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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

If we are going to lose can we learn as well?

In England we have a very particular and peculiar attitude when it comes to cup competitions.†

When facing an underdog the form book and, at times, the playing manual tends to go out the Window. That is why, in the last few days we have seen Premiership Clubs like; Liverpool, Chelsea, QPR, Aston Villa, Le Arse, Norwich, left sitting in post match dressing rooms around the country wondering just what happened.†

The Leeds game on Sunday and our League Cup Defeat at Norwich in October were typical examples of where our team just does not impose itself on the opposition. But there is a wider situation that AVB needs to understand and certainly address. The English mentality of the 'underdog' appears to be a label that helps smaller clubs rise to the occasion.†

There is no sophistication in the English game when the fixture is going to be a dog fight. Sometimes you have to go back to the basics to win certain types of matches. Leeds must have shown AVB that he has to work out how to play teams who are just hell bent on crowding you out. With little time on the ball and an opposition who are willing to chase you all day long AVB needs to pick a team that can dig deep, slug it out and get the ball into areas where chances can be created.†

The Leeds match showed us that we just lack that quality in the final third. Clubs like Leeds and Oldham, Bradford, Luton and Millwall manage to make teams like Liverpool, Chelsea, Norwich and us look very ordinary. We have to be able to deal with the attritional challenge that clubs, fighting for a cause, will provide. Apart from some brief exchanges our £80m valued Bale was neutralised by an 18 year rookie for Leeds.†

Our Backs at Leeds were caught out of position and left flat footed and our attacks were largely confined to shots from distance or runs into blind alles. Why does this happen? Are we guilty sometimes of turning up thinking we have enough quality on the pitch and that we have a divine right to win?†

There was no real quality in the Leeds side on Sunday just lots of players getting into the faces of our players coupled with some very hard graft and every Leeds player putting in a shift. Can we honestly say that all our players put in a shift on Sunday? It's games like Leeds that show us who wants it more.†

Whilst we dominated Leeds in terms of possession if that dominance does not translate into goals then all that effort means nothing. Whether its Leeds in the Cup or QPR in the Premiership we know that teams we they feel they are up against it, and are aware of the threat we can pose, will pack the midfield, close down the wide areas and leave us only 2/3rds of the pitch to play in with only a back pass as the only option until the players can work out another way through.†

AVB needs to learn from these types of matches and he needs to learn quickly because, as the season comes to its conclusion, we are going to be dragged down into more dog fights where the style of game will be about survival. At the moment we don't have a game plan that can deal with crowded midfields and an opposition that gives our players no time on the ball.†

Norwich on Wednesday will be another game where you can bet a quid that there will be no space in the midfield and there will be no spaces to attack unless we can find some quality service. As for the FA Cup we are now one of 13 Premier League sides that have been knocked out of the competition and we are the highest ranking Club in the PL to go out this season. That leaves us realistically with one piece of Silverware to go for, the Europa League.†

I don't see us winning the Premiership title! Were not alone in feeling the post FA Cup blues but that's little consolation when we all know that; according to AVB anyway;' 'Leeds made the most of their opportunities,'. 'It was good to come back into the game but we maybe could have done a little better' Like winning the game perhaps.

Written by†OyVeh Maria




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The journalist

Writer: OyVeh Maria Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday January 29 2013

Time: 6:45AM

Your Comments

Spot on OyVeh Maria
Spurminator
Good article... COYS
Yidmarks
You know you'll have problems when you start with no strikers and the Hudd in the side.
hiano
Tottenham are trying to pull off a last-minute swoop for £20m Internacional striker Leandro Damiao, according to the Daily Star.

according to SSN...
Yidmarks
still have a feeling that WILLIAN is on the cards....
Yidmarks
Nice article OyVeh, but somehow I didn't see the Leeds game as one of those - we let in two soft goals and had enough chances to clinch it. Have to score first in these games - Hiano has a point!
Durbanspur
If we try and fail with a "last minute" swoop for several £20+ million players I'm going to take frank and lord johny out for a cream tea to tell them in person they are right about Enic
spurticus87
AVB's already shown he can learn from his mistakes, unlike Quincey who just carried on regardless with some of his useless tactics, substitutions & favourite players. Under AVB, I think we're in a better position to improve than we've ever been in the last 5 years.

