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A Cosy Chat with Vital Reading

After beating a terrible Villa side on Boxing day, I stated that they were the worst team we had played in the Prem, until my son reminded me of our game against yourselves. How did that performance compare with your other 19 games?

If you consider it with our first 12 games, it would certainly be our worst performance by an absolute mile, as we very much competed in all of the other games. The encounter with yourselves, we were played apart - plain and simple. Our past six or seven games, bar the Swansea and Manchester City games, we have given absolutely nothing. Against Southampton and Aston Villa, the teams that are going to be around us, it was the worst I had ever seen us play in a long time. At the start of the season our effort seemed to be carrying us along, but it seems even that is running out now.

One win in the Prem after 19 games (Prior to West Ham) is a clear indication you are out of your depth in the division. Are you already preparing for Championship football or do miracles really happen?

It will be tough, but I still think its possible. I still think Villa and Southampton are going to be there or thereabouts come the end of the season, its just a matter if we can keep up with the teams above us and win the majority of our home games. However, our dealings in January will decide our season in my opinion. We need to bring in quality and Premier League experience, which McDermott has hinted at.

Earlier in the season, I rather unsportingly stated that there was not one Reading that would get into a Tottenham team. I was right wasn't I?

Yes, you were very much right. Our squad is really lacking the quality to get into any team in this division. Even Jimmy Kebe has come out and stated we are a 'good Championship side`, with many of our fans agreeing with this statement.

Looking at some of the names linked with you in the up-coming window, why do I fear you will make a complete mess of things in buying quality players, but ones totally ill-equipped for a relegation battle? I use Arshavin as a perfect example.

I have to disagree and say we need players of quality, like Arshavin, as long as it doesn`t damage us financially. It`s hard to put your finger on what sort of players you need for a relegation battle, but having witnessed our first half to the season, it is clear that we need quality all over the pitch. I think every team in this division has a player that has that flair to create something out of nothing, when it`s not going right in a game, but I struggle to see a player like that in our side.

From your perspective, who do you want to bring in to be your season's saviour?

Out of all the players we have been linked with, probably Arshavin, because of what I stated previously. We need that spark in attacking areas of the pitch to try and give our strikers supply, because the likes of Le Fondre and Pogrebnyak would feast on these sort of opportunities. I still wouldn`t turn down the chance to sign Huddlestone as well though!

I notice Tom Huddlestone has been mentioned as an option to sign. Is he a player that interests you?

He would definitely interest me. A few years ago he was hovering around the edges of the England squad and you don`t get the odd England cap for nothing. Tom seems a very big, strong lad, who could potentially act as a much better and experienced option to Mikele Leigertwood, who has been awful this season, yet gets into the team every week. With Scott Parker returning to fitness, it seems that Huddlestone would be a realistic loan signing for us.

Moving on to Spurs. You thought we were crazy in sacking Harry Redknapp in the summer. What are your thoughts now?

When I look back, crazy seems a very strong word to use, but I would still call it confusing. I am however a massive fan of AVB, especially his mental character for taking a huge amount of flack so far during his tenure in the Premier League. However, he seems to be moulding into the role very well and the way you played against us back in September still impresses me to this day. Going back to Harry, I`m hoping he doesn`t work his magic at QPR for our sake!

I remember you also said you quite liked Spurs, so I assume you want us to finish in the top four once again. Can and will we do it?

I hope you do it and I think you can, once you gain some consistency in your results. Spurs strike me as a better team away, rather than at home, which doesn`t surprise me in all honesty as AVB seems to play a system which can come across quite reserved with two deep-lying midfielders. I think Chelsea, Manchester City and United will finish above you, but with Arsenal seemingly struggling to find any sort of consistent form, fourth spot is certainly there for the taking!

I have to say, I fear for you in this game. How will you set up and how will you counter our strengths?

Against Swansea, we must have had about 15% possession of the ball in the first half, but strange as it may sound, this system was effective. When you played us at the Madejski back in September, you dictated the majority of the play, but we seemed to be getting increasingly frustrated at not getting the ball. This forced to us to close down and leave spaces, which the likes of Lennon and Bale were always going to exploit. However, with Swansea, we knew we weren't going to see a huge amount of the ball and we seemed fine with that, but they didn`t create any major openings, despite their dominant possession. We just need to remain patient and disciplined when you have the ball, and counter when necessary.

And finally your prediction for the game?

I`m not entirely confident for this one. You don`t concede many at home, but don`t score a huge amount either. I can see one goal deciding it, but not in our favour. 1-0 Spurs.




