sunderland with 10 mins to go.
ItalianYiddo
26/12/2012 16:43:00
0
and *****ty losing!
SilwalYid
26/12/2012 16:51:00
0
Chicarito just won 3 points for United in 91 minutes
SilwalYid
26/12/2012 16:53:00
0
Lloris, Walker, Gallas, Vertonghen, Naughton, Sandro, Dembele, Lennon, Bale, Adebayor and Defoe Our subs today: Friedel, Caulker, Dawson, Livermore, Townsend, Parker and Sigurdsson
Oxfordspur
26/12/2012 16:55:00
0
ill tell u what yids never do a man city man utd double ever again, *****in disaster, bookie is laughing today. i need a pick me up, lets win by 4 and get back into the top 4
Yidd Fein
26/12/2012 16:57:00
0
Lets fecking win this match! Come On You Spurs
SilwalYid
26/12/2012 17:06:00
0
4-4-2 again... I would rather we played 4-2-3-1 with Defoe up top on his own. Hoping that Naughton will have a good game on the left. Hopefully Ade will act as the link between midfield and defence.
Fanman
26/12/2012 17:07:00
0
I don't understand why we're playing 4-4-2 again. It didn't work against Stoke and will cause us to have problems again today. Unless Defoe and Adebayor show a much better attitude today we are going to struggle to score. We've also recalled Gallas. That leaves me worrying too. I'm less optimistic about today's game all of a sudden. I hope we score a couple early so I can relax.
SpuriousLife
26/12/2012 17:07:00
0
so Dawson and Caulker dropped!
SilwalYid
26/12/2012 17:09:00
0
Funny our rotation is mainly at the back where I would have said we didn't need to rotate as much. Hope Gylfi gets on soon. No sign of BAE even on bench is a pity
Big Ron
26/12/2012 17:12:00
0
Gallas against Benteke....Gulp!
HuddersfieldYiddo
26/12/2012 17:12:00
0
On my 18th turkey sandwich from left overs, anyone know what the record is? Hope we dont see Raging Spur today, it will mean we have WON, I think his still over on Vital QPR trying to convince them, what a good manager Arry is.
spu 4 life
26/12/2012 17:13:00
0
BTW where is everyone today? I don't remember such a quiet run up to any match. Maybe they are all out at the sales lol
Big Ron
26/12/2012 17:16:00
0
I can't think of a reason to start Gallas ahead of Dawson? That is a bad move from AVB. Why rotate the defence so much? Last week we kept a clean sheet, then AVB changes the whole defence. It doesn't make any sense?
Fanman
26/12/2012 17:16:00
0
I think gallas plays well with vert, it seems that caulker is the one that weakens our back line with his poor communication, though would have liked to see Dawson play. Sick to death of naughton on play, make horrendous errors every time as he is played out of position, at least it is villa we are playing a very inexperienced team that you would expect bale and Lennon to take apart although you know they won't, it will be a close game!
Spursnoob
26/12/2012 17:17:00
0
I'm getting so tired of seeing defoes name in the starting line up. This love triangle with Avb, Dempsey and Defoe needs to be ended. Why the hell does he not play siggy for Fuc* sake.
01tottenham
26/12/2012 17:18:00
0
If we don't dominate today then AVB has to be sacked...end of. Can't even put together a strong team sheet.
01tottenham
26/12/2012 17:21:00
0
01tottenham, you have to appreciate the goals that Defoe has scored for us this season. He's an improved player under AVB. He's earned a place in the first XI.
Fanman
26/12/2012 17:22:00
0
I think Defoe-Ade has worked fantastically well last year, when both had a vested interest to engance their interests by doing the best for the team: Ade to secure a long-term contract and Defoe to secure a regular place ahead of Vaart.... now the 2 feel their places are assured and can focus on simply scoring more goals than the other.... sort of Bale-Lite..... time to introduce just 1 quality striker to compete for 2 slots with Defoeand Ade
Viyyash-Ramosh
26/12/2012 17:23:00
0
Spursnoob, lets hope Gallas and Verts play well today. I think that our weakest links are Walker and Naughton out of position.
Fanman
26/12/2012 17:24:00
0
Fanman, I do mate I just can't stand when he kills half our play with his stupid long range shooting. Half the time he is Annonymous. We need a world class striker asap.
01tottenham
26/12/2012 17:27:00
0
Damn those backpasses!