Spuds-U-Like
I don't see us winning Europa either... We have from impressed in that, and now the CL rejects come in....
TonyRich
Spuds... it is too early too tell if AVB learns from mistakes as he has only managed one complete season in his career thus far. Let's just see. So far he is sticking to high line stuff, which I do not see working in English football much...and Leeds caught us out on that.
TonyRich
I agree with Oyveh here. I was at the home Norwich game - which was a perfect example of us not being able impose ourselves when the opposition plays in a certain way. I have seen it in other games too in parts. I think that when we go a goal down we struggle...because the opposition know how hard we find it to break them down. The exception is the Reading game where we conceded so early that psychologically it was not a kick in the teeth...so managed that scenario well. We have often taken the lead and kicked on from there. I believe that this has led to us having a better points total than our performances have merited.
TonyRich
Yes Tony, it is too early, but so far he seems to have been willing to modify his team & tactics to suit the players he has. Going 4-4-2 when the lone stiker wasn't working, recognising we were conceding late goals & actually working on it.

It's already starting to look good mate, just hope it continues in the same vein.

Spuds-U-Like
I think the high line is good as we have a fast back line and also can pressurize teams up the park hence why we ususally dominate possesion even against the likes of Man Unt. I'm not saying we will win the Europa cup but we have a chance like other top teams in the cup. Yes a striker would be great....but Lewis Holtby should unlock a few doors and surprise people and fill the void left by the slightly unimpressive Sig. It's a shame cause I love giving these new players time to settle. Dempsey couldve got two against Unt and has 7 in 9 so give him a break. It's a lovely season so far... don't really care that much about the FA cup although it's nice to keep that winning mentalitly. Would much rather 3 points against the Canaries though COYS
willfry
it is worrying that players who are supposedly at the top of their profession cant motivate themselves to play "lesser" teams. FFS these are games that anyone knows are fixtures where you seperate the real winners and the nearly men, something that we are destined to carrry on being unless we can find a key to making players understand that they need to be up for EVERY game and against the weak, it is an ideal opportunity to make a statement. It is a constant frustration to me that unlike teams such as United, City, Chelsea, ars*nal and Liverpool, we seem incapable of really hammering teams by 5 or 6 goals. is that a lack of quality or simply a lack of killer instinct?
oxfordspur
Great article - I will say though that getting beaten up by the opposition was commonplace under Jol, it still happened too much under Harry but you can tell AVB isn't as arrogant to think we can play these kickers off the park and not match them physically. I'm just not sure he has the right players yet after only 6 months in charge. A slow, unathletic midfield pairing of Hudd and Parker could have only worked if Dempsey and Siggy put themselves about and supported them. They didn't and AVB would have noticed that. I'm just hoping that Holtby brings some of that German workrate and steel to go with his obvious talents. AVB also needs to teach Bale how to be as effective defensively as Beckham was. Becks always got goalside and in the way, slowed down play and just got a foot in once in a while. Bale doesn't even get goal side most of the time and needs to adapt his game against these sides. Like Lennon, it's an advantage to start deep as they can use their pace and create space. Most of all though we need a forward who can hold up play and release the pressure by retaining possession.
muttley
AVB made some mistakes from the start but the main problem for me was the teamís attitude and the fact they just didnít seem to turn up. For the FA Cup of all things every one of those players should have been fired up and taking the game to Leeds. Last year under Harry we got all the way to the semiís and the players definitely made more of an effort whoever the opposition. He had them prepared and treated the completion like it was worth winning. People instead focused on the fact Harry prioritised this over the EL instead, but as we have seen this year, itís pretty much the same? We have the reverse now, with AVB putting his effort into the EL instead of the FA cup. So have we improved as a team as a club? This approach with prioritising does seem exactly the same as last year? I understand the need for prioritising and use your squad wisely over the season, but I though the fact we are implemented AVB and this new era was to improve all around? Better tactics, better training, more quality in depth and better use of them etc. I personally think that we should have made of a game against Leeds, credit to them for Ďtaking their chancesí and progressing but we could have played much better imo. Given a second chance, even if AVB kept the same team from the start, I would hope that those 11 would step out and try and prove themselves out there for the whole 90. Iím not being funny, but even the kids from last year in the EL seemed more fired up, they worked hard and there were stand out performances in most games. This is a learning curve and I have faith in AVBs ability to work with the team and get his messages across. Will next year be the same? Because I hope we get further. I liked some of AVB's comments on the OS re the game, but I hope he had more with the team behind closed doors. Its early days and his first season so I hope we bounce back in style. Looking ahead, maybe the team will look at this defeat to lower league Leeds and use this to step it up against Norwich? I hope so. Cheers for the article OyVeh, I pretty much agree with what you have said. COYS.
SpursOne2
Firstly I am pleased with the way this season is going, looking forward to a more productive second half ..