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The journalist

Writer: OxfordSpur Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday December 31 2012

Time: 3:18PM

Your Comments

I predict a Defoe hat trick
big cockeral
Big game again, 3pts to push Chelski.
RAF Yid
5 - 0 to us
chrishove123
Keep this in your favourites for the next 4 weeks ,

http://www.newsnow.co.uk/h/Sport/Football/Premier+League/Tottenham+Hotspur/All+Sources
big cockeral
Lloris, Walker, Caulker, Vert, Naughton, Lennon, Parker, Dembele, Dempsey, Ade and Defoe. AVB bound to go with Gallas but his legs have gone and he never defends crossed well. The rest picks itself, I would give Sandro a rest, then have a second string for the Coventry game.
RAF Yid
Expect a big win for THFC. Just don't get over confident. If things go our way, it would be nice to see Benny get some game time (if fit).
spurboy61
We (Defoe + Ade) really need to start banging them in. Need to get the goal difference built up as I fear it may turn out to be the deciding factor come end of the season. 3-0 COYS!
Critical_Spur
Off topic I know but this is how confident AVB has got our players now. Absolutely brilliant. Way to go AVB Sandro is saying we stand a chance of challenging for the top spot along with Manure Citeh and Chelski .............................................. http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2012/dec/30/sunderland-tottenham-hotspur-premier-league-report ............................................ Critical_Spur Totally agree there, we have the worst GD in the top 5 by far.
chrishove123
In fairness to Reading, I must wholeheartedly congratulate them on turning over The Essex Pikeys, great stuff. With regards to the game tomorrow I would be extremely disappointed if we didn't get 3 points and follow it up with 3 more at QPR. Regarding the outcome for Reading come the end of the season, it will be difficult for them to stay up, but there are several teams trying hard to join the party at the bottom, and it will results amongst them rather than against the top 6,7 teams that will decide it. The likes of Wigan, Villa, Southampton and even Newcastle (set to lose Dember Ba, and possibly others), Sunderland, and Fulham could all be dragged down into the fray. I honestly think QPR are dead and buried, the other two places are less certain, although Reading must be at serious risk.
Frank
http://www.newsnow.co.uk/h/Sport/Football/Premier+League/Tottenham+Hotspur/All+Sources
big cockeral
I agree with Critical Spur, at the end of the season goal difference will be worth a point in the final reckoning. Our GD is currently far inferior to Man U, Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal, and is a problem we need to address, we simply don't convert enough chances. Perhaps an additional striker would help, sorry just wishing for the impossible again.
Frank
Apparently the talks between Ba and Chelsea have stalled. Perhaps it's time for us to "have a bang on that" to quote Ray Winstone.
Frank
Just noticed that I posted the Qs in italic, when I meant to put them in bold...
oxfordspur
Frank. I think we should forget Ba. IF we do buy him we could well end up with a second Ledders scenario whereby Ba is out injured for significant parts of the season due to his already suspect knee and we are left with an unsellable player who sits it out getting payed for doing nothing apart from warming the hospital beds and physio. He could end up as the biggest liability we have. Remember we do seem to have this curse on us regarding fragile players doiwn through the years/decades. Andrerton springs to mind.
chrishove123
Understand your concerns chris and this was discussed on here two years ago.mhowever, without looking at stats, ba does not seem to miss many games through injury at either spammers or Newcastle.
Windlespur
Understand your concerns chris and this was discussed on here two years ago.mhowever, without looking at stats, ba does not seem to miss many games through injury at either spammers or Newcastle.
Windlespur
The reading game at home will not be easy and they will set up to make it difficult for us - as many others have done at whl. Rotation after three games in a week is also key. I would play siggy as he can unlock reading and was there as a youngster. Obviously avb also knows his players physical state, but resting sandro for Parker would seem a good option. Against pogrebnak, I would prefer vert and caulker or Dawson, not gallas.
Windlespur
Big c what were those links about?? Sorry but my laptop won't let me copy it
BrooksySpurs
Windlespur But that's how it always goes for us, or seems to, We get a player who has played season in season out with a slightly dodgy knee, he has about four or five games out over four or five seasons, we buy him and POW he needs an operation on it and then needs half a season to recover, when he gets back he is either out for half the next season or until we get rid of him, if we ca, or he is in and out like a jack in the box, resulting in a total lack of consistency in that department eventually disrupting the team the way Ledders ended up doing. We are renowned for it.
chrishove123
Agree with playing Siggy. Parker in for Sandro just to give him some time off and Parker a start! Ade and Defoe need to start playing like they were earlier in the season. Ade just doesn't seem to be working as hard tracking back and his touch has deserted him! I'd go with Ade as the loan striker and play Dempsey behind, his vision and through balls have been imressive in recent weeks. Bring on defoe for either of these two with twenty minutes to go! So Lloris, Walker, Caulker, Vert, Naughton, Lennon, Parker, Dembele, Siggy, Dempsey and Ade for me. would be nice to see BAE for a few minutes with maybe Naughton switchng to RB!
Slurms McKenzie
Remember how Reading Played against Citeh,parking the bus till 91 minutes.They can do that to us unless we find a break early!
SilwalYid
If the first part of the season is anything to go by, goal difference is going to play a major part in finishing positions come may, on paper today's game looks like one we could rattle up a few, but then so have others. Depends if Reading cross the half way line, two goals in the first 15 mins could open the flood gates for us, can't see anything but a WIN. COYS.
spu 4 life
Reading have been advised that due to 2013 regulations, no parking of buses is allowed on the white hart lane pitch. ''WHITE HART LANE IS A NO PARKING ZONE''
spu 4 life
My team for today would be....

Lloris

Walker, Caulker, Vertonghen, Naughton

Dembele, Parker

Lennon (R), Dempsey (L)

Sigurdsson

Defoe
coopsieyid
 

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