SilwalYid
26/12/2012 17:31:00
0
01tottenham - AVB has to be sacked?! Over reaction much. Although you are spot on about us needing a top striker, competition provides better performances imo.
rahn DMC
26/12/2012 17:33:00
0
What type of corner was that from Walker?
SilwalYid
26/12/2012 17:38:00
0
we need an early goal!
SilwalYid
26/12/2012 17:41:00
0
Villa have parked the bus.
Fanman
26/12/2012 17:46:00
0
Winning games means scoring goals. I really hope it's not yet another game of loads of spurs possession 20 odd chances and 1 or no points. Would love to. See sneidjar at the lane but more than that I'd love to see a top class striker join us.
strawboy
26/12/2012 17:50:00
0
Spurs look far too laid back in these games. They look as though they expect to win just because they turn up.....
philbill
26/12/2012 18:00:00
0
Defoe wastes the perfect chance and we're slowly letting Villa settle into the game!
SilwalYid
26/12/2012 18:02:00
0
we don't do well when we dominate so much, ironically, this is like the away match in greece. we will either win by three or so, or lose it in a moment of complacency
Guernman
26/12/2012 18:06:00
0
How the feck are we not winning this game? More chances that Chelski, More corners that Chelski. More possession than chelski. They are so content with not being beat they are playing like a young stoke!!! For all our pretty pretty football we look poor. No cutting edge and our shooting is woeful!!!
woodyn17
26/12/2012 18:07:00
0
How many corners do we need to score a ******** goal.... watching Spurs these days frustrates me
philbill
26/12/2012 18:07:00
0
I'd get parker up there to fire a rocket up Bales arse!!!
woodyn17
26/12/2012 18:08:00
0
If we don't go in at least 1-0 up at half time we need a serious talking to!!
woodyn17
26/12/2012 18:11:00
0
15 corners in one half has to be a record!!!!
woodyn17
26/12/2012 18:12:00
0
This is not good enough there must be coversations during training about our inability to break teams down but Im not seeing anything different, cant be placed on Bales shoulders every game....same old same old....
MrSpurs
26/12/2012 18:12:00
0
Ade is *****, get us a striker levy a good one
philbill
26/12/2012 18:12:00
0
14 corners!Villa are really parking the bus
SilwalYid
26/12/2012 18:13:00
0
Take off Defoe and put on siggy for fuc* sake. There's no creativity in this spurs team. We can see it but AVB can't.
01tottenham
26/12/2012 18:14:00
0
FFS, why aren’t we 6-0 up?!!!. 12-0 Corners, 14-1 shots on goal. Forgot, we are Spurs and we do things the hard way! COYS!
Critical_Spur
26/12/2012 18:16:00
0
We're creatively really naive!!
SilwalYid
26/12/2012 18:16:00
0
I just dont like the way we play under AVB. Siggy should come on for ADe he looks lethargic and ***** to me
philbill
26/12/2012 18:16:00
0
This game typifies our problems, we are murdering this lot but can't score, just like the Stoke game, we get loads of possesion but have nobody to pick the lock, or take the chances created, against teams that just sit an defend we are ineffective. If AVB honestly believes we don't need anybody in the January window he is sadly dimmented, this lot can't finish top 4.
Frank
26/12/2012 18:16:00
0
My word this is truly awful. Dire. Boring. Slow. S***. We're literally playin ourselves. Villa aren't even making it a contest and we're still woeful. No one in Jan??? AVB having a laugh?
mattspurs1982
26/12/2012 18:17:00
0
We have to break them down somehow. Oh and we're awful on corners.
Fanman
26/12/2012 18:19:00
0
This game is an example of how reliant we are on Bale!
SilwalYid
26/12/2012 18:20:00
0
siggy takes the best corners, lets get him on for defoe
Guernman
26/12/2012 18:20:00
0
The familiar story seems to be taking shape. Another game of total dominance, with fifteen corners and eight shots on goal. But still unable to score.
Hotspur 1882
26/12/2012 18:20:00
0
If we don't win this then it will be a travesty!! Who do we turn to on the bench? Siggy? come on ffs!! Our squad does not contain one creative midfielder. I can actually see villa popping up and winning 1-0.
woodyn17
26/12/2012 18:21:00
0
As expected, Defoe can't do anything against a park-the-bus defense. Waste of space. Bring in Siggy and add more creativity!
dcruzer
26/12/2012 18:21:00
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