Onto the team, I would have played Dawson, perfect for this game, Livermore also, he is a Spurs lad and would have been up for the challenge.

Dembele has said players find it hard to be 'up' for this type of game? If this is true and these are his traits then perhaps he is not the player we need. Cannot believe Roy Keane ever needed encouragement to play to 100% .

As mentioned above I hope Holtby brings his best game to the Lane, he has the work rate and perhaps even the desire.

Onto strikers, I would also go for Hooper, would have a lot of desire to prove to Spurs they made a mistake letting mih go. Not really sure about Damio (sp) he doen't know our league and could take a good few months to bed in. Both would be good though.

Either way, we have to win Wednesday night at Norwich, just to ge tour winning momentum back . COYS
ro6ertj
Added time at the end of games has been renamed ''fergie time'' all spurs fans know we are fast approaching the end of this transfer window and will soon be going into ''Levy Time'' the master of the last minute deals saving a few grand or a few millions, last time around he pulled in over aged players Saha and Nelsen for Arry's game, under AVB so far the young guns have arrived Fryers and Holtby just when you think it's all over Levy strikes. Will he pull in another gem. i get the feeling he will, but who is it to be, We wait in hope?
spu 4 life
If we are going to lose can we learn as well? We all make mistakes, it's not making them again that counts, AVB put out a side of top professional footballers on sunday, i hope they have had a good hard look at themselfs, they just never performed and that can happen, don't do it again.
spu 4 life
I think you can't blame AVB for not motivating properly the players and losing an important cup tie. I would ask such responsibility if he was getting a salary of more than 5m. But you can't ask from a manager who gets only 3m a year to go and win from a mid table Premiership club and to have a game plan that can deal with crowded midfields and an opposition that gives our players no time on the ball. Because then you are unrealistic and you ask too much from him. To the contrary, AVB seems to be aware of the eventually shortcomings of the squad and, being realistic, he declared after the game that the team doesn't miss at all a prolific striker and they shouldn't buy such a player in the current window.
Ioan X
The left sided team, Vertonghen, BAE, Dembele, Bale and now Holtby this lad will do very well for us; that's some excellent players with a left peg
spu 4 life
At least they don't have to wait long to right some wrongs of the weekend I'm hoping Dempsey can carry on his good form and bag some more.
gibbothfc
Why should we learn from our loses and mistakes, after all we are SPURS and we don't do such things as they would fly in the face of tradition and our glorious history. LOL
chrishove123
This is nothing new that the underdog get organised and make it tough especially in their own back yard. It happens in the EPL where bottom starts beating top sides when they are srapping for points. I have done it with an unfancied U12 side that beat the league winners 2-1 and there was no better buzz. This believe me will be a blessing for us this season on 3 counts. 1, we would have been going to Citeh next round so progression unlikely anyway. 2, the rounds of the FACUP come straight after the Europa games (now we have a rest after travelling) 3, The time we got to CL 4th place season, we went out of the cups early then too. We can now take the Europa seriously if we want that elusive cup. Frankly I would settle for 3rd/4th.
COYS R US
Just got back from the doctors, his put me on a two day course of tablets, when i told him i was also a spurs fan, he prescribed the drug called ''Optimism''
spu 4 life
Pelvic Injury, Defoe could be out for a month.
spu 4 life
Games like Leeds are becoming more and more apparent with teams getting into our faces and parking the bus is another tactic. Unfortunately we cannot YET deal with these games because we haven't got two important players that can make a difference. A clinical clever striker and a creative midfielder who can unlock teams. Until those areas are sorted we will continue to struggle. play against a footballing team and we will do well. I am sure AVB knows what we need but it is a matter of finding those players at the right price, who want to come and how much money is available.

I do think AVB and Levy will work towards becoming a top team and work within our constraints I think us fans need to be patient.

We will get the stadium, we have the training facilities we have young players and young manager. We will get there but I wouldn't expect us to get much silver ware especially in our domestic cups I think for money reasons and overseas interest the CL and Europa will be our priority, CL being the most important. The F.A and CC will be third and fourth priority. I expect us to try and progress in Europa but CL qualification will take priority.

I hear we are looking to bring in Damiao which may or not be true, just seems strange that yet again we get all excited about a top signing at the end of the window. How often does it work out that we get that last minute player.
thfan
we have also been linked with EDER, of Sporting Braga, this morning.
82spursdebut
Bale 80 million? I'd snap that up. He's no C.Ronaldo. He may think he is, but he ain't close.
Tottenham Hotcore
82 - if true you would have to assume that AVB knows a little bit about the lad?
Slurms McKenzie
 

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